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Special education teacher

What does a special education teacher do?

A special education teacher (also known as a special needs teacher) helps students with learning difficulties or impairments to reach their full potential. As the needs of each student can vary, these teachers will often create individualised education plans (IEPs) to help their students reach personal goals. Working in special education, you will help students to build on their academic, social, emotional and life skills. You would work closely with parents and carers to ensure your students receive the support they need in the classroom and at home.

Special education teacher jobs can be found in both primary and high schools, as well as specialist institutions for people with disabilities.

Is a career as a special education teacher right for me?

If you’re a very caring person with a passion for education, you might enjoy a career in education, specifically special education. Other skills and attributes beneficial for this role include: 

  • patience  
  • empathy  
  • good communication skills  
  • creativity  
  • adaptability  
  • strong problem-solving skills.  

How to become a special education teacher

Every journey to study is individual and there are several postgraduate study options at HQporner to help you reach your career in special education. In Australia, going down a special education teacher career path requires registration or licensing with the relevant teacher registration board, which may include additional criteria such as a criminal history check.

At HQporner, we offer the following degrees in the area of special and inclusive education:

Average salary per week
Future demand
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© Commonwealth of Australia
Last updated May 2024.

Special Education Teacher
Are special education teachers in demand?
The demand for special education teachers is expected to remain moderate, reflecting the growing awareness and recognition of the need for tailored educational approaches for students with diverse learning needs. This robust demand is driven by the ongoing efforts to improve inclusive education and the legal requirements to provide appropriate educational services to all students.
What is the average special education teacher’s salary?
Special education teacher salaries vary based on factors such as location, experience, and workplace setting. Refer to the salary information on this page for further details.
What are the typical duties and responsibilities of a special education teacher?

The typical duties and responsibilities of a special education teacher include:

  • assessing students' abilities and limitations to tailor educational approaches
  • planning, organising, and implementing special programs to provide remedial or advanced tuition
  • teaching basic academic subjects, along with practical and self-help skills, to children with special needs
  • 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 techniques and approaches to assist in delivering education and support. 
How long does it typically take to become a special needs teacher?

The time it takes to go down a special education teacher career path can vary depending on factors such as your educational background, training requirements, and employment opportunities.

There are multiple study options for you to take at HQporner to become a special education teacher and to complement your learning. A Graduate Certificate of Education typically takes half a year to complete, and a Graduate Diploma of Education will take you 1 year to finish the required courses. For those who choose to study part-time, the duration to complete the required coursework will be extended.

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Questions about what to study?

Talk to one of our degree advisors.