Pursuing a career in special education could be a rewarding and fulfilling path if you have a passion for working with students with special needs. However, as with any career, it’s important to consider the financial aspect as well. What can you expect in terms of special education salary if you pursue a career in special education? This is a common question for anyone considering this field and one we will explore in depth in this blog post. From average salaries for different roles to factors that can impact earning potential, we’ll dive into the world of special education salaries and provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision about your career path. So, let’s get started!
Who are the Special Education Staff Members?
Special education staff members are professionals who work in various roles to support the educational needs of students with disabilities. Some common special education staff members include:
- Special Education Teachers: These professionals provide instruction and support to students with disabilities in various subjects. They may work in a self-contained classroom, resource room, or inclusion setting, depending on the needs of the students. With the increasing recognition of the importance of special education, SPED teachers are in demand today.
- Paraprofessionals: Also known as teacher aides or instructional assistants, paraprofessionals work under the supervision of a certified special education teacher to provide additional support to students with disabilities. They may assist with instructional activities, behavior management, and other classroom tasks. Understanding the salary structure of a paraprofessional in special education can help potential candidates make an informed career decision.
- Related Service Providers: These professionals provide specialized services to students with disabilities to support their educational goals. Examples of related service providers include speech and language pathologists, occupational therapists, and physical therapists.
- School Psychologists: School psychologists work with students to address their emotional and behavioral needs, as well as to assess their academic abilities and identify any learning disabilities or other needs that may require special education services.
- Special Education Administrators: These professionals oversee special education programs and services within a school district. They may hire and supervise staff, ensure compliance with state and federal regulations, and manage budgets.
- Transition Coordinators: These professionals work with students with disabilities to help them transition from high school to post-secondary education or employment. They may provide career counseling, coordinate work-based learning experiences, and assist with college applications. These professionals often use resources like The National Technical Assistance Center on Transition to guide their efforts.
Overall, special education staff members work together to provide students the support they need to succeed academically and socially.
What is the Average Special Education Teacher’s Salary?
The average salary for a special education teacher can vary depending on location, level of education, years of experience, and the specific role they are filling.
Special Education Teacher Average Salary
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the lowest 10% of special education teachers earned less than $40,480, while the highest 10% earned more than $98,530. Special Education salary can also vary depending on the level of education being taught, with special education preschool teachers earning a median salary of $58,760, special education elementary school teachers earning a median special education salary of $60,090, and special education secondary school teachers earning a median salary of $62,810.
It’s important to note that salaries for special education teachers can also vary depending on the type of school or district they work in. For example, Private and charter schools may offer different special education salary structures than public schools. Additionally, the cost of living can impact salary levels, with higher salaries often offered in areas with a higher cost of living.
How Much is the Special Education Teacher’s Starting Salary?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as of May 2020, the median annual wage/average salary for special education teachers in the United States was $61,420, with the lowest 10% earning less than $40,480 and the highest 10% earning more than $98,530.
It’s important to note that starting salaries for special education teachers can be lower than the overall median salary for the profession. According to a 2019 National Council on Teacher Quality report, the average starting special education salary was $40,228. This figure can vary depending on the type of school or district the teacher works in, with private and charter schools often offering lower starting salaries than public schools.
While starting salaries for special education teachers may be lower than those for other professions. It’s important to consider the many benefits of a career in special education. Special education teachers have the opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of students with disabilities and often receive additional training and support to help them succeed in their roles. Additionally, the demand for special education teachers is expected to remain strong in the coming years, which may lead to greater career growth and advancement opportunities.
Special Education Teachers Salary:
Special Education Teacher Salary with Masters
Obtaining a master’s degree in special education can increase earning potential for special education teachers. According to data from the National Center for Education Statistics, as of the 2017-18 school year, the average special education salary for public school teachers with a master’s degree was $68,011, compared to $57,416 for those with only a bachelor’s degree.
Earning a master’s degree in special education can qualify teachers for more advanced and specialized roles, which may come with higher salaries. For example, special education teachers with a master’s degree may be eligible to work in leadership roles, such as department chairs or curriculum specialists, which can come with higher salaries. Additionally, teachers with a master’s degree may be more likely to be considered for higher-paying positions in private schools or charter schools.
