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Special Education Teacher Employment and Working Conditions

Special education teachers held about 459,600 jobs in 2010.

Special education teachers work in public and private schools. Some teach in public magnet and charter schools. Others teach in private religious and secular schools. Some work with young children in childcare centers.

A few special education teachers work in residential facilities where special education students live or tutor students who must stay at home or in the hospital. Some special education teachers who work with infants and toddlers go to the child's home and work together with the child's parents, teaching the parents how to help the child develop skills.

Helping special education students can be highly rewarding. It can also be quite stressful—emotionally demanding and physically draining.



Special education teachers generally work school hours when students are present. They may meet with parents, students, and other teachers before and after school. In the evenings and on weekends, they often spend time grading papers, completing paperwork, and preparing lessons.

Many work the traditional 10-month school year, with a 2-month break during the summer. Some teachers may teach during summer programs. Teachers in districts with a year-round schedule typically work 8 weeks in a row, are on break for 1 week, and have a 5-week midwinter break.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition

for State specific information, visit  Job Outlook by State

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Special Features:

Special Districts in the USA

School Districts in the USA


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