Career Overview

Master of Science, Special Education (K-12)

Career Overview: SPECIAL EDUCATION INSTRUCTION

Do you want to turn your career as a teacher into something even more rewarding than it is now? The Master of Science Special Education (K–12) degree will give you the skills and knowledge needed to make a true difference in the lives of children with learning disabilities. The program will prepare you to fill the vital role of special education teacher by enhancing your teaching abilities and giving you instructional design skills to help you meet the needs of students with mild-to-moderate cross-categorical disabilities.

In addition to learning how to teach special education, you will gain expertise in research fundamentals and developing instructional curricula, further advancing your career opportunities.

The courses in M.S. Special Education — based on effective instruction, national, and state standards — are designed to help you efficiently teach kids from diverse backgrounds who suffer from a variety of learning disabilities. A special education teacher should be patient, engaging, supportive, and bright. If you possess these qualities, the next step is a proper education. You've come to the right place. You're on the fast track to the gratifying job of your dreams.

Job Listing Growth

2014 - 2024

Career Opportunities

With your Master's in Special Education, you'll be qualified to pursue a range of careers in Special Education. With skills in legal policies and procedures, psychoeducational assessment, behavioral management, instructional design, thorough literature review, and much more, your career opportunities may include:

Positions in the Field

  • Special education teacher (K–12)
  • Special education instruction coordinator
  • Special education consultant
  • Adjunct or part-time faculty
  • Teacher mentor or supervisor
  • Childcare institution employee
Job Market Forecast

Job Growth

2014 - 2024

The need for special education teachers is steady. Employment growth will be driven by continued demand for special education services. Because this career can be emotionally and physically demanding, many schools struggle to recruit and retain special education teachers. As a result, with the proper qualifications and preparation, you should have good career opportunities as a special education teacher.

Job opportunities may be even better in parts of the country with higher student enrollment rates, such as in the South, West, and rural areas. Job opportunities also may be better in certain specialties, such as experience with early childhood intervention and skills in working with students who have multiple disabilities, severe disabilities, or autism spectrum disorders.

Work Environment

After you've obtained your Master's in Special Education, you may find yourself working in a K–12 public school, alternative school, land-based or online college, hospital, private tutoring company or a nonprofit organization.

Classroom sizes will vary depending on school or institution locale, and abilities of students will vary greatly. Special education teachers work with kids who have a wide range of learning, mental, emotional, and physical challenges.

If you become a teacher in a public K–12 school, you will likely work a traditional 10-month school year with a 2-month summer break. Teachers employed in districts with year-round schedules usually work 8 weeks in a row, followed by a one-week break, in addition to a 5-week winter break. When not directly engaged with students, teachers spend a significant amount of time grading papers, updating student records, and meeting with parents and other educators.

PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

So you've decided that you have the drive, patience, and enthusiasm to become a special educator. Once you've received the education necessary to help you become qualified, you may find these additional resources in the field to be helpful in furthering your career success:

JOB SEARCH RESOURCES

If you're ready to launch your career as a special education teacher, you'll need to be equipped with the right job search resources. These will help you jumpstart your search.

SALARY STATS

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for all special education teachers was $56,800 in May of 2015. However, special education teachers’ salaries often vary depending on whether they teach preschool, kindergarten, elementary, middle, or secondary school.

AVERAGE SALARY OF JOBS WITH RELATED TITLES

Summary

After you've obtained your Master's in Special Education, you may find yourself working in a K–12 public school, alternative school, land-based or online college, hospital, private tutoring company or a nonprofit organization.

Classroom sizes will vary depending on school or institution locale, and abilities of students will vary greatly. Special education teachers work with kids who have a wide range of learning, mental, emotional, and physical challenges.

If you become a teacher in a public K–12 school, you will likely work a traditional 10-month school year with a 2-month summer break. Teachers employed in districts with year-round schedules usually work 8 weeks in a row, followed by a one-week break, in addition to a 5-week winter break. When not directly engaged with students, teachers spend a significant amount of time grading papers, updating student records, and meeting with parents and other educators.

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