Certified Reading Specialist Certification, Salary and Career Facts

Reading specialist certification is an advanced certification for licensed teachers who want to focus on reading education and literacy. Review the qualifications for earning this certification. Read about degree programs that can help you train to become a reading specialist, and find out more about the job duties for this position. Check out the salary potential for certified reading specialists. Schools offering Teaching - Elementary Reading & Literacy degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

How Do I Become a Certified Reading Specialist?

You could complete a post-baccalaureate or certificate program that leads to certification as a reading specialist. Some Master of Education in Reading Education or Literacy programs include reading specialist certification as part of their curriculum. You may need a teaching license in order to enroll in a master's program; 2-3 years of classroom teaching experience in addition to a teaching license may be required for certification as a reading specialist.

This certification is commonly regulated by each individual state; you should check to make sure the training program you select meets your state's requirements for certification. In some states, you may need credentials other than a teacher's license - like a reading teacher license - before applying for certification as a reading specialist.

What Responsibilities Will I Have?

As a certified reading specialist, you may work with other educators and administrators at the kindergarten, elementary, junior high or high school level to coordinate educational curricula and develop reading materials for students. You might also be responsible for designing reading programs for individual schools or entire school districts, dictating school literacy policies and evaluating test scores.

Working with individual students may be another job responsibility for reading specialists; you might assess and diagnose reading difficulties in children. You could also organize efforts to help individual children or groups of children with reading comprehension.

How Much Could I Earn?

According to Payscale.com, the middle half of reading specialists earned between $38,530 and $59,673 per year as of 2011. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that kindergarten teachers earned a median annual wage of $47,830 in 2009; elementary school teachers made a median annual salary of $50,510 in the same year (www.bls.gov). The BLS also reports that middle school teachers made a median annual wage of $50,770 in 2009; during that year, high school teachers earned a median annual salary of $52,200.

Reading specialists with administrative experience as well as a master's degree may find work as instructional coordinators. According to the BLS, the number of employed instructional coordinators was expected to increase by 23% from 2008-2018. In 2009, instructional coordinators earned a median annual salary of $58,780.

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