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Become A Special Education Aide

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Working As A Special Education Aide

  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Getting Information
  • Thinking Creatively
  • $29,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Special Education 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 Special Education 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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Special Education Aide Career Paths

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Average Length of Employment
Special Educator 3.3 years
Para Professional 3.0 years
Para Educator 3.0 years
Instructional Aide 2.5 years
Classroom Aide 1.8 years
Kindergarten Aide 1.8 years
Top Careers Before Special Education Aide
Teacher 8.3%
Cashier 8.2%
Internship 7.1%
Volunteer 4.8%
Tutor 3.4%
Aide 3.4%
Secretary 2.8%
Top Careers After Special Education Aide
Teacher 12.4%
Internship 5.4%
Cashier 5.0%
Volunteer 4.6%
Aide 4.1%
Tutor 3.6%
Server 3.0%
Assistant 2.7%

Do you work as a Special Education Aide?

Average Yearly Salary
$29,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$25,000
Min 10%
$29,000
Median 50%
$29,000
Median 50%
$29,000
Median 50%
$29,000
Median 50%
$29,000
Median 50%
$29,000
Median 50%
$29,000
Median 50%
$34,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Town of Chino Valley
Highest Paying City
Newark, NJ
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
2.4 years
How much does a Special Education Aide make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Special Education Aide in the United States is $29,804 per year or $14 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $25,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $34,000.

How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Special Education Aide?

Have you worked as a Special Education Aide? Help other job seekers by rating your experience as a Special Education Aide.

Top Skills for A Special Education Aide

  1. Special Needs
  2. Classroom Management
  3. Behavioral Issues
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provide extra assistance to students with special needs, such as non-English-speaking students or those with physical and mental disabilities.
  • Prepared and used educational activities to reinforce lessons, assisted teacher in classroom management and daily activities with students.
  • Work with the Guidance Counselor on a daily basis to communicate any behavioral issues with the students in the classroom.
  • Supported lead teachers in self-contained/inclusion classroom, assisted in time management, behavioral modifications, and IEP goals for student.
  • Assist in implementing student learning strategies integrate critical thinking with instructional activities, motivated student engagement and encourage meaningful learning activities.

Special Education Aide 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 5,851 Special Education Aide 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 Special Education Aide Resume

View Resume Examples

Special Education Aide Demographics

Gender

Female

73.1%

Male

18.4%

Unknown

8.5%
Ethnicity

White

62.6%

Hispanic or Latino

17.6%

Black or African American

10.1%

Asian

6.3%

Unknown

3.3%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

63.6%

French

6.3%

Italian

4.6%

German

3.8%

Mandarin

2.9%

Portuguese

2.9%

Russian

2.5%

Chinese

2.5%

Greek

1.7%

Tagalog

1.7%

Hebrew

1.7%

Japanese

1.3%

Swedish

0.8%

Braille

0.8%

Polish

0.8%

Swahili

0.4%

Gujarati

0.4%

Cheyenne

0.4%

Dutch

0.4%

Korean

0.4%
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Special Education Aide Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

18.6%

Grand Canyon University

9.3%

Ashford University

7.0%

National University

5.2%

Arizona State University

5.0%

Capella University

5.0%

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

4.6%

Kaplan University

4.6%

Utah State University

4.5%

Radford University

4.1%

Liberty University

3.8%

Walden University

3.4%

Northern Illinois University

3.4%

Illinois State University

3.3%

San Diego State University

3.3%

California State University - Fresno

3.1%

California State University - Fullerton

3.1%

Northern Arizona University

2.9%

Azusa Pacific University

2.9%

Montclair State University

2.9%
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Majors

Psychology

12.0%

Business

10.8%

Elementary Education

10.0%

Special Education

9.0%

Education

7.9%

Early Childhood Education

5.0%

Social Work

4.4%

Criminal Justice

4.2%

Liberal Arts

3.9%

Human Development

3.7%

Nursing

3.5%

English

3.2%

General Studies

3.1%

Medical Assisting Services

2.9%

Communication

2.9%

Health Care Administration

2.8%

Human Services

2.7%

Counseling Psychology

2.7%

Sociology

2.6%

General Education, Specific Areas

2.5%
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Degrees

Bachelors

40.0%

Other

20.8%

Masters

19.5%

Associate

11.8%

Certificate

4.8%

Doctorate

1.2%

Diploma

1.2%

License

0.6%
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Special Education Aide Videos

Special Education Aide

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