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Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a teacher's aide. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about schooling, job duties and training to find out if this is the career for you.
Teacher aides provide support for full-time teachers, helping them with clerical work and classroom activities. This can involve providing individual attention to students in need of extra assistance or monitoring students while the teacher is out. Those interested in being a teacher's aide should complete an associate's degree or two years of college; however a high school diploma and training are sufficient in some districts.
|Required Education||Associate's degree or two years of college generally required; high school diploma acceptable for some districts|
|Other Requirements||On-the-job training typically required|
|Projected Job Growth (2012 - 2022)*||9%|
|Mean Salary (2013)*||$25,570 annually|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
An associate's degree is usually required for teacher aide positions. However sometimes a teacher's aide can get by with a high school diploma and some on-the-job training. Many employers prefer to hire a teacher's aide with some college experience. This can either be an associate's degree or bachelor's degree in education or a related field. Many teacher aides pursue a college education to help them prepare for moving into full-time teaching positions.
Job training is typically done by the employer who helps a new teacher's aide understand the rules and operations of the workplace. Teacher's aides must know the appropriate responses when dealing with children and how to properly show educational materials to the classroom. Additionally, learning to follow the instructions of a teacher is extremely important.
Organizations like the National Education Association can provide additional information on teacher's aide training and any necessary state work requirements (www.nea.org). For specific training information an aspiring teacher's aide can contact the National Resource Center for Paraprofessionals (www.nrcpara.org).
A teacher's aide's job is to assist a teacher and reinforce the instruction taught in the classroom to students. This can include going over lessons with students individually, answering questions or grading assignments. A teacher's aide may be asked to supervise the students outside of the classroom on the playground, during bathroom breaks, at lunch time and on field trips. When class is not in session, a teacher's aide might assist by entering grades or typing up class summaries.
A teacher may give the answer key to a particular test or work assignment to the teacher's aide, allowing them to grade papers. A teacher's aide helps with the integration of technology into the classroom, helping set up computers and projectors, for example. A teacher's aide may also organize the classroom and put supplies in order.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, teacher assistants typically do not work all year-round but still receive an annual salary (www.bls.gov). In May 2013, the mean yearly income for a teacher assistant was $25,570. The top ten percent of earners made $36,770 or higher while those in the lowest ten percent made $17,300 or lower. Colleges, universities and professional schools paid their teacher assistants an annual mean salary of $28,780, while secondary and elementary school teacher assistants earned $25,860 annually.