Alternative jobs for special education teachers

Alternative Jobs For Special Education Teachers

Abbey Vogt

If you are a special education teacher thinking about leaving a school setting, you may be asking yourself, “What are some alternative jobs for special education teachers?”

Jobs For Special Education Teachers: Where To Look

Our team receives messages daily asking about alternative jobs for special education teachers. Do the jobs we recommend for general classroom teachers also apply to you? The answer is yes! Special education teachers have the same types of skills that general classroom teachers have. Therefore, they can apply for the same types of roles. We have heard from former special education teachers who have landed new positions in UX Research, Corporate Training, Recreation Coordination, UX Design, Instructional Design, Sales, and more! 

Foster Your Passion 

However, if you are particularly passionate about working with a certain demographic and would love a career that utilizes your specific set of skills, you can find that too! In addition to your teaching skills, you also have skills related to your special education area of expertise. This can help if you are searching for jobs for special education teachers that fall within that niche. 

Do you enjoy helping people with disabilities? Are you passionate about a specific disability or population? Look for companies that share your passion for helping those people! Most state and city departments have human services and, or health departments as well. Within those departments, look for opportunities to provide disability support. There are also colleges and universities that hire professionals for disability support roles. 

When you are searching for a job within a specific niche, it’s often easier to think of companies first. Then navigate to their careers page to browse open positions. For example, if there is a certain brand of resources or equipment you use in your classroom, research the company to see if they are hiring. Chances are they have positions in human resources, learning and development, corporate training, sales, marketing, project management, customer success and other positions you are qualified for. If you have experience using their product and are passionate about their mission, even better! You can talk about that during the interview process.  

Think about the special education curriculum, games, or interventions you use in the classroom each day. Now research those companies, find the careers page, and determine what roles interest you. Alternative jobs for special education teachers are out there. . . you just have to find them!

Alternative jobs for special education teachers

Jobs For Special Education Teachers: Transferable Skills 

When beginning the search for a new career, it is important to recognize your transferable skills. What skills do you have that can transfer to a different type of role? You probably have more than you think. Here are some of those skills to focus on when you are rebranding your expertise and searching for jobs for special education teachers:  

  • Problem solving 
  • Crisis management 
  • Leadership 
  • Adaptability 
  • Assessment 
  • Compassion 
  • Listening skills 
  • Trustworthiness 
  • Patience 
  • Perseverance 
  • Organization 
  • Cooperation 
  • Communication 
  • Data analysis 
  • Integrity 

Special education teachers wear many different hats throughout the day. They are skilled in assessment, adaptability, communication, compassion, and are flexible and professional in unpredictable situations. Their patience, perseverance, and organization are often second to none. Special education teachers help others feel valued and encourage them to learn about what makes everyone unique. 

Depending on your specific job duties, you can leverage your experience with individuals with disabilities. Prospective employers may also ask about your ability to handle different situations. Since two days rarely look the same in a special education classroom, draw on your classroom experiences.  

Translating Additional Skills 

Also, think about your additional responsibilities outside of student interaction. Did you manage or supervise paraprofessionals? Describe that as managerial experience. You have experience drafting IEPs and facilitating meetings with families. Explain the coordination and collaboration involved. 

You likely collaborate with classroom teachers to provide resources for your students. In the corporate world, this may translate to working with “subject matter experts,” or SMEs, to achieve a common goal. Don’t forget all the data tracking and consultation you provide to various stakeholders. It’s all about finding a different way to describe what you do every day! 

The first step is to realize all the transferable skills you have as a special education teacher. Next, you need to recognize that these skills will allow you to succeed in a different career as well. You are a capable, valuable professional. As you begin searching for alternative jobs for special education teachers, you must believe that! Companies and organizations outside of education would be lucky to have you. 

Jobs For Special Education Teachers: Next Steps 

If you are a special education teacher struggling to determine what new jobs could be right for you, take our free career quiz to help you get started. 

One of the biggest mistakes that I see teachers make is that they try to navigate this process alone. Often, they put off “researching” until the very last minute. Which sets them up for a very stressful application season. Teacher Career Coach wants to help you get some clarity in the options available to you. To know EXACTLY what you need to do (and not do) in order to get your foot in the door. 

You don’t have to do this on your own. 

With the help of an HR expert with over 10 years of experience and a team of former teachers, Daphne has created a guide to support you in the early stages of your transition out of the classroom. Tap the button below to learn more. 

Step out of the classroom and into a new career, The Teacher Career Coach Course