Career, Salary and Education Information
What They Do: Teacher assistants work with a licensed teacher to give students additional attention and instruction.
Work Environment: Teacher assistants typically work in schools, at childcare centers, and for religious organizations. Some teacher assistants work part time. Most do not work during the summer.
How to Become One: Teacher assistants typically need to have completed at least 2 years of college coursework.
Salary: The median annual wage for teacher assistants is $29,360.
Job Outlook: Employment of teacher assistants is projected to grow 9 percent over the next ten years, about as fast as the average for all occupations.
Related Careers: Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of teacher assistants with similar occupations.
Following is everything you need to know about a career as a teacher assistant with lots of details. As a first step, take a look at some of the following jobs, which are real jobs with real employers. You will be able to see the very real job career requirements for employers who are actively hiring. The link will open in a new tab so that you can come back to this page to continue reading about the career:
Top 3 Teacher Assistant Jobs
CHILD CARE TEACHER ASSISTANT AND ASSOCIATE TEACHER I - APPRENTICESHIPS
- Sacramento Employment and Training Agency
- Sacramento, CA
CHILD CARE TEACHER ASSISTANT : Under general supervision a Child Care Teacher Assistant - assists in implementing educational activities in a Child Care classroom; assists with classroom teaching ...
- EOCFWA - Educational Opportunities for Children and Families
- Vancouver, WA
Come join our team as a Teacher 's Assistant by supporting Educational Opportunities for Children & Families (EOCF) realize a common mission. In this role you will assist the Teacher in providing and ...
Teacher's Assistant - TEMPORARY FOR SUMMER SESSION
- The Plus Group
- Woodland, CA
We have immediate openings for Teacher Assistant for the Special Needs SUMMER SESSION classes to work at school campuses within the Woodland and West Sacramento area: Requirements for all teacher ...
What Teacher Assistants Do[About this section] [To Top]
Teacher assistants work under a teacher's supervision to give students additional attention and instruction.
Duties of Teacher Assistants
Teacher assistants typically do the following:
- Reinforce lessons presented by teachers by reviewing material with students one-on-one or in small groups
- Enforce school and class rules to teach students proper behavior
- Help teachers with recordkeeping, such as tracking attendance and calculating grades
- Set up equipment or get material ready to help teachers prepare for lessons
- Supervise students in class, between classes, during lunch and recess, and on field trips
Teacher assistants also are called teacher aides, instructional aides, paraprofessionals, education assistants, and paraeducators.
Teacher assistants work with or under the guidance of a licensed teacher. Generally, teachers introduce new material to students while teacher assistants help reinforce the lessons by working with individual students or small groups of students. For example, after the teacher presents a lesson, a teacher assistant may help a small group of students as they try to master the material.
Teachers may seek feedback from teacher assistants to monitor students' progress. Some teachers and teacher assistants meet regularly to discuss lesson plans and students' development. Teacher assistants sometimes help teachers by grading tests and checking homework.
Some teacher assistants work only with special education students. In some cases, these special education students attend regular classes, and teacher assistants help them understand the material and adapt the information to their learning style. Teacher assistants may work with students who have more severe disabilities in separate classrooms. They help these students with basic needs, such as eating or personal hygiene. With young adults, they may help students with disabilities learn skills necessary for them to find a job or live independently after graduation.
Some teacher assistants work in specific school locations. For example, some work in computer laboratories, teaching students how to use computers and helping them use software. Others work as recess or lunchroom attendants, supervising students during these times.
Although most teacher assistants work in schools, others work in childcare centers. Often, one or two assistants work with a lead teacher to provide the individual attention that young children need. They help with educational activities, supervise the children at play, and help with feeding and other basic care.
Work Environment for Teacher Assistants[About this section] [To Top]
Teacher assistants hold about 1.3 million jobs. The largest employers of teacher assistants are as follows:
|Elementary and secondary schools; local||71%|
|Child day care services||9%|
|Elementary and secondary schools; private||8%|
Teacher assistants may spend some time outside, when students are at recess or getting on and off the bus. They may need to lift the students at certain times.
Injuries and Illnesses for Teacher Assistants
Teacher assistants sometimes get injured on the job. They actively work with students, including lifting and otherwise assisting special education students, which can place them at risk for injuries such as strains.
Teacher Assistant Work Schedules
Some teacher assistants work part time. Some monitor students on school buses before and after school. Although many do not work during the summer, some work in year-round schools or assist teachers in summer school.
How to Become a Teacher Assistant[About this section] [To Top]
Get the education you need: Find schools for Teacher Assistants near you!
Teacher assistants typically need to have completed at least 2 years of college coursework.
Education for Teacher Assistants
Most school districts require applicants to have completed at least 2 years of college coursework or have earned an associate's degree. Teacher assistants in schools that have a Title 1 program (a federal program for schools with a large proportion of students from low-income households) must have at least a 2-year degree, 2 years of college, or pass a state or local assessment.
Associate's degree programs for teacher assistants prepare the participants to develop educational materials, observe students, and understand the role of teachers and teaching assistants in the classroom.
Most states require instructional aides who work with special-needs students to pass a skills-based test.
Important Qualities for Teacher Assistants
Communication skills. Teacher assistants need to be able to discuss students' progress with teachers and parents in an efficient manner.
Interpersonal skills. Teacher assistants interact with a variety of people, including teachers, students, parents, and administrators. They need to be able to develop good relationships with the people they work with.
Patience. Working with students of different abilities and backgrounds can be difficult. Teacher assistants must be patient with students.
Resourcefulness. To reinforce lessons, teacher assistants must explain information to students in a way that meets each student's learning style.
Advancement for Teacher Assistants
Teacher assistants may become a kindergarten and elementary school teacher, middle school teacher, high school teacher, or special education teacher upon obtaining additional education, training, and a license/certification.
Teacher Assistant Salaries[About this section] [More salary/earnings info] [To Top]
The median annual wage for teacher assistants is $29,360. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $21,890, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $46,530.
The median annual wages for teacher assistants in the top industries in which they work are as follows:
|Elementary and secondary schools; local||$29,460|
|Elementary and secondary schools; private||$29,360|
|Child day care services||$28,620|
Most teacher assistants work full time, although part-time work is common. Some monitor students on school buses before and after school. Many teacher assistants do not work during the summer; however, some work in year-round schools or assist teachers in summer school.
Job Outlook for Teacher Assistants[About this section] [To Top]
Employment of teacher assistants is projected to grow 9 percent over the next ten years, about as fast as the average for all occupations.
About 136,400 openings for teacher assistants are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.
Employment of Teacher Assistants
Rising student enrollment along with state and federal funding for education programs should affect growth.
Teacher assistants are more of a supplementary position, as opposed to teachers, who hold a primary position. Therefore, teacher assistants’ employment opportunities may depend on school districts’ budgets. Schools are more likely to eliminate teacher assistant positions rather than teacher positions when there is a budget shortfall and more likely to hire teacher assistants when there is a budget surplus.
|Occupational Title||Employment, 2020||Projected Employment, 2030||Change, 2020-30|
A portion of the information on this page is used by permission of the U.S. Department of Labor.