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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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Quick Fact
In 2017, workers with a bachelor's degree or higher had almost twice as much
median earnings per week than workers with only a high school diploma*.
*Bureau of Labor Statistics

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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.