School children have varying abilities and learn at different rates. Diagnosticians -- or educational diagnosticians -- help those who fall behind by assessing their strengths and weaknesses through tests. They then recommend unique learning programs for these students and track their progress. If you want to become a diagnostician, you need to get a master's degree in education. In return, you can expect to earn a salary averaging more than $60,000 annually.
Salary and Qualifications
The average annual salary of a diagnostician was $62,000 as of 2013, according to the job site Indeed. To work in this field, you need at least a master's degree -- special, elementary or secondary education, for example -- and two or more years of experience teaching at a public or private school, according to the Texas Education Agency. You must then complete an Approved Educator Preparation Program and pass the certification exam in your state. Other essential qualifications are patience, compassion and creativity, and instructional, organizational, critical-thinking and communication skills.
In 2013, average salaries for diagnosticians varied the most within the West region, according to Indeed, where they earned the lowest salaries of $41,000 in Hawaii and highest of $67,000 in California. Those in the Northeast made $53,000 to $75,000 per year in Maine and New York, respectively. If you worked as a diagnostician in Louisiana or Washington, D.C., you'd earn $53,000 or $74,000, respectively, which represented the lowest and highest earnings in the South. In the Midwest, you'd make the least in Nebraska or South Dakota or most in Illinois -- $46,000 or $68,000, respectively.
A diagnostician usually earns more the longer she works in her profession, as teachers are typically paid according to the number of service years they've accumulated. Diagnosticians earn more in New York and Washington, D.C., because of higher living expenses. For example, if you earned $60,000 as a diagnostician in Sioux Falls, S.D., you'd need to make $141,897 in New York City to enjoy the same living standard, according to CNN Money's "Cost of Living" calculator. In Washington, D.C., you'd have to earn $90,769 to maintain your living standard, or approximately 51 percent more.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn't forecast jobs for diagnosticians. It projects a 17 percent increase in jobs for special education teachers through 2020, which is statistically about average. Children who have special needs are being diagnosed earlier in the 21st century, which may have a positive impact on diagnosticians' employment. The BLS predicts 21 and 20 percent increases for special education teachers in elementary and middle schools, respectively, for the same decade -- above-average growth rates. Increased enrollments among these age groups may also increase the number of available jobs if you pursue this field.