According the State of California Employment Development Department, the employment rate for teachers' aides in the state is reported to grow 10.5% between 2014 and 2024. Below, we'll look at the requirements and steps needed to become an assistant to a teacher.
Requirements for Teachers' Aides in California
|Average Salary for Teacher Assistants in California (2017)*||$34,290|
|Required Degree||Associate's degree|
|Testing Requirements||California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Step 1: Complete Education Requirements
Requirements for teachers' aides vary by school district. While some accept applicants with a high school diploma, many prefer aides to have at least an associate's degree. Many community colleges also offer certificate programs for paraprofessionals. These careers are often stepping stones for those who would eventually like to teach, so if seeking teaching credentials is the primary goal, you'll want to enroll in a bachelor's degree program.
Step 2: Pass Required Tests
Teachers' aides need to be well-versed in basic educational knowledge. For this reason, all assistants are expected to prove proficiency in reading, mathematics, and writing. To fulfill this requirement, applicants can take and pass the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST). This test is made up of three subsections. The reading and math sections each have 50 multiple-choice questions, while the writing section asks you to complete two essays. In order to pass this test, you must earn no less than 37 on each subtest, with a cumulative score of no less than 123. You will be given four hours to complete the exam, and the test fee is $41 plus service fees.
Step 3: Be Screened
Everyone who intends to work with children in an education setting must be fingerprinted and cleared by the California Department of Justice (DOJ) and the FBI. A Live Scan, or automated process, can be completed by California residents, shortening the approval time with the CA DOJ. Some school districts may require a clean driving record and a tuberculosis (TB) screening as well.