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Become A Paraprofessional Aide

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Working As A Paraprofessional Aide

  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Getting Information
  • Thinking Creatively
  • $30,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Paraprofessional Aide 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 Paraprofessional Aide

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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Average Length of Employment
Para Educator 3.0 years
Para Professional 3.0 years
Instructional Aide 2.5 years
Classroom Aide 1.8 years
Kindergarten Aide 1.8 years
Dedicated Aide 1.8 years
Top Careers Before Paraprofessional Aide
Cashier 13.7%
Teacher 6.2%
Internship 5.4%
Volunteer 3.2%
Aide 3.0%
Assistant 2.7%
Secretary 2.6%
Top Careers After Paraprofessional Aide
Teacher 12.6%
Cashier 8.8%
Internship 3.5%
Volunteer 2.9%
Secretary 2.9%
Server 2.7%
Nanny 2.4%

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Top Skills for A Paraprofessional Aide

  1. Classroom Management
  2. Behavioral Issues
  3. OLD Children
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Utilize and ensure consistent implementation of behavior techniques and classroom management techniques.
  • Worked with children to young adults with autism and/or behavioral issues on academic and living/social skills training.
  • Set up daily activities involving 5 year old children.
  • Field trips for the Special Education Department.
  • Develop whole class and small group instruction for special education class.

Paraprofessional Aide Demographics

Gender

Female

73.4%

Male

14.7%

Unknown

11.9%
Ethnicity

White

62.5%

Hispanic or Latino

18.3%

Black or African American

11.3%

Asian

4.8%

Unknown

3.1%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

76.1%

Chinese

3.0%

Russian

3.0%

Arabic

3.0%

Italian

3.0%

German

1.5%

Albanian

1.5%

Japanese

1.5%

French

1.5%

Braille

1.5%

Carrier

1.5%

Tagalog

1.5%

Navajo

1.5%
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Paraprofessional Aide Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

20.0%

Grand Canyon University

10.0%

Ashford University

7.9%

William Paterson University of New Jersey

4.3%

Kean University

4.3%

Montclair State University

4.3%

Liberty University

4.3%

Strayer University

4.3%

Kaplan University

4.3%

Bowling Green State University

3.6%

Illinois State University

3.6%

Ohio State University

3.6%

Utah Valley University

3.6%

Sinclair Community College

3.6%

Navarro College

3.6%

Rowan University

3.6%

New Jersey City University

2.9%

Brigham Young University

2.9%

University of New Hampshire

2.9%

University of North Texas

2.9%
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Majors

Business

11.9%

Education

8.1%

Psychology

8.1%

Elementary Education

7.0%

Health Care Administration

6.8%

Nursing

6.4%

Early Childhood Education

5.7%

Special Education

5.2%

Criminal Justice

5.0%

Liberal Arts

5.0%

General Studies

4.6%

Medical Assisting Services

3.8%

Communication

3.6%

Human Services

3.6%

Human Development

3.1%

Sociology

2.8%

Social Work

2.7%

English

2.7%

Nursing Assistants

2.0%

General Education, Specific Areas

2.0%
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Degrees

Bachelors

37.6%

Other

27.6%

Associate

14.1%

Masters

11.3%

Certificate

6.6%

Diploma

1.7%

License

0.7%

Doctorate

0.5%
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Top Paraprofessional Aide Employers

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Jobs From Top Paraprofessional Aide Employers

Paraprofessional Aide Videos

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Teachers and Teacher Aides Part 1

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