Popular Careers

Career Development

Career development resources for aspiring professionals.

Career Change Center

Career change guides, tutorials and resources for professionals in transition.

Job Search Resources

Job search resources, websites, guides and directories for job seekers.


Career and Education Opportunities for Special Needs Teachers in Miami, Florida

There are many career and education opportunities for special needs teachers in the Miami, Florida area. There are currently 10,320 working special needs teachers in Florida; this should grow by 30% to 13,450 working special needs teachers in the state by 2016. This is better than the national trend for special needs teachers, which sees this job pool growing by about 19.6% over the next eight years. In general, special needs teachers teach elementary and preschool school subjects to educationally and physically handicapped students.

The average wage in the general category of Special Education jobs is $24 per hour or $50,077 per year in Florida, and an average of $22 per hour or $49,620 per year nationwide. Earnings for special needs teachers are better than earnings in the general category of Special Education in Florida and better than general Special Education category earnings nationally. People working as special needs teachers can fill a number of jobs, such as: behavior specialist, teacher, and teacher of the speech and hearing handicapped.

The Miami area is home to ninety-eight schools of higher education, including eight within twenty-five miles of Miami where you can get a degree as a special needs teacher. Given that the most common education level for special needs teachers is a Bachelor's degree, you can expect to spend about four years training to become a special needs teacher if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Special Needs Teacher

In general, special needs teachers teach elementary and preschool 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 needs teachers attend staff meetings and serve on committees, as required. They also maintain accurate and complete student records and ready reports on children and activities, as required by laws and administrative regulations. Equally important, special needs teachers have to attend professional meetings and teacher training workshops to maintain and improve professional competence. They are often called upon to teach socially acceptable behavior, employing techniques such as behavior modification and positive reinforcement. They are expected to talk with other staff members to develop and schedule lessons promoting learning, following approved curricula. Finally, special needs teachers modify the general education curriculum for special-needs students based upon a variety of instructional techniques and technologies.

Every day, special needs teachers are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they understand what others are saying to them even in a noisy environment.

It is important for special needs teachers to teach students personal development skills such as goal setting and self-advocacy. They are often called upon to perform administrative duties such as assisting in school libraries, hall and cafeteria monitoring, and bus loading and unloading. They also guide and counsel students with adjustment or academic problems, or special academic interests. They are sometimes expected to collaborate with other teachers and administrators in the development and revision of preschool or elementary school programs. Somewhat less frequently, special needs teachers are also expected to administer standardized ability and achievement tests and interpret results to establish students' strengths and areas of need.

Special needs teachers sometimes are asked to supervise and plan assignments for teacher assistants and volunteers. They also have to be able to visit schools to tutor students with sensory impairments and to confer with teachers regarding students' special needs and modify the general education curriculum for special-needs students based upon a variety of instructional techniques and technologies. And finally, they sometimes have to decide on, order, issue, and inventory classroom equipment and supplies.

Like many other jobs, special needs teachers must have exceptional integrity and believe in cooperation and coordination.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Miami include:

  • Adult Education Teacher. Teach or instruct out-of-school youths and adults in remedial education classes, preparatory classes for the General Educational Development test, literacy, or English as a Second Language. Teaching may or may not take place in a traditional educational institution.
  • 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 Education Teacher. Teach middle 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 Needs Teacher Training

Saint Thomas University - Miami Gardens, FL

Saint Thomas University, 16401 NW 37th Ave, Miami Gardens, FL 33054-6459. Saint Thomas University is a small university located in Miami Gardens, Florida. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,381 students and an admission rate of 65%. Saint Thomas University has a postbaccalaureate certificate and a master's degree program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated two and thirty-four students respectively in 2008.

Miami Dade College - Miami, FL

Miami Dade College, 300 NE 2nd Ave., Miami, FL 33132-2297. Miami Dade College is a large college located in Miami, Florida. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 57,106 students. Miami Dade College has 2 areas of study related to Special Needs Teacher. They are:

  • Special Education and Teaching, bachelor's degree which graduated 53 students in 2008.
  • Education/Teaching of Individuals with Hearing Impairments, Including Deafness, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated eleven and nineteen students respectively in 2008.

