Special Education Teachers

ANZSCO ID 2415

Overview

Snapshot

Employed
22,600
Future Growth
13.5%
Weekly Earnings
N/A
Full-Time Share
59%
Female Share
86%
Average age
46

Summary

Special Education Teachers teach primary, middle or intermediate, and secondary school students with learning difficulties, hearing impairment and sight impairment, and promote students' social, emotional, intellectual and physical development.

Tasks

  • assessing students' abilities and limitations with regard to intellectual, physical, social and emotional disabilities, exceptional intellectual gifts, or specific problems of language and culture

  • planning, organising and implementing special programs to provide remedial or advanced tuition

  • administering various forms of assessment and interpreting the results

  • teaching basic academic subjects, and practical and self-help skills to hearing and sight impaired students

  • devising instructional materials, methods and aids to assist in training and rehabilitation

  • advising, instructing and counselling parents and teachers on the availability and use of special techniques

  • stimulating and developing interests, abilities, manual skills and coordination

  • conferring with other staff members to plan and schedule lessons for special needs students

  • preparing and maintaining student data and other records and submitting reports

Characteristics

Job Type
Professionals
Skill Level
Very high skill
ANZSCO Occupation group
Unemployment Rate
Below average
Industries
Pathway(s)
  • University
Interests
  • Creative
  • Helping
Physical Demand
  • Sedentary
  • Light

Outlook

Employment Outlook

JSA produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers:

  • is expected to grow strongly
  • is likely to reach 34,300 by 2026.
  • Source: Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.

    Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.

    Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.

Projected Change
13.5%
(or 4,100 jobs)
From
30,200
in 2021
To
34,300
in 2026

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Year Employment
2011 22,300
2012 18,400
2013 15,600
2014 27,200
2015 27,400
2016 19,600
2017 19,500
2018 23,100
2019 30,700
2020 24,000
2021 30,200
2026 34,300

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.


Earnings and hours

Working arrangements

  • Around 59% of people employed as Special Education Teachers work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 7 percentage points below the all jobs average (66%).

    Full-time workers work an average of 44 hours per week in their main job. This is the same as the all jobs average.

    More than half of workers regularly work overtime or extra hours (either paid or unpaid).

    Sources: Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average. Overtime hours: ABS, Characteristics of Employment, 2021.


Industries

Main industries

1
Education and Training
97.2%
2
Health Care and Social Assistance
1.9%
3
Other Services
0.9%
  • Most Special Education Teachers work in the Education and training industry.

    Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2021.


Regions

Employment across Australia

NSW

33.0% All occupations: 31.6%

VIC

20.5% All occupations: 25.6%

QLD

26.9% All occupations: 20.0%

SA

6.0% All occupations: 7.0%

WA

8.6% All occupations: 10.8%

TAS

1.8% All occupations: 2.0%

NT

1.8% All occupations: 1.0%

ACT

1.5% All occupations: 1.9%

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

State Special Education Teachers All Jobs Average
NSW 33.0 31.6
VIC 20.5 25.6
QLD 26.9 20.0
SA 6.0 7.0
WA 8.6 10.8
TAS 1.8 2.0
NT 1.8 1.0
ACT 1.5 1.9


  • Around 46% of Special Education Teachers live outside of capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 38%.

    Queensland has a large share of employment relative to its population size.

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.


Worker profile

Age and gender

Age In Years
46
All Jobs Average is 40
Female Share
86%
All Jobs Average is 48%
  • The median age of Special Education Teachers is 46 years. This is higher than the all jobs average of 40 years.

    A large share of workers are aged 45 to 54 years.

    Females make up 86% of the workforce. This is 38 percentage points above the all jobs average of 48%.

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age Bracket Special Education Teachers All Jobs Average
15-19 0.2 5.0
20-24 2.7 9.3
25-34 19.2 22.9
35-44 23.6 22.0
45-54 26.0 21.6
55-59 14.0 9.0
60-64 9.9 6.0
65 and Over 4.5 4.2
Median Age 46 40

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.


