How to Become a Teacher's Aide in Iowa

Jun 15, 2021

Teacher's aides, also known as paraeducators or teacher assistants, work under the guidance of a licensed teacher to assist as needed in a classroom. These paraprofessionals may also assist with classroom instruction and student supervision outside the classroom. Learn what it takes to become a teacher's aide in the state of Iowa.

Iowa Teacher's Aide General Information

Average Salary for Teacher Assistants in Iowa (2019)* $25,390
Required Degree Associate's degree or paraeducator certificate required
Degree Field Education with the ability to assist in instructing reading, writing, and mathematics
Testing Requirements Work Keys OR Parapro Assessment from ETS OR COMPASS from ACT

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Complete Necessary Schooling Requirements

The State of Iowa has three levels of certification for teacher assistants: generalist, area of concentration, and advanced certification. Each of these levels features different requirements for certification.

Generalist Certification

A generalist is the most basic level of certification for a teacher's aide in Iowa. This position requires two years of college study or completion of an accredited associate's degree program. In lieu of educational experience, a formal state or local academic assessment program can be used. A certification can also be obtained through the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners. Ten hours of supervised experience in a K-12 classroom is also required.

Area of Concentration Certification

An area of concentration certification requires all coursework or equivalent experience necessary to receive the generalist certification. In addition, specialized courses must be taken for those desiring to work with a special population, such as English as a Second Language students or those with disabilities.

Advanced Certification

An advanced paraeducator certification requires a generalist certification as well as an Associate of Arts degree in an approved area of study. In lieu of an associate's degree, 62 approved college credits can be substituted. In addition, 100 hours of supervised field experience is required. This certification offers full eligibility to work in all grades from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.

Step 2: Complete the Required Assessments

The state of Iowa accepts three methods of assessment for teacher's aides: Work Keys, the Parapro Assessment from ETS, or the COMPASS from ACT. Each of these tests measures a prospect's knowledge and ability to assist instruction in reading, writing, and math. The COMPASS minimum score for prospective teacher's aides is 150. For the Work Keys and Parapro Assessment, results must meet the standards set by the No Child Left Behind Act.

Resources for Prospective Teacher's Aides

Additional resources for those looking to receive teacher assistant certification can be found using the links below.

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