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 Eugene, Oregon

Special needs teacher career and educational opportunities abound in Eugene, Oregon. There are currently 2,050 working special needs teachers in Oregon; this should grow by 8% to 2,220 working special needs teachers in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for special needs teachers are expected to grow by about 19.6%. 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 $19 per hour or $47,640 per year in Oregon, 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 Oregon and better than general Special Education category earnings nationally. Jobs in this field include: special education teacher of multi-handicapped students, reading specialist, and severe/profound mental handicaps special education teacher.

There are seven schools of higher education in the Eugene area, including one within twenty-five miles of Eugene 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, you can expect to spend about four years studying 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 Eugene 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

University of Oregon - Eugene, OR

University of Oregon, 110 Johnson Hall, Eugene, OR 97403. University of Oregon is a large university located in Eugene, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 21,435 students and an admission rate of 87%. University of Oregon has 3 areas of study related to Special Needs Teacher. They are:

  • Special Education and Teaching, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated fifty-seven and one students respectively in 2008.
  • Education/Teaching of Individuals with Multiple Disabilities, postbaccalaureate certificate which graduated 15 students in 2008.
  • Education/Teaching of Individuals in Early Childhood Special Education Programs, postbaccalaureate certificate, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated thirty-seven, one, and two 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: Eugene, Oregon

Eugene, Oregon
Eugene, Oregon photo by Ccmpg

Eugene is located in Lane County, Oregon. It has a population of over 150,104, which has grown by 8.9% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Eugene, 98, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Eugene cost $197,200 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, one hundred eighty-one new homes were constructed in Eugene, down from two hundred ninety-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Eugene are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is educational services, construction, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average commute to work is about 17 minutes. More than 37.3% of Eugene residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 15.4%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Eugene is 9.9%, which is less than Oregon's average of 10.6%.

The percentage of Eugene residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 24.5%, is less than both the national and state average. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel.

Eugene is home to the Eugene Country Club and the Balboa Park Drag Strip as well as Acorn City Park and Monroe City Park. Visitors to Eugene can choose from Hawthorn Inn & Suites, Best Value Inn and Marriott Residence Inn for temporary stays in the area.