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General Special Education Major

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General Special Education

6,566 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
12,248 Master's Degrees Annually
#3 in Popularity
$63,110 Median Salary

Types of Degrees General Special Education Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many general special education graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Master’s Degree 12,254
Bachelor’s Degree 6,568
Graduate Certificate 1,007
Doctor’s Degree 228
Basic Certificate 164
Undergraduate Certificate 119
Associate’s Degree 74

What General Special Education Majors Need to Know

People with careers related to teaching students with disabilities were asked what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. They weighted these areas on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest.

Knowledge Areas for Teaching Students with Disabilities Majors

Teaching Students With Disabilities majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:

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  • 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.
  • 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.

Skills for Teaching Students with Disabilities Majors

A major in teaching students with disabilities prepares you for careers in which the following skill-sets are crucial:

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  • 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.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Abilities for Teaching Students with Disabilities Majors

A major in teaching students with disabilities will prepare for your careers in which the following abilities are important:

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  • 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.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

What Can You Do With a General Special Education Major?

People with a teaching students with disabilities degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Adapted Physical Education Specialists 9.9% $56,680
Special Education Teachers, Kindergarten and Elementary School 7.4% $59,390
Special Education Teachers, Middle School 7.2% $60,250
Special Education Teachers, Preschool 11.3% $55,840
Special Education Teachers, Secondary School 7.4% $60,600

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in General Special Education?

6,568 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
89% Percent Women
16% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
The major attracts more women than men. About 89% of the recent graduates in this field are female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of teaching students with disabilities majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Teaching Students with Disabilities Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 73
Black or African American 228
Hispanic or Latino 576
White 5,273
International Students 26
Other Races/Ethnicities 392

Geographic Diversity

Students from other countries are interested in Teaching Students with Disabilities, too. About 0.4% of those with this major are international students.

How Much Do General Special Education Majors Make?

Salaries According to BLS

Teaching Students With Disabilities majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $62,500 to $64,390 (25th to 75th percentile). This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a General Special Education Major  ( 62500 to 64390 )
0K
250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
0K
250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
0K
250K

Some careers associated with teaching students with disabilities require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

Find out what the typical degree level is for teaching students with disabilities careers below.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Some College Courses 0.4%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 0.6%
Bachelor’s Degree 53.0%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 15.5%
Master’s Degree 27.2%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 1.4%
First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession. 1.7%
Doctoral Degree 1.2%

Online General Special Education Programs

In the 2018-2019 academic year, 783 schools offered some type of general special education program. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 27 4
Certificate (1-2 years) 17 2
Certificate (2-4 Years) 1 0
Associate’s Degree 33 7
Bachelor’s Degree 113 32
Post-Baccalaureate 27 4
Master’s Degree 547 183
Post-Master’s 64 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 65 5
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 1 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in General Special Education Worth It?

The median salary for a teaching students with disabilities grad is $63,110 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 58% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $464,200 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to teaching students with disabilities.

Major Number of Grads
Other Special Education & Teaching 2,242
Education/Teaching of Individuals in Early Childhood Special Education Programs 2,193
Elementary Special Education 1,313
Education/Teaching of Individuals with Autism 924
Education/Teaching of Individuals with Multiple Disabilities 532
Education/Teaching of Individuals in Secondary Special Education Programs 500
Education/Teaching of Individuals with Specific Learning Disabilities 476
Education/Teaching of the Gifted & Talented 458
Education/Teaching of Individuals with Speech or Language Impairments 434
Education of the Deaf 358
Education/Teaching of Individuals Who are Developmentally Delayed 240
Education/Teaching of Individuals with Vision Impairments Including Blindness 160
Education/Teaching of Individuals with Mental Retardation 152
Education/Teaching of Individuals with Emotional Disturbances 115
Education/Teaching of Individuals with Orthopedic & Other Physical Health Impairments 63
Education/Teaching of Individuals in Junior High/Middle School Special Education Programs 56
Education/Teaching of Individuals with Traumatic Brain Injuries 9

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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