Teacher aides - otherwise called paraprofessionals or para-educators - are crucial members of classroom communities, offering a variety of educational services to teachers, students, and families. Utah does not offer a state-wide license for paraprofessionals; instead, local school districts only hire teacher aides whose qualifications meet or exceed the state's requirements. Below you will discover everything you need to know about how you can meet these requirements and begin your career as a paraprofessional in Utah.
Utah Teacher Aide Requirements
|Average Salary for Teacher Aides in Utah (2017)*||$25,090|
|Required Degree||High school diploma/GED and 48 college credits or minimum of an associate's degree|
|Testing Requirements||Praxis ETS Parapro Exam (If you don't have a degree or 48 credits.)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Step 1: Get a Diploma and Degree (or Earn College Credits)
In order to become a teacher aide in Utah, you'll first need a high school diploma or GED.
Once this requirement has been met, you can earn 48 college credits (approximately two years' worth of college classes) to qualify for a teacher aide job. Or, you can become eligible with a minimum of an associate's degree. All of your higher education semester hours must be from an accredited institution in order to be accepted by the state of Utah.
There is no mandated field for your coursework, but it may be most helpful to pick a major (or classes) closely related to education or children's growth.
Step 2: Take an Exam (If You Need To)
If you don't have enough credits or a college degree, don't worry! You can still easily become a teacher aide in Utah by taking just one standardized exam.
The test you take is the Praxis Parapro. You must score a 460 or above to become qualified for paraprofessional positions.
This computer-based exam is 2.5 hours long and consists of 90 multiple-choice questions. The questions cover mathematics, writing, and reading. Approximately two-thirds of the exam tests how well you know academic content in these areas, while the other third focuses on your classroom application skills.
You can take the exam after making an appointment with the following organizations in Utah:
- Legacy Preparatory Academy
- Nomen Global Language Centers
- Granite School District
Step 3: Complete a Background Check and Get Hired
Once your exam or your university education is complete, you have to undergo a criminal background check conducted by the state of Utah in order to get hired at a school.
Since you don't have to complete your background check alongside your state-wide licensure application the way that teachers do, contact your local school district and ask how they would like paraprofessional candidates to undergo the necessary background checks while applying for positions.
Additionally, you can ask about the other details of the teacher aide hiring process so that you'll be fully prepared and increase your chances of successfully getting the job.
Resources for Teacher Aides in Utah
Are you nervous about your upcoming Praxis Parapro exam? Take a look at the class below - it could help you pass your test and shine as a teacher aide in Utah: