Special Education Teacher

As a special education teacher you will be working with students who have a physical or intellectual disability or other learning difficulties. Your role is to provide students with tailored learning opportunities that help them reach their full potential.

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Special Education Teacher
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What the job looks like
Salary expectation
starts at $42,000 up to $63,000+
The good
  • Seeing a student progress and learn
  • Great satisfaction from helping others
  • Being creative
The not so good
  • Can be physically and emotionally demanding
  • Having to deal with difficult situations at times

Special education teachers require patience, caring and understanding. You will be working with students who have additional learning and support needs. If you choose to specialise in special education, you will get specific training during your teaching degree at university.

Each day can be different on the job. You might be helping students with sentences, numbers and then getting involved in artwork so that students can get creative.

As a teacher, you need to have good English and math skills yourself before you can teach them to anybody else, no matter how basic you think the level needs to be. Having a well rounded knowledge of maths means you can use it in different ways and integrate it into other activities. 

You have the most important job of educating future adults so you need to be prepared to equip them with all the necessary learning and social skills. Being a special education teacher can be demanding but also incredibly rewarding as you see students progress and become more involved.

If you like helping people, are creative and enjoy working in a team, then a career as a special education teacher could be for you. 

It's rewarding to help a child achieve something their parents had thought impossible.


Pathways to this career

Subject suggestions for the HSC

Choosing your HSC subjects from this list could really help with your career. Think carefully about what you want to study after school as you might need to choose specific HSC subjects for that course and to count towards your ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admission Rank). An ATAR is your academic rank in relation to other HSC students and helps with University admission.

HSC subjects 

Some subjects will count towards your ATAR, others will not. Check with your career advisor before making subject selections.

What can I do after I have finished school?

University degrees 

Studying one of these degrees can help with your career.

Courses and qualifications 

Courses and qualifications can give you a great start.


Ask to volunteer with a community group to build experience helping others with special needs

  • See if you can volunteer with a special education teacher at a local school
  • Go to career expos and events like university Open Days for information about what you will study