Special education teachers in the United States earn, on a median basis, $57,910. For those in Canada, mean earnings run from C$49,504 ($39,487 USD) to C$65,000 ($51,848 USD). The a special education teacher salary in the United Kingdom starts at £24,500 ($31,838 USD) and climbs to £70,750 ($91,941 USD).
In Australia, special education teachers hold a median pay of AU$60,112 ($47,601 USD). The mean is CHF75,017 ($79,333 USD) in Switzerland and NOK506,400 ($63,409 USD) in Norway.
Special Education Teacher Salary Influencers
Learn how the field of special education, the experience of teachers and where they work factor into the compensation of special education teachers. See what skills can lead to higher pay.
Special education teachers serve students that face various learning challenges. These may include dyslexia, autism, hearing or sight impairments or speech impediments. In certain places, the teacher’s experience and expertise in a particular disability might influence salaries. Skills in handling students with autism leads to 15 percent higher than mean pay for preschool and kindergarten through fifth grade special education teachers in the United States. Pay is eight percent above average for those teachers adept in handling students with behavioral issues.
Salaries also depend to a degree on the grade level of the school in which the special education teacher operates. Although specific earnings may differ by the particular school district or unit, generally the numbers are highest for special education teachers in high school, or secondary school.
Since much of education is operated by the government, the size of public funds allocated for schools shapes the pay of special education and other teachers.
2. Geographical Area
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Special Education Teacher Salary in the US
As of May 2016, the median pay for special education teachers in the United States is $57,910. The top ten percent earners made more than $93,090. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/special-education-teachers.htm#tab-5
At the kindergarten and elementary school level, special education teachers receive a mean pay of $60,090. These teachers average $61,901 in middle school and $64,020 in secondary schools, or high school.
Special Education Teacher Salary in Canada
PayScale reports a mean salary of C$65,000 for secondary school special education teachers in Canada. Total pay runs from C$31,020 to C$94,434 per year. For those in middle school, the mean stands at C$58,500, while the figure is C$49,504 in preschools, kindergarten and elementary schools. Among preschools, kindergarten and elementary school special education teacher, pay spans between C$29,160 and C$88,519.
Special Education Teacher Salary in the UK
Special education teachers in the United Kingdom fetch between £24,500 and £70,750 per year.
Special Education Teacher Salary in Australia
Overall, Australia’s special education teachers reach a median salary of AU$60,112 per year. This translates to AU$1,156 per week. Those on full-time status make AU$1,506 per week, or AU$78,312 annually.
Special Education Teacher Salary in Switzerland
SalaryExpert reports a mean salary of CHF75,017 for special education teachers in Switzerland.
Special Education Teacher Salary in Norway
According to Statistics Norway, “special needs teachers” are paid a mean salary of NOK506,400 annually, or NOK42,200 per month.
According to PayScale, U.S. teacher in special education see rises in salary especially in later years. “Late career” teachers, or those with more than 20 years of experience, enjoy pay at 26 percent above the mean. At ten years of experience, pay is 13 percent north of the mean level.
As to Canadian kindergarten and elementary special education teachers in their “late career” stages, the pay is 34 percent above the mean. Experienced ones find themselves at 13 percent more than the average salary.
For new special education teachers in the United Kingdom, salaries range from £24,500 to £35,000, with those in inner London making 40,000. These educators at the “Experienced” level earn from £38,500 to £41,250 and £50,000 in inner London. “Highly Experienced” special education teachers collect from £43,000 to £63,250 overall and £70,750 if serving in inner London.
Entry-level salaries in Switzerland run on a mean basis CHF50,000. Special education teachers who achieve at least eight years of experience reach a mean level of CHF91,554.
Generally, special education teachers are full-time workers, though part-time work has a significant presence in the profession.
Roughly 32 percent of special education teachers in Australia work part-time, below the mean proportion of all workers in Australia. Full-time teachers put in 39.3 hours per week.
Special education teachers work 37 to 39 hours per week in the United Kingdom, with that time covering three academic terms.
Teachers in special education report during day time hours and on weekdays, when schools are generally in session. Lesson planning or workshops constitute part of the noninstructional time and may happen beyond traditional school hours. In particular, teachers attending curriculum conferences or training might have weekend work.
Bonuses & Benefit Packages
PayScale says that bonuses for kindergarten and elementary school special education teachers in the United States garner bonuses between $242.40 and $6,638.
In the United Kingdom, special education teachers receive £2,085 to £4,116 in special education need (SEN) allowances as part of their pay.
Bonuses for those in Switzerland amount to CHF1,905 on average.
Special education teachers should generally experience solid prospects for finding employment. The demand will arise from the numbers of students who require special education, especially for or arising from certain conditions.
For instance, approximately one out of every 68 children in the United States is reported as having autism. The prevalence tends to be higher in certain states. In the United Kingdom, 700,000, or more than 10 percent of the population, are on the spectrum. (http://www.autism.org.uk/about/what-is/myths-facts-stats.aspx)
Norway’s educational law entitles children who are not able to learn through “ordinary” teaching methods to receive special education. These plans may involve teachers or professionals with specialized knowledge in particular learning challenges.
High-turnover and the challenges of working with special education students contribute to the demand for and shortage of special education teachers. All but one of the 50 states in the United States cited a shortage of special education teachers.
In the United States, employment of special education teachers should grow by 31,000 through 2024, representing a six percent increase from 2024. As of 2014, the United States had 491,000 special education teachers. Kindergarten and elementary schools employed the largest number, at 198,100, with the figure projected to reach 210,600 by 2024.
A 2012 report by the Government of Nova Scotia states that certain areas in Canada and in the United States have experienced difficulty recruiting special education teachers. This may suggest shortages in and a demand for these professionals.
Australia had 24,800 special education teachers in November 2015. Job Outlook Australia projects 10,001 to 25,000 openings in this field by November 2019.
Special education teachers determine their earnings based on experience, location of practice and their skills in handling particular types of learning obstacles. Higher earnings typically befall those teachers who work with higher grade-level students, such as those in middle and high school. Chances for finding work appear healthy, as the special education field experiences considerable turnover and shortages in many places.