Teachers' aides support classroom teachers by assisting with instruction and clerical tasks. In the classroom, teacher aide responsibilities may include working with students who need additional instruction, preparing materials and equipment for activities, and discussing students' progress with their teacher. Education requirements for entering the field vary, but teacher aides usually need at least two years of college.
|Education Requirements||Varied; two years of college or associate's degree may be required|
|Median Salary (2018)||$26,970*|
|Job Outlook (2018-2028)||4% growth*|
|Key Skills||Communication and interpersonal skills; patience when working with children|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Teaching Aide Job Description
Teacher assistants work with a licensed teacher to accomplish classroom objectives. Often, they supervise instructional activities to help students understand lessons. To accomplish this, teacher aides may work with small groups of students or with one student at a time. Teacher aide duties may also include helping teachers with clerical tasks like taking attendance or recording grades. Additionally, they may confer with teachers on student performance, and they may oversee students outside of the classroom during field trips and related activities.
Teacher aides often work in preschool, kindergarten, or elementary classrooms. Many work specifically with special education students. Typically, they work full-time, and many do not work during the summer months. Some teacher assistants work in school libraries, school computer labs, or childcare centers.
The requirements for becoming a teacher aide vary by state and by school. Generally, teacher aides must have some prior college coursework or hold an associate's degree, and some teacher aides hold a bachelor's degree. Prospective teacher aides can find childhood education programs useful as they usually include practical classroom experiences along with classes in child development, classroom management, and curriculum development. In addition to bachelor's or associate's degrees, some schools offer certificates specifically in teacher assistance.
In some cases, teacher assistants will need to pass an assessment before working in the classroom, and some states require formal certification after a candidate completes training programs on topics like child abuse and school violence. Some other requirements for teacher aides could be CPR or first aid certification and on-the-job training within their specific school.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for teacher assistants was $26,970 in May 2018. Those earning in the lowest 10% had salaries of $18,670 or lower while those in the top 10% made $41,020 or more. Teacher aides in Alaska, Massachusetts, and California tended to have the highest salaries.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that opportunities for teacher aides are expected to grow by about four percent between 2018 and 2028. This rate is roughly the average for all fields, and many available teacher aid positions may be the result of current employees leaving the field. Notably, the number of teacher aide positions depends on student enrollment numbers and budget allotments for schools. And, since teacher aides play support roles in the classroom, their positions may be eliminated during budget restrictions.