There are two main steps to becoming a special education teacher. First, you’ll need to earn a bachelor’s degree in special education, which typically takes about four years. Then, you’ll need to earn your master’s degree, which takes an additional two years and enables you to work with students from kindergarten through high school.
However, before you begin studying toward your degrees, you must first complete the general education requirements for your bachelor’s. At this stage of your journey, it is important to think about what age group you want to teach. You’ll choose between early childhood education and elementary education as your concentration. Later on in the process, you’ll be able to specialise in teaching children with disabilities and special needs.
Once you have completed your general education courses, you can enroll in courses that are specific to the field of special education. These courses will provide you with the training required to meet state regulations and licensing requirements. Upon graduation, there is a set of requirements that must be met before becoming licensed as a teacher. Licensing requirements vary by state but often include submitting an application along with any necessary fees and passing written examinations.
To become a special education teacher, you need to earn a bachelor’s degree in special education. Once you have your degree, you will need to get a state licensure or certification. Some states require that candidates pass an exam to prove their competency as a special education teacher. Others require that the candidate have a master’s degree in addition to their bachelor’s degree. In some states, you can work as a long-term substitute until you obtain your certification.
In order to become a special education teacher, you will need to earn at least a bachelor’s degree in special education, then complete a state-approved teacher preparation program. You may also need to pursue an alternative certification if you are changing careers. After that, it’s up to you how far you want to go—you could pursue an advanced degree or certifications, or even consider pursuing a doctorate in education.