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Career and Education Opportunities for Special Education Teachers in Birmingham, Alabama

Special education teacher career and educational opportunities abound in Birmingham, Alabama. There are currently 1,090 jobs for special education teachers in Alabama and this is projected to grow 24% to about 1,360 jobs by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for special education teachers are expected to grow by about 18.1%. Special education teachers generally teach middle school subjects to educationally and physically handicapped students.

The average wage in the general category of Special Education jobs is $19 per hour or $44,137 per year in Alabama, and an average of $22 per hour or $49,620 per year nationwide. Special education teachers earn more than people working in the category of Special Education generally in Alabama and more than people in the Special Education category nationally. Jobs in this field include: early intervention specialist, handicapped teacher, and physically impaired teacher.

The Birmingham area is home to fifteen schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of Birmingham where you can get a degree as a special education teacher. Special education teachers usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so you can expect to spend about four years training to become a special education teacher if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Special Education Teacher

In general, special education teachers teach middle school subjects to educationally and physically handicapped students. They also includes teachers who specialize and work with audibly and visually handicapped students and those who teach basic academic and life processes skills to the mentally impaired.

Special education teachers attend professional meetings and teacher training workshops to maintain and improve professional competence. They also talk with parents or guardians and administrators to deal with students' behavioral and academic problems. Equally important, special education teachers have to establish and enforce rules for behavior and policies and procedures to maintain order among students. They are often called upon to meet with parents and guardians to consider their children's progress and to establish priorities for their children and their resource needs. They are expected to talk with parents and professionals to evolve individual educational plans designed to promote students' educational and social development. Finally, special education teachers perform administrative duties such as assisting in school libraries, hall and cafeteria monitoring, and bus loading and unloading.

Every day, special education teachers are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for special education teachers to monitor teachers and teacher assistants to insure that they adhere to inclusive special education program requirements. They are often called upon to organize and supervise games and other recreational activities to promote physical and social development. They also supervise and plan assignments for teacher assistants and volunteers. They are sometimes expected to instruct students in daily living skills required for independent maintenance and self-sufficiency, such as hygiene and food preparation. Somewhat less frequently, special education teachers are also expected to attend professional meetings and teacher training workshops to maintain and improve professional competence.

Special education teachers sometimes are asked to ready materials and classrooms for class efforts. and observe and evaluate students' performance and physical health. And finally, they sometimes have to guide and counsel students with adjustment or academic problems, or special academic interests.

Like many other jobs, special education teachers must have exceptional integrity and have strong self control in the face of challenging situations.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Birmingham include:

  • High School Special Education Teacher. Teach secondary school subjects to educationally and physically handicapped students. Includes teachers who specialize and work with audibly and visually handicapped students and those who teach basic academic and life processes skills to the mentally impaired.
  • Kindergarten Teacher. Teach elemental natural and social science, personal hygiene, and literature to children from 4 to 6 years old. Promote physical, mental, and social development. May be required to hold State certification.
  • Special Needs Teacher. Teach elementary and preschool school subjects to educationally and physically handicapped students. Includes teachers who specialize and work with audibly and visually handicapped students and those who teach basic academic and life processes skills to the mentally impaired.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Special Education Teacher Training

Samford University - Birmingham, AL

Samford University, 800 Lakeshore Drive, Birmingham, AL 35229-2240. Samford University is a small university located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,469 students and an admission rate of 89%. Samford University has a master's degree program in Education/Teaching of the Gifted and Talented which graduated seven students in 2008.

University of Alabama at Birmingham - Birmingham, AL

University of Alabama at Birmingham, Administration Bldg Suite 1070, Birmingham, AL 35294-0110. University of Alabama at Birmingham is a large university located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 16,149 students and an admission rate of 85%. University of Alabama at Birmingham has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated nine and thirty students respectively in 2008.

LICENSES

Teacher, Classroom

Licensing agency: AL Department of Education
Address: P O Box 302101, Montgomery, AL 36130-2101

Phone: (334) 353-8567
Website: AL Department of Education

LOCATION INFORMATION: Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham, Alabama photo by Eric_in_SF

Birmingham is located in Jefferson County, Alabama. It has a population of over 228,798, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Birmingham, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Birmingham cost $187,300 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, one hundred thirty-two new homes were built in Birmingham, down from two hundred thirty-two the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Birmingham are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 24 minutes. More than 18.5% of Birmingham residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Birmingham is 12.5%, which is greater than Alabama's average of 10.7%.

The percentage of Birmingham residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 60.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Williams Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Westminister Presbyterian Church and West End Methodist Church are all churches located in Birmingham. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Birmingham is home to the Mineral Park Municipal Golf Course and the Cooper Green Golf Course as well as Avondale Mills Park and Smithfield Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Acipco Shopping Center, Altadena Square Shopping Center and Parkway East Huffman Shopping Center. Visitors to Birmingham can choose from Marriott Hotel Birmingham, Rime Garden Extended Stay Suites and Studioplus for temporary stays in the area.