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Career and Education Opportunities for Special Education Teachers in Seattle, Washington

Special education teacher career and educational opportunities abound in Seattle, Washington. About 1,710 people are currently employed as special education teachers in Washington. By 2016, this is expected to grow 16% to 1,980 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 $20 per hour or $49,857 per year in Washington, 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 Washington and more than people in the Special Education category nationally. People working as special education teachers can fill a number of jobs, such as: blind teacher, behaviorally-emotionally disabled teacher , and remedial reading, math, or other subject teacher.

The Seattle area is home to sixty-five schools of higher education, including four within twenty-five miles of Seattle 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 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 Seattle 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

Seattle Pacific University - Seattle, WA

Seattle Pacific University, 3307 3rd Ave W, Seattle, WA 98119-1997. Seattle Pacific University is a small university located in Seattle, Washington. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,891 students and an admission rate of 84%. Seattle Pacific University has a bachelor's degree program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated two students in 2008.

City University of Seattle - Bellevue, WA

City University of Seattle, 11900 NE First Street, Bellevue, WA 98005. City University of Seattle is a small university located in Bellevue, Washington. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 2,489 students. City University of Seattle has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated forty-eight and two students respectively in 2008.

University of Washington-Seattle Campus - Seattle, WA

University of Washington-Seattle Campus, 1400 NE Campus Parkway, Seattle, WA 98195-4550. University of Washington-Seattle Campus is a large university located in Seattle, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 39,675 students and an admission rate of 61%. University of Washington-Seattle Campus has a master's degree and a doctor's degree program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated thirty-four and two students respectively in 2008.

Seattle University - Seattle, WA

Seattle University, 900 Broadway, Seattle, WA 98122-4340. Seattle University is a medium sized university located in Seattle, Washington. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,560 students and an admission rate of 65%. Seattle University has a master's degree program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated two students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Seattle, Washington

Seattle, Washington
Seattle, Washington photo by Dschwen

Seattle is located in King County, Washington. It has a population of over 598,541, which has grown by 6.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Seattle, 126, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Seattle are valued at $206,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, five hundred ninety-five new homes were built in Seattle, down from seven hundred seventy-five the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Seattle are health care, professional, scientific, and technical services, and educational services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, construction, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 47.2% of Seattle residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 17.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Seattle is 7.8%, which is less than Washington's average of 8.7%.

The percentage of Seattle residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Seattle is home to the Berth 5 and the Akli Point Lighthouse as well as Lincoln Park and Myrtle Edwards Park. Shopping centers in the area include Lake City Shopping Center, Westwood Village Shopping Center and Oak Tree Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Seattle can choose from A-1 Motel, Arlington Suites and Marriott Sea-Tac Airport for temporary stays in the area.