Special Education Teachers
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Kindergarten/Elementary Special Education Teachers
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Overview
Special education teachers work with students who have a wide range of learning, mental, emotional, and physical disabilities. They adapt general education lessons and teach various subjects, such as reading, writing, and math, to students with mild and moderate disabilities. They also teach basic skills, such as literacy and communication techniques, to students with severe disabilities.
Predicted employment growth
Over the next decade, jobs for kindergarten/elementary special education teachers are expected to grow by 7%, and should have about 15,100 job openings a year.
Workforce size
Kindergarten/elementary special education teachers, with 188,900 workers, form a larger workforce than 79% of careers.
Education
About 51% of special education teachers have a graduate-level education, and 88% have at least a bachelor's degree.
Education attained by special education teachers
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Context: workers with graduate degrees
More special education teachers have graduate degrees than 92% of other careeers.
Salaries
The median (middle) salary for kindergarten/elementary special education teachers is higher than 66% of all other jobs' middle salaries. The graph shows inflation-adjusted salaries for most kindergarten/elementary special education teachers.
This job's median $59KAll jobs' median $39K$58K$38K20142015201620172018$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K
Context: Median Salary
Gender
Women account for 85% of special education teachers -- that's a larger percentage than 94% of other jobs.
Gender of special education teachers
Men
Women
Context: Salary inequity
For each career, we compared the median (middle) men's salary to the median women's salary. For special education teachers, the median men's salary was 3% more the median woman's salary.
Race/Origin
About 15% of special education teachers are minority, and 6% are foreign-born.
Race/origin of special education teachers
White
Black
Pacific Islander
Hispanic
Asian
American Indian
Multiracial
Other
Context: Foreign-born workers (6%)
Where are the most jobs?
We ranked the number of jobs in Kindergarten/Elementary Special Education Teachers per thousand workers in each state, DC, and Puerto Rico. The darker the blue, the higher the job density.
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
Job benefits
Employer or union-sponsored pension plans are offered to 77% of special education teachers, and 76% have company-sponsored health insurance (23% have dependents enrolled in their employer's health plan).
Employer-provided health coverage for special education teachers
100% premiums covered
Partial premiums covered
Plan with no cost sharing
No health insurance
Top college degrees
Here are the top college degrees held by the 85% of people in this job who have at least a bachelor's degree. Some of degrees may link to multiple programs due to the way Census classifies college majors. Click on a program to learn more about career opportunities for people who major in that field.
The downside
Some jobs are more stressful than others, and some are just plain dangerous. The following list gives the percentages of kindergarten/elementary special education teachers who report hazardous or difficult situations typically occurring at least once a week.
  • Time Pressure (79%)
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations (77%)
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety (41%)
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People (41%)
  • Exposed to Disease or Infections (40%)
  • Consequence of Error (40%)
  • Deal With Physically Aggressive People (36%)
SOURCES:24.0 O*NET
Salary and diversity
Salary overview
What do special education teachers earn?

In this section, we want to give you a clear idea of what you can expect to earn in this career. We use two sources of data here: the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which asks employers to classify their workforce and to report salaries using the SOC-specialty level of reporting, and the American Community Survey (ACS), which asks people to classify their jobs using the broad classifications that ididio uses for career profiles, and to self-report their salaries. For some jobs, the differences in survey approaches between BLS and ACS can paint a very different end-picture. In particular, the ACS data is reported for the larger career group special education teachers, which combines the data for 5 careers, including kindergarten/elementary special education teachers. Whenever possible, we provide data from both sources.

