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Become A Para Educator

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Working As A Para Educator

  • 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 A Para Educator 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 A Para Educator

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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Para Educator Jobs

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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Educator 3.6 years
Special Educator 3.3 years
Para Professional 3.0 years
Para Educator 3.0 years
Instructional Aide 2.5 years
Helper Teacher 1.5 years
Top Careers Before Para Educator
Cashier 11.2%
Teacher 6.3%
Internship 4.8%
Volunteer 4.3%
Server 2.9%
Assistant 2.8%
Manager 2.7%
Tutor 2.7%
Supervisor 2.5%
Secretary 2.5%
Top Careers After Para Educator
Teacher 8.9%
Cashier 8.6%
Internship 4.7%
Volunteer 3.5%
Server 3.3%
Tutor 2.7%
Assistant 2.7%

Do you work as a Para Educator?

Para Educator Demographics

Gender

Female

72.5%

Male

18.5%

Unknown

9.1%
Ethnicity

White

67.1%

Hispanic or Latino

16.1%

Black or African American

7.3%

Asian

5.9%

Unknown

3.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

70.0%

French

7.8%

German

3.5%

Russian

3.2%

Korean

2.1%

Portuguese

2.1%

Arabic

1.9%

Japanese

1.3%

Vietnamese

0.8%

Hmong

0.8%

Hindi

0.8%

Dutch

0.8%

Ukrainian

0.8%

Braille

0.8%

Italian

0.8%

Armenian

0.5%

Tagalog

0.5%

Chinese

0.5%

Urdu

0.5%

Swedish

0.3%
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Para Educator Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

18.8%

Wichita State University

8.2%

Grand Canyon University

7.0%

Kansas State University

5.7%

Ashford University

5.5%

Kaplan University

5.3%

Washington State University

4.7%

University of Iowa

4.0%

Central Washington University

3.9%

University of Washington

3.9%

University of Kansas

3.6%

Fort Hays State University

3.4%

Utah Valley University

3.4%

Johnson State College

3.4%

Liberty University

3.3%

Community College of Vermont

3.3%

Arizona State University

3.2%

University of Northern Iowa

3.2%

Friends University

3.2%

Columbia Basin College

3.0%
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Majors

Business

12.6%

Psychology

10.5%

Education

8.2%

Elementary Education

8.1%

Special Education

5.7%

Criminal Justice

5.7%

Early Childhood Education

5.2%

Liberal Arts

4.5%

Human Services

4.3%

Social Work

4.1%

General Studies

4.0%

Nursing

3.9%

Health Care Administration

3.5%

Medical Assisting Services

3.4%

Human Development

3.4%

Communication

2.9%

English

2.8%

Accounting

2.7%

Sociology

2.5%

General Education, Specific Areas

2.4%
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Degrees

Bachelors

38.3%

Other

24.6%

Associate

14.8%

Masters

14.6%

Certificate

4.9%

Diploma

1.5%

License

0.6%

Doctorate

0.6%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
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%
$40,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
San Leandro High School
Highest Paying City
Nashua, NH
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
3.0 years
How much does a Para Educator make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Para Educator in the United States is $32,033 per year or $15 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $25,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $40,000.

How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Para Educator?

Have you worked as a Para Educator? Help other job seekers by rating your experience as a Para Educator.

Top Skills for A Para Educator

  1. Classroom Management
  2. Behavioral Issues
  3. OLD Children
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Attended a variety of professional development workshops centered on learning goals, classroom management, student motivation and engaging learning activities.
  • Help students with emotional behavioral issues to maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and/or adults.5.
  • Manage, organize, and documents behavioral logs which tracked conduct of students and briefed to parents during IEP meetings.
  • Utilized ongoing informal and formal assessment to measure effectiveness of teaching and optimize student learning, adapting instruction when needed.
  • Developed lessons and instructed students, based on Georgia Milestones Common Core Mathematics and Physical Education Standards and grade level expectations.

How Would You Rate Working As a Para Educator?

Are you working as a Para Educator? Help us rate Para Educator as a Career.

Top Para Educator Employers

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Jobs From Top Para Educator Employers

Para Educator Videos

A day in the life of a Special Education teacher

Cynthia Eborall - Paraeducator

KSD Minute l Paraeducator Carol Chandler

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