A special education assistant is responsible for supporting class activities in an inclusive classroom setting, assisting students with their tasks under the supervision of a special education teacher. Special education assistants create comprehensive lesson plans which adhere to the students' curriculum and special needs. They also help with developing engaging activities to promote an active learning environment while monitoring the students' personal and social behavior. A special education assistant must have excellent communication and organization skills, ensuring the progress of the students by regular interaction, and managing their needs.

Special Education Assistant Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real special education assistant resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Perform responsible human support and paraprofessional work assisting classroom teacher or other professionals, achieve institution objectives.
  • Tutor students with academic subjects such as reading, writing, mathematics, social studies, language arts, and science.
  • Accompany students to special classes (art, music, PE) and on field trips.
  • Complete Medicaid forms on a daily basis.
  • Handle high risk behaviors as they arise in the classroom using CPI techniques.
  • Conduct small group lessons often centering on mathematics to reinforce or introduce new concepts.
  • Assist special needs children with independent skills and work tasks, fill out Medicaid paperwork.
  • Participate in CPI training and receive certification.
  • Assist teacher in everyday activities.-Supervise and maintain classroom activity.-Implement behavioral plans.-Use ABA to build positive learning habits.-Collect data.
  • Provide specialized ABA therapy for children with autism including developing behavior plans and teach in a natural environment.
Special Education Assistant Traits
Communication skills shows that you are able to relay your thoughts, opinions and ideas clearly to those around you.
Interpersonal skills involves being able to communicate efficiently with multiple people regarding your thoughts, ideas and feedback.
Having patience exemplifies that the individual is able to remain calm during challenging times.

Special Education Assistant Job Description

Perhaps the hardest question to answer when deciding on a career as a special education assistant is "should I become a special education assistant?" You might find this info to be helpful. When compared to other jobs, special education assistant careers are projected to have a growth rate described as "as fast as average" at 4% from 2018 through 2028. This is in accordance with the Bureau of Labor Statistics. What's more, is that the projected number of opportunities that are predicted to become available for a special education assistant by 2028 is 55,400.

Special education assistants average about $14.89 an hour, which makes the special education assistant annual salary $30,963. Additionally, special education assistants are known to earn anywhere from $24,000 to $38,000 a year. This means that the top-earning special education assistants make $14,000 more than the lowest earning ones.

Once you've become a special education assistant, you may be curious about what other opportunities are out there. Careers aren't one size fits all. For that reason, we discovered some other jobs that you may find appealing. Some jobs you might find interesting include an assistant daycare teacher, instructional aide, early childhood special educator, and work-study assistant.

Special Education Assistant Jobs You Might Like

Special Education Assistant Resume Examples

Special Education Assistant Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 18% of Special Education Assistants are proficient in Classroom Management, Student Learning, and Paraprofessional. They’re also known for soft skills such as Communication skills, Interpersonal skills, and Patience.

We break down the percentage of Special Education Assistants that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Classroom Management, 18%

    Provided classroom management and instructional support for approximately seventeen students in an inclusion setting.

  • Student Learning, 14%

    Utilize technology to assist in student learning

  • Paraprofessional, 9%

    Worked as a SPED paraprofessional in a CBI classroom assisting elementary students with very special needs.

  • Ieps, 6%

    Implemented behavioral plans designed by IEP team for students with behavior disorders or other learning disabilities

  • Instructional Materials, 6%

    Collaborated with general education teachers and related service providers to identify instructional strategies that promote student success in all content areas.

  • Communication, 5%

    Employed differentiated learning strategies to improve the quantitative and communication skills of challenged high school students in low-income community.

Some of the skills we found on special education assistant resumes included "classroom management," "student learning," and "paraprofessional." We have detailed the most important special education assistant responsibilities below.

