Special Education Career Options

The need for graduates with special education training is on the rise. By 2024, it’s estimated that 522,000 special education teachers will be employed, which represents a 6 percent increase in staff since 2014, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And that’s just one of the jobs that are possible by obtaining an online master’s in education.

For those interested in this dynamic career field, Purdue University offers an Online Master of Science in Education in Special Education program with different tracks that allow students to not only get a degree, but also obtain specific licenses that provide additional job opportunities.

Here’s a list of possible careers for those who pursue an online graduate degree in special education, divided by licensed and non-licensed job titles:

Licensed Positions

Special Education Teacher
A special education teacher creates lesson plans to help disabled children from preschool to high school thrive academically and emotionally. Teachers work with students who may have learning disabilities or mental conditions, or who suffer from emotional or behavior problems.

Hospital Education Coordinator
Hospital education coordinators develop and execute education plans to keep staff well trained and patients well informed. Coordinators must keep up with federal and state education requirements, and access educational gaps that are specific to the facility.

Behavior Intervention Specialist
Behavior intervention specialists develop treatment plans to help children or adults whose behavior is disruptive to a group, like in a classroom or workplace. The specialist works to correct the problem, often creating a plan that involves help from families, schools or supervisors.

Assistive Technology Specialist
An assistive technology specialist helps a school access the technological needs of students with physical or mental disabilities, and suggests tools to maximize their learning potential.

Non-licensed Positions

Case Manager
Case managers work with individuals with disabilities and their families regarding waiver services and transition to adulthood.

Waiver Service Providers
Waiver service providers find and coordinate special programs that are funded by the federal government for children and adults who have special needs. The programs are designed to provide independence for individuals and avoid institutions.

Adult Service Providers
Adult service providers offer disabled adults direct care, or connect them with community services that can assist their needs. Providers research program options and availability, assist with paperwork, coordinate transportation and follow up with clients.

Teacher Assistant
A teacher assistant provides support in the classroom by reinforcing lesson plans with students, providing supervision, and giving direction on assignments and proper classroom etiquette.

Advocate
A special education advocate works with parents of special needs children and addresses concerns on their behalf with the local school district or service providers. Advocates often provide a voice to individuals with disabilities and their famililes who need additional support.

The Online Master of Science in Education in Special Education at Purdue University combines instructional strategies, practical experience and rigorous coursework that result in marketable career skills for program graduates. To learn more about Purdue’s Online MSEd in Special Education, visit the program’s website. Learn more or call (877) 497-5851 to speak with an admissions advisor.