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Working As a Classroom Assistant

  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Getting Information
  • Thinking Creatively
  • $27,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Classroom Assistant Do

Teacher assistants work under a teacher’s supervision to give students additional attention and instruction.

Duties

Teacher assistants typically do the following:

  • Reinforce lessons presented by teachers by reviewing material with students one-on-one or in small groups
  • Enforce school and class rules to help teach students proper behavior
  • Help teachers with recordkeeping, such as tracking attendance and calculating grades
  • Help teachers prepare for lessons by getting materials ready or setting up equipment, such as computers
  • Supervise students in class, between classes, during lunch and recess, and on field trips

Teacher assistants also are called teacher aides, instructional aides, paraprofessionals, education assistants, and paraeducators.

Teacher assistants work with or under the guidance of a licensed teacher. Generally, teachers introduce new material to students while teacher assistants help reinforce the lessons by working with individual students or small groups of students. For example, after the teacher presents a lesson, a teacher assistant may help a small group of students as they try to master the material.

Teachers may seek feedback from assistants to monitor students’ progress. Some teachers and teacher assistants meet regularly to discuss lesson plans and student development. Teacher assistants sometimes help teachers by grading tests and checking homework.

Some teacher assistants work only with special education students. Some of these students attend regular classes, and teacher assistants help them understand the material and adapt the information to their learning style. Teacher assistants may work with students who have more severe disabilities in separate classrooms. They help these students with basic needs, such as eating or personal hygiene. With young adults, they may help students with disabilities learn skills necessary for them to find a job or live independently after graduation.

Some teacher assistants work in specific locations in the school. For example, some work in computer laboratories, teaching students how to use computers and helping them use software. Others work as recess or lunchroom attendants, supervising students during these times of the day.

Although most teacher assistants work in elementary, middle, and high schools, others work in preschools and childcare centers. Often, one or two assistants work with a lead teacher to provide the individual attention that young children need. They help with educational activities. They also supervise the children at play and help with feeding and other basic care.

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How To Become A Classroom Assistant

Teacher assistants typically need to have completed at least 2 years of college coursework.

Education

Most school districts require applicants to have completed at least 2 years of college coursework or have earned an associate’s degree. Teacher assistants in schools that have a Title 1 program (a federal program for schools with a large proportion of students from low-income households) must have at least a 2-year degree, 2 years of college, or pass a state or local assessment.

Associate’s degree programs for teacher assistants prepare the participants to develop educational materials, observe students, and understand the role of teachers and teaching assistants in the classroom.

Most states require instructional aides who work with special-needs students to pass a skills-based test.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Teacher assistants need to discuss students’ progress with teachers and parents, so they need to be able to communicate well.

Interpersonal skills. Teacher assistants interact with a variety of people, including teachers, students, parents, and administrators. They need to develop good working relationships with the people they work with.

Patience. Working with students of different abilities and backgrounds can be difficult. Teacher assistants must be patient with students who struggle with material.

Resourcefulness. To reinforce lessons, teacher assistants must explain information to students in a way that meets each student’s learning style. 

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Average Length of Employment
Para Professional 3.0 years
Para Educator 3.0 years
Instructional Aide 2.5 years
Teacher Associate 2.4 years
Teacher Assistant 2.0 years
Teacher Aide 1.9 years
Kindergarten Aide 1.8 years
Classroom Aide 1.8 years
Helper Teacher 1.5 years
Teacher Internship 0.8 years
Top Careers Before Classroom Assistant
Cashier 9.6%
Volunteer 9.1%
Internship 8.9%
Teacher 6.1%
Tutor 5.0%
Assistant 4.4%
Server 2.8%
Counselor 2.5%
Top Careers After Classroom Assistant
Teacher 9.2%
Internship 8.8%
Volunteer 8.0%
Cashier 7.0%
Tutor 4.6%
Nanny 3.5%
Assistant 3.4%
Server 3.2%

Do you work as a Classroom Assistant?