The BLS-compiled salary data is reported by companies for their employees. This data is classified by SOC specialty, and excludes self-employed workers. We first show the distribution of salaries for kindergarten/elementary special education teachers, and then we show how the middle (median) salary for kindergarten/elementary special education teachers compares to the BLS-computed median salaries of other careers.
Distribution: Salaries for kindergarten/elementary special education teachers (BLS Salary Data)
$59K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (BLS Salary Data)
$59K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
We compiled household data from the ACS to determine the salaries that people working at least 35 hours a week report themselves to earn. Unlike the BLS estimates, this data includes self-employed wages. Additionally, we only have ACS survey data for the larger career category and not for the specialty level. We first show the full salary distribution for all special education teachers, and then we show how the median (middle) salary for special education teachers compares to the median ACS-reported salary of other careers.
Distribution: Salaries for special education teachers (ACS Salary Data)
$49K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (ACS Salary Data)
$49K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Employers and salary
A look at employers and corresponding salaries
The donut shares the break-down of workers by employer type, and following we show the salary distributions for these workers based on those employer types. For some careers, the salaries can be vastly different between private, government, and self-employment. As with our salary overview, we view the both the BLS economists' salary profiles and the household-reported salaries from ACS to get a thorough understanding of where kindergarten/elementary special education teachers work and for what salary. We have the great faith in the accuracy of economist-vetted BLS data; however, the BLS restrictions on which employers are surveyed skews the data a bit (read more in the sources), and the ACS responses provide different and useful categorizations of employers and salaries.
Employers of Special Education Teachers (ACS)
Private for-profit (11.1%)
Private not-for-profit (10.1%)
Local government (55.3%)
State government (22.4%)
Federal government (0.6%)
Self-employed incorporated (0.1%)
Self-employed not incorporated (0.3%)
Working without pay (0.0%)
Distribution: Salaries of special education teachers by type of employer (ACS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type calculated by aggregating individual household survey responses. These salaries were reported for the larger career group of special education teachers, which combines the 5 specialties for this career.
$49K$51K$44K$48K$46K$43K$52K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000$100,000$120,000Self-employed not incorporatedFederal governmentState governmentLocal governmentPrivate not-for-profitPrivate for-profitAll
Distribution: Salaries of kindergarten/elementary special education teachers by type of employer (BLS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type as reported by BLS based on large employer-focused surveys. We note that smaller employer categories are not included by BLS. Remember that the BLS salaries are for the specialty kindergarten/elementary special education teachers, and may differ signficantly from the ACS salary estimates which combine several career specialties.
$59K$60K$52K$59K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000$100,000State governmentLocal governmentPrivateAll
Age and career advancement
Salary growth for special education teachers

The biggest take-away from the following two charts is the relationship between salary and experience that we can infer from age. Does this job seem to attract especially younger or older workers? Does it reward experience?

Take a minute a look at how much you might expect your salary to increase with each five years' experience, as well as how the numbers working in this career changes. We only provide this data when there are enough consistent ACS survey responses to allow a reasonable margin of error, so for some careers you will see gaps in our reporting of salary by age.

$51K$53K$52K$27K$51K$45K$41K$56K$58K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100KSalary distribution20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64
010K20K30K40KNumber employed20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Gender and Equity
Special education teachers and gender

With 85% women, this occupation has a higher percentage of women than 94% of careers.

Context: Women in the workforce
85%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Gender of Special education teachers
Men (15%)
Women (85%)
Distribution: Salaries by gender

As we'll illustrate at the bottom of this section, the median salary for all full-time male workers in the US exceeds the full-time median salary for women by 20%. The situation is better for special education teachers, with the median salary for men only 3.1% higher than the median salary for women. This chart shows you the salary range for most workers by gender.

$48K$50K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100KWomenMen
Context: Salary Inequity

Nationwide there are twenty careers for which men do not have a higher median (middle) salary than women. The chart below shows the salary inequity, the percentage by which the median men's salary is higher than the median women's salary, for most jobs. Special education teachers have one of the smaller percentage increases for men's salary, with the increase the men's median salary over the women's median salary in this job lower than that for 89% of other jobs.

3%0%20%40%60%80%100%

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Race/Origin
Race and origin of special education teachers

The representation of minority and foreign-born workers is quite different between careers, and the relative pay of those workers also varies significantly between careers. There is a smaller percentage of minority special education teachers than for 71% of other careers. As with minority workers, there is also a smaller percentage of foreign-born workers in this career than in most other careers.

Race/origin of special education teachers
White (82% )
Black (10% )
Asian (2% )
Other (2% )
Multiracial (2% )
Hispanic (1% )
American Indian (1% )
Pacific Islander (0% )
Context: Representation of minorities in the workforce
15%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Context: Representation of foreign-born workers
6%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Distribution: Salaries for special education teachers by race/origin

For some careers, there is a pay disparity depending on race or origin, though this is not prevalent. We calculate standard errors for all of our calculations, and when the error is high we do not show results. Therefore, for some jobs will have omitted race/origin categories.

