The Top States for Special Education Teachers

Several states are suffering through teaching shortages and this lack of talented and passionate is especially felt in many special education classrooms. Special education teachers are the lifeblood of several school districts; their specialized skill set is invaluable, especially now that more children and parents are seeking the services of these dedicated professionals.

If you’re presently in the field, or plan to earn a special education degree , there are several states that desperately need your talents and will pay you a premium for your services.


A traditional Bachelor’s degree in Education is required for PA teacher certification. The state won’t grant licensure for teachers with an emergency or alternative teaching certificate. An extensive background check is required for teaching candidates in Pennsylvania, including those seeking employment as a special education teacher. The average special education teacher’s salary in Pennsylvania is $57,020.


Many states require their special education instructors hold at least a Master’s degree in the field. If you currently hold a Bachelor’s degree, and want to continue your education, consider seeking employment in Maryland. Not only is the average starting salary for the state very competitive at $42,297, school districts must legally pay their educators according to the state’s minimum salary levels. Meaning if you hold a Master’s degree, the district will pay you accordingly. If you’re willing, many times the state will even pay for special education teachers to earn a Master’s degree or Ph.D., which in turn translates into a notable salary jump.


Once again, the perks for special education teachers abound in a state that is desperately looking to hire well-qualified and motivated candidates. Illinois is currently in the grips of a major teaching shortage. Many districts are despairing for well-educated special education teachers. In an attempt to combat this insufficiency, several Illinois school districts are offering a competitive base salary to entice special education professionals. In addition, the state is offering a program that reimburses college students that study special education. In many instances, the students attending eligible institutions are compensated for all four years of schooling.

When making a final decision on your special education career’s future, look beyond a particular state’s starting salary or perks. There are several urban and rural areas desperate for passionate educators in this specific field, and all are worthy of your skills and expertise. Ultimately, making a connection with those children and helping improve their quality of life is the best reward of all.