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Working As An Educational Assistant

  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Getting Information
  • Thinking Creatively
  • $31,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Educational 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 An Educational 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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Educational Assistant Career Paths

Educational Assistant
Teacher Consultant Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Teacher Consultant Project Manager
General Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Teacher Consultant Owner
Co-Owner
6 Yearsyrs
Assistant Executive Assistant Office Manager
Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Assistant Executive Assistant Assistant Manager
Assistant General Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Assistant Executive Assistant Manager
Service Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Tutor Team Leader Office Manager
Business Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Tutor Team Leader Assistant Manager
Center Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Tutor Team Leader Case Manager
Patient Care Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Special Education Teacher Lead Teacher Assistant Manager
Communications Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Special Education Teacher Lead Teacher Assistant Director
Center Director
7 Yearsyrs
Special Education Teacher Lead Teacher Manager
Site Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Technician Maintenance Supervisor
Facilities Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Administrator Office Manager
Business Owner
6 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Instructor Adjunct Professor
Assistant Principal
10 Yearsyrs
Student Teacher Adjunct Professor Owner
Communications Director
6 Yearsyrs
Student Teacher Preschool Lead Teacher Director
Education Director
7 Yearsyrs
Student Teacher Adjunct Professor Program Manager
Associate Director
8 Yearsyrs
Educator Kindergarten Teacher Preschool Lead Teacher
Lead Pre-K Teacher
5 Yearsyrs
Program Coordinator Executive Administrative Assistant Business Owner
Entrepreneur
5 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Para Educator 3.0 years
Para Professional 3.0 years
Instructional Aide 2.5 years
Educational Aid 2.4 years
Helper Teacher 1.5 years
Top Careers Before Educational Assistant
Cashier 9.0%
Internship 8.8%
Teacher 7.1%
Volunteer 5.9%
Assistant 3.4%
Tutor 3.1%
Secretary 2.4%
Server 2.2%
Top Careers After Educational Assistant
Teacher 9.5%
Internship 7.6%
Cashier 6.9%
Volunteer 5.4%
Assistant 4.0%
Tutor 3.3%
Server 2.7%
Instructor 2.5%

Do you work as an Educational Assistant?

Average Yearly Salary
$31,000
Show Salaries
$19,000
Min 10%
$31,000
Median 50%
$31,000
Median 50%
$31,000
Median 50%
$31,000
Median 50%
$31,000
Median 50%
$31,000
Median 50%
$31,000
Median 50%
$50,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Rush University Medical Center
Highest Paying City
Burbank, CA
Highest Paying State
California
Avg Experience Level
2.6 years
How much does an Educational Assistant make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Educational Assistant in the United States is $31,500 per year or $15 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $19,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $50,000.

The largest raises come from changing jobs.

See what's out there.

Real Educational Assistant Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Assistant Profess-Education The University of Texas at El Paso Jun 01, 2013 $70,000
Assistant Profess-Education The University of Texas at El Paso Aug 10, 2013 $70,000
Adjunct Instructor of Physical Education/Asst Tenn Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College Jul 04, 2012 $68,433
Asst. Prof. Early Childhood Education Laguardia Community College Sep 01, 2014 $68,024
Assistant Prof. of Mathematics Education College of Charleston Aug 16, 2015 $61,000
Lecturer (Assistant Prof.) Ntt/Gse-Educational PSY Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey Sep 01, 2013 $58,000
Assistant Porfessor, Dept of Deaf Studies/Deaf Education Lamar University Jan 06, 2016 $56,524
Asst. Prof. of Health, Physical Education & Exercise Science Lincoln Memorial University Jan 07, 2016 $55,000
Assist Prof Educational Research University of North Carolina at Charlotte Nov 28, 2007 $52,000
Assist Prof Educational Research University of North Carolina at Charlotte Oct 05, 2007 $51,000
Asst. Prof., Mathematics Education University of West Georgia Jun 05, 2012 $50,000
Environmental Education Assistant Eastern Kentucky University Feb 08, 2010 $48,168
Assistant To The Higher Education Officer Brooklyn College, City University of New York May 20, 2011 $46,328
Nurse Education Specialist Assistant North Shore-LIJ Health System Feb 15, 2011 $45,000
Asst. Prof. of Physical Education, Wellness, & Leisure Henderson State University Oct 25, 2016 $43,000

