For a better experience, click the Compatibility Mode icon above to turn off Compatibility Mode, which is only for viewing older websites.

Careers in Special Education

Drexel University School of Education

Careers in special education can be both personally and professionally rewarding. This is because you can have a tremendous impact on the lives of people with disabilities and their families. Special education professionals work with the wide range of children and youth who have disabilities such as autism, learning disabilities or emotional support needs.

Special education teachers are professionals responsible for providing individuals with disabilities the accommodations they need to access school, daily living routines, and social interactions with friends. While most special education careers involve working with students between the ages of 3 and 21, there are a wide range of careers in field.

That includes careers in K-12 schools, preschool settings, mental health facilities, colleges, government organizations, residential settings, and more. If you are thinking about starting a career in special education, it’s worthwhile to first understand the full range of opportunities made available through special education careers.

If you are considering a career as a special education teacher, but are not sure where to start, take a moment to request information and a representative from the School of Education will assist you.

What Can I Do with A Degree in Special Education?

Students who are interested in pursuing a degree in special education will find special education career paths can be quite diverse. From teaching positions to working with the legal system, there are countless career paths that open for people who possess the unique skills taught by a special education degree. That includes career paths like:

Special Education Teacher

A special education teacher is responsible for providing modifications and adaptations to the curriculum so that students with disabilities can achieve the same outcomes as all students. That includes students with a diverse range of physical, emotional, and developmental needs. Working one-on-one and working in groups, teaching a wide range of subjects and teaching basic skills like literacy, few educational careers provide so many opportunities to make such an important positive impact on the lives of their students.

Each state has their own licensing requirements. However, most states require a bachelor’s degree in special education, as well as meeting the state’s requirements for teaching certification. Special education teacher salary is also quite respectable, with a median annual income of $59,780.

Early Intervention Specialist

The earlier that a developmental delay is diagnosed, the more likely that delay can be addressed. An early intervention specialist works with young children who either have or are at risk of having a developmental delay. Working with children who are usually less than four years old, an early intervention specialist assesses child development and provide interventions.

The importance of providing early intervention to children with development delays is well established, which makes early intervention specialists an invaluable resource to the lives of children in need.

On a typical day, an early intervention specialist might travel between the homes of several children, or they may work with children attending typical preschool or day care centers. Their work includes helping children to learn developmentally important skills by playing games, and teaching parents how to help their children to practice these skills.

These careers require a bachelor’s degree and completing an accredited student teaching program. Like with teaching requirements, program requirements vary from state to state. Early intervention specialist salary varies considerably by region, but their median annual income can be found in the neighborhood of $40,596.

Special Education Advocate

A special education advocate is someone who combines a background in special education with a background in state and federal law, along with education al experience, allowing them to represent the best interests of their students in the legal system.

In their day to day duties, a special education advocate might find themselves helping parents advocate for their child and helping them put requests in writing for school district officials. They might review documents, suggest student-appropriate accommodations, or otherwise try to find solutions to help students with their legal problems.

Special education advocates can earn a salary of $47,437 annually.