Employment Pathways

Education, training and experience

A bachelor degree in education majoring in special education is needed to work as a Special Education Teacher. Qualified teachers may complete postgraduate qualifications to specialise as a Special Education Teacher.

Registration or licencing is required.

Visit

  • Course Seeker to search and compare higher education courses.
  • ComparED to compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes.

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of Qualification Special Education Teachers All Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate 39.3 10.1
Bachelor degree 50.1 21.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma 6.2 11.6
Certificate III/IV 1.7 21.1
Year 12 1.7 18.1
Year 11 0.2 4.8
Year 10 and below 0.8 12.5

Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.


Skills and Knowledge

Employers look for Special Education Teachers who are caring, compassionate and empathetic and communicate clearly, with strong people skills.

Skills

Skills can be improved through training or experience.

  • 55%

    Reading comprehension

    Reading work related information.

  • 55%

    Learning strategies

    Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.

  • 54%

    Active listening

    Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.

  • 54%

    Critical thinking

    Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.

  • 54%

    Social perceptiveness

    Understanding why people react the way they do.

  • 54%

    Speaking

    Talking to others.

  • 54%

    Time management

    Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.

  • 52%

    Coordination with others

    Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.

  • 52%

    Instructing

    Teaching people how to do something.

  • 52%

    Monitoring

    Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.

  • 52%

    Writing

    Writing things for co-workers or customers.

  • 50%

    Active learning

    Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.

  • 48%

    Judgment and decision making

    Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.

  • 48%

    Persuasion

    Talking people into changing their minds or their behaviour.

  • 46%

    Negotiation

    Bringing people together and trying to sort out their differences.

  • 46%

    Serving others

    Looking for ways to help people.

  • 45%

    Systems evaluation

    Measuring how well a system is working and how to improve it.

  • 41%

    Complex problem solving

    Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.

  • 41%

    Management of personnel resources

    Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.

  • 41%

    Systems analysis

    Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect it.


Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  • 80%

    Education and training

    Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

  • 73%

    English language

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  • 66%

    Psychology

    Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.

  • 64%

    Customer and personal service

    Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  • 62%

    Mathematics

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  • 59%

    Clerical

    Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.

  • 57%

    Computers and electronics

    Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

  • 57%

    Therapy and counselling

    Diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and career counselling and guidance.

  • 50%

    Geography

    Describing land, sea, and air, including their physical characteristics, locations, how they work together, and the location of plant, animal, and human life.

  • 47%

    History and archeology

    Events of the past, their causes, how we learn about them, and how they influence the way we live today.

  • 46%

    Sociology and anthropology

    Group behaviour and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.

  • 45%

    Administration and management

    Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.

  • 45%

    Philosophy and theology

    Philosophical systems and religions, including their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and impact on society.

  • 43%

    Communications and media

    Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.

  • 42%

    Biology

    Plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, how they rely on and work with each other and the environment.

  • 40%

    Law and government

    How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.

  • 34%

    Public safety and security

    Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.

  • 34%

    Chemistry

    Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.

  • 26%

    Personnel and human resources

    Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.

  • 22%

    Transportation

    Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.


Abilities

Workers use these physical and mental abilities..

  • 59%

    Oral comprehension

    Listen to and understand what people say.

  • 59%

    Oral expression

    Communicate by speaking.

  • 59%

    Written expression

    Write in a way that people can understand.

  • 57%

    Written comprehension

    Read and understand written information.

  • 55%

    Problem spotting

    Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.

  • 55%

    Speech clarity

    Speak clearly so others can understand you.

  • 55%

    Deductive reasoning

    Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.

  • 55%

    Inductive reasoning

    Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.

  • 54%

    Speech recognition

    Identify and understand the speech of another person.

  • 54%

    Sorting or ordering

    Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

  • 52%

    Brainstorming

    Come up with a number of ideas about a topic, even if the ideas aren't very good.

  • 50%

    Originality

    Come up with unusual or clever ideas, or creative ways to solve a problem.

