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Maine Special Education Certification Requirements

Special education teachers in Maine must have a bachelor's degree with 24 credits in special education. Teachers working with kindergarteners and older must student teach. They also must take at least two exams and undergo a background check.

Special education teachers have immensely important and fulfilling careers making quality education accessible and empowering to special needs students. If this sounds like your path, continue reading to find step-by-step instructions explaining how to become a special education teacher for different age groups in the state of Maine.

Maine Special Education Teacher Requirements

Average Salary for Special Education Teachers in Maine (2017)* $37,500 (preschool), $52,660 (kindergarten and elementary school), $52,430 (middle school), $51,230 (secondary school)
Required Degree Bachelor's degree
Degree Field Special education (minimum of 24 credits)
Testing Requirements Praxis I: Core Academic Skills for Educators and Praxis II (subtest depends on special education age group)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Get Your Degree

First, you must get your bachelor's degree in order to teach special education students of all ages in Maine.

Choose a special education-related major, if possible - you need at least 24 credit hours in special education in order for the state of Maine to license you. Maine will accept one autism-related class and one applied behavioral analysis class. These credit requirements apply for the birth-age 5 certificate, the K-8 certificate, and the grade 7-12 certificate.

All classes must be at the 100 level or higher, and your higher education institution must be an accredited, 4-year college. You can fulfill up to 6 credits for any classes taken outside of an accredited, 4-year college through CLEP exams with a passing score of at least 60.

In addition to coursework, you also need to finish a student teaching program as part of your education. However, you don't have to student teach if you already have taught successfully in Maine under a valid certificate for one academic year. You also don't need to complete student teaching if you want to teach children ages birth-age 5.

Step 2: Take Exams

All special education teachers in Maine must take standardized exams, regardless of the ages of the children they wish to teach. Here are the different tests you must take - and scores you must achieve - for each age group.

Birth-Age 5 Certificate:

  • Praxis I - Core Academic Skills for Educators
    • Mathematics (5732): 150
    • Reading (5712): 156
    • Writing (5722): 162
    • Composite score: 468
  • Praxis II - Special Education: Preschool/Early Childhood
    • Test 5691, score 159

K-Grade 8 Certificate:

  • Praxis I - Core Academic Skills for Educators
    • Mathematics (5732): 150
    • Reading (5712): 156
    • Writing (5722): 162
    • Composite score: 468
  • Praxis II - Special Education: Core Knowledge and Applications
    • Test 5354, score 151
  • Principles of Learning and Teaching (if you haven't finished a teacher education program)
    • Test 5622, score 160

Grade 7-12 Certificate:

  • Praxis I - Core Academic Skills for Educators
    • Mathematics (5732): 150
    • Reading (5712): 156
    • Writing (5722): 162
    • Composite score: 468
  • Praxis II - - Special Education: Core Knowledge and Applications
    • Test 5354, score 151
  • Principles of Learning and Teaching (if you haven't finished a teacher education program)
    • Test 5624, score 157

Step 3: Apply for Special Ed Certificate & Get Background Check

Once you've received your diploma and finished taking all your tests, you're ready to apply for certification with the state of Maine. Here's how - step by step:

  • Get your fingerprints taken for a background check before anything else.
    • Check out the Maine Department of Education's website for more details about what this process entails.
  • Download and fill out the 'Initial Certification Application.'
    • Make sure to include your special education certificate for the age group you wish to work with on page 2.
  • Have official transcripts sent to the Maine Department of Education.
  • Attach any additional documents, if applicable (such as a teacher license from another state).
  • Include your application fee - $100 for the initial teaching license and $35 for your special education certification.
    • The Maine DOE takes checks, or you can simply write down all of your card information directly on your application packet.
  • Attach any additional paperwork if you answered 'yes' to the application questions asking if you have been convicted of a crime.
  • Attach exam results - copies are OK, just make sure to include your exact score even if the official test agency sent in your results.
  • Finally, send your application packet to:

Department of Education

Certification Office

23 State House Station

Augusta, ME 04333-0023

Resources for Special Education Teachers in Maine

Since special education teachers working with children of all ages have to take at least 2 standardized tests, you may feel overwhelmed as you prepare. But don't worry too much - below you will find some helpful courses that will make your studying much less stressful:


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