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 or higher is required. Nearly all workers have a university degree. Sometimes relevant experience or on-the-job training is also needed. Registration with the relevant state or territory board of education may be required.

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

Job Titles

  • Special Needs Teacher
  • Teacher of the Hearing Impaired
  • Teacher of the Sight Impaired
  • Other Special Education Teachers
  • Special Needs Teacher

    Teaches academic and living skills to primary, middle or intermediate, and secondary school students with particular learning difficulties using various techniques. Registration or licensing is required.

    Specialisations: Behaviour Support Teacher, Remedial Teacher, Teacher of Gifted Students

  • Teacher of the Hearing Impaired

    Teaches academic and living skills to hearing impaired students. Registration or licensing is required.

  • Teacher of the Sight Impaired

    Teaches academic and living skills to sight impaired students. Registration or licensing is required.

  • Other Special Education Teachers

    Includes Aboriginal Education Teacher, Distance Education Teacher. Registration or licensing is required.

Fast Facts

  • $1,506 Weekly Pay
  • 21,000 workers Employment Size
  • Moderate Future Growth
  • Very high skill Skill level rating
  • Average unemployment Unemployment
  • 60.0% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 38.3 hours Average full-time
  • 45.5 years Average age
  • 85.7% female Gender Share

The number of Special Education Teachers 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 average in 2017.
  • Location: Special Education Teachers work in most regions of Australia.
  • Industries: Most work in the Education and Training industry.
  • Earnings: Full-time workers earn around $1,506 per week (higher than the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • Full-time: More than half work full-time (60%, similar to the all jobs average of 68.4%), but there are many opportunities to work part-time.
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 38.3 hours per week at work (compared to the all jobs average of 40.0 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 46 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years). Many workers are 45 years or older (54.2%).
  • Gender: 85.7% of workers are female (compared to the all jobs average of 46.7%).

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 Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015, Cat. No. 6333.0, Customised Report. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. 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 Earnings15061230

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Education and Training93.8
Public Administration and Safety2.4
Health Care and Social Assistance1.6
Other Services1.5
Other Industries0.7

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateSpecial Education TeachersAll Jobs Average
NSW36.931.6
VIC19.226.2
QLD20.019.7
SA5.26.7
WA10.810.8
TAS2.32.0
NT3.21.1
ACT2.41.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketSpecial Education TeachersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-190.6-5.25.2
20-242.1-9.99.9
25-3416.7-23.623.6
35-4426.4-21.721.7
45-5425.9-20.820.8
55-599.8-8.88.8
60-6414.3-6.06.0
65 and Over4.2-4.04.0

Education Level

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: ABS, Education and Work (2016). Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Skill level requirements can change over time, the 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 Certificate44.5-8.68.6
Bachelor degree49.8-17.917.9
Advanced Diploma/Diploma5.7-10.110.1
Certificate III/IV0-18.918.9
Year 120-18.718.7
Years 11 & 100-17.717.7
Below Year 100-8.18.1

A Bachelor Degree or higher is required. Nearly all workers have a university degree. Sometimes relevant experience or on-the-job training is also needed. Registration with the relevant state or territory board of education may be required.

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

  • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.
  • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
  • You might be interested in Training and Education and Community Services VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

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.

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  1. Education and Training

    93% Important

    Teaching and course design.

  2. English Language

    89% Important

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

  3. Psychology

    79% Important

    Human behaviour and performance; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioural and affective disorders.

  4. Clerical

    75% Important

    Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.

  5. Mathematics

    74% Important

    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 importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 25-2052.00 - Special Education Teachers, Kindergarten and Elementary 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.

Activities

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  1. Building Good Relationships

    86% Important

    Building and keeping constructive and cooperative working relationships with others.

  2. Scheduling Work and Activities

    82% Important

    Working out the timing of events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

  3. Developing Objectives and Strategies

    81% Important

    Deciding on goals and the figuring out what you need to do to achieve them.

  4. Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Staff

    81% Important

    Giving information to supervisors, co-workers, and staff by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

  5. Documenting/Recording Information

    81% Important

    Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 25-2052.00 - Special Education Teachers, Kindergarten and Elementary School.

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