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Quick Facts: Education - Special Ed Industry

Median Pay:   $55,532 per year | $27 per hour
Entry-Level Education:   Bachelor's degree

Education - Special Ed Occupations:

  • Special education teachers, kindergarten and elementary school$54,570
  • Special education teachers, middle school$56,760
  • Special education teachers, secondary school$57,810
  • Special education teachers, all other$54,520
  • Special education teachers, preschool$54,000

Online Special Education Degrees

Special education refers to the care, attention and teaching that students with physical, mental or psychological disabilities need in an educational setting. These students often struggle in traditional classroom settings and require additional assistance in order to better assimilate and learn in school.

With a degree in special education, you can make a real difference in the lives of children and teenagers while simultaneously enjoying a stable career and wonderful benefits. If you are interested in pursuing an online degree in special education, read on to learn more about the degrees offered, the career paths you can choose from after education, what it takes to succeed in this field and how studying online can better prepare you for employment.

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5 Program(s) Found
  • Want to be a Teacher or Educational Administrator? Learn why GCU could be the best place to start! Here's why:
  • Options: Choose from a variety of undergraduate and graduate education programs, including TESOL, early childhood ed, elementary ed, secondary ed & more.
  • Convenience: Complete courses online, on campus, or a combination of both. We also offer evening classes!
  • Earlier Graduation: Our 4-credit courses allow you to complete your degree program in less time.
  • Transfer Friendly: We will request your transcripts, evaluate your graduate coursework, and determine your anticipated graduation date within 24 hours.
  • Financial Options: Numerous financing options available, including scholarships for academic achievement.
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  • Online MEd, MS, EdD, EdS, and PhD options in K-12, higher education, and education technology for teachers and education leaders.
  • Specializations in early childhood education, reading and literacy, higher education leadership, curriculum and instruction, training, instructional design, educational technology, and more.
  • Earn credit based on learning gained from previous coursework or professional experience and potentially get your degree in less time through professional development and prior learning assessment.
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Online Learning at Concordia University–Portland

If education is your passion, Concordia University-Portland is your university. One of the most respected names in learning today, Concordia offers several fully online Master of Education (MEd) programs—most of which can completed in one year—and a fully online Doctorate of Education (EdD) program. Our graduates stand out with the skills, integrity, and compassion  necessary to meet the ever-changing needs of students today. Together, we're all making an impact in education.

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  • Impact your world with a degree from Walden. Start today!
  • Walden degree and certificate programs are designed for working professionals. Click for more information.
  • Receive personal attention from advisors in enrollment, financial aid, academics, and other support services to make the most of your online program.
  • Study worry-free knowing you have 24/7 access to Walden technical support.
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  • Save up to 25%. Save thousands on your bachelor's with the Strayer Graduation Fund.
  • Learn Online or On Campus. Attend classes online or at one of our 70+ campuses across the country.
  • Why Strayer University? 125 years of history, distinguished faculty, sought-after accreditation, innovative, personalized support.
  • Finish sooner. Transfer up to 28 classes into a bachelor's degree.
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  • Personalized learning that’s guided by industry trends
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Building on Purdue's mission to provide greater access to affordable, world-class education, Purdue University Global delivers a fully personalized online experience that's tailored to working adults. By opening the doors to adults who need flexibility to fit learning into their busy lives, we make it possible to achieve a high-quality education from a prestigious university system—completely online.

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  • Full Sail University offers online degree programs that are designed for the world of entertainment, media, arts, and technology. Full Sail's approach is centered on real-world industry experience and creative problem solving.
  • Full Sail uses the experience and knowledge gained from more than three decades of educational innovation to create an unparalleled online education experience that challenges and inspires our students.
  • Learning at Full Sail has always centered around interaction and the exchange of ideas, and our online curriculum fully embraces this philosophy with the aim of being the most people-focused education experience on the web.
  • Through Full Sail’s multitude of online program offerings, students get: One-click access to instructors, Powerful collaborative tools, Interactive learning environments and Innovative curriculum.
  • Full Sail's newest program is the Dan Patrick School of Sportscasting. Developed in collaboration with sportscasting veteran Dan Patrick, the goal is to provide students with real world experience both behind and in front of the camera.
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Available Special Education Degrees

Those who want to pursue a career in special education will have their choice of several degrees including am associate degree, a bachelor's degree, a master's degree and a doctorate. An associate degree takes just two years to complete, but it will not be sufficient to work as a special education teacher in most schools. However, it will prepare you for assisting specific students, or can be a base on which you can study further.

A bachelor's degree will take roughly four years to complete, and prepare students for careers as special education teachers in both elementary and secondary schools. A recognized license is typically required along with a bachelor's degree for most positions.

A master's degree in special education is a great way to command the best jobs in the field, and will take an additional two years beyond the bachelor's degree. While a doctorate is not necessary for most educational positions, it is vital for research careers in special education.

Career Paths for Special Education Degree Holders

With a degree in special education, graduates will have a number of different positions to choose from. With an associate degree, students can work as an aide or an assistant for individual children in the school system.

With a bachelor's degree or master's degree, graduates can pursue careers in private or public schools as classroom teachers for special needs students. Outside of the traditional classroom setting, special education degree holders might work as art therapists, speech language pathologists or even an educational diagnostician.

Advantages of Online Special Education Degrees

By studying for an online special education degree at any level, you can work full time while studying, enjoy lower tuition fees, avoid long commutes and expensive gas refills, have direct communication with professors and enjoy the flexibility of online learning.

Although in decades past employers may have been wary to hire individuals with online degrees, the rapid advancement of technology now means that online education is just as recognized as traditional college campus education. As long as you have a few spare hours each week, access to a computer and a connection to the Internet, you can work on pursuing your special education degree from home.

Attributes of Successful Special Education Professionals

The special education professionals who make the biggest impact on the lives of their students are the ones with plenty of patience, excellent communication skills, a thorough knowledge of alternative teaching methods, compassion and a calm demeanor.

If you have a quick temper or get frustrated easily, this may not be the career choice for you. Working with students in special education requires compassion, kindness and a stress-free environment in order for students to best learn new information and feel safe in their surroundings.

If you want to enjoy the financial benefits of a career in special education as well as the incredible fulfillment on these positions, then enroll in an online special education degree program today.

Much of the coursework completed for a special education degree will overlap with a standard education degree. Additional coursework and focused student teaching aimed at providing the in-depth expertise necessary to effectively educate children with special needs are also part of the curriculum.

Schools across the country are in need of teachers with the special skills to manage classrooms of students with unique educational needs. Individuals with special education expertise are also in demand in the education policy-making arena.