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Become An Educational Assistant

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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
  • $42,000

    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 Jobs

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Educational Assistant Career Paths

Educational Assistant
Special Education Teacher Case Manager Specialist
Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Education Coordinator Education Program Manager
Assistant Education Director
6 Yearsyrs
Education Coordinator Program Director Trainer
Assistant General Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Specialist Accountant Treasurer
Board Member
5 Yearsyrs
Lead Teacher Office Manager Operations Manager
Branch Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Educator Program Manager Product Manager
Brand Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Special Education Assistant Case Manager Operations Manager
Business Owner
6 Yearsyrs
Special Education Teacher Lead Teacher Assistant Director
Center Director
7 Yearsyrs
Case Manager Program Manager General Manager
Center Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Lead Teacher Assistant Director Program Director
Clinical Director
9 Yearsyrs
Instructor Operations Manager Property Manager
Communications Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Program Coordinator Adjunct Instructor Instructor
Department Chairperson
7 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Human Resources Manager
Director Of Human Resources
10 Yearsyrs
Educator Project Manager Director
Executive Director
10 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Account Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Specialist Operations Manager Assistant Director
Owner/Director
7 Yearsyrs
Special Education Assistant Special Education Teacher Case Manager
Patient Care Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Program Coordinator Specialist Licensed Practical Nurse
Resident Services Director
6 Yearsyrs
Case Manager Specialist Operations Manager
Site Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Instructor Assistant Director Director
Vice President
6 Yearsyrs
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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Para Educator 2.9 years
Para Professional 2.6 years
Instructional Aide 2.4 years
Educational Aid 2.2 years
Top Careers Before Educational Assistant
Internship 9.7%
Teacher 7.6%
Cashier 7.0%
Volunteer 5.9%
Assistant 3.1%
Tutor 2.9%
Teller 2.8%
Secretary 2.6%
Top Careers After Educational Assistant
Teacher 10.8%
Internship 7.7%
Volunteer 5.5%
Cashier 5.0%
Tutor 3.6%
Assistant 3.4%
Instructor 2.7%

Do you work as an Educational Assistant?

Educational Assistant Demographics

Gender

Female

75.6%

Male

22.1%

Unknown

2.3%
Ethnicity

White

61.3%

Hispanic or Latino

16.9%

Black or African American

8.9%

Asian

7.9%

Unknown

5.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

57.5%

French

10.8%

German

4.0%

Japanese

2.7%

Mandarin

2.5%

Russian

2.5%

Portuguese

2.5%

Chinese

2.2%

Arabic

2.2%

Armenian

2.0%

Italian

2.0%

Hmong

1.8%

Korean

1.3%

Hawaiian

1.3%

Tagalog

1.1%

Hindi

0.9%

Hebrew

0.7%

Urdu

0.7%

Dakota

0.7%

Swedish

0.4%
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Educational Assistant Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

17.9%

University of New Mexico

7.7%

Grand Canyon University

7.1%

University of Memphis

5.3%

New Mexico State University

5.1%

Middle Tennessee State University

5.0%

University of Oregon

5.0%

Liberty University

4.8%

Central New Mexico Community College

4.7%

Ashford University

4.2%

Portland State University

4.1%

Southern Connecticut State University

3.8%

Oregon State University

3.3%

University of Hawaii at Hilo

3.3%

Capella University

3.3%

Arizona State University

3.2%

Tennessee State University

3.2%

Pennsylvania State University

3.2%

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

3.0%

University of Northern Iowa

3.0%
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Majors

Business

14.5%

Psychology

11.1%

Elementary Education

8.7%

Education

8.7%

Special Education

5.4%

Criminal Justice

4.7%

Social Work

4.7%

Early Childhood Education

4.6%

English

4.2%

Communication

3.6%

Liberal Arts

3.6%

Nursing

3.3%

Sociology

3.1%

Biology

3.1%

General Education, Specific Areas

3.1%

Health Care Administration

3.0%

History

2.7%

Accounting

2.7%

General Studies

2.7%

Human Development

2.6%
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Degrees

Bachelors

40.6%

Masters

22.5%

Other

19.9%

Associate

10.0%

Certificate

4.3%

Doctorate

1.3%

Diploma

1.1%

License

0.3%
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Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Educational Assistant Salaries

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

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AVERAGE SALARY FOR An Educational Assistant

Average Yearly Salary
$42,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$28,000
Min 10%
$42,000
Median 50%
$42,000
Median 50%
$42,000
Median 50%
$42,000
Median 50%
$42,000
Median 50%
$42,000
Median 50%
$42,000
Median 50%
$65,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Jones Day Limited Partnership
Highest Paying City
Napa, CA
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
2.4 years
How much does an Educational Assistant make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Educational Assistant in the United States is $42,991 per year or $21 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $28,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $65,000.

How Would You Rate The Salary Of an Educational Assistant?

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Top Skills for An Educational Assistant

  1. Classroom Management
  2. Behavioral Issues
  3. Small Group Instruction
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Coached and motivated students in physical activities Maintained classroom management.
  • Utilized conflict prevention and intervention techniques daily with students displaying behavioral issues.
  • Assist classroom teacher with daily procedures including facilitating small group instruction and preparing classwork.
  • Research Cooperative Education Assistant January 2003 - August 2003 Provided critical pharmaceutical experimental data in Drug Evaluation stage of Chemical Development.
  • Tailored lesson plans for students with emotional and cognitive disabilities while supporting classroom teachers in the delivery of developmentally-appropriate curriculum.

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Top 10 Best States for Educational Assistants

  1. Alaska
  2. California
  3. Connecticut
  4. North Dakota
  5. Nevada
  6. Oregon
  7. Wyoming
  8. Rhode Island
  9. Vermont
  10. Washington
  • (148 jobs)
  • (876 jobs)
  • (104 jobs)
  • (11 jobs)
  • (215 jobs)
  • (53 jobs)
  • (7 jobs)
  • (13 jobs)
  • (9 jobs)
  • (61 jobs)

Top Educational Assistant Employers

Jobs From Top Educational Assistant Employers

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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