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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
  • $63,392

    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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Do you work as an Educational Assistant?

Educational Assistant Jobs

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Educational Assistant Career Paths

Educational Assistant
Education Coordinator Adjunct Instructor ESL Instructor
Academic Director
8 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Operations Manager General Manager
Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Lead Teacher Assistant Director General Manager
Area Director
8 Yearsyrs
Special Education Assistant Special Education Teacher
Assistant Principal
10 Yearsyrs
Special Education Teacher Lead Teacher Assistant Director
Center Director
7 Yearsyrs
Kindergarten Teacher Site Coordinator Youth Director
Children's Ministries Director
6 Yearsyrs
Program Coordinator Communications Coordinator Communications Manager
Communications Project Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Case Manager Recruiter Instructor
Department Chairperson
7 Yearsyrs
Educator Instructor Lead Teacher
Director Of Preschool
7 Yearsyrs
Special Education Assistant Kindergarten Teacher Lead Teacher
Director Of Teacher Education
5 Yearsyrs
Legal Assistant Instructor Lead Teacher
Early Childhood Specialist
5 Yearsyrs
Case Manager Adjunct Instructor Instructor
Education Director
7 Yearsyrs
Instructor Special Education Teacher Lead Teacher
Lead Pre-K Teacher
5 Yearsyrs
Program Coordinator Home Health Aid Activities Director
Life Enrichment Director
7 Yearsyrs
Special Education Teacher Assistant Principal
Principal
11 Yearsyrs
Educator Trainer Direct Support Professional
Residential Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Instructor General Manager Account Executive
Sales/Marketing
5 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Technician Service Manager
Service Director
10 Yearsyrs
Lead Teacher Office Manager Instructor
Vocational Training Instructor
6 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as an Educational Assistant?

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 Employers Before
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 Employers After
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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Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Educational Assistant Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Clinician Educator (Assistant Professor) The University of Chicago Chicago, IL Jun 29, 2011 $205,328
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
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

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Top Skills for An Educational Assistant

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  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:
  • Follow all directives necessary assisting in classroom management, and daily activity completion.
  • Applied positive reinforcement method to students with sever behavioral issues by redirecting negative behaviors.
  • Assist students with reading fluency, vocabulary, writing, and comprehension skills during whole and small group instruction and activities.
  • Provided one-on-one assistance to students with special needs who and physically and mentally disabled.
  • Partnered with Special Education Teachers to provide inclusive classroom instructional methods and support with differentiated instruction for Special Needs students.

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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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