  • Arguably the most important personality trait for a special education assistant to have happens to be communication skills. An example from a resume said this about the skill, "teacher assistants need to be clear and concise in discussing student progress with teachers and parents." Additionally, other resumes have pointed out that special education assistants can use communication skills to "assisted teacher with a variety of instructional materials, exercises and communication aids. "
  • While it may not be the most important skill, we found that many special education assistant duties rely on interpersonal skills. This example from a special education assistant explains why: "teacher assistants must be able to develop relationships with a variety of people, including teachers, students, parents, and administrators." This resume example is just one of many ways special education assistants are able to utilize interpersonal skills: "assist in daily lesson plans, activities, schedules, and interpersonal skills. "
  • Special education assistants are also known for patience, which can be critical when it comes to performing their duties. An example of why this skill is important is shown by this snippet that we found in a special education assistant resume: "working with students of different abilities and backgrounds may be difficult" We also found this resume example that details how this skill is put to the test: "learned alternative teaching techniques while strengthening cooperation skills,patience, humility and communication skills. "
  • See the full list of special education assistant skills.

    Before becoming a special education assistant, 56.9% earned their bachelor's degree. When it comes down to graduating with a master's degree, 9.9% special education assistants went for the extra education. If you're wanting to pursue this career, it may be possible to be successful with a high school degree. In fact, most special education assistants have a college degree. But about one out of every seven special education assistants didn't attend college at all.

    Those special education assistants who do attend college, typically earn either a psychology degree or a business degree. Less commonly earned degrees for special education assistants include a elementary education degree or a education degree.

    Once you've obtained the level of education you're comfortable with, you might start applying to companies to become a special education assistant. We've found that most special education assistant resumes include experience from Santa Rosa High School, Leake and Watts Services, and Richland School District Two. Of recent, Santa Rosa High School had 5 positions open for special education assistants. Meanwhile, there are 3 job openings at Leake and Watts Services and 3 at Richland School District Two.

    If you're interested in companies where special education assistants make the most money, you'll want to apply for positions at Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere, Alliant Energy, and Vanderbilt University Medical Center. We found that at Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere, the average special education assistant salary is $34,717. Whereas at Alliant Energy, special education assistants earn roughly $34,464. And at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, they make an average salary of $33,956.

    View more details on special education assistant salaries across the United States.

    We also looked into companies who hire special education assistants from the top 100 educational institutions in the U.S. The top three companies that hire the most from these institutions include Fairfax County Public Schools, Potomac High School, and Chicago Public Library.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious special education assistants are:

      What Assistant Daycare Teachers Do

      An assistant daycare teacher is responsible for performing support tasks in a daycare center. Most of the duties primarily revolve around maintaining a safe and healthy environment for children, preparing meals and learning materials, assisting children during bathroom or hygiene-related activities, and keeping the classroom clean and sanitized. Furthermore, there are instances when an assistant daycare teacher must come up with recreational activities, maintain student records, and help children improve their motor skills and basic knowledge in concepts such as recognizing the alphabet or coloring.

      We looked at the average special education assistant annual salary and compared it with the average of an assistant daycare teacher. Generally speaking, assistant daycare teachers receive $569 higher pay than special education assistants per year.

      While the salaries between these two careers can be different, they do share some of the same responsibilities. Employees in both special education assistants and assistant daycare teachers positions are skilled in classroom management, student learning, and communication.

      As far as similarities go, this is where it ends because a special education assistant responsibility requires skills such as "paraprofessional," "ieps," "instructional materials," and "cpi." Whereas a assistant daycare teacher is skilled in "child care," "learning activities," "open communication," and "old children." So if you're looking for what truly separates the two careers, you've found it.

      On average, assistant daycare teachers reach lower levels of education than special education assistants. Assistant daycare teachers are 17.3% less likely to earn a Master's Degree and 0.5% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

      What Are The Duties Of an Instructional Aide?

      An instructional aide focuses on performing support-related tasks for a teacher or faculty member. They are primarily responsible for helping teachers maintain a safe and healthy learning environment, recording attendance, creating visual aids or presentations, participating in the preparation of lesson plans and tests, and assisting students who are having difficulties in a particular task or lesson. An instructional aide may also take part in counseling and supervising students' behavior during class activities, all while adhering to the school's policies and regulations.