$39K$42K$43K$47K$48K$49K$53K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100KOtherPacific IslanderAmerican IndianBlackMultiracialWhiteAsian
Distribution: Salaries for special education teachers by nativity
$49K$50K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100KAll native citizensAll foreign-born

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Pathways to this career
Education requirements and salary
Education attained by kindergarten/elementary special education teachers

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), kindergarten/elementary special education teachers typically hold a bachelor's degree.

Sometimes the typical education identified by the BLS differs a bit from the reality of the how much education current workers actually have. The donut shows the education level held by people currently working as special education teachers as reported in responses to the American Community Survey. Following, we investigate whether education level influences salary for special education teachers.

Education attained by special education teachers
None
High School
Some College
Associate's Degree
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Deg/Doct
Doctorate
Details: Education and training recommended for kindergarten/elementary special education teachers

All states require special education teachers in public schools to have at least a bachelor’s degree. Some require teachers to earn a degree specifically in special education. Others allow them to major in elementary education or a content area, such as math or science, and pursue a minor in special education.

In a program leading to a bachelor’s degree in special education, prospective teachers learn about the different types of disabilities and how to present information so that students will understand. Programs typically include a student-teaching program, in which they work with a mentor teacher and get experience teaching students in a classroom setting. To become fully certified, some states require special education teachers to complete a master’s degree in special education after obtaining a job.

Teachers in private schools do not need to meet state requirements. However, private schools may prefer to hire teachers who have at least a bachelor’s degree in special education.

Details: Licensing and certification recommended for kindergarten/elementary special education teachers

All states require teachers in public schools to be licensed in the specific grade level that they teach. A license frequently is referred to as a certification. Those who teach in private schools typically do not need to be licensed.

Requirements for certification or licensure can vary by state but generally involve the following:

  • A bachelor’s degree with a minimum grade point average
  • Completion of a teacher preparation program and supervised experience in teaching, which is typically gained through student teaching.
  • Passing a background check
  • Passing a general teaching certification test, as well as a test that demonstrates knowledge of the subject the candidate will teach.

Many states offer general certification or licenses in special education that allow teachers to work with students with a variety of disabilities. Others offer licenses or endorsements based on a disability-specific category, such as autism or behavior disorders.

Some states allow special education teachers to transfer their licenses from another state. Other states require even an experienced teacher to pass their state’s licensing requirements.

All states offer an alternative route to certification or licensure for people who already have a bachelor’s degree. Some alternative certification programs allow candidates to begin teaching immediately, under the close supervision of an experienced teacher. These alternative programs cover teaching methods and child development. Candidates are awarded full certification after they complete the program. Other alternative programs require prospective teachers to take classes in education before they can start to teach. Teachers may be awarded a master’s degree after completing either type of program.

Distribution: Salary by education level

What level of education is truly needed for special education teachers? Below we see the distribution of special education teachers salaries based on the education attained. These comparisons are based on all survey responses by those who identified themselves as special education teachers, and are not intended as a statistical analysis of salary differences that would correct for non-educational factors that could contribute to high or low earnings.

$22K$23K$23K$43K$56K$59K$69K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120KHigh School (3%)Some College (5%)Associate's Degree (3%)Bachelor's Degree (37%)Master's Degree (48%)Professional Deg/Doct (2%)Doctorate (1%)
Bachelor's degree pathways
College majors held by special education teachers

This table shows the college majors held by people working as special education teachers. Select any degree to see detailed information. We are able to connect careers to degrees using the American Community Survey (ACS), and their degrees are defined a little differently from our programs, which are based on standard CIP classifications. Therefore, selecting some degrees will lead to a selection of CIP-level programs from which to choose.

If you see "**" before the name of a degree/program, that means this field is one that the Department of Education believes is preparatory for this career. However, you can see from this list that those recommendations are far from your only path to this job!

