What Is A Reading Specialist Job Duties & Salary

What Is A Reading Specialist? Job Duties & Salary

What is a reading specialist?

A reading specialist specializes in teaching reading to students in kindergarten, elementary, middle, or high school. As a reading specialist, all of your work is with students who are struggling with literacy. Working with students one-on-one or in a group may be among your responsibilities.

Continue reading for more information.

What Is A Reading Specialist?

What does a reading specialist do? A variety of reading skills are developed and honed by students with the assistance of reading specialists, who are also licensed educators who assist other teachers and administrators in the classroom and in monitoring student progress.

Knowing the fundamentals of what a reading specialist is and what they do will help you better understand the range of careers in the field, the potential earnings of reading specialists, and how to start a career as a reading specialist at Concordia University in Nebraska.

Reading Specialist Jobs And Tasks To Explore

How do reading specialists work, first of all? Your main objectives as a reading specialist will be to support students’ reading and writing development and to ensure that they enjoy the process. If you’re a teacher—or an aspirant teacher—and you’d like to hone these skills, there are a variety of reading specialist jobs and career paths you can look into and consider. Keeping in mind that job duties and employment requirements may vary, here are a few career paths to consider:

  • Reading/literacy specialist: You can work as a reading specialist in either public or private schools. You might be responsible for developing the curriculum, working with students to support and supplement what they learn in class, and collaborating with administrators and other educators to assess course work, student progress, among other things.

    In order to work as a reading specialist, you must have at least a bachelor’s degree and a teaching license, though an M.Ed. in It may be preferred if you are literate and have a reading specialist endorsement.
  • Reading coach or tutor: Such reading specialists frequently work in educational institutions or in classrooms. However, some reading tutors conduct their business informally, virtually, or outside of their own residences. As a reading coach or tutor, you may work one-on-one with students in a classroom setting and provide instruction and learning methods that are suited to their particular requirements. Additionally, you might collaborate with administrators and other educators to promote professional growth and assist in the rollout of literacy initiatives.

    Although the requirements to become a reading coach or tutor can differ, they typically call for at least a bachelor’s degree and a teaching license. You might have an advantage over other applicants if you have a M.Ed. in Literacy with a reading specialist endorsement.
  • Reading interventionist: Reading interventionists, like other reading specialists, modify literacy-related instruction to meet the needs of each student. To assist students in enhancing particular skills, you can work with them one-on-one or in small groups. You might also collaborate with other educators and administrators to choose students for intervention groups.

    To work as a reading interventionist, you typically need a teaching license and a bachelor’s degree from a school district or other educational institution, though an M.Ed. in literacy could give you additional expertise in the field.
  • Reading curriculum/literacy curriculum specialist: You might work for public or private schools as a reading curriculum or literacy curriculum specialist, organizing, planning, and providing training to other teachers to support students’ literacy development. Additionally, you can observe, assess, and organize literacy and reading curricula, as well as help identify students who need a little extra support.

    Most institutions will demand that you earn a bachelor’s degree or higher in order to become a reading curriculum or literacy curriculum specialist. An M.Ed. in literacy, however, might give you a complete set of resources to support your success.

What Education Do I Need?

You may want to think about enrolling in a master’s degree program or reading specialist certificate program after earning your bachelor’s degree in education or a related field. Children’s literature, remediating reading difficulties, multicultural education, and diagnosing reading problems are all covered in the programs. Master’s degree programs in education may offer the option to become certified as a reading specialist. See more about How To Teach A Child To Read

What’s It Like On The Job Market?

Reading specialists are among the many types of teachers whose market is growing. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of positions available for kindergarten, elementary and middle school teachers was set to grow by 7% between 2020 and 2030 (www.bls.gov). Since many people are anticipated to retire in the coming years, there are a lot of openings. During the same time period, it is predicted that the number of high school teachers will rise by 8%, adding 78,200 jobs.

What Is A Reading Specialist Job Duties & Salary
What Is A Reading Specialist? Job Duties & Salary

What Kind Of Pay Can You Expect As A Reading Specialist?

What will a reading specialist be paid? Your geographic location, educational background, institution of choice, and job responsibilities could all have an impact on your reading specialist salary. According to Glassdoor, the base salary for a reading specialist is $59,374 on average across the country.

A reading specialist’s salary might be categorized under instructional coordinator salaries depending on these elements. The BLS estimates that in 2020 the median yearly pay for all instructional coordinators was $66,970.
Coaches in reading and literacy might make a little more money. The average literacy coach in the US earns $75,050 per year, according to the job-rating website Comparably.

Your literacy studies at Concordia Nebraska can help you start achieving your professional goals.

The Best Way To Become A Reading Specialist

Reading specialists need to be well-versed in instructional strategies, particularly when used with students who are having difficulty learning. Graduate education is typically preferred to pursue this career, although in some states and school districts a bachelor’s degree can qualify a prospective reading specialist for certification. Reading specialists must also have the knowledge and tools to work with students who have different needs. For the most part, at least in public schools, the qualifying degree earned must also include a course of study approved by the state board of education for the training of licensed reading specialists. The common pathway to becoming a reading specialist in a public K-12 school is:

  1. Obtain a bachelor’s degree in education, reading, literacy, or a related field while enrolled in a program for future teachers.
  2. successfully complete a student teaching internship.
  3. Take the exams for aspiring teachers offered by your state.
  4. submit a license application to teach.
  5. While pursuing a postgraduate certificate or advanced degree in reading or literacy, hold a job teaching in a classroom.
  6. Test to become a reading specialist in your state.
  7. Start applying for jobs once you have added the reading specialist endorsement to your license.

The traditional first step to becoming a reading specialist is obtaining a bachelor’s degree in education, reading education, or literacy through a teacher preparation program. The first two years of a student’s college career are typically spent taking general education and introductory teaching courses in teacher preparation programs. The emphasis shifts to courses focused on reading literacy and teaching during the third and fourth years. At least one classroom practicum is typically completed by students, ideally at the age level that the future specialist would like to teach. To better understand reading education and literacy across the spectrum of interventions for struggling learners, some reading education programs advise students to complete multiple practica at various grade levels. Following graduation, students will be qualified to apply for their state’s teaching certification, which typically entails passing a test to obtain the reading specialist endorsement.

A master’s degree, EdS, EdD, or PhD in reading education can be obtained by teachers in states where certification as a reading specialist requires a graduate degree or who want to increase their knowledge and competitiveness. Theories of reading literacy and their applications in the learning environment are heavily emphasized in graduate reading education programs. Additional training on techniques for gauging student aptitude and assessing reading curricula might also be given. Graduate school positions students to become highly qualified teachers by preparing them for certification as reading specialists.

What Alternative Careers Are Related?

Teachers of special education and career and technical education are two occupations that are comparable and typically call for at least a bachelor’s degree. Teaching students with various disabilities is their area of expertise as special education teachers. They collaborate with students in elementary, middle, and high schools, and modify lesson plans to suit their needs. In order to prepare students for a particular career, career and technical education teachers teach them a specific craft or trade. They could instruct students in topics like auto repair or culinary arts.


A reading specialist primarily assists young children who are struggling with reading in order to improve their reading abilities and lay the groundwork for future success in high school, college, and adulthood. Reading specialists have received training in how to teach reading both for pleasure and comprehension. More information on what reading specialists do, how to become one, and the salary and employment prospects for reading specialists can be found in this guide.

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