Summary Report for:
25-2054.00 - Special Education Teachers, Secondary School
Teach secondary school subjects to educationally and physically handicapped students. Includes teachers who specialize and work with audibly and visually handicapped students and those who teach basic academic and life processes skills to the mentally impaired.
Sample of reported job titles: Career and Transition Teacher, Exceptional Student Education Teacher (ESE Teacher), High School Special Education Teacher, Interrelated Special Education Teacher, Learning Disabilities Special Education Teacher (LD Special Education Teacher), Learning Support Teacher, Resource Teacher, Special Education Resource Teacher, Special Education Teacher, Teacher
Tasks | Tools & Technology | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Establish and enforce rules for behavior and policies and procedures to maintain order among students.
- Teach socially acceptable behavior, employing techniques such as behavior modification and positive reinforcement.
- Modify the general education curriculum for special-needs students, based upon a variety of instructional techniques and technologies.
- Develop and implement strategies to meet the needs of students with a variety of handicapping conditions.
- Maintain accurate and complete student records, and prepare reports on children and activities, as required by laws, district policies, and administrative regulations.
- Prepare, administer, and grade tests and assignments to evaluate students' progress.
- Meet with other professionals to discuss individual students' needs and progress.
- Confer with parents or guardians, other teachers, counselors, and administrators to resolve students' behavioral and academic problems.
- Employ special educational strategies and techniques during instruction to improve the development of sensory- and perceptual-motor skills, language, cognition, and memory.
- Teach personal development skills, such as goal setting, independence, and self-advocacy.
- Guide and counsel students with adjustment or academic problems, or special academic interests.
- Instruct through lectures, discussions, and demonstrations in one or more subjects, such as English, mathematics, or social studies.
- Confer with parents, administrators, testing specialists, social workers, and professionals to develop individual educational plans designed to promote students' educational, physical, and social development.
- Prepare materials and classrooms for class activities.
- Prepare students for later grades by encouraging them to explore learning opportunities and to persevere with challenging tasks.
- Plan and conduct activities for a balanced program of instruction, demonstration, and work time that provides students with opportunities to observe, question, and investigate.
- Meet with parents and guardians to discuss their children's progress and to determine priorities for their children and their resource needs.
- Establish clear objectives for all lessons, units, and projects and communicate those objectives to students.
- Observe and evaluate students' performance, behavior, social development, and physical health.
- Coordinate placement of students with special needs into mainstream classes.
- Monitor teachers and teacher assistants to ensure that they adhere to inclusive special education program requirements.
- Meet with parents and guardians to provide guidance in using community resources and to teach skills for dealing with students' impairments.
- Prepare for assigned classes and show written evidence of preparation upon request of immediate supervisors.
- Instruct students in daily living skills required for independent maintenance and self-sufficiency, such as hygiene, safety, and food preparation.
- Prepare objectives and outlines for courses of study, following curriculum guidelines or requirements of states and schools.
- Confer with other staff members to plan and schedule lessons promoting learning, following approved curricula.
- Provide additional instruction in vocational areas.
- Use computers, audio-visual aids, and other equipment and materials to supplement presentations.
- Administer standardized ability and achievement tests and interpret results to determine students' strengths and areas of need.
- Attend professional meetings, educational conferences, and teacher training workshops to maintain and improve professional competence.
- Attend staff meetings and serve on committees, as required.
- Collaborate with other teachers and administrators in the development, evaluation, and revision of secondary school programs.
- Plan and supervise class projects, field trips, visits by guest speakers, or other experiential activities, and guide students in learning from those activities.
- Perform administrative duties, such as assisting in school libraries, hall and cafeteria monitoring, and bus loading and unloading.
- Select, store, order, issue, and inventory classroom equipment, materials, and supplies.
- Instruct and monitor students in the use and care of equipment and materials to prevent injuries and damage.
- Provide assistive devices, supportive technology, and assistance accessing facilities, such as restrooms.
- Provide interpretation and transcription of regular classroom materials through Braille and sign language.
- Visit schools to tutor students with sensory impairments and to consult with teachers regarding students' special needs.