Degree
Select any title to learn more about that degree
Percentage of Special education teachers with this degree
Salary for all majors
Salary distribution (across jobs). Showing 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
Final education level of all people with this major
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Gender
Gender of people this bachelor's degree
Men
Women
23.4%
$0$200K$53K
16.3%
$0$200K$51K
11.2%
$0$200K$50K
6.5%
$0$200K$53K
1.9%
$0$200K$55K
1.6%
$0$200K$54K
1.4%
$0$200K$56K
1.2%
$0$200K$55K
1.2%
$0$200K$60K
1.1%
$0$200K$63K
1.0%
$0$200K$48K
1.0%
$0$200K$63K
The link between degrees and careers
The link between degrees and careers

With the following "sankey" diagram, you can follow the top ten bachelor's degrees held by people working as special education teachers, and then, in turn, you can see the 10 occupations that hire the most of each degree's graduates. This visualization links fields of studies and careers, suggesting both similar careers and options for degrees. The full list of bachelor's degrees held by special education teachers given in the previous section reminds us that there are many paths to these careers beyond what we can summarize here.

This job
Top 10 majors
Each major's top ten jobs
Elementary and middle school teachersSpecial Education TeachersEducation administratorsSecondary school teachersPostsecondary teachersCounselorsPreschool and kindergarten teachersTeacher assistantsEducation, training, and library workers (specialized areas)Social workersManagers (specialized areas)Teachers and instructors (specialized areas)Secretaries and administrative assistantsPsychologistsLawyers, judges, and magistratesPhysicians and surgeonsHuman resources workersEditorsWriters and authorsMarketing and sales managersFirst-line supervisors of retail sales workersWholesale and manufacturing sales representativesAccountants and auditorsRetail salespersonsChief executives and legislatorsFinancial managersFirst-line supervisors of non-retail sales workersChildcare workersSocial and community service managersSpeech-language pathologistsAudiologistsRegistered nursesTherapists (specialized areas)Medical and health services managersSpecial Needs EducationGeneral EducationElementary EducationPsychologyEnglish Language andLiteratureLiberal ArtsBusiness Management andAdministrationEarly Childhood EducationSociologyCommunication DisordersSciences and ServicesAll other degrees
Switching Careers
Most common new jobs
The most common next careers for special education teachers

What jobs will most special education teachers hold next year?

The data in this chart comes from person interviews for the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey. The survey interviews households eight times over a two-year period, allowing us a glimpse into how people move from job to job. You can see more details from the results of the survey in our last tab in this section, and you can read about our methodology in our source descriptions.

Here we see all of the jobs that at least 1% of special education teachers reported holding in their second year's survey. Is your future job on this list?

Special Education TeachersElementary and middle school teachersTeacher assistantsSecondary school teachersPreschool and kindergarten teachersTeachers and instructors (specialized areas)CounselorsEducation, training, and library workers (specialized areas)Education administrators
Lateral career moves
Lateral job transitions for special education teachers

A lateral career transition is a move to a job with similar pay and responsibilities. A move to such a job can offer a change of pace without an increase in stress or a decrease in pay. The following table simply identifies all 6 jobs which were held by at least 1% of survey respondents before working as special education teachers as well as 1% of respondents after working as special education teachers. Select a row to investigate the job's full description and determine if it truly offers an opportunity for a lateral transition.

Lateral-move careers for special education teachers
Annual openings
How many openings are expected each year?
Salary
Salary distribution for people in this occupation. Range is 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Gender
Men
Women
Elementary and middle school teachers
164,300
$0$200K$51K
Teacher assistants
148,000
$0$200K$21K
Counselors
96,100
$0$200K$44K
Secondary school teachers
85,500
$0$200K$53K
Preschool and kindergarten teachers
70,500
$0$200K$25K
Education, training, and library workers (specialized areas)
31,000
$0$200K$53K
Full prior and next career listings
Prior and next careers for special education teachers: full listings

What do people typically do before and after they work as special education teachers? Here are the full lists of all jobs that at least 1% of special education teachers surveyed reported as holding a year earlier or later.

