Special education is one of the most difficult fields for teachers. It is also one of the most rewarding. Because of the difficulty of this career choice, special education teachers are in high demand in most areas of the United States, and these positions often pay more than typical teaching jobs. If you are interested in this field, here’s a quick guide to the salary you can expect when you graduate with a master’s degree in special education.
Salary with a Master’s Degree
According to PayScale.com, you can expect to earn between $40,000 and $68,000 per year if you have a master’s degree in special education. Middle school teachers typically earn most, followed by high school teachers and elementary/kindergarten/preschool teachers. In general, you can expect to earn around 5% more with your master’s degree than you can with a bachelor’s degree in the same field.
Salary Information by Location
Location plays a big role in the salary you’re offered, no matter what your industry, and this is definitely true for special education teachers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Elementary/kindergarten/preschool school special education teachers earn the highest salaries in Alaska, while middle school special education teachers earn the highest salaries in Rhode Island and high school special education teachers earn the highest salaries in Connecticut. Other top earning locations for special education teachers include New York and California. In all of these states, the average salary is over $60,000 – and that takes all levels of education into account, so with your advanced degree, you can expect to earn higher than average in many cases.
Salary Information by Employer
Most special education teachers work for schools, though there are other employment options as well. Private schools almost always pay higher salaries than public schools, and you can also often make more money if you work at a school specifically for special needs students. Medical facilities that hire special education teachers are also higher-paying, as are government departments. You can also consider becoming a private tutor to a special needs student, which is an especially good option if you also have a nursing or medical degree, since some families like to hire live-in care givers who can provide both medical care and education to a special needs student.