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Special Education Teacher in Texas: Job Description & Salary

Special education teachers in Texas provide educational support for students with disabilities. Read further to learn about the duties of a special education teacher and average salary.

Career Overview

Special education teachers instruct students with a wide range of disabilities. These teachers go through special training to learn how to best help their students learn. The chart below shows the education requirements, certification exams, job duties, and salary of special education teachers in Texas.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree
Certification Exam Options TExES Special Education: EC-Grade 12; TExES Special Education Supplemental tests; TExES PPR EC-12; Additional certification tests available for working with visually impaired and hard of hearing students
Key Responsibilities Assess educational needs of students with disabilities, adapt lesson plans to meet needs, teach students with disabilities
Median Salary (May 2018) $57,770 (kindergarten and elementary school), $56,960 (middle school), $58,570 (secondary school)*
Job Growth (2016-2026) 8% (special education teachers nationwide)*

*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS)

What Are the Job Duties of a Special Education Teacher?

Special education teachers are responsible for the education of students with mental, emotional, physical, and learning disabilities. For this reason, teachers must develop an individualized education program (IEP) for each student. Depending on the disability of a student teachers may be required to teach skills not normally covered in a classroom setting such as basic life skills. Additionally, teachers must help students prepare for life outside of school post-graduation. Special education teachers who work in inclusive classrooms aid general education teachers in adapting their lessons for the needs of their students with disabilities.

What Are the Certification Requirements to Become a Special Education Teacher in Texas?

At a minimum special education teachers must have a bachelor's degree and certification or licensing requirements of the state in which one will be teaching. This is a federal regulation. Texas requires that teachers complete the following certification steps:

  • Earn a bachelor's degree
  • Complete an educator preparation program (EPP)
  • Pass TExES Special Education: Early Childhood-Grade 12 test
  • Pass TExES Special Education Supplemental test
  • Pass TExES Professional Responsibilities Early Childhood-Grade 12 test (for some specialities)
  • Pass additional certification tests for teaching visually impaired and hard of hearing students (optional)
  • Undergo fingerprinting

Do Special Education Teachers Work One-on-One With Students?

Depending on the nature of a student's disability they may need one-on-one attention from their teacher. However, special education teachers may also teach groups of students in a more traditional classroom arrangement. Classes for visually impaired or hard of hearing students may resemble classes for students without disabilities but with the inclusion of adaptive technology.

What Age Are Special Education Students?

Students in special education can be anywhere from preschool aged to 21 years old. Students who remain in education until age 21 typically have more severe disabilities and are more likely to require instruction in basic life skills. Special education teachers, like general education teachers, can specialize in areas such as early childhood education if you are interested in working with younger children with disabilities.

What Personal Traits Does a Special Education Teacher Need?

Special education is a field with a high turnover rate. This is because the work can be both emotionally and physically draining. Teachers who intend to remain in the field for the duration of their careers need to be resilient. Teachers also need to be extremely patient and able to adapt to changing circumstances.