If you’re trying to decide whether you should enroll in a special education degree program, it’s only natural to be curious about which jobs are available to graduates who hold a special education degree. While teaching is an obvious option, it is not your only possibility. There are other excellent options open to graduates of special education programs. Let’s take a look at several common career paths for people who hold special education degrees:
Special Education Teacher
This is the typical first job for graduates of special education degree programs. This job can be a career path on its own, or it can be a stepping stone to a career path in school administration. Some school systems require a bachelor’s degree in special education if you wish to become a special education teacher. In other locations, a special education degree is not a requirement for special ed teaching positions, but having this degree would give you an advantage in getting hired for these positions. In the United States, state licensure is also a requirement for teaching special education classes to students in the public school system. Some US states also require the special education teachers working in their public school systems to hold a master’s degree.
Early Intervention Specialist
Early intervention specialists work to help preschool aged children who have cognitive delays, communication challenges or developmental disabilities. In cases where a young child isn’t meeting his or her developmental milestones, a parent or pediatrician might suspect that an early intervention specialist is needed. These professionals can make a significant difference in helping children to get back on track towards normal, healthy development.
This job often involves working with children individually in their own homes. Sometimes this work is also performed in preschools or daycare centers. Knowledge of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is typically required to do this job.
With the dramatic recent rise in the numbers of children who have autism spectrum disorder, there is a growing need for the talents of early intervention specialists.
A bachelor’s degree in special education is extremely helpful if you wish to become a speech language pathologist. If this is your career goal, you will probably also need to earn a master’s degree in speech language pathology.
If you choose this career path, your likeliest employers would be public school systems, hospitals, healthcare facilities, nursing home facilities or home health care services.
Your day-to-day duties might include talking with people who have difficulty speaking to assess why they’re experiencing challenges; customizing a treatment plan for each individual who’s under your care; coaching them on how to correctly pronounce and enunciate sounds they’re having difficulty with; and help them strengthen any muscles they need to use that may be too weak to enable them to swallow or speak correctly.
These are not the only possibilities for jobs you can pursue once you have your special education degree in hand. There are also a broad range of roles in school administration that could open to you if you pursue a relevant graduate degree in educational leadership after you’ve earned your bachelor’s degree. It’s also possible to pursue exciting jobs in related vocations such as social work and counseling.
We hope this information is helpful to you in gaining a better understanding of the possible jobs you could realistically expect to get if you decide to pursue a degree in special education. These jobs are all worth considering, as the workers who do them generally find them to be rewarding and satisfying careers. It’s beneficial if you’re able to pinpoint one of these goals early on in your academic career, as it will allow you to better choose classes and activities that will equip you well for your chosen special education career path.