Becoming a Special Education Teacher in Oregon
Teaching special education classes in Oregon requires academic and professional preparation. Learn about the degree you must earn and what types of exams you can take before getting your special education license in Oregon.
Career Information for Special Education Teachers in Oregon
Special education teachers in Oregon need a graduate-level degree to work with students who have special needs. You'll need to earn a master's degree and pass at least two exams to become eligible for a license to teach on your own.
|Education/Experience Required||Master's degree in special education, teacher preparation program|
|Exams Required||Pearson Civil and Student Rights Exam; Praxis and/or NES Content Exams in Special Education|
|License Validity||Three years for a Preliminary Teaching License|
|License Extension||Continuous three-year renewals until upgrading to a Professional Teaching License|
|Average Oregon Salary (2018)*||$76,880 for kindergarten and elementary school, $80,680 for middle school, and $84,350 for high school special education teachers|
|National Job Growth (2016-2026)*||7% for kindergarten, elementary school, middle school, and high school special education teachers|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Special education teachers from kindergarten through high school help students with various emotional, mental, and physical disabilities learn from a specially-designed curriculum that adapts to their needs. You will be in charge of creating lesson plans that help your students adjust to a classroom environment designed to accommodate their adjusted methods of learning. You may need to take individual approaches for students who have trouble in groups while creating activities that benefit everyone in your classroom. When holding conferences with parents, you can update them on each day of your students' performance and help them with the transition from school to adult life.
Education and Training Requirements
To become a special education teacher in Oregon, you will need more than just an undergraduate degree to gain a license. You can pursue a master's degree in several different areas of special education. A Master of Arts, Master of Science, or Master of Education with Endorsement in Special Education: K-12 includes all of the classes you need to become a licensed teacher, including the required student teaching experience to help expose you to a special education classroom. You could choose one of the same degrees in early intervention special education, which focuses on younger children before they enter the classroom environment. Master's programs are also available for visually impaired learners, as well as deaf/hard of hearing students. You might be able to find one of these degrees in a hybrid model, allowing you to take some of your courses online.
The exams you need to take to become a special education teacher in Oregon will depend on your specialization. To begin, every teacher in Oregon must take the Protecting Student and Civil Rights in the Educational Environment exam by Pearson, which also administers the NES exam in Special Education. Both of these exams come in multiple-choice format. Praxis offers three other exams if you have studied a specific wing of special education. You can find tests for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students, Teaching Students with Visual Impairments, and Preschool/Early Childhood.
Upon passing all your exams, fulfilling your educational requirements, and clearing a criminal background check that includes fingerprinting, you can apply for a Preliminary Teaching License from Oregon. This three-year credential can be renewed as many times as necessary, provided you enroll in a total of 75 continuing education hours during your full-time teaching employment. The next tier is the Professional Teaching License, which you can earn once you have four full-time or six part-time teaching years on your resume. This type of license gets renewed every five years after completing a total of 125 continuing education credits.