When can I start getting experience?

There are different opportunities available for those who are interested in a career path in working with individuals with disabilities. You could consider volunteering at one of the local organizations or you could seek various employment opportunities other than teaching. Some common employment options for those interested in this career field could be as a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT), a classroom educational assistant (paraeducator), or as a substitute teacher.

Local Organizations

Below is a list of organizations that welcome volunteers to assist in various events. In addition, employment opportunities may be available.


A+ After School


After School Allstars


Best Buddies Hawaii


HIDOE After School Programs

Employment Opportunities in the Hawai‘i Department of Education

Those looking for experience prior to pursuing teacher licensure may consider becoming paraprofessionals or substitute teachers. Once you decide to become a teacher - pursue a teacher licensure program and then come back to find a teacher positions that best suits you.

Tips & Recommendations for Inquiring or Interviewing for DOE Positions:

  1. Be prepared: Learn about the school you are applying to; every HIDOE school should have their own website. Be prepared to share why you want to work at that school and why you are interested in the available position.
  2. Be professional: All communication (phone, email) should use professional language. Use appropriate letter conventions (e.g., greeting, body, closing). For example, do not address administrators by their first name, especially if you have never met.
  3. Be mindful: Inquire for positions you really want. Do not set up interviews broadly, especially if you don't intend on accepting the position if offered.

Non-Teaching Positions Available

Those looking for experience in special education may be interested in becoming an educational assistant, part-time teacher, or registered behavior technician.


Substitute Teacher Certification Course

UH Mānoa has partnered with the Hawai‘i State Department of Education to offer the Substitute Teacher Certification course online.


Teaching Positions Available Statewide

Those already licensed in special education can browse through available teaching positions. If licensed in another state, visit the Hawai‘i Teacher Standards Board first.

UH SPED Special Education