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Become A Special Education Instructional Assistant

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Working As A Special Education Instructional Assistant

  • 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 Special Education 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 A Special Education 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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Special Education Instructional Assistant Career Paths

Special Education Instructional Assistant
Special Education Teacher Lead Teacher Manager
Principal
11 Yearsyrs
Special Education Teacher Lead Teacher Director
Education Director
7 Yearsyrs
Special Education Teacher Adjunct Professor
Assistant Principal
10 Yearsyrs
Teacher Instructor
Vocational Training Instructor
5 Yearsyrs
Teacher Adjunct Professor Assistant Principal
Elementary School Principal
12 Yearsyrs
Teacher Kindergarten Teacher Lead Teacher
Lead Pre-K Teacher
5 Yearsyrs
Tutor Adjunct Professor Assistant Principal
School Principal
10 Yearsyrs
Tutor Team Leader Director
Founder And Director
6 Yearsyrs
Tutor Team Leader Chairperson
Department Chairperson
7 Yearsyrs
Student Teacher Adjunct Instructor Principal
Athletic Director
5 Yearsyrs
Student Teacher Adjunct Instructor Assistant Principal
Vice Principal
8 Yearsyrs
Student Teacher Preschool Lead Teacher Assistant Director
School Director
6 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Registered Nurse Supervisor Education Director
Director Of Instruction
7 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Program Coordinator Education Consultant
Student Dean
7 Yearsyrs
Special Education Assistant Kindergarten Teacher Early Childhood Special Educator
Early Childhood Specialist
5 Yearsyrs
Facilitator Education Consultant Assistant Superintendent
Director Of Special Education
11 Yearsyrs
Program Coordinator Educational Programs Coordinator Education Program Manager
Assistant Education Director
6 Yearsyrs
Special Education Assistant School Counselor School Psychologist
Special Education Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
ABA Therapist School Psychologist Special Education Supervisor
Director Of Special Services
8 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Special Education Instructional Assistant?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Special Educator 3.3 years
Para Educator 3.0 years
Instructional Aide 2.5 years
Top Careers Before Special Education Instructional Assistant
Internship 6.6%
Cashier 6.4%
Teacher 6.3%
Volunteer 4.5%
Tutor 3.3%
Assistant 2.6%
Supervisor 2.1%
Top Careers After Special Education Instructional Assistant
Teacher 9.7%
Internship 5.5%
Tutor 4.4%
Volunteer 4.1%
Cashier 2.7%

Do you work as a Special Education Instructional Assistant?

Average Yearly Salary
$30,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$25,000
Min 10%
$30,000
Median 50%
$30,000
Median 50%
$30,000
Median 50%
$30,000
Median 50%
$30,000
Median 50%
$30,000
Median 50%
$30,000
Median 50%
$36,000
Max 90%
Highest Paying City
Cheshire, CT
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
2.9 years
How much does a Special Education Instructional Assistant make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Special Education Instructional Assistant in the United States is $30,773 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 $36,000.

How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Special Education Instructional Assistant?

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

Top Skills for A Special Education Instructional Assistant

  1. Special Needs
  2. Classroom Management
  3. Behavioral Issues
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Assist in the educational and social development of special needs students under the direction and guidance of the classroom teacher.
  • Implemented various classroom management techniques for maintaining student attention, and involvement.
  • Worked with students who were medically fragile to severe behavioral issues as well as job coaching
  • Work with individual students or small groups of students to reinforce learning of material or skills initially introduced by the teacher.
  • Collaborated with general and special education teachers to provide accommodations/modifications to comply with IEP guidelines.

Special Education 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 2,404 Special Education 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 Special Education Instructional Assistant Resume

View Resume Examples

Special Education Instructional Assistant Demographics

Gender

Female

74.4%

Male

17.8%

Unknown

7.8%
Ethnicity

White

57.8%

Hispanic or Latino

22.0%

Black or African American

10.3%

Asian

6.3%

Unknown

3.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

71.9%

French

6.9%

Italian

2.5%

Arabic

2.5%

Tagalog

1.9%

Portuguese

1.9%

Hmong

1.3%

Cornish

1.3%

Russian

1.3%

Braille

1.3%

Greek

1.3%

Japanese

1.3%

Swedish

0.6%

Mandarin

0.6%

Somali

0.6%

Korean

0.6%

Hawaiian

0.6%

Cebuano

0.6%

Filipino

0.6%

Danish

0.6%
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Special Education Instructional Assistant Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

13.9%

George Mason University

7.6%

Liberty University

7.6%

National University

7.1%

Arizona State University

6.8%

California State University - Fullerton

6.3%

Grand Canyon University

6.1%

California State University - Dominguez Hills

4.3%

California State University - Los Angeles

4.3%

University of Maryland - University College

4.0%

Ball State University

4.0%

Ashford University

3.8%

Indiana Wesleyan University

3.5%

University of California - Irvine

3.3%

Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis

3.0%

San Francisco State University

3.0%

San Diego State University

3.0%

Radford University

2.8%

California State University - Northridge

2.8%

Northern Arizona University

2.8%
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Majors

Psychology

13.6%

Special Education

12.2%

Elementary Education

9.0%

Business

8.7%

Education

7.9%

Liberal Arts

5.4%

Social Work

4.8%

Sociology

4.1%

Human Development

4.1%

Criminal Justice

3.9%

Early Childhood Education

3.3%

Human Services

3.2%

Counseling Psychology

3.1%

School Counseling

2.8%

Nursing

2.8%

General Education, Specific Areas

2.6%

Communication

2.4%

English

2.1%

General Studies

2.0%

Health Care Administration

1.9%
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Degrees

Bachelors

41.6%

Masters

24.3%

Other

17.6%

Associate

10.1%

Certificate

4.8%

Diploma

0.7%

Doctorate

0.7%

License

0.4%
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Top Special Education Instructional Assistant Employers

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