- Sponsor extracurricular activities, such as clubs, student organizations, and academic contests.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
- Adaptive communication switches for the physically challenged — Jellybean switches; Sound switches
- Assistive listening devices — Assistive amplification systems
- Binocular light compound microscopes — Optical compound microscopes
- Braille devices for the physically challenged — Braille slates; Braille styluses
- Cassette players or recorders — Audio tape recorders or players
- Childrens science kits — Science activity kits
- Compasses — Pencil compasses
- Computer mouse or trackballs — Eye controlled computer mouse equipment; Foot operated mouse equipment; Trackballs
- Desktop calculator — Talking calculators
- Desktop computers
- Digital camcorders or video cameras — Digital video cameras
- Document camera — Document cameras
- Emergency medical services first aid kits — Emergency first aid kits
- Enteral feeding administration sets — Enteral feeding equipment
- Game pads or joy sticks — Head operated joysticks; Mouth operated joysticks
- Gas burners — Bunsen burners
- Goggles — Safety goggles
- Hand held camcorders or video cameras — Video camcorders
- Keyboards — Alternative computer keyboards
- Laboratory beakers — Glass beakers
- Laboratory hotplates — Laboratory heating plates
- Laboratory scalpels — Dissection scalpels
- Laminators — Laminating equipment
- Laser printers — Computer laser printers
- Letter or symbol boards for the physically challenged — Communication boards
- Liquid crystal display projector — Liquid crystal display LCD projectors
- Medical gas cylinders or related devices — Portable oxygen equipment
- Medical suction cannulas or tubes or accessories — Oral suction tubes
- Multimedia projectors — Multimedia projection equipment
- Notebook computers — Laptop computers
- Page turners for the physically challenged — Page turners
- Personal computers
- Photocopiers — Photocopying equipment
- Protective gloves — Safety gloves
- Scanners — Reading pens
- Tablet computers
- Telecommunication devices TDD or teletypewriters TTY for the physically challenged — Teletypewriters TTY
- Televisions — Television monitors
- Touch screen monitors — Interactive whiteboards; Wireless touch screen monitors
- Video cassette players or recorders — Video cassette recorders VCR
- Visual presenters — Video magnifiers
- Voice synthesizers for the physically challenged — Portable communication devices
- Writing aids for the physically challenged — Word prediction software
Technology used in this occupation:
- Computer based training software — Text to speech software
- Device drivers or system software — Screen magnification software; Screen reader software
- Electronic mail software — Email software
- Internet browser software — Web browser software
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office software
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Project management software — Microsoft SharePoint software
- Spell checkers — Hand held spell checkers
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Video creation and editing software — Video editing software
- Voice recognition software — Voice activated software
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- Psychology — Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Clerical — Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
- Therapy and Counseling — Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
- Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
- Sociology and Anthropology — Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
- Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
- Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
- Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
- Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
- Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
- Time Sharing — The ability to shift back and forth between two or more activities or sources of information (such as speech, sounds, touch, or other sources).
- Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
- Memorization — The ability to remember information such as words, numbers, pictures, and procedures.
- Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Provide Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
Detailed Work Activities
- Assist students with special educational needs.
- Modify teaching methods or materials to accommodate student needs.
- Evaluate student work.
- Establish rules or policies governing student behavior.
- Apply multiple teaching methods.
- Monitor student performance.
- Monitor student behavior, social development, or health.
- Maintain student records.
- Develop strategies or programs for students with special needs.
- Order instructional or library materials or equipment.
- Administer tests to assess educational needs or progress.
- Encourage students.
- Develop instructional objectives.
- Attend training sessions or professional meetings to develop or maintain professional knowledge.
- Teach life skills.
- Document lesson plans.
- Prepare tests.
- Set up classroom materials or equipment.
- Teach others to use technology or equipment.
- Plan educational activities.
- Collaborate with other teaching professionals to develop educational programs.
- Discuss student progress with parents or guardians.
- Discuss problems or issues with supervisors.
- Tutor students who need extra assistance.
- Serve on institutional or departmental committees.
- Create technology-based learning materials.
- Maintain inventories of materials, equipment, or products.
- Prepare reports detailing student activities or performance.
- Advise students on academic or career matters.
- Teach vocational courses.
- Supervise school or student activities.
- Plan experiential learning activities.
- Direct activities of subordinates.
- Coordinate student extracurricular activities.
- Distribute instructional or library materials.
- Electronic Mail — 89% responded “Every day.”
- Contact With Others — 86% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 89% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 69% responded “Every day.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 75% responded “More than 40 hours.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 48% responded “Extremely important.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 41% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Physical Proximity — 44% responded “Very close (near touching).”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 53% responded “Some freedom.”
- Telephone — 62% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Frequency of Conflict Situations — 40% responded “Every day.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 49% responded “Every day.”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 40% responded “Every day.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 38% responded “Extremely important.”
- Time Pressure — 36% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 55% responded “Every day.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 44% responded “Important results.”
- Spend Time Standing — 54% responded “More than half the time.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 34% responded “Extremely important.”
- Letters and Memos — 42% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Deal With External Customers — 34% responded “Extremely important.”
- Public Speaking — 39% responded “Every day.”
- Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 26% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Deal With Physically Aggressive People — 32% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 32% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
|Title||Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.|
|Related Experience||A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.|
|Job Zone Examples||Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, database administrators, graphic designers, chemists, art directors, and cost estimators.|
|SVP Range||(7.0 to < 8.0)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
Interest code: SI
- Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
- Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
- Artistic — Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2015)||$58,500 annual|
|Employment (2014)||134,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2014-2024)||Average (5% to 8%)|
|Projected job openings (2014-2024)||33,100|
|Top industries (2014)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data and 2014-2024 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- Special education teachers . Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition.