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Career and Education Opportunities for Special Needs Teachers in Boston, Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for special needs teachers. There are currently 7,090 jobs for special needs teachers in Massachusetts and this is projected to grow 16% to 8,250 jobs by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for special needs teachers, which sees this job pool growing by about 19.6% over the next eight years. Special needs teachers generally teach elementary and preschool school subjects to educationally and physically handicapped students.

The average wage in the general category of Special Education jobs is $22 per hour or $54,082 per year in Massachusetts, and an average of $22 per hour or $49,620 per year nationwide. Compared with people working in the overall category of Special Education, people working as special needs teachers in Massachusetts earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Special Education nationally. People working as special needs teachers can fill a number of jobs, such as: emotionally impaired teacher, severe/profound mental handicaps special education teacher, and special day class teacher.

There are 151 schools of higher education in the Boston area, including twenty-two within twenty-five miles of Boston where you can get a degree to start your career as a special needs teacher. Given that the most common education level for special needs teachers is a Bachelor's degree, it will take about four years to learn to be 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 Boston 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

Eastern Nazarene College - Quincy, MA

Eastern Nazarene College, 23 E Elm Ave, Quincy, MA 02170-2999. Eastern Nazarene College is a small college located in Quincy, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 993 students and an admission rate of 61%. Eastern Nazarene College has 2 areas of study related to Special Needs Teacher. They are:

  • Special Education and Teaching, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Special Education and Teaching, Other Specialties, master's degree which graduated 5 students in 2008.

Worcester State College - Worcester, MA

Worcester State College, 486 Chandler St, Worcester, MA 01602-2597. Worcester State College is a medium sized college located in Worcester, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,378 students and an admission rate of 54%. Worcester State College has a postbaccalaureate certificate program in Special Education and Teaching, Other Specialties which graduated thirty-four students in 2008.

Curry College - Milton, MA

Curry College, 1071 Blue Hill Ave, Milton, MA 02186-2395. Curry College is a small college located in Milton, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,098 students and an admission rate of 67%. Curry College has a bachelor's degree program in Special Education and Teaching.

Hebrew College - Newton Centre, MA

Hebrew College, 160 Herrick Road, Newton Centre, MA 02459-2237. Hebrew College is a small college located in Newton Centre, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 146 students. Hebrew College has a postbaccalaureate certificate program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated one student in 2008.

Bridgewater State College - Bridgewater, MA

Bridgewater State College, 131 Summer Street, Bridgewater, MA 02325. Bridgewater State College is a large college located in Bridgewater, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,269 students and an admission rate of 62%. Bridgewater State College has bachelor's degree, postbaccalaureate certificate, and master's degree programs in Special Education and Teaching which graduated zero, ten, and seventy-eight students respectively in 2008.

Rivier College - Nashua, NH

Rivier College, 420 South Main St, Nashua, NH 03060. Rivier College is a small college located in Nashua, New Hampshire. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,198 students and an admission rate of 72%. Rivier College has 3 areas of study related to Special Needs Teacher. They are:

  • Education/Teaching of Individuals with Emotional Disturbances, master's degree which graduated 5 students in 2008.
  • Education/Teaching of Individuals with Specific Learning Disabilities, master's degree which graduated 9 students in 2008.
  • Education/Teaching of Individuals in Early Childhood Special Education Programs, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated fourteen and one students respectively in 2008.

Regis College - Weston, MA

Regis College, 235 Wellesley St, Weston, MA 02493-1571. Regis College is a small college located in Weston, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,599 students and an admission rate of 75%. Regis College has a master's degree program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated five students in 2008.

Cambridge College - Cambridge, MA

Cambridge College, 1000 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138. Cambridge College is a medium sized college located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 4,979 students. Cambridge College has a master's degree program in Special Education and Teaching, Other Specialties which graduated 164 students in 2008.

Gordon College - Wenham, MA

Gordon College, 255 Grapevine Rd, Wenham, MA 01984. Gordon College is a small college located in Wenham, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,700 students and an admission rate of 71%. Gordon College has a bachelor's degree program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated one student in 2008.

Salem State College - Salem, MA

Salem State College, 352 Lafayette St, Salem, MA 01970. Salem State College is a large college located in Salem, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,168 students and an admission rate of 58%. Salem State College has a master's degree program in Special Education and Teaching.

Lesley University - Cambridge, MA

Lesley University, 29 Everett St, Cambridge, MA 02138-2790. Lesley University is a medium sized university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,325 students and an admission rate of 65%. Lesley University has 2 areas of study related to Special Needs Teacher. They are:

  • Special Education and Teaching, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated zero and 115 students respectively in 2008.
  • Education/Teaching of Individuals in Early Childhood Special Education Programs, master's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.

Boston College - Chestnut Hill, MA

Boston College, 140 Commonwealth Ave, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467. Boston College is a large college located in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 14,623 students and an admission rate of 26%. Boston College has a master's degree and a post-master's certificate program in Special Education and Teaching, Other Specialties which graduated fifty-four and one students respectively in 2008.

