What Special Education Teachers Do

Special education teachers work with students who have a wide range of learning, mental, emotional, and physical disabilities. With students who have mild or moderate disabilities, they ensure that lessons and teaching strategies are modified to meet the students’ needs. With students who have severe disabilities, they teach the students independent living skills and basic literacy, communication, and math.


Special Education teachers make a median salary of $54,000 a year depending on your certifications and where you teach.


Special education teachers typically do the following:



All states require teachers in public schools to be licensed. A license is frequently referred to as a certification. Those who teach in private schools are not required to be licensed.

Requirements for certification vary by state. However, all states require at least a bachelor’s degree. They also require completing a teacher preparation program and supervised experience in teaching, which is typically gained through student teaching. Some states require a minimum grade point average.

Many states offer general special education licenses that allow teachers to work with students across a variety of disability categories. Others license different specialties within special education.

Teachers are often required to complete annual professional development classes to keep their license. Most states require teachers to pass a background check. Some states require teachers to complete a master’s degree after receiving their certification.