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 Education Teachers in Portland, Maine

If you want to be a special education teacher, the Portland, Maine area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. About 510 people are currently employed as special education teachers in Maine. By 2016, this is expected to grow 6% to about 550 people employed. This is not quite as good as 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 $43,523 per year in Maine, and an average of $22 per hour or $49,620 per year nationwide. Special education teachers earn less than people working in the category of Special Education generally in Maine and more than people in the Special Education category nationally. People working as special education teachers can fill a number of jobs, such as: hearing impaired teacher , learning disabilities teacher , and special education collaborative program teacher.

The Portland area is home to twenty-three schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of Portland where you can get a degree as a special education teacher. The most common level of education for special education teachers is a Bachelor's degree. You can expect to spend about four years studying to be 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 Portland 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 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

University of Southern Maine - Portland, ME

University of Southern Maine, 96 Falmouth St, Portland, ME 04103. University of Southern Maine is a large university located in Portland, Maine. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 9,930 students and an admission rate of 82%. University of Southern Maine has a master's degree program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated forty students in 2008.

University of Maine at Farmington - Farmington, ME

University of Maine at Farmington, 224 Main St, Farmington, ME 04938-9978. University of Maine at Farmington is a small university located in Farmington, Maine. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,191 students and an admission rate of 68%. University of Maine at Farmington has a bachelor's degree program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated one student in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Portland, Maine

Portland, Maine
Portland, Maine photo by Pauk

Portland is situated in Cumberland County, Maine. It has a population of over 62,561, which has shrunk by 2.6% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Portland, 102, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Portland are priced at $164,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, twenty-three new homes were built in Portland, down from thirty-two the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Portland are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, accommodation and food services, and construction. The average commute to work is about 19 minutes. More than 36.4% of Portland residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 13.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Portland is 6.3%, which is less than Maine's average of 7.6%. About 14.1% of Portland's residents are below the poverty line, which is worse than the state average.

The percentage of Portland residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 40.4%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Mariners Church, Swedenborgian Church and Stroudwater Christian Church are among the churches located in Portland. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Church of Christ and the United Methodist Church.

Portland is home to the Cumberland Wharf and the Browns Wharf as well as Longfellow Square and Hadlock Field. Shopping centers in the area include Mill Creek Shopping Center, Monument Square Shopping Center and Portland East Shopping Center. Visitors to Portland can choose from Motel 6, Fairfield Inn Portland Airport and Ramada Limited Portland for temporary stays in the area.