Carlos Albizu University-Miami Campus - Miami, FL

Carlos Albizu University-Miami Campus, 2173 N.W. 99th Avenue, Miami, FL 33172-2209. Carlos Albizu University-Miami Campus is a small university located in Miami, Florida. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,094 students and an admission rate of 83%. Carlos Albizu University-Miami Campus has a master's degree program in Special Education and Teaching, Other Specialties which graduated twenty-one students in 2008.

Nova Southeastern University - Fort Lauderdale, FL

Nova Southeastern University, 3301 College Ave, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314-7796. Nova Southeastern University is a large university located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 27,518 students and an admission rate of 45%. Nova Southeastern University has 3 areas of study related to Special Needs Teacher. They are:

  • Special Education and Teaching, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and post-master's certificate which graduated eighteen, thirty-six, and one students respectively in 2008.
  • Education/Teaching of the Gifted and Talented, master's degree and post-master's certificate which graduated 175 and 165 students respectively in 2008.
  • Education/Teaching of Individuals with Specific Learning Disabilities, bachelor's degree which graduated 8 students in 2008.

University of Miami - Coral Gables, FL

University of Miami, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL 33124. University of Miami is a large university located in Coral Gables, Florida. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 15,323 students and an admission rate of 39%. University of Miami has 3 areas of study related to Special Needs Teacher. They are:

  • Special Education and Teaching, bachelor's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.
  • Education/Teaching of Individuals with Multiple Disabilities, master's degree which graduated 26 students in 2008.
  • Education/Teaching of Individuals in Early Childhood Special Education Programs, master's degree which graduated 17 students in 2008.

Barry University - Miami, FL

Barry University, 11300 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33161-6695. Barry University is a medium sized university located in Miami, Florida. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 8,364 students and an admission rate of 60%. Barry University has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Special Education and Teaching, Other Specialties which graduated thirty-one, forty-eight, and fifteen students respectively in 2008.

Florida Memorial University - Miami Gardens, FL

Florida Memorial University, 15800 NW 42 Ave, Miami Gardens, FL 33054-6199. Florida Memorial University is a small university located in Miami Gardens, Florida. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,813 students and an admission rate of 40%. Florida Memorial University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Special Education and Teaching, Other Specialties which graduated nine and twenty-seven students respectively in 2008.

Florida International University - Miami, FL

Florida International University, 11200 S. W. 8 Street, Miami, FL 33199. Florida International University is a large university located in Miami, Florida. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 34,159 students and an admission rate of 44%. Florida International University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated twenty-nine and nineteen students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Adapted Physical Educator: Persons who are eligible to become a CAPE fall into three categories; Recently graduated, qualified Physical Education Teachers; Professional Physical Educators (> 10 years full time experience); and Academics.

For more information, see the National Consortium on Physical Education and Recreation for Individuals with Disabilities website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Miami, Florida

Miami, Florida
Miami, Florida photo by Averette

Miami is located in Miami-Dade County, Florida. It has a population of over 413,201, which has grown by 14.0% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Miami, 140, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Miami cost $273,500 on average, which is near the state average. In 2008, thirty-seven new homes were built in Miami, down from seventy-three the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Miami are health care, accommodation and food services, and educational services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average travel time to work is about 28 minutes. More than 16.2% of Miami residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.7%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Miami is 12.5%, which is greater than Florida's average of 11.3%.

The percentage of Miami residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 39.6%, is less than both the national and state average. Church of Resurrection, Church of the Ascension and Church of the Incarnation are all churches located in Miami. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the Seventh-Day Adventist Church.

Miami is home to the Edison West Little River Neighborhood Center and the Miamarina South Pier Light as well as Belle Meade Park and 54th Street Mini Park. Shopping malls in the area include Central Shopping Center, Northside Mall and Northside Shopping Center. Visitors to Miami can choose from AmeriSuites Miami / Kendall, Four Seasons Hotel Miami and Airways Airport Inn & Suites for temporary stays in the area.