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Special Education Supervisor: Job Description, Duties and Outlook

Special education supervisors require significant formal education. Learn about the education, job duties and licensure requirements to see if this is the right career for you.

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Read below for information on the typical responsibilities and leadership roles of special educaton supervisors.

Essential Information

Special education supervisors develop educational plans for students with special needs and they work closely with teachers, parents and other school administrators to provide the best education experience possible. To work in this field, a minimum of a master's degree in special education or in general education with emphasis on special education is required. Professionals who work in public schools are also required to take certification exams and become licensed in their state.

Required Education Master's degree
Other Requirements State licensure
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 6% for all elementary and secondary education administrators
Median Salary (2015)* $90,410 for all elementary and secondary education administrators

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Special Education Supervisor Job Description

Special education supervisors coordinate the activities of teachers and support staff for school special education programs. As administrators, they provide leadership and utilize decision-making skills to oversee the instructional programs and offerings for an entire school, district, or system.

Special education supervisors interact with other school administrators, faculty, social workers, counselors and psychologists, therapists, and other professionals that provide special education services to develop academic plans suited to students at the school. These supervisors also perform a variety of administrative tasks related to policy implementation, compliance with legal regulations, and maintaining educational standards.

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Job Duties of a Special Education Supervisor

Using research and experience, special education supervisors develop policies and procedures to identify student needs and provide Individualized Education Programs (IEP), as well as assist teachers in implementing these plans. Administrative duties may include setting budgets, handling parent and community relations, compiling records, and overseeing curricula.

They may also be responsible for facilitating human resources activities, including hiring staff and providing professional development. These supervisors observe and evaluate special education teachers and associated staff to promote implementation of best practices and successful teaching methods.

Special Education Supervisor Career Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected that between 2014 and 2024, the employment of education administrators in elementary and secondary schools, like those who work in special education, would grow by approximately 6%. The BLS noted that job opportunities in educational administration and special education varied based on geographic location, with rapid rises in student enrollment expected in the southern and western parts of the country. It was also mentioned that the availability of positions is largely dependent on the budgets permitted in particular school districts; though enrollment may grow quickly, the hiring of school administrators is limited by schools' budgets.

Special education administrators are responsible for hiring and developing staff and developing and implementing policies. A master's degree is required, and certification may also be necessary if an administrator is working in the public school system. Jobs for school administrators are growing about as fast as average, with better opportunities in the south and west due to population growth.

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