Special education teachers held about 450,700 jobs in 2014.
Most special education teachers work in public schools. Some teach in magnet, charter, and private schools. Some also work with young children in childcare centers.
A few work with students in residential facilities, hospitals, and students' homes. They may travel to these locations. Some teachers work with infants and toddlers at the child's home. They also teach the child's parents methods and ways to help the child develop skills.
Helping students with disabilities can be highly rewarding. It also can be quite stressful—emotionally demanding and physically draining.
Special education teachers typically work during school hours. They also use that time to grade papers, update students' records, and prepare lessons. They may meet with parents, students, and other teachers before and after classes.
Many work the traditional 10-month school year and have a 2-month break during the summer. Some teachers may work for summer programs.
Teachers in districts with a year-round schedule typically work 8 weeks in a row then are on break for 1 week. They also have a 5-week midwinter break.