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Working As an Education Paraprofessional

  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Getting Information
  • Thinking Creatively
  • $30,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Education Paraprofessional 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 An Education Paraprofessional

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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Education Paraprofessional Career Paths

Education Paraprofessional
Special Education Teacher Lead Teacher Manager
Principal
11 Yearsyrs
Special Education Teacher Lead Teacher Director
Education Director
7 Yearsyrs
Special Education Teacher Adjunct Professor
Assistant Principal
10 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Lead Teacher
Lead Pre-K Teacher
5 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Consultant Principal
Elementary School Principal
12 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Instructor Adjunct Professor
Department Chairperson
7 Yearsyrs
Tutor Adjunct Professor Assistant Principal
School Principal
10 Yearsyrs
Tutor Consultant Principal
Athletic Director
5 Yearsyrs
Tutor Team Leader Assistant Director
School Director
6 Yearsyrs
Student Teacher Adjunct Instructor Assistant Principal
Director Of Special Education
11 Yearsyrs
Student Teacher Instructor Assistant Professor
Assistant Dean
8 Yearsyrs
Nanny Administrator Assistant Principal
Director Of Instruction
7 Yearsyrs
Student Teacher Program Coordinator Education Consultant
Student Dean
7 Yearsyrs
Nanny Preschool Lead Teacher
Child Care Director
5 Yearsyrs
Special Education Assistant Kindergarten Teacher Early Childhood Special Educator
Early Childhood Specialist
5 Yearsyrs
Program Coordinator Educational Programs Coordinator Education Program Manager
Assistant Education Director
6 Yearsyrs
Nanny Preschool Lead Teacher Center Director
Early Head Start Director
7 Yearsyrs
Counselor Behavioral Specialist School Psychologist
Special Education Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Kindergarten Teacher Preschool Lead Teacher Child Care Director
Child Care Center Director
6 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Para Professional 3.0 years
Para Educator 3.0 years
Instructional Aide 2.5 years
Top Careers Before Education Paraprofessional
Teacher 7.7%
Cashier 7.4%
Internship 6.4%
Volunteer 3.8%
Tutor 3.2%
Server 3.0%
Top Careers After Education Paraprofessional
Teacher 11.6%
Cashier 4.8%
Internship 3.7%
Tutor 3.4%
Server 2.7%
Volunteer 2.7%

Do you work as an Education Paraprofessional?

Average Yearly Salary
$30,000
Show Salaries
$24,000
Min 10%
$30,000
Median 50%
$30,000
Median 50%
$30,000
Median 50%
$30,000
Median 50%
$30,000
Median 50%
$30,000
Median 50%
$30,000
Median 50%
$36,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Central High School
Highest Paying City
Brentwood, NY
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
3.2 years
How much does an Education Paraprofessional make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Education Paraprofessional in the United States is $30,033 per year or $14 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $24,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $36,000.

Top Skills for An Education Paraprofessional

  1. Classroom Management
  2. Special Needs
  3. Behavioral Issues
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Attended a variety of professional development workshops centered on classroom management and learning techniques *Facilitated school system wide staff training
  • Modify the general education curriculum for special needs students based upon a variety of instructional techniques and instructional and positive reinforcement.
  • Tutored students with learning disabilities and behavioral issues in a linguistically and culturally diverse school.
  • Assisted the primary classroom teacher in meeting daily objectives* Managed student learning environment* Conducted learning activities with individual students or small groups
  • Fostered improved communication between school & Latino community by interpreting linguistically and culturally in formal IEP evaluations and informal student meetings.

Rank:

Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Education Paraprofessionals

  1. Alaska
  2. Minnesota
  3. New Hampshire
  4. Rhode Island
  5. Connecticut
  6. Montana
  7. California
  8. Wyoming
  9. Nebraska
  10. Massachusetts
  • (6 jobs)
  • (134 jobs)
  • (49 jobs)
  • (11 jobs)
  • (133 jobs)
  • (18 jobs)
  • (1,180 jobs)
  • (3 jobs)
  • (13 jobs)
  • (83 jobs)

Education Paraprofessional 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 10,825 Education Paraprofessional 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 Education Paraprofessional Resume

View Resume Examples

Education Paraprofessional Demographics

Gender

Female

72.1%

Male

18.1%

Unknown

9.8%
Ethnicity

White

66.1%

Hispanic or Latino

14.1%

Black or African American

11.1%

Asian

5.6%

Unknown

3.2%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

72.8%

French

6.3%

Portuguese

2.7%

German

2.7%

Italian

2.2%

Arabic

2.2%

Mandarin

1.4%

Russian

1.1%

Braille

1.1%

Greek

1.1%

Hmong

0.8%

Tagalog

0.8%

Chinese

0.8%

Japanese

0.8%

Swedish

0.5%

Turkish

0.5%

Hindi

0.5%

Dutch

0.5%

Korean

0.5%

Vietnamese

0.5%
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Education Paraprofessional Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

18.3%

Grand Canyon University

10.8%

Ashford University

9.6%

Liberty University

5.9%

Kaplan University

5.9%

Walden University

4.7%

Capella University

4.5%

Southern New Hampshire University

3.7%

Minnesota State University - Mankato

3.7%

Arizona State University

3.6%

Southern Connecticut State University

3.4%

Saint Cloud State University

3.2%

University of Connecticut

3.1%

Eastern Michigan University

3.0%

Kansas State University

2.9%

Georgia State University

2.9%

Central Connecticut State University

2.8%

Wayne State University

2.8%

Western Governors University

2.7%

Cambridge College

2.6%
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Majors

Psychology

11.9%

Business

10.5%

Special Education

10.2%

Elementary Education

9.5%

Education

8.8%

Early Childhood Education

5.5%

Criminal Justice

5.2%

Social Work

4.1%

Human Services

3.8%

Liberal Arts

3.4%

Nursing

3.2%

Sociology

3.1%

Human Development

3.0%

English

3.0%

Health Care Administration

2.8%

Communication

2.8%

General Education, Specific Areas

2.4%

General Studies

2.4%

School Counseling

2.2%

Counseling Psychology

2.1%
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Degrees

Bachelors

41.7%

Masters

20.3%

Other

19.0%

Associate

12.0%

Certificate

4.8%

Diploma

1.1%

License

0.6%

Doctorate

0.6%
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What Is It Like To Work As An Education Paraprofessional

5.0

Paraprofessional

January 11, 2020 on Zippia

What was your job title?

Education Paraprofessional.. Show More

What do you like the most about working as Education Paraprofessional?

Assisting the children excel and overcome the daily difficulties. Also, to assist the classroom teacher help make their day go a little smoother... Show More

What do you NOT like?

The only part after 13 years as a para was having to restrain a student to protect them from hurting their selves or others students in the area... Show More

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Education Paraprofessional Videos

Special Education - Differential Reinforcement

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