Adapted Physical Education Specialists
25-2059.01

Provide individualized physical education instruction or services to children, youth, or adults with exceptional physical needs due to gross motor developmental delays or other impairments.

Sample of reported job titles: Adapted Physical Activity Specialist, Adapted Physical Education Specialist (APE Specialist), Adapted Physical Education Teacher (Adapted PE Teacher), Adapted Physical Educator, Certified Adapted Physical Educator, DAPE Specialist (Developmental Adapted Physical Education Specialist), DAPE Teacher (Developmental Adapted Physical Education Teacher)

Occupation-Specific Information

Tasks

  • Adapt instructional techniques to the age and skill levels of students.
  • Instruct students, using adapted physical education techniques, to improve physical fitness, gross motor skills, perceptual motor skills, or sports and game achievement.
  • Provide individual or small groups of students with adapted physical education instruction that meets desired physical needs or goals.
  • Provide students positive feedback to encourage them and help them develop an appreciation for physical education.
  • Establish and maintain standards of behavior to create safe, orderly, and effective environments for learning.
  • Provide adapted physical education services to students with intellectual disabilities, autism, traumatic brain injury, orthopedic impairments, or other disabling condition.
  • Assess students' physical progress or needs.
  • Assist in screening or placement of students in adapted physical education programs.
  • Evaluate the motor needs of individual students to determine their need for adapted physical education services.
  • Collaborate with other educational personnel to provide inclusive activities or programs for children with disabilities.
  • Maintain thorough student records to document attendance, participation, or progress, ensuring confidentiality of all records.
  • Advise education professionals of students' physical abilities or disabilities and the accommodations required to enhance their school performance.
  • Communicate behavioral observations and student progress reports to students, parents, teachers, or administrators.
  • Write or modify individualized education plans (IEPs) for students with intellectual or physical disabilities.
  • Write reports to summarize student performance, social growth, or physical development.
  • Prepare lesson plans in accordance with individualized education plans (IEPs) and the functional abilities or needs of students.
  • Attend in-service training, workshops, or meetings to keep abreast of current practices or trends in adapted physical education.
  • Review adapted physical education programs or practices to ensure compliance with government or other regulations.
  • Request or order physical education equipment, following standard procedures.
  • Maintain inventory of instructional equipment, materials, or aids.

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Technology Skills

Hot technology
Hot Technologies are requirements most frequently included across all employer job postings.

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Occupational Requirements

Work Activities

  • Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.
  • Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • 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.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
  • Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
  • Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
  • Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • 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.
  • Providing Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
  • Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
  • Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
  • 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.
  • Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
  • Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.

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Detailed Work Activities

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Work Context

  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 86% responded “Every day.”
  • Electronic Mail — 81% responded “Every day.”
  • Physical Proximity — 76% responded “Very close (near touching).”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 55% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 65% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Spend Time Standing — 57% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 62% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Contact With Others — 52% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Spend Time Walking and Running — 33% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 52% responded “Every day.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 33% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 52% responded “Very important.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 38% responded “Every day.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 48% responded “40 hours.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 37% responded “Every day.”
  • Telephone — 57% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Time Pressure — 33% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 30% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
  • Deal With External Customers — 38% responded “Important.”
  • Public Speaking — 38% responded “Every day.”
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations — 52% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 38% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — 38% responded “Every day.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 29% responded “Moderate results.”
  • Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 35% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 40% responded “Less than half the time.”
  • Deal With Physically Aggressive People — 43% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
  • Letters and Memos — 38% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”

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Experience Requirements

Job Zone

Title
Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed
Education
Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).
Related Experience
Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.
Job Training
Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.
Job Zone Examples
These occupations often involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organizational skills are required. Examples include pharmacists, lawyers, astronomers, biologists, clergy, physician assistants, and veterinarians.
SVP Range
Over 4 years of preparation (8.0 and above)

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Training & Credentials

State training
Local training
Certifications
State licenses
Apprenticeships
Have a career path or location in mind? Visit Apprenticeship.gov external site to find apprenticeship opportunities near you.

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Worker Requirements

Skills

  • Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
  • Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • 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.
  • Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
  • Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • 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.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Management of Personnel Resources — Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
  • Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.

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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.
  • 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.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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Education

How much education does a new hire need to perform a job in this occupation? Respondents said:

  • 38%
     
    responded: Bachelor’s degree required
  • 33%
     
    responded: Post-baccalaureate certificate required
  • 29%
     
    responded: Master’s degree requiredmore info

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Worker Characteristics

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.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • 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 that there is a problem.
  • 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.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • 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).
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Extent Flexibility — The ability to bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
  • Gross Body Coordination — The ability to coordinate the movement of your arms, legs, and torso together when the whole body is in motion.
  • Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
  • Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
  • Stamina — The ability to exert yourself physically over long periods of time without getting winded or out of breath.
  • Static Strength — The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
  • Trunk Strength — The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without "giving out" or fatiguing.

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Interests

Interest code: SR
Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
  • Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
  • Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

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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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Work Styles

  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • 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.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
  • 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.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.

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Workforce Characteristics

Wages & Employment Trends

Median wage data for Special Education Teachers, All Other.
Employment data for Special Education Teachers, All Other.
Industry data for Special Education Teachers, All Other.
Median wages (2021)
$61,720 annual
State wages
Local wages
Employment (2021)
39,500 employees
Projected growth (2021-2031)
Average (4% to 7%)
Projected job openings (2021-2031)
3,200
State trends
Top industries (2021)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021 wage data external site and 2021-2031 employment projections external site. “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2021-2031). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

State job openings
Local job openings

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More Information

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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.

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