Graduate Salary
4-5 years
Avg Length

Special Needs Education Requirements

Special education teachers are found in either elementary or secondary schools, working directly with students who are affected by physical or mental disabilities. The minimum requirement to become a special education teacher is a bachelor’s degree. Some states require special education teachers to obtain a master’s degree.

Generally, a bachelor’s degree in special education can take between four to five years, with time frames fluctuating based on the age groups aspiring teachers want to work with (K-8 or high school) and the types of disability they wish to specialize in (mild, moderate, or severe). Unlike secondary school teachers, most special education teachers are expected to instruct on a wide variety of subjects, along with teaching age-appropriate life skills.

Special Needs Education Careers

The career trajectory of people with a Special Needs Education degree appears to be focused around a few careers. The most common career that users with Special Needs Education degrees have experience in is Special Education Teacher, followed by Preschool Teacher, Bus Driver, Nanny, Elementary School Teacher, Speech Language Pathologist, Choir Director, Education Administrator, Teacher, and Childcare Worker.

Career % of graduates % of population Multiple
Special Education Teacher 11.6% 0.2% 65.2×
Preschool Teacher 2.8% 0.4% 7.9×
Bus Driver 1.2% 0.0% 24.1×
Nanny 1.9% 0.6% 3.3×
Elementary School Teacher 2.1% 0.3% 8.3×
Speech Language Pathologist 0.9% 0.1% 8.1×
Choir Director 0.7% 0.0% 70.8×
Education Administrator 1.7% 0.2% 10.6×
Teacher 8.1% 3.0% 2.7×
Childcare Worker 2.7% 1.0% 2.6×

Special Needs Education Salary

Special Needs Education graduates earn on average $35k, putting them in the 40th percentile of earners with a degree.

Percentile Earnings after graduation ($1000s USD)
25th (bottom earners) $32k
Median (average earners) $35k
75th (top earners) $42k

Special Needs Education Underemployment

Special Needs Education graduates are highly employed compared to other graduates. We have collected data on three types of underemployment. Part-time refers to work that is less than 30 hours per week. Non-college refers to work that does not require a college degree. Low-paying includes a list of low-wage service jobs such as janitorial work, serving, or dishwashing.

Employment Type Proportion of graduates
Part-Time 19%
Jobs that don't require college 16%
Low-paying 5%

Special Needs Education Jobs

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Special Needs Education Colleges