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Become An Instructional Assistant

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Working As An Instructional Assistant

  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Getting Information
  • Thinking Creatively
  • $32,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Instructional 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 Instructional 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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Instructional Assistant Career Paths

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Average Length of Employment
Para Educator 3.0 years
Para Professional 3.0 years
Instructional Aide 2.5 years
Teacher Internship 0.8 years
Top Careers Before Instructional Assistant
Internship 8.1%
Teacher 8.1%
Cashier 8.0%
Volunteer 4.8%
Tutor 4.2%
Assistant 3.3%
Instructor 2.8%
Secretary 2.2%
Top Careers After Instructional Assistant
Teacher 11.1%
Internship 6.3%
Cashier 5.8%
Instructor 4.5%
Volunteer 4.4%
Tutor 4.2%
Assistant 3.5%

Do you work as an Instructional Assistant?

Average Yearly Salary
$32,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$25,000
Min 10%
$32,000
Median 50%
$32,000
Median 50%
$32,000
Median 50%
$32,000
Median 50%
$32,000
Median 50%
$32,000
Median 50%
$32,000
Median 50%
$41,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Archdiocese Of San Francisco
Highest Paying City
Redwood City, CA
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
2.6 years
How much does an Instructional Assistant make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Instructional Assistant in the United States is $32,996 per year or $16 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $25,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $41,000.

Real Instructional Assistant Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Instructor-Assistant In Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University Tallahassee, FL Jan 24, 2015 $70,000
Instructor-Assistant In Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University Tallahassee, FL Jan 24, 2016 $70,000
Instructor-Assistant In Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University Tallahassee, FL Jan 24, 2014 $70,000
Visiting Instructor/Visiting Assistant Prof. of Economics Franklin & Marshall College Lancaster, PA Jan 08, 2016 $62,000
Visiting Instructor/Visiting Asst. Prof. of Juda Franklin & Marshall College Lancaster, PA Jul 01, 2011 $60,000
Instructor/Asst. Prof. of Comm. Sciences & Disorde Appalachian State University Boone, NC Jan 01, 2012 $59,850 -
$63,000
Visiting Instructor/Assistant Prof. of Educational Studies Colgate University Hamilton, NY Jul 01, 2015 $55,600
Instructional Asst. Prof. of Italian The University of Mississippi University, MS Jun 01, 2012 $53,333
Cosmetology Instructor Assistant Rosel School of Cosmetology Chicago, IL Mar 02, 2015 $48,298
Cosmetology Instructor Assistant Rosel School of Cosmetology Chicago, IL Nov 16, 2015 $48,298
Web Services Librarian/Instructional Asst. Profess Illinois State University Normal, IL Jan 15, 2013 $48,012
Instructor/Asst. Prof. of Mass Communications Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Edwardsville, IL May 02, 2008 $44,550
Research Assistant Professor/Instructional Asst. P The University of Houston Houston, TX Sep 01, 2013 $42,343
Bilingual Instructional Assistant Princeton Regional School Board of Education Princeton, NJ Jul 01, 2011 $36,189
Bilingual Instructional Assistant Princeton Regional Schools Princeton, NJ Jul 01, 2010 $35,479
Bilingual Instructional Assistant Princeton Regional School Board of Education Princeton, NJ Sep 01, 2010 $35,479
Instructional Assistant Manhattan Charter School New York, NY Aug 10, 2015 $34,505
Instructional Assistant Manhattan Charter School New York, NY Aug 15, 2014 $33,500
Instructional Assistant Manhattan Charter School New York, NY Aug 01, 2014 $33,500
Instructional Assistant, Biology MSM International Corp., Inc. T/A Best Academy Springfield, VA Mar 11, 2015 $29,723

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Top Skills for An Instructional Assistant

  1. Classroom Management
  2. Behavioral Issues
  3. Special Needs
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Assisted the teacher with implementing different guidelines and curricula for students that reinforced classroom management tactics.
  • Provided one-on-one assistance to students with behavioral issues and other various disabilities.
  • Manage special needs students in a mainstream educational environment to develop their independent integration into the classroom.
  • Assisted students in completion of lessons, read to children, listen to children read individually and in small groups.
  • Assisted the middle school boy's math teacher with daily assignments, maintained classroom control, and contributed with lesson plans.

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Top 10 Best States for Instructional Assistants

  1. Alaska
  2. North Dakota
  3. Connecticut
  4. Nevada
  5. Rhode Island
  6. Wyoming
  7. Oregon
  8. Minnesota
  9. Washington
  10. New Hampshire
  • (147 jobs)
  • (14 jobs)
  • (105 jobs)
  • (215 jobs)
  • (13 jobs)
  • (8 jobs)
  • (60 jobs)
  • (95 jobs)
  • (61 jobs)
  • (25 jobs)

Instructional 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 25,207 Instructional 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 Instructional Assistant Resume

View Resume Examples

Instructional Assistant Demographics

Gender

Female

64.7%

Male

24.6%

Unknown

10.7%
Ethnicity

White

58.8%

Hispanic or Latino

18.8%

Black or African American

10.3%

Asian

8.1%

Unknown

4.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

67.0%

French

5.2%

Chinese

3.8%

Mandarin

3.4%

German

2.8%

Japanese

2.4%

Russian

2.3%

Arabic

2.3%

Portuguese

1.7%

Korean

1.5%

Cantonese

1.3%

Hindi

1.1%

Italian

1.1%

Vietnamese

0.8%

Tagalog

0.7%

Hmong

0.7%

Ukrainian

0.7%

Swedish

0.4%

Armenian

0.4%

Braille

0.4%
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Instructional Assistant Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

15.3%

Grand Canyon University

8.1%

Texas State University

7.9%

University of Houston

7.9%

Arizona State University

7.1%

Liberty University

5.6%

Ashford University

5.2%

Virginia Commonwealth University

4.5%

Ball State University

4.0%

National University

3.9%

California State University - Fullerton

3.9%

George Mason University

3.7%

California State University - Sacramento

3.2%

San Jose State University

3.0%

Capella University

3.0%

Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis

2.9%

Ohio State University

2.7%

Walden University

2.7%

Old Dominion University

2.7%

San Diego State University

2.5%
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Majors

Business

13.0%

Psychology

11.2%

Elementary Education

10.3%

Education

8.2%

Special Education

6.1%

Liberal Arts

4.8%

Criminal Justice

4.6%

Early Childhood Education

4.6%

English

3.7%

Human Development

3.6%

Communication

3.5%

Nursing

3.5%

Human Services

3.2%

Social Work

3.1%

Sociology

3.0%

Health Care Administration

3.0%

General Studies

2.9%

Medical Assisting Services

2.8%

General Education, Specific Areas

2.5%

Accounting

2.5%
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Degrees

Bachelors

40.0%

Masters

21.7%

Other

19.1%

Associate

11.5%

Certificate

4.4%

Doctorate

1.6%

Diploma

1.3%

License

0.4%
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How Would You Rate Working As an Instructional Assistant?

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Top Instructional Assistant Employers

Jobs From Top Instructional Assistant Employers

Instructional Assistant Videos

Teachers and Teacher Aides Part 1

A day in the life of a Special Education teacher

A Day in the Life of a Kindergarten Teacher

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