      Now we're going to look at the instructional aide profession. On average, instructional aides earn a $1,014 lower salary than special education assistants a year.

      While the salary may be different for these job positions, there is one similarity and that's a few of the skills needed to perform certain duties. We used info from lots of resumes to find that both special education assistants and instructional aides are known to have skills such as "classroom management," "student learning," and "ieps. "

      In addition to the difference in salary, there are some other key differences that are worth noting. For example, special education assistant responsibilities are more likely to require skills like "paraprofessional," "cpi," "independent living," and "public schools." Meanwhile, a instructional aide might be skilled in areas such as "direct supervision," "learning activities," "powerpoint," and "physical education." These differences highlight just how different the day-to-day in each role looks.

      On average, instructional aides earn a lower salary than special education assistants. There are industries that support higher salaries in each profession respectively. Interestingly enough, instructional aides earn the most pay in the education industry with an average salary of $36,518. Whereas, special education assistants have higher paychecks in the education industry where they earn an average of $29,580.

      In general, instructional aides study at similar levels of education than special education assistants. They're 3.7% less likely to obtain a Master's Degree while being 0.5% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      How an Early Childhood Special Educator Compares

      Early childhood special educators are professionals who provide direct services for infants and young children that are experiencing delays in their development. These educators are required to collaborate with parents to provide a program of activities that can encourage the growth of the children's skills. By incorporating the advice of other professionals, early childhood special educators must create individual education plans that address the specific learning challenges of children. They must also identify signs of child abuse and neglect so that they can take the necessary actions to remediate the situation.

      The third profession we take a look at is early childhood special educator. On an average scale, these workers bring in higher salaries than special education assistants. In fact, they make a $10,324 higher salary per year.

      By looking over several special education assistants and early childhood special educators resumes, we found that both roles utilize similar skills, such as "classroom management," "student learning," and "ieps." But beyond that the careers look very different.

      There are many key differences between these two careers as shown by resumes from each profession. Some of those differences include the skills required to complete responsibilities within each role. As an example of this, a special education assistant is likely to be skilled in "paraprofessional," "behavioral issues," "cpi," and "independent living," while a typical early childhood special educator is skilled in "child care," "infant," "childhood," and "professional development."

      Interestingly enough, early childhood special educators earn the most pay in the professional industry, where they command an average salary of $36,499. As mentioned previously, special education assistants highest annual salary comes from the education industry with an average salary of $29,580.

      Early childhood special educators typically study at higher levels compared with special education assistants. For example, they're 11.3% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 1.0% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      Description Of a Work-Study Assistant

      A work-study assistant's responsibilities depend on his/her or her place of employment. His/Her or her duties include processing paperwork, responding to inquiries, and maintaining records. The essential skills that a work-study assistant should possess to accomplish his/her or her responsibilities include good writing, interpersonal, and organizational skills. The education requirements to qualify for the job include obtaining a bachelor's or master's degree in the field of business, psychology, and criminal justice.

      Work-study assistants tend to earn a lower pay than special education assistants by about $7,820 per year.

      While their salaries may vary, special education assistants and work-study assistants both use similar skills to perform their jobs. Resumes from both professions include skills like "communication," "student records," and "mathematics. "

      While some skills are shared by these professions, there are some differences to note. "classroom management," "student learning," "paraprofessional," and "ieps" are skills that have shown up on special education assistants resumes. Additionally, work-study assistant uses skills like financial aid, data entry, customer service, and office procedures on their resumes.

      Now, let's take a closer look at the financials in each career. The government industry tends to pay more for work-study assistants with an average of $23,219. While the highest special education assistant annual salary comes from the education industry.

      In general, work-study assistants reach lower levels of education when compared to special education assistants resumes. Work-study assistants are 16.6% less likely to earn their Master's Degree and 0.1% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.