Aspiring special education teachers often pursue a master’s degree in special education to expand their skill sets and make a difference in the lives of students with disabilities. However, this only scratches the surface of what can be done with this prestigious degree. Graduates of The University of Texas Permian Basin’s online Master of Arts (MA) in Special Education program join a growing field of  advocates, behavior intervention specialists, and educational diagnosticians. An MA in special education can also be a stepping stone to a career as a school counselor, instructional coordinator, or principal. No matter what you do with your master’s degree, you’ll be making real change in an in-demand field.

As we discuss why you should get a master’s in special education, consider how your life and the lives of your students can benefit from the lessons taught in UT Permian Basin’s online MA in special education program. Whether you’re interested in starting a career in special education or want to advance in your current position, an MA in special education can help you achieve your goals.

Gain the Skills Needed to Assist Students With Disabilities

Students in special education classes are affected by a wide variety of disabilities, including learning disabilities, speech or language impairment, and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In order to address each student’s unique needs, special education professionals must provide high-quality, individualized education. This flexible, tailored approach is a crucial part of overcoming the achievement gaps that cause vulnerable students to fall behind their nondisabled peers.

By the end of UT Permian Basin’s online MA in special education program, you’ll be able to identify the specific characteristics of developmental disorders and intervene at a crucial time in a student’s education. Our course Programs and Practices for Exceptional Learners will instruct you on the unique needs of students with cognitive-behavioral needs, while program courses like Behavioral Management and Social Skills, Methods for Teaching Exceptional Learners, and Technology and School Change will teach you how to address a variety of other special needs.

With your help, students can go on to have improved academic outcomes that would otherwise be unobtainable. This is one of the chief motivating factors for students pursuing a master’s in special education: to help students who are unable to help themselves.

Make Every Day a Victory for You and Your Students

In addition to the life-altering services you’ll provide to students, there are the everyday benefits of having an MA in special education to think about. For example, a typical day in the life of a special education teacher entails:

  • checking in on students during their morning routine;
  • working and sharing resources with general education teachers to assist students; and
  • meeting with students for one-on-one or group instruction.

Every day is spent building relationships with students and fellow teachers and watching students grow and overcome challenges that seemed impossible the day before. If you’d like to transition into a rewarding teaching position, an MA in special education can help you achieve this goal.

Advance Your Career in a High-Paying Field

Many students who enter our online MA in special education program already have established careers in special education, whereas others have yet to take their first steps into this rewarding field. Graduates of our program, no matter their motivation, are entering a field where their in-demand skills are rewarded with high salaries.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), special education teachers earn annual salaries of about $61,000—as much if not more than kindergarten, middle school, and high school teachers—while still enjoying summer and winter break. Special education teachers in the highest 10% earned nearly $100,000 a year, and this is only one possible career path for professionals with an MA in special education.

Educational diagnosticians, also known as learning consultants, work with a multidisciplinary team to diagnose learning disabilities. Remember, early diagnoses are critical for closing achievement gaps and helping students with disabilities realize their academic potential. Once a student’s development and abilities have been assessed, educational diagnosticians take on the role of case manager and work with special education teachers to monitor their progress and ensure proper implementation of educational processes. According to PayScale, educational diagnosticians earn annual salaries of about $60,000, with top earners making over $70,000 per year.

Transition Into a Career Where You Can Make Lasting Change

Graduates of UT Permian Basin’s online MA in special education can also transition into a supervisory or administrative role if desired. Although this role has less one-on-one interaction with students, special education administrators are able to enact lasting change on a larger scale. Special education directors, for example, oversee special education programs, providing assistance to principals, teachers, and students. These professionals must possess extensive knowledge of special education programs, best practices, and laws—all topics covered in our online MA in special education program. As administrators, special education directors make an average annual salary of $104,000. If you’re interested in setting the standards for special education programs, this may be the career for you.

Earn Your MA in Special Education Completely Online

Why get a master’s in special education? You can expand your teaching skills, improve your employability, and advance your career in a program tailored to your needs. Our online MA in special education program is 100% online, so you can continue your education while attending to personal and professional responsibilities. A master’s degree can be earned in as little as 12 months; however, our program’s flexible 8-week courses allow you to complete the program at your own pace. This convenient online program is also affordable, with a total tuition cost of about $12,000. Financial aid is also available for those who qualify, and qualified applicants in certain programs may qualify for the TEACH Grant.

If you’re interested in a degree that will benefit not only you but the students under your care, enroll in UT Permian Basin’s online MA in special education program.

Learn more about UT Permian Basin’s online MA in special education program.