What Jobs am I Qualified for with a Master’s in Special Education?

If your career goal is to help empower individuals with special needs to live productively, you may be asking yourself "What jobs am I qualified for with a master's in special education?" Read on to discover 4 fantastic careers that are available to you with this advanced-level degree in hand.

1. Special Education Teacher

The role of special education teacher is the most obvious use for an advanced degree in special education. Perhaps you're seeking an excellent job as a special education teacher in a highly competitive location. In that case, having a master's degree would be a primary means of differentiating yourself from other applicants.

In May of 2016, special education teachers were earning annual median salaries of $57,910. They worked an average of 10 months out of the year, and they enjoyed an average of 2 months worth of vacation time.

2. Elementary Education Postsecondary Instructor

While many postsecondary academic institutions require their instructors to hold PhD degrees, not all of them do. Perhaps you have a master's degree plus extensive work experience; if you want to be a postsecondary academic instructor, you may be able to find an elementary education instructor position at a regional college or community college.

Earning potential in this specialization is better than your earning potential teaching elementary or high school. As of May 2016, postsecondary education teachers were earning median annual salaries of $62,520. For some, this represented only part-time work. Others worked multiple part-time jobs teaching at more than one university.

3. Instructional Coordinator

If you want to be involved with developing and implementing curriculum for special needs students or a diverse group of student populations, consider becoming an instructional coordinator. One of your major responsibilities in this role would be helping classroom teachers to develop and implement individual educational programs (IEPs) for the special needs students at your school. A capacity for handling and reviewing substantial quantities of paperwork is essential for this job.

Recent job postings specifically for special education instructional coordinators indicated an average salary range from $57,000 – $125,000 per year. In general, data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that the median annual pay for all instructional coordinators in the USA was $62,460 as of May, 2016.

4. Behavior Intervention Specialist

A behavior intervention specialist generally needs a diverse range of skills. Some of the typical job duties in this line of work include counseling students, advising teachers, providing academic program planning, coordinating academic program development and providing academic assessments. The focus of this job is helping students to develop and grow in all areas of mental and physical health and wellness.

A typical salary range for this specific position is $57,000 – $125,000 per year, as evidenced by recent job postings. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the annual median salary for this role is $41,070, but their data factors in salary information from a wide range of jobs including both behavioral counselors and substance abuse counselors.

These are 4 of the most obvious uses for a master's degree in special education. Having a master's degree could open up numerous other types of opportunities for you. With that in mind, please do not think of this list as the only possibilities for the types of jobs you can qualify for with a master's in special education; think of this list as more of a starting point when you begin your search for master's in special education jobs.

Related Resource: The 25 Best Online Master's in Special Education Programs