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

Middle school special education teachers work with students, typically in grades 6-8, who have special needs and require extra attention. These teachers connect families to resources outside of schools while helping students learn academics and social behaviors.

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Salary Information for Middle School Special Education Teachers

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov) reported that, as of May 2012, most middle school special education teachers annually earned between $37,900 and $88,570 with a mean salary of $59,320. 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 $74,640, while those working in Texas reported average earnings of $50,490 annually. The highest paying states in May 2010 included Maryland, New York, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Alaska.

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 (www.onetonline.org). 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 96,380 middle school special education teachers working during 2012, and it estimates there will be growth of about 20% in the employment of these teachers between 2010 and 2020. 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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