Certificate Programs to Be a Teacher's Aide

A teacher's aide certificate allows individuals to work with lead teachers, assist with student instruction, monitor students and perform classroom administrative duties. This program is typically the minimum education level required for the occupation, and combines courses in child development and classroom management with practical teaching experiences.

Essential Information

Those interested in becoming a teacher's aide/teacher's assistant can find the certificate program at community colleges. In a state where certification is required for the profession, the institution may design the curriculum specifically to meet those requirements. Additionally, some programs require students to demonstrate math and English skills via high school transcripts, competency testing, or college-level courses.

  • Program Levels in Teacher Assisting: Certificate programs
  • Prerequisites: High school diploma or GED,
  • Program Length: Usually less than one year

Certificate Program in Teacher Assisting

This program provides the skills and knowledge needed to effectively assist a lead in a classroom setting. Since graduates will work with a younger audience, coursework often highlights the communication skills required to explain concepts in a simple manner. Some programs also emphasize early childhood or elementary school education. Courses may include the following:

  • Child development
  • Child behavior
  • Educational psychology
  • Children's literature
  • Math for elementary teachers

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Employment of teacher's assistants was expected to grow at an average rate between 2012 and 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) (www.bls.gov). More teachers' aides were expected to be hired because of factors like the growing enrollment of ESL (English as a second language) and special education students. The growing focus on education quality has led to some increase in the employment of teacher's aides. In 2014, the median annual salary for teacher's assistants was $24,430 as reported by the BLS.

Certification and Continuing Education

Some states require teacher's aides to become certified, which may require passing a competency exam. A growing number of schools prefer to hire aides with college degrees, such as a 2-year associate's degree, according to the BLS. Certificate programs may allow students to apply credits towards associate's degrees. Professional organizations, such as the National Resource Center for Paraprofessionals (www.nrcpara.org), provide additional opportunities or suggestions for continuing education.

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