Special Education Teacher Certification & Requirements in Texas

Special education teachers focus on educating students with special needs, such as developmental disabilities, physical disabilities, and autism. Read more about the education, exam, and application requirements so you can prepare to become a Texas certified special education teacher. Schools offering Emotional & Behavioral Disorders degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Texas Special Education Teacher Career Information

Texas teachers with special education certification can teach students of all levels, from early childhood to grade 12, once they complete a teacher preparation program and pass certification exams. To find out more about the requirements to receive this certification, continue reading below.

Education Required Bachelor's degree and state-approved educator preparation program
Exam Requirements TExES Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities (EC-12); TExES Special Education (EC-12)
License Renewal Period Five years
CEU Credits Required for Renewal 150 hours of continuing professional education
Texas Special Education Teacher Average Salary (2018) $51,010 (preschool); $57,770 (elementary school); $56,960 (middle school); $58,570 (high school)*
Texas Estimated Job Growth (2016-2026) 20.6% (preschool); 19.9% (kindergarten & elementary school); 20.1% (middle school); 20.0% (high school)**

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), **Texas Workforce Commission

Meet Education Requirements

Prospective special education teachers must have a minimum of a bachelor's degree to receive certification. Students generally major in special education, a program that allows them to earn a bachelor's degree while also fulfilling the requirement to complete a state-approved educator preparation program.

This major typically includes coursework in such topics as issues in special education, classroom management, and reading methods. Students also take advanced coursework specific to teaching students with special needs. Examples include assessment of students with disabilities, teaching math to students with disabilities, and teaching students with autism. Students also take part in a fieldwork practicum in a local school. The fieldwork gives students an opportunity to apply the skills they gain in coursework to a real classroom setting as student teachers.

Complete Exam Requirements

Approval from a student's educator preparation program is required before taking certification exams. There are two exams required to obtain certification as a special education teacher: TExES Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities (EC-12), and TExES Special Education (EC-12).

The Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities test consists of 100 multiple-choice questions. This computer-based test covers education topics, such as curriculum development, student assessment, professional responsibilities as a teacher, and classroom management.

The Special Education test is a computer-based test consisting of 150 selected-response questions. This test includes questions on understanding and evaluating students with disabilities, promoting student achievements, professional responsibilities, and promoting student learning.

The Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities and Special Education tests both require a score of 240 to pass.

Send in Your Application

To apply for teacher certification, submit a completed application to the Texas Education Agency. Texas requires that all teachers also complete a criminal background check and have fingerprints on file before becoming certified. Prospective teachers should verify that they have met all requirements before sending in an application.

Fulfill Renewal Requirements

The teacher certification in special education is valid for five years. Teachers are required to complete 150 hours of continuing professional education (CPE) before renewing their licenses. The CPE hours can be completed in several ways, including attending conferences, taking additional college courses, mentoring other teachers, and completing workshops. Teachers should contact the Texas Education Agency for a list of approved providers. All CPE hours must be accurately documented to receive credit. As part of the renewal process, teachers should complete an application and pay a renewal fee.

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