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Special Education Teacher, Preschool, Kindergarten, or Elementary School Salary

Median pay for Elementary School, Kindergarten, and Preschool Special Education Teachers in the United States lies in the neighborhood of $43K annually. Earnings sit near $26K on the lower side but can approach $62K per year on the higher side. While geography and the specific company impact pay for this group, career length is the most influential factor. Women make up the vast majority of Elementary School, Kindergarten, and Preschool Special Education Teachers (90 percent) who answered the questionnaire. Work is enjoyable for Elementary School, Kindergarten, and Preschool Special Education Teachers, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. A strong majority enjoy medical while more than half get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to just under one-half. The information for this rundown comes from respondents who completed PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$29,847 - $61,338
(Median)
$30K
$43K
$61K
MEDIAN: $42,670
10%
50%
90%

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$9.13 - $29.67
(Median)
$9
$14
$30
MEDIAN: $14.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$21K$42K$63K
Salary
$29,847 - $61,338  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,488  
Profit Sharing
$4.83 - $2,543  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$25,883 - $61,545  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 1 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 2,204
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$13$26$39
Hourly Rate
$9.13 - $29.67  
   
Overtime
$1.67 - $38.77  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$26K$52K$78K
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,488  
   
Profit Sharing
$4.83 - $2,543  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$25,883 - $61,545  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 1 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 372

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Job Description for Special Education Teacher, Preschool, Kindergarten, or Elementary School

A person applying for a position as a special education teacher for preschool, kindergarten or elementary grades will be expected to go above and beyond the responsibilities of teachers who work with children who don't have special needs or learning disabilities. Special education teachers work with children who can have any combination of emotional, physical or mental challenges that require a higher level of training than teachers who work with children who don't have these struggles. Because of the challenges involved with teaching these students, a higher level of communication skills, compassion and patience is expected of both the teachers and the parents of special needs children. A special education teacher will be required to provide more individualized attention to students due to the variety of circumstances that are unique to each child in a special education classroom.

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Special Education Teacher, Preschool, Kindergarten, or Elementary School Tasks

  • Maintain accurate student records as required by laws and administrative regulations.
  • Instruct elementary students individually and in groups.
  • Maintain classroom discipline.
  • Evaluate students and communicate progress with parents, guardians, and administrators.
  • Plan, assign, and evaluate lessons, projects and tests.

Common Career Paths for Special Education Teacher, Preschool, Kindergarten, or Elementary School


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Though it's uncommon, some Elementary School, Kindergarten, and Preschool Special Education Teachers move into roles as Directors of Special Education, where pay is an average $74K per year. It is more probable, however, that Elementary School, Kindergarten, and Preschool Special Education Teachers become Secondary School Special Education Teachers or Middle School Special Education Teachers.

Popular Employer Salaries for Special Education Teacher, Preschool, Kindergarten, or Elementary School


Head Start reports the lowest median salary in the area (it's only $34K) but some workers make up to $47K, indicating a rather large gap in employee earnings.

Popular Skills for Special Education Teacher, Preschool, Kindergarten, or Elementary School


Survey results imply that Elementary School, Kindergarten, and Preschool Special Education Teachers put a diverse skill set to use. Most notably, skills in Autism, Special Education, Curriculum Planning, and Masters degree are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 8 percent and 13 percent. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Bilingual and People Management. Those proficient in Childhood Education are, more often than not, also skilled in Special Education and Autism.

Pay by Experience Level for Special Education Teacher, Preschool, Kindergarten, or Elementary School

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


Experience does not seem to be a strong driver of pay increase in this role. Elementary School, Kindergarten, and Preschool Special Education Teachers in the early stages of their careers take home approximately $38K on average. The average for people in the five-to-10 year group is only a little larger at $42K. Elementary School, Kindergarten, and Preschool Special Education Teachers claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $49K. Old hands boasting more than twenty years of relevant experience report pay that is more or less commensurate with that extensive experience; average earnings for this group come out to approximately $54K.

Pay Difference by Location


For those looking to make money, Elementary School, Kindergarten, and Preschool Special Education Teachers in New York enjoy an exceptional pay rate, 24 percent above the national average. Elementary School, Kindergarten, and Preschool Special Education Teachers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Washington (+22 percent), Los Angeles (+17 percent), Houston (+11 percent), and Chicago (+10 percent). Those in the field find the lowest salaries in Denver, 3 percent below the national average. A couple other locations with smaller-than-average paychecks include St. Louis (2 percent lower) and San Diego (1 percent lower).

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects Special Education Teacher, Preschool, Kindergarten, or Elementary School Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 31%



National Average
$41,000


Skills That Affect Special Education Teacher, Preschool, Kindergarten, or Elementary School Salaries

Autism
up arrow 13%

Special Education
up arrow 10%


Masters degree
up arrow 2%

National Average
$41,000

Childhood Education
up arrow 2%

People Management
up arrow 13%

Bilingual
up arrow 16%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 514 votes.

Gender

Female
90 %
Male
10 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
7%
1-4 years
37%
5-9 years
24%
10-19 years
21%
20 years or more
10%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 79% dental benefits Dental: 62%
vision benefits Vision: 46% employee benefits None: 19%