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Middle School Special Education Teacher: Salary, Job Duties and Outlook

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a middle school special education teacher. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about schooling, job duties and licensure to find out if this is the career for you.

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Essential Information

Middle school special education teachers work with students, typically in grades 6-8, who have special needs and require extra attention. Special education teachers normally need to earn a bachelor's degree in special education or in a content area; these programs typically include a student teaching component and prepare individuals for state certification or licensure. Aspiring special education teachers may also opt to complete an alternative certification program.

Required Education Bachelor's degree is the minimum requirement; some states require a master's degree for certification
Other Requirements State licensure and/or certification
Projected Job Growth5% from 2012-2022*
Average Salary (2013) $59,540 annually*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Salary Information for Middle School Special Education Teachers

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, reported that, as of May 2013, most middle school special education teachers earned between $38,390 and $88,550 annually, with an average salary of $59,540. Teaching salaries vary depending on the location. For example, according to the BLS, middle school special education teachers in New York earned an average of $73,770, while those working in Texas had an average salary of $51,080 annually. The highest paying states in May 2013 included Maryland, New York, Rhode Island, Connecticut and Minnesota.

Duties of Middle School Special Education Teachers

The Occupational Information Network noted that middle school special education teachers develop methodologies for teaching students with diverse educational needs ( They communicate goals for each student to accomplish as they learn about one or more subjects. Special education teachers keep student records and report to parents or other educational professionals about student progress, including whether testing or differentiated instruction is needed.

In addition to helping special needs students academically, special education teachers also teach their students social skills. They meet with parents to discuss learning and behavior solutions for the home environment and to connect them with student resources outside the school setting.

Employment Outlook for Middle School Special Education Teachers

The BLS reported there were 96,770 middle school special education teachers working in May 2013, and it estimates there will be growth of about 5% in the employment of these middle school teachers between 2012 and 2022. This increase is partially due to a greater need for these professionals thanks to earlier detection of learning disabilities and education improvements. Special education teachers who specialize in certain disabilities or education fields may find more job opportunities available to them, as well as those who opt to work in urban or rural areas.

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