Average Yearly Salary
$27,000
Show Salaries
$22,000
Min 10%
$27,000
Median 50%
$27,000
Median 50%
$27,000
Median 50%
$27,000
Median 50%
$27,000
Median 50%
$27,000
Median 50%
$27,000
Median 50%
$34,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Broward County Public Schools
Highest Paying City
Atascadero, CA
Highest Paying State
Hawaii
Avg Experience Level
1.9 years
How much does a Classroom Assistant make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Classroom Assistant in the United States is $27,975 per year or $13 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $22,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $34,000.

Top Skills for A Classroom Assistant

  1. Classroom Management
  2. Behavioral Issues
  3. Small Groups
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Observed and assimilated curriculum ideas, classroom management techniques, teaching and assessment strategies.
  • Modified classroom assignments to provide a more comfortable learning environment for students with emotional, social, and behavioral issues.
  • Worked closely with children individually and in small groups to facilitate educational goals structured for the curriculum.
  • Provided input and implementation of daily lesson plans, facilitated recess activities, initiate peaceful conflict resolution.
  • Tutor Kindergarten students in Mathematics and Reading * Assist teachers of Kindergarten students in planning classroom activities

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Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Classroom Assistants

  1. Connecticut
  2. Rhode Island
  3. New Hampshire
  4. Alaska
  5. Nevada
  6. Vermont
  7. New York
  8. California
  9. Massachusetts
  10. Minnesota
  • (112 jobs)
  • (15 jobs)
  • (27 jobs)
  • (147 jobs)
  • (223 jobs)
  • (10 jobs)
  • (243 jobs)
  • (932 jobs)
  • (79 jobs)
  • (85 jobs)

Classroom Assistant Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 7,163 Classroom Assistant resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Classroom Assistant Resume

View Resume Examples

Classroom Assistant Demographics

Gender

Female

70.1%

Male

17.9%

Unknown

12.0%
Ethnicity

White

64.5%

Hispanic or Latino

14.3%

Black or African American

10.6%

Asian

6.9%

Unknown

3.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

53.9%

French

11.8%

Arabic

4.5%

Mandarin

4.0%

Chinese

3.8%

Japanese

3.3%

German

3.1%

Italian

2.6%

Cantonese

2.4%

Korean

1.9%

Russian

1.7%

Portuguese

1.4%

Hebrew

1.2%

Swedish

0.7%

Vietnamese

0.7%

Hindi

0.7%

Thai

0.7%

Greek

0.7%

Telugu

0.5%

Hmong

0.5%
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Classroom Assistant Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

12.2%

Temple University

9.6%

Grand Canyon University

6.4%

Ashford University

6.0%

Pennsylvania State University

6.0%

Michigan State University

5.7%

Community College of Philadelphia

5.2%

Liberty University

4.9%

Portland State University

4.7%

University of Massachusetts Amherst

4.6%

Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis

4.2%

New York University

4.1%

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

3.8%

University of Washington

3.8%

Walden University

3.3%

University of Central Florida

3.1%

The Academy

3.1%

University of Oregon

3.1%

Arizona State University

3.1%

University of Connecticut

3.1%
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Majors

Psychology

13.1%

Elementary Education

10.4%

Business

9.5%

Education

7.8%

Early Childhood Education

7.3%

Special Education

6.0%

Social Work

5.2%

Human Development

5.0%

English

4.7%

Liberal Arts

3.6%

Criminal Justice

3.5%

Sociology

3.5%

Nursing

2.9%

Human Services

2.9%

General Studies

2.7%

General Education, Specific Areas

2.7%

Communication

2.6%

Health Care Administration

2.2%

Biology

2.2%

History

2.1%
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Degrees

Bachelors

45.5%

Other

20.8%

Masters

18.6%

Associate

9.2%

Certificate

3.7%

Diploma

1.1%

Doctorate

0.7%

License

0.4%
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Top Classroom Assistant Employers

Jobs From Top Classroom Assistant Employers

Classroom Assistant Videos

A day in the life of a Special Education teacher

A Day in the Life of a Kindergarten Teacher

A day in the life of a pre-school teacher

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Updated May 19, 2020