How Much Does a Special Needs Teacher Earn?

In considering a special education career, you may wonder how much special education teachers earn. The short answer is that the salary of a special education teacher can vary widely depending on a variety of factors, such as location, education level, and years of experience. So, How Much Does a Special Needs Teacher Earn? 

In this blog, we will explore the factors that influence special education teacher salaries and provide an overview of what you can expect to earn as a special education teacher. Whether you are just starting your education career or considering a change, this blog will provide valuable information about the earning potential of special education teachers. You might also be interested in understanding whether SPED teachers are in demand.

Teacher Special Education Compensation

As of May 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the United States (BLS) reported that the median annual wage for special education teachers was $61,030. This information is based on the data gathered. Special education teachers in certain states and major metropolitan areas might make more or less than the national average salary.

As of May 2020, the following is a list of the average salaries paid to teachers of special education in a selection of states:

California: $79,850

New York: $79,280

Texas: $64,470

Florida: $57,770

Illinois: $69,640

It’s important to remember that the numbers here are just estimates and that actual salaries will likely differ for some reason. For instance, special education teachers who possess advanced degrees or have worked in the field for longer may earn higher wages than their counterparts with fewer years of experience or education. 

In addition, those who teach special education in private schools or regions with a higher cost of living may have a higher average annual salary than those who teach in public schools or regions with a lower average yearly wage.

Where Are the Highest-Paid Special Education Teachers?

There is a high demand for special education teachers in many parts of the United States, and salaries for teachers of special education tend to be competitive because of this demand. However, it is essential to remember that special education teachers may expose themselves to additional challenges, such as high-stress levels and burnout, which can impact their job satisfaction, according to The American Psychological Association.

Before making a choice, it is essential to carefully consider the possible benefits and difficulties associated with a career in special education. As part of your preparation, consider looking at common special education teacher interview questions to understand the job requirements better.

Based on 2020 available data, the following states’ average salary for a special education teacher is as follows:

StateAverage Salary
District of Columbia$79,870
New Hampshire$68,840
New Jersey$79,020
New Mexico$59,840
New York$79,280
North Carolina$57,840
North Dakota$61,450
Rhode Island$75,180
South Carolina$57,240
South Dakota$58,830
West Virginia$53,480

Special Education Teacher Secondary Schools

There is a possibility that teachers of special education working in secondary schools (middle and high schools) receive a salary distinct from their colleagues working in other types of institutions, such as elementary schools or early childhood education programs. However, it isn’t easy to generalize about the salaries of special education teachers in different settings because many factors can influence a teacher’s salary. It makes it difficult to generalize the salaries of special education teachers in various settings.

For instance, special education teachers in some states or major metropolitan areas may earn higher salaries than their counterparts in other states or regions. Those who teach special education and have a higher level of education or more years of experience may be eligible for higher salaries than their counterparts with a lower level of education or less experience. In addition, those who teach special education in private schools or regions with a higher cost of living may have a higher average annual salary than those who teach in public schools or areas with a lower average yearly wage.

What Type of Special Needs Teacher Gets Paid the Most?

The data provided by the BLS on salaries for special education teachers do not differentiate between salaries offered by various types of schools or settings. It is a crucial point to keep in mind. As a result, it isn’t easy to compare the pay scales of special education teachers working in secondary schools to those working in other settings. 

Consider consulting additional data sources or speaking with special education teachers who work in different environments to get a better idea of the salaries of special education teachers in those settings. It will allow you to get a more accurate sense of the salaries of special education teachers.

What is the BLS?

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is a federal agency that collects, analyzes, and disseminates labor market data. The BLS produces vast economic and statistical data, including information on employment, unemployment, wages, and prices. This information is utilized by policymakers, researchers, and the general public to understand the economy and job market better.

The BLS is a valuable resource for individuals interested in careers and employment, including salary and employment outlook data for various occupations. It has information on hundreds of jobs, like special education teachers, available on its website. This information can benefit people considering a career in special education or any other field. To get more detailed insight into the prospects of this particular profession, you might want to look into the special education teacher job outlook.

Special Needs Teachers Benefits

The benefits available to unionized special education teachers can vary by the union and the terms of its collective bargaining agreement with the school district or employer. 

However, unionized special education teachers may be eligible for the following benefits:

  • Numerous unions negotiate health insurance benefits, including medical, dental, and vision care coverage, for their members.
  • Teachers of special education union members may be eligible for retirement benefits, such as a pension or 401(k) plan.
  • Unionized special education teachers may be eligible for paid time off for holidays, vacations, personal, and sick days.
  • Some unions may provide their members with opportunities for professional development, such as participation in conferences or training programs.
  • In the case of a dispute with their employer, unionized special education teachers may have access to legal representation.

Again, the specific benefits available to unionized teachers of special education will depend on the terms of the collective bargaining agreement between the union and the employer. It is essential for special education teachers who are contemplating union membership to compare the union’s benefits to those of non-union employers.

Special Ed Teacher Salary with Master’s Degree

In general, teachers with advanced degrees in special education, such as a master’s degree, may earn higher salaries than those with only a bachelor’s degree. It is because advanced degrees frequently qualify individuals for higher-paying positions or make them more competitive in the job market.

The BLS data does not explicitly break down special education teachers’ salaries by education level. Therefore, it is difficult to estimate how much more special education teachers with a master’s degree can earn than those with a bachelor’s degree.

How Much Does a Special Ed Teacher Make an Hour?

According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median hourly wage for special education teachers was $29.44 as of May 2020. It’s also worth noting that special education teachers may earn different hourly wages depending on whether they work full-time or part-time. Full-time special education teachers may earn a salary based on a set number of hours per week, while part-time special education teachers may be paid hourly. 

So, how much does a special ed teacher make per month? They would earn, on average, around $5000 per month.

Special Education Teacher Assistant

It is hard to say the average salary for a special education teacher’s assistant because it depends on many things. These include the person’s location, experience level, education, and the needs of the students and the school or organization they work for.

Special education teacher assistants make less than special education teachers because they don’t have the same level of education or responsibility and usually don’t have a teaching certificate. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for teacher assistants was $28,790 in May 2020.

About Us:

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.

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