This job search feature is for Premium Users.
Take our career test and discover careers that fit you best and your work personality strengths. With one click - see your best fitting jobs, who is hiring near you, and apply for these jobs online.
Career Test + Premium Career Report + Unlimited Career Research & Job Search Access Learn more here
Salary Range: Less than $30,000
Education: Some college, no degree
Number of Jobs: 1,306,300
Jobs Added to 2029: 116,000
Growth: As fast as average
Go here to see salary and job data specific to the United Kingdom.
What Teacher Assistants Do
Teacher assistants typically do the following:
- Reinforce lessons by reviewing material with students one-on-one or in small groups
- Follow school and class rules to teach students proper behavior
- Help teachers with recordkeeping, such as taking attendance and calculating grades
- Get equipment or materials ready to help teachers prepare for lessons
- Supervise students outside of the classroom, such as 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. Reviewing with students individually or in small groups, teacher assistants help reinforce the lessons that teachers introduce.
Teacher assistants may provide feedback to teachers for monitoring student progress. Some teacher assistants meet regularly with teachers to discuss lesson plans and students’ development.
Some teacher assistants work only with special education students. When special education students attend regular classes, these teacher assistants help them understand the material and adapt the information to their learning style. Teacher assistants may also work with students who have severe disabilities in separate classrooms. They help these students with basic needs, such as eating or personal hygiene. Teacher assistants may help young adults with disabilities to learn skills necessary for finding a job or living independently after graduation.
Some teacher assistants help in specific areas. For example, they may work in a computer laboratory, helping students use programs or software. Others may work as cafeteria attendants, supervising students during lunchtime.
Teacher assistants in childcare centers work with a lead teacher to provide individualized attention that young children need. They help with educational activities, supervise the children at play, and help with feeding and other basic care.
|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
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.
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.
Employment of teacher assistants is projected to grow 9 percent from 2020 to 2030, 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.
How to Become a Teacher Assistant
Teacher assistants in public schools need at least 2 years of college coursework or an associate’s degree. Those who work in schools with a Title 1 program (a federal program for schools that have 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 participants to develop educational materials, observe students, and understand the role of teaching assistants in working with classroom teachers.
Most states require teacher assistants who work with special-needs students to pass a skills test.
Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
Some jobs may require staff to have certifications in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and first aid.
Communication skills. Teacher assistants need to be clear and concise in discussing student progress with teachers and parents.
Interpersonal skills. Teacher assistants must be able to develop relationships with a variety of people, including teachers, students, parents, and administrators.
Patience. Working with students of different abilities and backgrounds may be difficult. Teacher assistants must be understanding with students.
Resourcefulness. Teacher assistants must find ways to explain information to students who have different learning styles.
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 or certification.