Everything You Need to Know About Careers in Special Education

Published by James on Fri Mar 26, 2010

From the personal experiences of Special Education teachers to learning about all the job options for helping children with disabilities, here is what you need to know to prepare yourself to be a very special educator.

Before embarking on any career path, it’s vitally important to get first-hand experience. The best way is to intern, and the Intern Abroad program adds the extra element of a foreign location. For abroad internships, don’t expect to be paid – you will more likely have to pay. For example, on the Ecua-Experience website, you can find an internship working at a private special education school in Ecuador where you can help with class work, supervision and assist individual children with major disabilities. For two weeks, and $750, you will assist teachers in their daily routines. It will look great on your resume, especially since you can work on your language skills also.

Don’t forget to benefit from the experiences of others, and reading the blogs of special educators is an easy way learn a lot. In The Life That Chose Me, a special ed teacher and mother of two boys with ASD candidly blogs about her life and career:

Online forums for Special Ed students will provide insight into the other side of special education – the student’s perspective. WrongPlanet.net is an online resource for Autism and Aspergers with an online forum featuring threads like “Being in special ed sucks.”

To learn more about the major issues surrounding special education, check out the Education Week publication’s blog. There are articles on the latest special ed court rulings, programs, and teacher certification programs, just to name a few.


Many people interested in the field of special education are thinking of becoming classroom teachers, but there is a wide variety of other career paths available. The Council for Exceptional Children webpage has a list of job profiles that detail the typical responsibilities, required preparation, and personal qualities for each type of job. The profiles also include predictions for job outlook and tell you how much room there is for advancement. Some of the more unusual job titles are Art Therapist, Educational Audiologist, Music Therapist, and Educational Diagnostician. But in a list of 24 jobs, you are bound to find a few that peak your interest.

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