Northeastern University - Boston, MA

Northeastern University, 360 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115-5000. Northeastern University is a large university located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 25,368 students and an admission rate of 35%. Northeastern University has a master's degree and a post-master's certificate program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated forty-four and zero students respectively in 2008.

Endicott College - Beverly, MA

Endicott College, 376 Hale St, Beverly, MA 01915. Endicott College is a small college located in Beverly, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,988 students and an admission rate of 48%. Endicott College has a master's degree program in Education/Teaching of Individuals with Multiple Disabilities which graduated three students in 2008.

Assumption College - Worcester, MA

Assumption College, 500 Salisbury St, Worcester, MA 01609-1296. Assumption College is a small college located in Worcester, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,888 students and an admission rate of 71%. Assumption College has a master's degree program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated twenty-four students in 2008.

Wheelock College - Boston, MA

Wheelock College, 200 the Riverway, Boston, MA 02215-4176. Wheelock College is a small college located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,092 students and an admission rate of 74%. Wheelock College has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated zero and twenty-seven students respectively in 2008.

Nashua Community College - Nashua, NH

Nashua Community College, 505 Amherst St, Nashua, NH 03063-1026. Nashua Community College is a small college located in Nashua, New Hampshire. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,925 students. Nashua Community College has an associate's degree program in Education/Teaching of Individuals with Speech or Language Impairments which graduated four students in 2008.

Simmons College - Boston, MA

Simmons College, 300 The Fenway, Boston, MA 02115-5898. Simmons College is a small college located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,933 students and an admission rate of 55%. Simmons College has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Special Education and Teaching which graduated one, 195, and twenty students respectively in 2008.

Fitchburg State College - Fitchburg, MA

Fitchburg State College, 160 Pearl St, Fitchburg, MA 01420-2697. Fitchburg State College is a medium sized college located in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,400 students and an admission rate of 66%. Fitchburg State College has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated eighteen and sixty-four students respectively in 2008.

Framingham State College - Framingham, MA

Framingham State College, 100 State Street, Framingham, MA 01701-9101. Framingham State College is a medium sized college located in Framingham, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,603 students and an admission rate of 56%. Framingham State College has a master's degree program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated forty-one students in 2008.

University of Massachusetts-Boston - Boston, MA

University of Massachusetts-Boston, 100 Morrissey Blvd, Boston, MA 02125-3393. University of Massachusetts-Boston is a large university located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 14,117 students and an admission rate of 63%. University of Massachusetts-Boston has 2 areas of study related to Special Needs Teacher. They are:

  • Special Education and Teaching, postbaccalaureate certificate and master's degree which graduated forty-three and fifty-two students respectively in 2008.
  • Education/Teaching of Individuals with Vision Impairments, Including Blindness, postbaccalaureate certificate which graduated 1 student in 2008.

Boston University - Boston, MA

Boston University, One Silber Way, Boston, MA 02215. Boston University is a large university located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 31,669 students and an admission rate of 59%. Boston University has 2 areas of study related to Special Needs Teacher. They are:

  • Special Education and Teaching, bachelor's degree, master's degree, post-master's certificate, and doctor's degree which graduated five, twenty-five, zero, and three students respectively in 2008.
  • Education/Teaching of Individuals with Hearing Impairments, Including Deafness, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and post-master's certificate which graduated two, eight, and one 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.

LICENSES

TEACHER, SPECIAL NEEDS: PRE-KINDERGARTEN-9 AND 5-12

Licensing agency: State Department of Education
Address: Office of Teacher Certification, 350 Main Street, PO Box 9140, Malden, MA 02148-5023

Phone: (781) 388-3300
Website: State Department of Education Office of Teacher Certification

LOCATION INFORMATION: Boston, Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts
Boston, Massachusetts photo by Ahonc

Boston is situated in Suffolk County, Massachusetts. It has a population of over 609,023, which has grown by 3.4% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Boston, 136, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Boston are valued at $216,200 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, twenty-three new homes were constructed in Boston, down from forty-eight the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Boston are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, educational services, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 29 minutes. More than 35.6% of Boston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 15.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Boston is 8.2%, which is less than Massachusetts's average of 8.4%.

The percentage of Boston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 60.0%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Brighton Congregational Church, Leslie Lindsay Chapel and Universalist Meeting House are some of the churches located in Boston. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Episcopal Church.

Boston is home to the Metropolitan Water Works Pumping Stations and the Mystic Pier 1 as well as Schoolboy Stadium and Liberty Square. Shopping centers in the area include Legion Shopping Center, Longwood Galleria Shopping Center and Neponset Circle Shopping Center. Visitors to Boston can choose from Federalist Restaurant, Eco-Logical Solutions and Omni Parker Hotel for temporary stays in the area.