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Summary Report for:
25-2052.00 - Special Education Teachers, Kindergarten and Elementary School

Teach elementary 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: Early Childhood Special Educator (EC Special Educator), Emotional Disabilities Teacher, Hearing Impaired Itinerant Teacher (HI Itinerant Teacher), Learning Support Teacher, Resource Program Teacher, Severe Emotional Disorders Elementary Teacher (SED Elementary Teacher), Severe/Profound Mental Handicaps Special Education Teacher, Special Education Inclusion Teacher, Special Education Resource Teacher, Special Education Teacher

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Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Detailed Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

  • Instruct special needs students in academic subjects, using a variety of techniques, such as phonetics, multisensory learning, or repetition to reinforce learning and meet students' varying needs.
  • Develop or implement strategies to meet the needs of students with a variety of disabilities.
  • Develop individual educational plans (IEPs) designed to promote students' educational, physical, or social development.
  • Confer with parents, administrators, testing specialists, social workers, or other professionals to develop individual education plans (IEPs).
  • Maintain accurate and complete student records as required by laws, district policies, or administrative regulations.
  • Teach socially acceptable behavior, employing techniques such as behavior modification or positive reinforcement.
  • Establish and enforce rules for behavior and procedures for maintaining order among students.
  • Modify the general kindergarten or elementary education curriculum for special-needs students.
  • Confer with parents, guardians, teachers, counselors, or administrators to resolve students' behavioral or academic problems.
  • Employ special educational strategies or techniques during instruction to improve the development of sensory- and perceptual-motor skills, language, cognition, or memory.
  • Monitor teachers or teacher assistants to ensure adherence to special education program requirements.
  • Prepare classrooms with a variety of materials or resources for children to explore, manipulate, or use in learning activities or imaginative play.
  • Prepare reports on students and activities as required by administration.
  • Meet with parents or guardians to discuss their children's progress, advise them on using community resources, or teach skills for dealing with students' impairments.
  • Prepare, administer, or grade tests or assignments to evaluate students' progress.
  • Observe and evaluate students' performance, behavior, social development, and physical health.
  • Establish and communicate clear objectives for all lessons, units, and projects to students.
  • Encourage students to explore learning opportunities or persevere with challenging tasks to prepare them for later grades.
  • Provide assistive devices, supportive technology, or assistance accessing facilities, such as restrooms.
  • Teach students personal development skills, such as goal setting, independence, or self-advocacy.
  • Coordinate placement of students with special needs into mainstream classes.
  • Interpret the results of standardized tests to determine students' strengths and areas of need.
  • Collaborate with other teachers or administrators to develop, evaluate, or revise kindergarten or elementary school programs.
  • Confer with other staff members to plan or schedule lessons promoting learning, following approved curricula.
  • Guide or counsel students with adjustment problems, academic problems, or special academic interests.
  • Plan or conduct activities for a balanced program of instruction, demonstration, and work time that provides students with opportunities to observe, question, and investigate.
  • Organize and display students' work in a manner appropriate for their perceptual skills.
  • Prepare objectives, outlines, or other materials for courses of study following curriculum guidelines or school or state requirements.
  • Prepare assignments for teacher assistants or volunteers.
  • Present information in audio-visual or interactive formats, using computers, televisions, audio-visual aids, or other equipment, materials, or technologies.
  • Instruct and monitor students in the use and care of equipment or materials to prevent injuries and damage.
  • Administer standardized ability and achievement tests to kindergarten or elementary students with special needs.
  • Attend professional meetings, educational conferences, or teacher training workshops to maintain or improve professional competence.
  • Organize and supervise games or other recreational activities to promote physical, mental, or social development.
  • Control the inventory or distribution of classroom equipment, materials, or supplies.
  • Plan or supervise experiential learning activities, such as class projects, field trips, demonstrations, or visits by guest speakers.
  • Perform administrative duties, such as assisting in school libraries, hall or cafeteria monitoring, or bus loading or unloading.
  • Instruct students in daily living skills required for independent maintenance and self-sufficiency, such as hygiene, safety, or food preparation.
  • Visit schools to tutor students with sensory impairments or to consult with teachers regarding students' special needs.
  • Interpret or transcribe classroom materials into Braille or sign language.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