  • 48%

    Categorising

    Come up with different ways of grouping things.

  • 48%

    Near vision

    See details that are up-close (within a few feet).

  • 43%

    Selective attention

    Pay attention to something without being distracted.

  • 39%

    Far vision

    See details that are far away.

  • 39%

    Flexibility of closure

    See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.

  • 39%

    Speed of recognition

    Quickly make sense of and organize things you can see like letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.

  • 37%

    Multitasking

    Do two or more things at the same time.

  • 36%

    Memorization

    Remember things like words, numbers, pictures, and procedures.


Activities

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  • 73%

    Building good relationships

    Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.

  • 68%

    Communicating within a team

    Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.

  • 67%

    Thinking creatively

    Using your own ideas for developing, designing, or creating something new.

  • 66%

    Planning and prioritising work

    Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.

  • 66%

    Coaching and developing others

    Working out the needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or helping them to improve.

  • 62%

    Coordinating the work of a team

    Getting members of a group to work together to finish a task.

  • 62%

    Scheduling work and activities

    Working out the timing of events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

  • 62%

    Making decisions and solving problems

    Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.

  • 60%

    Training and teaching others

    Understanding the needs of others, developing training programs, and teaching or instructing.

  • 59%

    Keeping your knowledge up-to-date

    Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.

  • 58%

    Helping and caring for others

    Providing personal assistance, medical attention, or emotional support.

  • 58%

    Negotiating and resolving conflicts

    Handling complaints and disagreements, and negotiating with people.

  • 58%

    Coming up with systems and processes

    Deciding on goals and figuring out what you need to do to achieve them.

  • 58%

    Researching and investigating

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  • 56%

    Leading and encouraging a team

    Encouraging and building trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.

  • 55%

    Looking for changes over time

    Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.

  • 55%

    Explaining things to people

    Helping people to understand and use information.

  • 53%

    Documenting or recording information

    Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

  • 50%

    Checking compliance with standards

    Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

  • 49%

    Working with computers

    Using computers to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.


Interests and demands

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Interests

Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.

  • 100%

    Helping

    Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.

  • 71%

    Creative

    Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.

  • 48%

    Analytical

    Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.

  • 48%

    Enterprising

    Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.

  • 38%

    Administrative

    Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.

  • 33%

    Practical

    Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.


Values

Work values are important to a person’s feeling of satisfaction. All six values are shown below.
  • 90%

    Relationships

    Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.

  • 76%

    Working conditions

    Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.

  • 71%

    Achievement

    Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

  • 67%

    Independence

    Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.

  • 57%

    Support

    Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.

  • 52%

    Recognition

    Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.


Demands

The physical and social demands that workers face most often are shown below:
  • 98%

    Teamwork

    Work with people in a group or team.

  • 96%

    Contact with people

    Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.

  • 95%

    Face-to-face discussions

    Talk with people face-to-face.

  • 90%

    Electronic mail

    Use electronic mail.

  • 85%

    Physically close to people

    Work physically close to other people.

  • 83%

    Freedom to make decisions

    Have freedom to make decision on your own.

  • 81%

    Unstructured work

    Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.

  • 80%

    Lead or coordinate a team

    Lead others to do work activities.

  • 80%

    Being exact or accurate

    Be very exact or highly accurate.

  • 78%

    Impact of decisions

    Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.

  • 78%

    Indoors, heat controlled

    Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.

  • 76%

    Letters and memos

    Write letters and memos.

  • 75%

    Public speaking

    Talk to a group of people.

  • 75%

    Frequent decision making

    Frequently make decisions that impact other people.

  • 73%

    Spend time standing

    Spend time standing at work.

  • 72%

    Conflict situations

    Deal with conflict or disagreements.

  • 72%

    Time pressure

    Work to strict deadlines.

  • 72%

    Telephone

    Talk on the telephone.

  • 68%

    Contact with the public

    Work with customers or the public.

  • 65%

    Health and safety of others

    Take responsibility for the health and safety of others.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 25-2053.00 - Special Education Teachers, Middle School.


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