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Top Skills for An Educational Assistant

  1. Classroom Management
  2. Special Needs
  3. Behavioral Issues
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Maintained a healthy learning environment through effective classroom management, and school culture application.
  • Developed and implement educational therapy plans for severe special needs students that incorporates educational goals with life and vocational skill building.
  • Applied positive reinforcement method to students with sever behavioral issues by redirecting negative behaviors.
  • Developed multitasking skills while creating lesson plans, controlling classroom behavior, and presenting instructional material alongside special education teacher.
  • Tutored special education students one-on-one and in small groups to facilitate understanding of concepts.

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Top 10 Best States for Educational Assistants

  1. California
  2. Connecticut
  3. Nevada
  4. New York
  5. Rhode Island
  6. Alaska
  7. New Jersey
  8. New Hampshire
  9. Delaware
  10. Pennsylvania
  • (876 jobs)
  • (104 jobs)
  • (215 jobs)
  • (206 jobs)
  • (13 jobs)
  • (148 jobs)
  • (138 jobs)
  • (27 jobs)
  • (8 jobs)
  • (172 jobs)

Educational 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 13,496 Educational 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 Educational Assistant Resume

View Resume Examples

Educational Assistant Demographics

Gender

Female

72.1%

Male

23.4%

Unknown

4.5%
Ethnicity

White

61.4%

Hispanic or Latino

17.1%

Black or African American

9.5%

Asian

7.4%

Unknown

4.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

61.7%

French

10.8%

German

3.6%

Arabic

2.4%

Mandarin

2.3%

Italian

2.3%

Portuguese

2.3%

Chinese

2.3%

Japanese

2.3%

Russian

2.0%

Hmong

1.4%

Armenian

1.4%

Korean

1.2%

Hebrew

0.9%

Hawaiian

0.8%

Tagalog

0.8%

Bulgarian

0.5%

Norwegian

0.5%

Braille

0.5%

Urdu

0.5%
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Educational Assistant Education

Schools

University of New Mexico

11.5%

Middle Tennessee State University

9.2%

University of Memphis

7.0%

New Mexico State University

6.4%

Grand Canyon University

6.1%

Kaplan University

5.6%

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

5.2%

Ashford University

5.2%

Central New Mexico Community College

5.0%

Portland State University

4.9%

University of Oregon

4.1%

University of Hawaii at Manoa

3.5%

Tennessee State University

3.5%

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

3.4%

New Mexico Highlands University

3.4%

University of Washington

3.4%

Saint Louis Community College

3.2%

Arizona State University

3.2%

Pennsylvania State University

3.2%

Liberty University

3.1%
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Majors

Business

14.1%

Psychology

11.7%

Education

8.5%

Elementary Education

7.5%

Criminal Justice

5.0%

Liberal Arts

4.9%

Early Childhood Education

4.7%

Social Work

4.7%

Special Education

4.1%

English

3.8%

Nursing

3.8%

Health Care Administration

3.7%

Communication

3.4%

Sociology

3.3%

Human Services

3.1%

Human Development

3.0%

History

2.9%

Biology

2.7%

Accounting

2.7%

General Education, Specific Areas

2.6%
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Degrees

Bachelors

47.7%

Masters

16.4%

Associate

15.5%

High School Diploma

11.1%

Certificate

5.5%

Diploma

2.4%

License

0.7%

Doctorate

0.7%
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Educational Assistant Videos

A day in the life of a pre-school teacher

A day in the life of a Special Education teacher

A Day in the Life of a Kindergarten Teacher

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Updated May 18, 2020