Special Education Teachers teach primary, middle or intermediate, and secondary school students with learning difficulties, hearing impairment and sight impairment, and promote students' social, emotional, intellectual and physical development.

    A bachelor degree in education majoring in special education is needed to work as a Special Education Teacher. Qualified teachers may complete postgraduate qualifications to specialise as a Special Education Teacher.

    Tasks

    • assessing students' abilities and limitations with regard to intellectual, physical, social and emotional disabilities, exceptional intellectual gifts, or specific problems of language and culture
    • planning, organising and implementing special programs to provide remedial or advanced tuition
    • administering various forms of assessment and interpreting the results
    • teaching basic academic subjects, and practical and self-help skills to hearing and sight impaired students
    • devising instructional materials, methods and aids to assist in training and rehabilitation
    • advising, instructing and counselling parents and teachers on the availability and use of special techniques
    • stimulating and developing interests, abilities, manual skills and coordination
    • conferring with other staff members to plan and schedule lessons for special needs students
    • preparing and maintaining student data and other records and submitting reports

    All Special Education Teachers

    • $1,914 Weekly Pay
    • Moderate Future Growth
    • Lower unemployment Unemployment
    • 21,000 workers Employment Size
    • Very high skill Skill level rating
    • 59% Full-Time Full-Time Share
    • 44 hours Average full-time
    • 46 years Average age
    • 86% female Gender Share

    The number of people working as Special Education Teachers (in their main job) is about the same as 5 years ago and is expected to grow over the next 5 years:
    from 21,000 in 2018 to 22,100 by 2023.
    Job openings can come from new jobs being created, but most come from turnover (workers leaving).
    There are likely to be around 10,000 job openings over 5 years (that's about 2,000 a year).

    • Size: This is a medium sized occupation.
    • Unemployment: Unemployment was below average in 2018.
    • Location: Special Education Teachers work in many parts of Australia. Queensland has a large share of workers.
    • Industries: Most work in the Education and Training industry.
    • Earnings: Full-time workers on an adult wage earn around $1,914 per week (higher than the average of $1,460). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
    • Full-time: More than half work full-time (59%, similar to the average of 66%), but there are many opportunities to work part-time.
    • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 44 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
    • Age: The average age is 46 years (compared to the average of 40 years). Many workers are 45 years or older (54%).
    • Gender: 86% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

    Employment Outlook

    Number of Workers

    Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2018 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2023.
    YearNumber of Workers
    200816900
    200912500
    201018000
    201119700
    201217300
    201320700
    201423200
    201520700
    201625600
    201720500
    201821000
    202322100

    Weekly Earnings

    Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

    Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours (cat. no. 6306.0), May 2018, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
    EarningsSpecial Education TeachersAll Jobs Average
    Full-Time Earnings19141460

    Main Industries

    Main Employing Industries (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
    Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
    Education and Training94.7
    Health Care and Social Assistance2.4
    Public Administration and Safety1.7
    Other Services0.6
    Other Industries0.6

    States and Territories

    • NSW

    • VIC

    • QLD

    • SA

    • TAS

    • NT

    • ACT

    Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

    Source: Based on Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    StateSpecial Education TeachersAll Jobs Average
    NSW33.031.6
    VIC20.525.6
    QLD26.920.0
    SA6.07.0
    WA8.610.8
    TAS1.82.0
    NT1.81.0
    ACT1.51.9

    Age Profile

    Age Profile (% Share)

    Source: Based on Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    Age BracketSpecial Education TeachersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    15-190.2-5.05.0
    20-242.7-9.39.3
    25-3419.2-22.922.9
    35-4423.6-22.022.0
    45-5426.0-21.621.6
    55-5914.0-9.09.0
    60-649.9-6.06.0
    65 and Over4.5-4.24.2

    Education Level

    Highest Level of Education (% Share)

    Source: ABS, ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
    Type of QualificationSpecial Education TeachersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate39.3-10.110.1
    Bachelor degree50.1-21.821.8
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma6.2-11.611.6
    Certificate III/IV1.7-21.121.1
    Year 121.7-18.118.1
    Year 110.2-4.84.8
    Year 10 and below0.8-12.512.5

    A bachelor degree in education majoring in special education is needed to work as a Special Education Teacher. Qualified teachers may complete postgraduate qualifications to specialise as a Special Education Teacher.

    Registration with the relevant state or territory board is needed to work as a Special Education Teacher.

    Checks, licences and tickets

    You may need:

    • national police check
    • working with children check
    • first aid certificate
    • training in anaphylaxis and/or asthma management

    Thinking about study or training?

    Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

    • Search and compare thousands of higher education courses, and their entry requirements from different institutions across Australia at Course Seeker website.
    • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.

    Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

    Useful links and resources


    The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

    Employers look for Special Education Teachers who are caring, compassionate and empathetic and communicate clearly, with strong people skills.

    Filter Skills & Knowledge

    Knowledge

    These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

    1. Education and Training

      80% Skill level

      Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

    2. English Language

      73% Skill level

      English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

    3. Psychology

      66% Skill level

      Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.

    4. Customer and Personal Service

      64% Skill level

      Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

    5. Mathematics

      62% Skill level

      Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 25-2053.00 - Special Education Teachers, Middle School.

    Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

    Filter Work Environment

    Demands

    The physical and social demands workers face most often are shown below.

    1. Work With Work Group or Team

      98% Important

      How important is it to work with others in a group or team?

    2. Contact With Others

      96% Important

      How much do you have contact with people (face-to-face, by telephone, or any other way)?

    3. Face-to-Face Discussions

      95% Important

      How often do you talk with people face-to-face?

    4. Electronic Mail

      90% Important

      How often do you use electronic mail?

    5. Physical Proximity

      85% Important

      How physically close are you to other people?

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 25-2053.00 - Special Education Teachers, Middle School.

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