Choose which type of transition to view
Prior jobs
Next jobs
Prior careers for special education teachers
Annual openings
How many openings are expected each year?
Salary
Salary distribution for people in this occupation. Range is 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Gender
Men
Women
Percentage Transitioning
What percentage worked in this job the previous year?
Elementary and middle school teachers
164,300
$0$200K$51K
19.3%
Teacher assistants
148,000
$0$200K$21K
8.1%
Counselors
96,100
$0$200K$44K
1.1%
Secondary school teachers
85,500
$0$200K$53K
5.2%
Preschool and kindergarten teachers
70,500
$0$200K$25K
3.2%
Special Education Teachers
38,600
$0$200K$49K
43.6%
Education, training, and library workers (specialized areas)
31,000
$0$200K$53K
1.4%
No occupation
6.4%
Read about kindergarten/elementary special education teachers
Responsibilities and activities
Responsibilities and activities

Special education teachers typically do the following:

  • Assess students’ skills to determine their needs
  • Adapt general lessons to meet the needs of students
  • Develop Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) for each student
  • Plan, organize, and assign activities that are specific to each student’s abilities
  • Teach and mentor students as a class, in small groups, and one-on-one
  • Implement IEPs, assess students’ performance, and track their progress
  • Update IEPs throughout the school year to reflect students’ progress and goals
  • Discuss students’ progress with parents, other teachers, counselors, and administrators
  • Supervise and mentor teacher assistants who work with students with disabilities
  • Prepare and help students transition from grade to grade and for life after graduation

Special education teachers work with general education teachers, counselors, administrators, and parents. Together, they develop IEPs specific to each student’s needs. IEPs outline the goals and services for each student, such as sessions with school psychologists, counselors, and special education teachers. Teachers also meet with parents, administrators, and counselors to discuss updates and changes to the IEPs.

Special education teachers’ duties vary by the type of setting they work in, students’ disabilities, and teachers’ specialties.

Some special education teachers work in classrooms or resource centers that include only students with disabilities. In these settings, teachers plan, adapt, and present lessons to meet each student’s needs. They teach students in small groups or on a one-on-one basis.

In inclusive classrooms, special education teachers teach students with disabilities who are in general education classrooms. They work with general education teachers to present information in a manner that students with disabilities can more easily understand. They also assist general education teachers in adapting lessons that will meet the needs of the students with disabilities in their classes.

In addition, special education teachers collaborate with teacher assistants, psychologists, and social workers to accommodate requirements of students with disabilities. For example, they may have a teacher assistant work with them to provide support for a student who needs particular attention.

Special education teachers work with students who have a wide variety of mental, emotional, physical, and learning disabilities. For example, some work with students who need assistance in subject areas, such as reading and math. Others help students develop study skills, such as highlighting text and using flashcards.

Some special education teachers work with students who have physical disabilities, such as students who are wheelchair bound. Others work with students who have sensory disabilities, such as blindness and deafness. They also may work with those who have autism spectrum disorders and emotional disorders, such as anxiety and depression.

Special education teachers work with students from preschool to high school. Some teachers work with students who have severe disabilities until the students are 21 years old.

Special education teachers help students with severe disabilities develop basic life skills, such as how to respond to questions and how to follow directions. Some teach the skills necessary for students with moderate disabilities to live independently, find a job, and manage money and their time. For more information about other workers who help individuals with disabilities develop skills necessary to live independently, see the profiles on occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants and aides.

Special education teachers must be comfortable with using and learning new technology. Most use computers to keep records of their students’ performance, prepare lesson plans, and update IEPs. Some teachers also use various assistive technology aids, such as Braille writers and computer software that help them communicate with their students.

Personality and skills
Personality and skills

Can you see yourself in the ranks of kindergarten/elementary special education teachers? Here are the skills and traits that could lead to success.

Communication skills
Special education teachers discuss students’ needs and performances with general education teachers, parents, and administrators. They also explain difficult concepts in terms that students with learning disabilities can understand.
Critical-thinking skills
Special education teachers assess students’ progress and use that information to adapt lessons to help them learn.
Interpersonal skills
Special education teachers work regularly with general education teachers, school counselors, administrators, and parents to develop Individualized Education Programs. As a result, they need to be able to build positive working relationships.
Patience
Working with students with special needs and different abilities can be difficult. Special education teachers should be patient with each student, because some may need the instruction given aloud, at a slower pace, or in writing.
Resourcefulness
Special education teachers must develop different ways to present information in a manner that meets the needs of their students. They also help general education teachers adapt their lessons to the needs of students with disabilities.
Trends in employment
Salary trends
Distribution and trends: Salaries for kindergarten/elementary special education teachers
Choose actual dollars or inflation-adjusted dollars to view
Adjusted for inflation
Historic dollars

In 2018, the median (middle) salary for kindergarten/elementary special education teachers was higher than 66% of all other jobs' middle salaries. This graphic shows how the salary distribution (adjusted for inflation) has changed for this job over recent years. The gray line, as a comparison, shows the median salary of all US workers.

