A reading specialist is a professional who works directly with students suffering from disorders and conditions that impact their reading skills. Though some might assume they only work with younger students, specialists also work with adults and older students. As you usually need a college degree and some type of certification before working in this field, you may want to know how much you can earn on the job. You should also look at some of the factors that will impact how much you make.
What Specialists Do
Specialists are responsible for helping diagnose and treat students with learning disabilities and disorders that affect their reading abilities. They generally work with one individual at a time, though some schools and districts allow specialists to teach larger groups of students. Larger groups can help students learn from each other. Specialists will work with students' teachers to talk about what they saw and experienced as well as where the students are in terms of their peers. They must also meet with parents and talk about the goals each students has and how their parents can help them reach those goals.
How to Become One
Becoming a teacher who specialize in treating those with reading and learning disabilities requires a minimum of a bachelor's degree. Most schools require that these specialists have a bachelor's in education. While in college, you'll do fieldwork that lets you work directly with students having problems reading. A licensed teacher will oversee your work and write a report on how well you did. You may also need a master's degree. Many schools also require that specialists have some type of certification before working. Teachers generally need to pass a criminal background check to obtain their state teaching licenses too.
A reading specialist is a type of instructional coordinator and typically earns more money than a standard teacher does. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median salary for all instructional coordinators is $62,460 a year or a little over $30 an hour. Most positions in this field are salaried positions, though you may want to work part-time or accept a position that lets you set your own hours. The BLS also estimates that this field will experience average growth and that it will add more than 10,000 new positions between 2014 and 2024.
Factors That Affect Salaries
The amount that you make as a specialist varies because of factors like the amount of experience you have, the highest level of education you completed and even where you live. Larger cities like San Francisco, Miami and New York City have a higher cost of living and generally pay education specialists more. You may earn more working for a private school than you would in a public school too. Those with a master's degree make more than those with a bachelor's degree do, and your school may give you a small raise once you complete your graduate degree.
Illiteracy is a major problem facing younger and older learners in the United States today. Those who cannot read or do not read well have problems every day. Now that you know how much a reading specialist makes and what factors impact their earnings, you may decide to go to college and get your certification to work in this field.