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Certified Teacher's Aide: Job Description and Requirements

Becoming a certified teachers aide requires some formal education. Learn about the education and job duties to find out if this is the career for you.

It may be possible to begin a career as a teacher assistant with a high school diploma or GED. A post-secondary certificate or associate's degree is common, and may be preferred. The specific requirements vary by state.

Essential Information

Certified teacher's aides, or assistants, provide tutoring and administrative assistance for classroom educators. Certified teacher's aides commonly complete a certificate or degree program in early childhood education or a similar discipline. Requirements for working within public schools vary by state.

Required Education In some cases, only a high school diploma or GED, though a certificate or associate's degree is common
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 6% (for all teacher assistants)
Average Salary (2015)* $26,550 (for all teacher assistants)

*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Description of Certified Teacher's Aides

Teacher's aides assist educators within a classroom environment. They work with children on an individual or group basis helping them to understand assigned lessons. Certified teacher's aides provide clerical or administrative assistance to classroom teachers, such as obtaining or setting up learning materials and entering grades. Certified teacher's aides also provide adult supervision during recess, lunchtime or field trips.

Employment Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, (BLS), projects 9% employment growth for teacher assistants from 2014-2024. The BLS attributes some of this expected growth to a demand for experienced professionals to provide individualized attention to special education children. An additional factor may be due to increased enrollments in preschool and childcare services.

Salary Information

The BLS reported an average national salary of $26,550 per year for teacher assistants in 2015. Nationally, most teacher assistant wages ranged from $17,920-$38,000. Vermont, Kansas, New Jersey, New York and New Hampshire had the highest concentration of teacher assistants, with average annual salaries ranging from $23,680-$30,350.

Job Requirements for Certified Teacher's Aides

Requirements and qualifications for working as a teacher's aide varies by state. Typically non-academic teacher's aides need only a high school diploma. Academic teacher's aides are recommended to complete at a minimum a certificate or associate's degree program in early childhood education or child development. Some of these programs also offer a teacher's aide option within the program. These programs train students in child guidance, assessment and curriculum development.

For those working within the public school system, some states require the completion of an associate's degree. Teacher's aides might also be required to complete the ParaPro Assessment Examination to teach in some schools. The ParaPro Assessment Examination tests math, writing and reading knowledge.

Teacher's aides work with children one-on-one or in a group to help them understand a concept or information from a class lesson. They may assist the classroom teacher with clerical and administrative tasks, or work exclusively with an assigned special-needs student. Teacher's aides also provide adult supervision during breaks and field trips.


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