This job's median $59KAll jobs' median $39K$59K$38K2012201320142015201620172018$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K
Projected versus actual employment
Exploring actual employment trends versus projected trends

Currently, jobs for kindergarten/elementary special education teachers are anticipated to grow by 7% over the next decade; 51% of jobs are projected to grow more.

The projected employment for kindergarten/elementary special education teachers is the best guess created by talented economists and statisticians at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, as you look through several careers you'll notice that the projections are heavily influenced by past performance and may miss current trends. No one can tell the future, and as new information and better techniques are developed, actual counts and future projections may change. Here's a glimpse at the actual counts versus the projections over time.

20102015202020252030050,000100,000150,000200,000250,000
Employment counts
Actual measured employment
BLS 10-year predictions
Variation by state
Employment
State-by-state employment numbers

Some careers tend to be centered in specific parts of the country. For example, most jobs in fashion are in New York or California. Let's see if your dream job is easy to find in your dream location! We have a few choices for viewing the data that can help you get a full employment picture.

Job density versus job count

Which states hire the most kindergarten/elementary special education teachers? We wonder if that's a fair question since states come in all sizes, so instead let's start with the question of which states have the highest density of people working as kindergarten/elementary special education teachers. You can choose to view the number of jobs per state if you prefer.

BLS vs ACS data

This map defaults to employment information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which provides job totals carefully compiled for accuracy and with a primary focus on how employers describe their workers. The BLS job totals do not count self-employed workers. We've also compiled totals using the Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS) which are based on how workers describe themselves. Sometimes ACS results are quite a bit different from the employer-based BLS data.

One important factor in the differences between ACS and BLS data is that the ACS numbers are for all special education teachers, comprised of all specialities listed in the menu bar, and you can choose to view the BLS at the specialty or full career level.

Choose the metric to review
Jobs per 1000 working
Number of jobs
Use this data source
BLS for this specialty
Number of Kindergarten/Elementary Special Education Teachers per 1,000 workers (BLS)
Select a state to see local area details
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
0.01.02.03.04.0
Salary
Salaries by state
Let's get a feel for where kindergarten/elementary special education teachers earn the highest salaries. There are several choices for which data we consider and how we view that data, and each can lead to different conclusions, so please read on...
Median salary versus state ratio

We use two methods to compare salaries across states:

  • In-state comparisons: the ratio of median (middle) salaries for special education teachers compared to the median salary for all people working in each state, or
  • Median salary: the unaltered median salaries for special education teachers.

We hope the ratio allows perspective about how salaries may compare to the regional cost-of-living.

BLS vs ACS data

We have two sources for statewide salary information with important distinctions. The BLS data is created by surveying companies, missing individuals who are self-employed or work for smaller companies. The ACS data is compiled from multi-faceted household surveys and may reflect the inconsistencies that people may have in reporting information. The ACS salaries are for all special education teachers, which combines the specialities from which you can choose at the top of the page.

Choose the metric to review
In-state comparisions
Median salary
Use this data source
BLS for this specialty
Median salary ratio: Kindergarten/Elementary Special Education Teachers to all workers (BLS for this specialty)
The darkest shading corresponds to states in which kindergarten/elementary special education teachers earn the highest salary when compared to other jobs in the state. We think this ratio might be a better indicator than the actual salary for your buying power as a state resident.
Select a state to see local area details
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
0.00.51.01.52.0
Compare to similar jobs

If this job interests you, then use the dots below to find other jobs you might like. The dots closer to the top represent jobs that are like Special Education Teachers (shown with a blue star). Look for the dots to the right to find the best salaries! (We pulled salary data from BLS, and they give a top salary value of just over $200K to protect privacy, so our graph would go much higher if the salaries were not top coded.)

How should the career similarity be computed

There are a number of ways to measure the similarity of jobs, here are a few we provide:

  • Interests: Also known as a Holland Code - Are you a thinker? A helper? What fits your personality?
  • Environment: Are there hazards? Will you be comfortable? Will it be stressful?
  • Knowledge: What do you need to know the most about?
  • Physical Abilities: Do you need to especially strong or coordinated?
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