As a special education teacher, you have unique skills and a passion for working with students with disabilities. But what if you’re looking for a change of pace or a different challenge? You may be surprised to learn that there are a variety of alternative careers for special education teachers, each offering its own set of rewards and opportunities. If you’re interested in exploring these, refer to this comprehensive guide on Special Education Careers.
Whether you’re interested in exploring new teaching roles, working in a different sector, or pursuing a career outside of education, there are plenty of options to consider. The possibilities are endless, from working as a curriculum specialist to pursuing a career in advocacy or policy. Furthermore, having a good grasp on your unique set of skills is important; refer to this Special Education Teacher Skills Checklist for more clarity.
In this blog post, we’ll explore some alternative careers for special education teachers and provide insights into what these roles entail. So, whether you’re a seasoned special education teacher looking for a new challenge or a recent graduate exploring your career options, read on to learn about the exciting and fulfilling careers that await you.
What are Good Alternative Careers for Special Education Teachers?
Special education teachers are highly skilled and trained professionals who work tirelessly to support students with disabilities. While teaching in a traditional classroom setting is rewarding, some special education teachers may be looking for alternative careers that allow them to use their skills and expertise in different ways. Here are some good alternative careers for special education teachers to consider:
Examples of Special Education Alternative Careers
- Curriculum Specialist: Special education teachers can leverage their expertise to work as curriculum specialists, developing and designing curriculum materials and training other educators to adapt these materials for students with disabilities. Further information can be found on Curriculum Development.
- Instructional Coach: As an instructional coach, special education teachers can support other educators on how to meet the needs of students with disabilities in their classrooms. This role can involve coaching, mentoring, and providing professional development opportunities for other educators.
- Education Consultant: As an education consultant, special education teachers can work with schools, districts, and other organizations to provide expertise and guidance on supporting students with disabilities better. This role can involve working on policy development, conducting research, and developing training programs. The American Educational Research Association offers a wealth of resources on educational research.
- Behavior Analyst: Special education teachers can use their knowledge of behavior management to work as behavior analysts, supporting individuals with challenging behaviors in various settings, such as schools, hospitals, and community agencies.
- Advocate or Policy Specialist: Special education teachers can use their experience to advocate for the rights and needs of individuals with disabilities at the local, state, or national level. They can also work in policy development, providing expertise and guidance on creating policies that better support individuals with disabilities.
- Educational Technology Specialist: Special education teachers can leverage their knowledge of assistive technology to work as educational technology specialists, supporting the development and use of technology to assist students with disabilities in the classroom.
There are many good alternative careers for special education teachers, each offering its own challenges and rewards. These careers allow special education teachers to leverage their expertise and skills in different ways while still making a difference in the lives of individuals with disabilities.
Skills to Develop Transition from Special Education Teacher to Alternative Careers
Transitioning from a special education teaching role to an alternative career can be exciting and fulfilling. However, it is important to understand that this transition may require developing new skills and acquiring additional knowledge to be successful. Here are some key skills that special education teachers may need to develop to transition to an alternative career successfully:
Key Skills that Special Education Teachers May Need to Develop
- Communication Skills: As a special education teacher, you likely have excellent communication skills honed through years of working with students, families, and colleagues. In an alternative career, it will be important to continue building on these skills and learn how to communicate effectively with stakeholders, such as policymakers, administrators, and industry professionals.
- Research and Analysis Skills: Depending on the alternative career path you choose, you may need to develop strong research and analysis skills to conduct research, evaluate data, and develop evidence-based solutions. Special education teachers can develop these skills by staying up-to-date on the latest field research and taking research methods and statistical analysis courses.
- Technology Skills: Special education teachers are often familiar with assistive technology and other tools to support students with disabilities. However, it may be necessary to develop additional technical skills to be successful in an alternative career, such as software programs, web design, or digital marketing.
- Networking Skills: As you transition to an alternative career, building your professional network and connecting with other professionals in your new field will be important. Special education teachers can develop networking skills by attending conferences and events, participating in online communities, and contacting mentors and colleagues.
- Flexibility and Adaptability: Transitioning to an alternative career can be challenging and require flexibility and adaptability. Being open to new opportunities and willing to learn and try new things is important. Special education teachers can develop these skills by taking on new responsibilities in their current role, volunteering for new projects, or pursuing additional training or education.
What to Prepare to Transition to this Role Skill?