The salary increase with a master’s degree in special education can vary depending on location, years of experience, and the specific role being filled. However, it is generally safe to say that obtaining a master’s degree in special education can lead to increased earning potential and greater career opportunities for special education teachers.
Special Education Preschool Teacher Salary
According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May 2020, the median annual preschool special education teacher salary in the United States was $56,230. The lowest 10% of earners in this profession made less than $34,320, while the highest 10% earned more than $93,370.
The salary for special education preschool teachers can also vary depending on the type of school or program they are employed by. For example, public schools may offer higher salaries than private schools, while Head Start programs may offer lower salaries because they are federally funded.
It’s also worth noting that many special education preschool teachers must hold a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education or a related field, which can impact their earning potential. According to data from the National Center for Education Statistics, as of the 2017-18 school year, the average salary for public school teachers with a bachelor’s degree was $55,805, compared to $68,011 for those with a master’s degree. This suggests that special education preschool teachers with a master’s degree may have greater earning potential than those with only a bachelor’s degree.
While the salary for a special education preschool teacher may not be as high as some other education professions, it is still a rewarding and important field with the opportunity to impact the lives of young children with disabilities positively.
Elementary Special Education Teacher Salary
The salary for an elementary special education teacher can vary depending on several factors, such as location, years of experience, level of education, and type of school or district they work in. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for special education teachers in elementary schools in the United States was $61,420, with the lowest 10% earning less than $39,780 and the highest 10% earning more than $98,530. Additionally, teachers in certain areas of the country may earn more due to the higher cost of living. Finally, a teacher’s level of education can also impact their earning potential. The average salary for public school teachers with a bachelor’s degree was $55,805, compared to $68,011 for those with a master’s degree.
Overall, while the salary for elementary special education teachers may not be as high as some other education professions, it is a rewarding and important field with the opportunity to impact the lives of young children with disabilities positively.
Special Education Teacher Salary by State
The special education salary for teachers can vary significantly by state due to factors such as the cost of living, the availability of funding for education, and the demand for special education services. It’s worth noting that some states with high average salaries for special education teachers also have a higher cost of living, which can impact the actual value of their salary. In addition to variations in average salaries by state, special education teacher salaries can also vary within states based on factors such as the teacher’s level of experience and education, the specific district or school they work in, and the level of need for special education services in that area.
Here is a list of the average annual salaries for special education teachers by state, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2020:
- New York – $95,390
- Connecticut – $81,410
- Massachusetts – $78,370
- California – $76,680
- District of Columbia – $75,270
- Alaska – $74,290
- Rhode Island – $73,930
- Oregon – $73,530
- New Jersey – $73,260
- Maryland – $72,940
- Illinois – $72,360
- Pennsylvania – $71,420
- Virginia – $70,920
- Minnesota – $70,640
- Colorado – $70,270
- Hawaii – $68,720
- Washington – $68,260
- Delaware – $67,850
- Vermont – $67,310
- New Hampshire – $66,940
- Michigan – $66,700
- North Dakota – $66,230
- Nebraska – $66,040
- Arizona – $65,740
- Utah – $65,660
- Maine – $65,420
- Iowa – $65,340
- Wisconsin – $64,910
- Texas – $64,770
- Georgia – $64,670
- Missouri – $63,620
- Nevada – $63,540
- Indiana – $63,420
- Ohio – $62,560
- Montana – $62,420
- South Carolina – $61,530
- Kansas – $60,750
- Florida – $60,670
- South Dakota – $60,140
- Idaho – $59,780
- Kentucky – $59,210
- Arkansas – $57,540
- Tennessee – $57,100
- North Carolina – $56,960
- Louisiana – $55,600
- Mississippi – $54,880
- West Virginia – $52,390
- Oklahoma – $44,580
It’s important to remember that these numbers are averages and can vary depending on factors such as the teacher’s level of education and experience, the specific school district, and the cost of living in the area.
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.
We hope you enjoyed today’s discussion of Special Education Salary. Have a great day!