  • Adaptive communication switches for the physically challenged — Jellybean switches; Sound switches
  • Assistive listening devices — FM amplification systems
  • Balance or gross motor equipment — Play structures
  • Binocular light compound microscopes — Optical compound microscopes
  • Board games — Educational board games
  • Braille devices for the physically challenged — Braille label makers; Braille note-taking systems; Braille rulers; Braille writers
  • Building blocks — Toy block sets
  • Canes or cane accessories — Laser canes
  • Childrens science kits — Science activity kits
  • Compact disk players or recorders — Compact disk CD players
  • Compasses — Pencil compasses
  • Computer mouse or trackballs — Eye controlled computer mouse equipment; Foot operated computer mouse equipment; Trackballs
  • Desktop calculator — Large display calculators; Talking calculators
  • Desktop computers
  • Digital cameras — Compact digital cameras
  • Digital voice recorders — Digital audio recorders
  • 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
  • Handheld thermometer — Talking thermometers
  • Handicraft tools or materials or equipment for the physically challenged — Adaptive paint brushes; Adaptive scissors
  • Hearing aids for the physically challenged — Hearing aid devices
  • Keyboards — Alternative computer keyboards
  • Laminators — Laminating equipment
  • Laser printers — Computer laser printers
  • Letter or symbol boards for the physically challenged — Portable communication boards
  • Medical suction cannulas or tubes or accessories — Oral suction tubes
  • Notebook computers — Laptop computers
  • Overhead projectors — Overhead data projectors
  • Page turners for the physically challenged — Page turners
  • Patient scooters — Motorized scooters
  • Personal computers
  • Photocopiers — Photocopying equipment
  • Pointers — Optical pointing devices
  • Puzzles — Educational puzzles
  • Sand or water tables or activity centers — Sand tables; Water tables
  • Scanners — Computer data input scanners; Computer voice input devices; Reading pens
  • Standers or standing aids — Standing aids
  • Telecommunication devices TDD or teletypewriters TTY for the physically challenged — Telecommunication devices TDD
  • Therapeutic pegboards or activity boards — Pegboards
  • Touch screen monitors — Interactive whiteboards; Wireless touch screen monitors
  • Voice synthesizers for the physically challenged — Voice output devices
  • Walkers or rollators — Walkers
  • Wheelchairs — Powered wheelchairs

Technology used in this occupation:

  • Computer based training software — Children's educational software; Scientific Learning Fast ForWord
  • Data base user interface and query software — American Sign Language Browser; Individualized Educational Program IEP software
  • Device drivers or system software — Screen magnification software; Screen reader software; Synapse outSPOKEN; The vOICe Learning Edition
  • Electronic mail software — Email software; Microsoft Outlook Hot technology
  • Graphics or photo imaging software — Drawing software
  • Internet browser software — Web browser software
  • Office suite software — Microsoft Office
  • Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint Hot technology
  • Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel Hot technology
  • Voice recognition software — goQ WordQ; Nuance Dragon NaturallySpeaking; Voice activated software
  • Word processing software — Microsoft Word

Hot technology Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.

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Knowledge

  • 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.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • 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.
  • Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • 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.
  • Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • 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.
  • Law and Government — Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • Sociology and Anthropology — Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.

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Skills

  • Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
  • Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • 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.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • 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.
  • Negotiation — Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
  • Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.

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Abilities

  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • 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.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • 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).
  • 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).
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • 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.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • 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).

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Work Activities

  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
  • 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.
  • Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
  • Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • 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.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • 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.
  • Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
  • 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.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
  • 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.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
  • 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.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

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Detailed Work Activities

  • Develop strategies or programs for students with special needs.
  • Collaborate with other teaching professionals to develop educational programs.
  • Teach life skills.
  • Maintain student records.
  • Establish rules or policies governing student behavior.
  • Discuss student progress with parents or guardians.
  • Modify teaching methods or materials to accommodate student needs.
  • Discuss problems or issues with supervisors.
  • Direct activities of subordinates.
  • Prepare reports detailing student activities or performance.
  • Set up classroom materials or equipment.
  • Administer tests to assess educational needs or progress.
  • Evaluate student work.
  • Prepare tests.
  • Develop instructional objectives.
  • Monitor student performance.
  • Monitor student behavior, social development, or health.
  • Assist students with special educational needs.
  • Encourage students.
  • Assess educational needs of students.
  • Advise students on academic or career matters.
  • Develop instructional materials.
  • Plan educational activities.
  • Display student work.
  • Create technology-based learning materials.
  • Teach others to use technology or equipment.
  • Attend training sessions or professional meetings to develop or maintain professional knowledge.
  • Tutor students who need extra assistance.
  • Distribute instructional or library materials.
  • Maintain inventories of materials, equipment, or products.
  • Plan experiential learning activities.
  • Supervise school or student activities.

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Work Context

  • Electronic Mail — 99% responded “Every day.”
  • Contact With Others — 92% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 87% responded “Every day.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 77% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 56% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 70% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Physical Proximity — 51% responded “Very close (near touching).”
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 73% responded “Every day.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 51% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 65% responded “Very important results.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 74% responded “Every day.”
  • Telephone — 48% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Deal With External Customers — 51% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations — 44% responded “Every day.”
  • Time Pressure — 43% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Letters and Memos — 38% responded “Every day.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 54% responded “More than 40 hours.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 48% responded “Very important.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 30% responded “High responsibility.”
  • Spend Time Standing — 49% responded “About half the time.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 31% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 49% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 34% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 32% responded “Important.”

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Job Zone

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)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
66   Bachelor's degree
22   Master's degree
6   Post-master's certificate Help

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Credentials

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Interests

Interest code: SA

  • Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
  • 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.

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Work Styles

  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • 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.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • 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.

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Work Values

  • 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.

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2015) $55,810 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2014) 198,000 employees
Projected growth (2014-2024) Average (5% to 8%) Average (5% to 8%)
Projected job openings (2014-2024) 49,800
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2014)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data external site and 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "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.

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Job Openings on the Web

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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 external site. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition.

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