Those interested in becoming a teacher's aide in North Carolina have a few options for college courses and exams before they apply for a job. Although an associate degree covers the educational requirement, a sufficient amount of college courses without a degree will also qualify.
Requirements for Teacher's Aides in North Carolina
|Average Salary for Teacher's Aides in North Carolina (2017)*||$23,360|
|Required Degree||Associate degree or forty-eight semester hours|
|Degree Field||None specified|
|Testing Requirements||COMPASS or ASSET or Accuplacer Tests for degree seekers; Work Keys Occupational Profile Assesments for Teacher Aides for non-degree seekers|
*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Step 1: Attend College Courses
Regardless of the field, all teacher aides are required to earn a total of forty-eight semester hours at a college or university. Another option is to earn an associate degree, which typically takes two years. Future teacher's aides may choose to pursue an Associate in Science, a generalized degree that builds a foundation for a later four-year program. This associate degree could include classes such as conceptual physics, calculus, and introductory botany. Another degree, such as the Associate of Applied Science in Business Administration, exposes students to courses like business ethics, intro to e-commerce, and entrepreneurship.
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Step 2: Pass Specific Exams
The type of testing required for teacher's aides in North Carolina is determined by the career aspirations of anyone applying for a position as an aide. If planning to go on for a full post-secondary education program, students will go through one of three chosen tests. ACT has developed the COMPASS and ASSET tests, while the College Board administers the Accuplacer test for teacher's aides. All three of the exams are designed to test mathematics abilities up to and including the pre-algebra level. The tests also include assessments in reading and writing. Once the chosen exam is concluded, the candidate is required to go through a grand total of ninety-six hours of professional staff development continuing education.
For those who do not wish to earn a degree, the ACT-developed Work Keys Occupational Profile Assessments for Teacher Aides is available to all potential candidates. The test includes three sections: Reading for Information, Writing, and Applied Mathematics. Once this exam is passed, employment is possible, and the same continuing education requirement for those seeking a degree applies to non-degree seekers.
Step 3: Apply for Positions
Currently, no license or certification is required for a position as a teacher's aide in the state of North Carolina. After earning college credit and passing their chosen exam, those who wish to gain employment should keep their eyes on the Human Resources department of a given school system in North Carolina for available openings. The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction's website also points potential teachers toward the North Carolina Association of Teacher Assistants, which grants professional training opportunities. There is also the National Resource Center for Paraprofessionals, specifically catering to those in the educational field. Specific contact information at each school will be available on district websites.