Transitioning from a special education teaching role to an alternative career may require developing new skills and acquiring additional knowledge. By focusing on developing communication, research, technology, networking, and adaptability skills, special education teachers can successfully transition to a new career and continue to make a positive impact in the lives of individuals with disabilities.
Jobs for Special Education Teachers in Hospitals
Special education teachers can find employment opportunities in various settings, including hospitals. Hospitals often have schools on-site to educate children receiving long-term medical care, and special education teachers may be hired to work in these schools.
Here are Some Examples of Special Education Teacher’s Jobs in Hospitals:
- Hospital School Teacher: Hospital schools educate children who cannot attend regular schools due to medical conditions. As a hospital school teacher, a special education teacher may be responsible for educating students with various disabilities, including physical disabilities, learning disabilities, and chronic illnesses.
- Educational Liaison: An educational liaison is responsible for coordinating the educational needs of hospitalized children with their regular schools. In this role, a special education teacher may work with hospital staff, families, and school personnel to ensure that students with disabilities receive appropriate accommodations and services while they are in the hospital.
- Rehabilitation Specialist: Some hospitals have rehabilitation units that serve patients recovering from illnesses or injuries. As a rehabilitation specialist, a special education teacher may work with patients who have disabilities, providing education and support to help them regain their independence and improve their quality of life.
- Autism Specialist: Many hospitals have specialized units or programs for patients with autism. As an autism specialist, a special education teacher may work with patients and families to provide education, support, and resources for managing the unique challenges associated with autism.
Special education teachers’ jobs for sped teachers in hospitals can provide opportunities to work with a diverse population of students and provide education and support in a unique and challenging environment. These positions can be highly rewarding but may also require specialized training or experience working with children with disabilities and medical conditions.
High-Paying Jobs in Special Education
There are a variety of special education high-paying jobs, particularly for those with advanced degrees or specialized training. Here are some examples of high-paying jobs in the field:
- Special Education Administrator
- Behavior Analyst
- School Psychologist
- Speech-Language Pathologist
- Occupational Therapist
Special Education Clinical Roles
Clinical roles in special education involve providing direct services to individuals with disabilities to help them achieve their educational and developmental goals. These roles often require specialized training and may involve working in various settings, including schools, clinics, hospitals, and private practices. Here are some examples of clinical roles in special education:
- Special Education Teacher
- Speech-Language Pathologist
- Occupational Therapist
- Physical Therapist
- Applied Behavior Analyst
- School Psychologist
- Mental Health Counselor
Government Jobs for Teachers Outside of Education
If you are a teacher looking for government jobs outside special education, many opportunities are available in local, state, and federal agencies. Here are some examples of government jobs that may be a good fit for teachers:
Examples of Government Jobs for the Special Education’s Alternative Career
- Education Program Specialist: Education program specialists work in local, state, or federal agencies to develop and implement education programs and policies. They may also provide technical assistance and support to schools, educators, and other stakeholders.
- Education Researcher: Education researchers work in government agencies or academic institutions to research educational topics, such as student achievement, teacher effectiveness, and educational policies.
- Trainer or Instructor: Many government agencies provide training and professional development for their employees. Teachers may be well-suited for these roles as they have experience developing and delivering instructional content.
- Test Developer or Evaluator: Government agencies often develop and administer tests to evaluate student or employee performance. Teachers with experience in assessment and evaluation may be well-suited for these roles.
- Literacy Specialist: Literacy specialists work to improve literacy rates and skills, often focusing on specific populations such as adults, children, or English language learners. They may work in government agencies, schools, or community organizations.
- Grant Writer: Many government agencies provide funding for educational programs or initiatives. Teachers with experience writing grant proposals and managing grants may be well-suited for grant writing positions.
Many government jobs are available for teachers outside of special education, and these positions can offer opportunities to use your teaching skills and experience in new and exciting ways.
What Should You Do If You Don’t Want to Teach Anymore?
If you have a degree in Special Education and do not want to teach anymore, many career options are available. To explore these options, you should evaluate your skills and interests, explore alternative career options, update your resume, reach out to your professional network, consider further education and training, seek guidance and support from a career counselor or coach, and seek support from a professional organization or networking group.
We hope you enjoyed today’s Alternative Careers for Special Education Teachers discussion. Have a great day!
Jennifer Hanson is a dedicated and seasoned writer specializing in the field of special education. With a passion for advocating for the rights and needs of children with diverse learning abilities, Jennifer uses her pen to educate, inspire, and empower both educators and parents alike.