A career in special education is most suited for those who have an incredible passion for teaching and love as well as concern for children with special needs. Special education means a personalised schooling given to children with different disabilities both physical and mental. Children with such disabilities need special training and instruction by well-trained professionals in the field of special education. Special education offers different career opportunities including teaching, instruction and curriculum development for children with special needs and adults. The major responsibility of special educator is to teach and interact with children who have a variety of disabilities. The special educators are trained in specific disabilities that include learning disabilities, speech or language impairments, visual impairments etc.
For taking up Diploma in Special Education course, a pass in Class 12 with minimum qualifying percentage/ grade/ marks is mandatory.
For pursuing B.Ed course in Special Education, UG degree from any stream with minimum qualifying marks is mandatory.
Students can also take up certificate courses to get mastery over several techniques in special education. However, certificate courses are just to enhance knowledge and qualification.
Unlike other careers or professions, the job profiles for special educators are quite different. Special educators are engaged in schools that provide education students with special needs. However, the teachers are divided into various categories based on their qualification and experience. Some of the job profiles of special educators can be checked below.
Special Educator for Early/ Pre-KG to Class 12: Special educators in this role work with children and youth who have a variety of disabilities. Teachers at this level instruct students at elementary, middle school and secondary school level. They work with children with mild to moderate disabilities.
Special Educator for High-Incidence Disabilities: The responsibility of these teachers is to work with students suffering from high-incidence disabilities such as speech-language disorders, behavioural disorders and learning disabilities.
Special Educator for Low-Incidence Disabilities/ Sensory Development: These teachers work with children/ students who have more significant physical needs or cognitive needs. These teachers focus on imparting basic literacy and functional skills for daily life.
Special Educator for Emotional or Behavioural Disorders: Special educators who specialise in emotional or behavioural disorders work with children or students who exhibit a diverse range of characteristics including anxiety disorders, conduct disorders, depression, attention deficit, hyperactivity disorders etc.
Special Educator for Autism Spectrum Disorders: These teachers work with children/ students identified on the autism spectrum that include disorders relating to communication delays, inability to relate to others and social situations etc.
Special Educator in College/ University: These teachers teach students with special needs beyond school education.
Special educators can get jobs in schools that work only with children with diverse disabilities. They can also get employment in inclusive schools that enrol children with special needs in their classrooms.
Special educators who mastered in several techniques of special education can get associated with consultants attached with schools or start their own therapy centres after acquiring necessary certifications.
Special educators can also work with physiotherapists, psychologists and speech therapists. Jobs for special educators are available in both government and private sector either with a group of students or on the individual basis. They can also find employment in rehabilitation centres.
It is difficult to grade companies or agencies that recruit special educators. Special educators can find employment in: -
Schools for Disabled Children
Special Educator Teacher in B.Ed Colleges
Hospitals that treat Children with Special Needs
Consultancies that provide Special Education Trainers to Schools
Unlike other professions, the starting salary that a special educator earns is very less. The salary of special educators can be checked below.
Starting Salary per annum (in INR)
Mid Level Salary per annum (in INR)
Senior Level Salary per annum (In INR)
Special Educators in Schools (KG to Class 12)
Special Educator for High Incidence Disability
Special Educator for Low Incidence Disability
Special Educator for Emotional or Behavioural Disorders
Note: The above figures are an estimate and may vary from individual to individual and company to company.
Here is the list of some of the top special education books for enhancing your skills and knowledge in the field of special education: -
A Mind at a Time by Mel Levine
Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids by Chris Biffle
The Complete Learning Disabilities Handbook by John M Harwell and Rebecca Williams Jackson
Using Technology to Engage Students with Learning Disabilities by Billy Karkower and Sharon LePage Plante
There’s a Boy in Here: Emerging from the Bonds of Autism by Judy Barron and Sean Barron
The working hours are less in the field of special education than other fields.
Special educators have more flexibility and freedom with regard to their work.
The salary paid to special educators is less in India.
There is less scope for promotion, upgrading to senior level posts etc.
One can enter into the field of special education after completing Class 12. Numerous colleges in India offer Diploma course in Special Education and B.Ed in Special Education.
Subjects Combination: There is not any specific subject combination required in Class 12 to become a special educator. Students from any stream in Class 12 are eligible to take up courses in special education.
There are some renowned institutions from where a special educator aspirant can pursue the course like MJP Rohilkhand University Bareilly, Ishraji Devi Shikshan Sansthan Allahabad, Ashray Trust Centre for Rehabilitation Mumbai etc.
The average salary package of special educators abroad ranges between USD 50,000/- and USD 60,000/- per annum.
A French physician, Jean-Marc Gaspard Itard is the father of special education.
Special educators in India get paid in the range of INR 3 LPA to INR 4 LPA on an average basis.
Career in Special Education is a satisfying option as long as you keep on learning and improving your knowledge and skills
Special education is divided into 13 categories.
Lack of parental support, professional isolation, dealing with multiple disabilities etc are some of the most common disadvantages a special educator faces.
Being a special educator is a challenging task rather than a hard task.
A special educator must be even-tempered, adaptable, calm, highly intuitive and creative in a long list of must-have qualities.
After completing the class XIIth education, the candidates can either take admission into the special education diploma programmes or B.Ed in special education programme from a recognised university.