If you have a passion for teaching but can't commit to a full-time position, the role of a substitute paraprofessional may be just the job for you. A paraprofessional is an education worker that supports licensed teachers by performing various tasks in classroom management and student administration. These tasks typically include checking attendance, helping teachers with lesson plans, preparing teaching materials, co-teaching under supervision, and conducting classes when the teacher is unavailable.

Aside from these primary roles, a substitute paraprofessional may also assist students with special needs, report to the teacher about students' progress, and update individual educational programs as needed.

You only need a high school diploma or GED to become a substitute paraprofessional, but an associate's degree in a relevant course is a great advantage. More important than these requirements are good skills in teaching, classroom management, organization, and collaboration.

The average salary of a substitute paraprofessional is $25,000 a year. However, since substitute paraprofessionals work on an on-call or temporary basis, their income can vary depending on the demand for their services.

What Does a Substitute Paraprofessional Do

There are certain skills that many substitute paraprofessionals have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed communication skills, interpersonal skills and patience.

Learn more about what a Substitute Paraprofessional does

How To Become a Substitute Paraprofessional

If you're interested in becoming a substitute paraprofessional, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 48.5% of substitute paraprofessionals have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 6.3% of substitute paraprofessionals have master's degrees. Even though most substitute paraprofessionals have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Learn More About How To Become a Substitute Paraprofessional

Substitute Paraprofessional Career Paths

Average Salary for a Substitute Paraprofessional

Substitute Paraprofessionals in America make an average salary of $28,914 per year or $14 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $35,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $23,000 per year.
Average Substitute Paraprofessional Salary
$28,914 Yearly
$13.90 hourly

What Am I Worth?


Roles and Types of Substitute Paraprofessional

There are several types of substitute paraprofessional, including:

Substitute Teacher


Substitute teachers are there when regular teachers need backup. If the regular teacher can't make it into school on a given day, a substitute teacher is called.

Sometimes you won't know you're going into teach a class until that day, that's why you kind of have to be "on-call" as a substitute teacher. You never know when you're going to be needed. Some substitute teachers get to fill in if a regular teacher has to take an extended absence, which means you'll be there until they get back. Long-term substitute gigs can mean anything from two weeks to five months or more.

It's important as a substitute teacher to establish some ground rules when you first step into the classroom. Since you're not the regular teacher, some students may decide they don't have to follow any rules, which definitely makes "subbing" even harder. But don't worry - you've got this.

  • Average Salary: $32,904
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

Teacher Aide


A Teacher Aide assists a classroom teacher in dealing with a large number of children. He/She or she helps engage children's attention through one-on-one activities or group exercises. These are part of the integral lesson plan created by the teacher. They might be involved in helping the teacher design the lessons and activities or provide support for dealing with children with special needs.

Teacher aides help manage outdoor games and physical activities or assist with extra activities such as physiotherapy. Sometimes they are responsible for extra classes, like teaching a foreign language. They administer medication to students who need it and help with requests regarding personal hygiene.

Part of the responsibilities of a teacher's aide is to monitor and discuss the child's progress with the parents and other teachers.

  • Average Salary: $29,480
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

Para Educator


Paraeducators work under school employees to provide additional direction and instruction to special needs students and their families. They assist in specialist classrooms like the library, the computer lab, or a physical education class. The Educator attends to the needs of the students, including physical, personal, academic, and emotional needs. Also, they organize and monitor the classroom during classes to prevent distractions. Paraeducators assist with assembling relevant teaching materials such as bulletin boards, textbooks, visual aids, and activity sheets.

Candidates must have a bachelor's degree in early childhood development or any education-related field. They must also have experience working with children and special needs students. Not just this, but they must be familiar with teaching methods and educational software. Also, they must possess previous teac hing experience. Successful paraeducators have communication, collaboration, bilingual and interpersonal skills. This personnel earns an average salary of $31,016 yearly. It ranges from $23,000 to $43,000.

  • Average Salary: $31,394
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

States With The Most Substitute Paraprofessional Jobs

Mouse over a state to see the number of active substitute paraprofessional jobs in each state. The darker areas on the map show where substitute paraprofessionals earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of Substitute Paraprofessional Jobs By State

RankStateNumber of JobsAverage Salary
5New York1,141$30,286
7New Jersey1,055$29,103
13North Carolina705$23,267
24South Carolina364$22,454
30New Hampshire280$25,231
33New Mexico235$28,651
44Rhode Island101$27,163
47West Virginia76$23,398
48South Dakota74$25,015
49North Dakota66$27,964

Substitute Paraprofessional Education

Substitute Paraprofessional Majors

12.6 %

Substitute Paraprofessional Degrees


48.5 %


27.6 %

High School Diploma

11.8 %

Top Colleges for Substitute Paraprofessionals

1. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition




2. SUNY at Binghamton

Vestal, NY • Private

In-State Tuition




3. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition




4. SUNY Stony Brook

Stony Brook, NY • Private

In-State Tuition




5. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition




6. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition




7. Howard University

Washington, DC • Private

In-State Tuition




8. SUNY at Albany

Albany, NY • Private

In-State Tuition




9. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition




10. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Private

In-State Tuition




Top Skills For a Substitute Paraprofessional

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 14.7% of substitute paraprofessionals listed instructional support on their resume, but soft skills such as communication skills and interpersonal skills are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Substitute Paraprofessional Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Substitute Paraprofessional templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Substitute Paraprofessional resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Substitute Paraprofessional diversity

Substitute Paraprofessional Gender Distribution


After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among substitute paraprofessionals, 84.6% of them are women, while 15.4% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among substitute paraprofessionals is White, which makes up 60.9% of all substitute paraprofessionals.

  • The most common foreign language among substitute paraprofessionals is Spanish at 68.1%.

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Best States For a Substitute Paraprofessional

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a substitute paraprofessional. The best states for people in this position are Washington, Hawaii, California, and New York. Substitute paraprofessionals make the most in Washington with an average salary of $32,454. Whereas in Hawaii and California, they would average $30,490 and $30,446, respectively. While substitute paraprofessionals would only make an average of $30,286 in New York, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Nevada

Total Substitute Paraprofessional Jobs: 404
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

2. New Mexico

Total Substitute Paraprofessional Jobs: 235
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

3. Idaho

Total Substitute Paraprofessional Jobs: 203
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Full List Of Best States For Substitute Paraprofessionals

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Top Substitute Paraprofessional Employers

Most Common Employers For Substitute Paraprofessional

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
1Anoka-Hennepin School District$30,289$14.565
2Bethel School District$29,986$14.425
3Kalamazoo Public Schools$29,542$14.209
4TrumbullPS HR$29,461$14.1610
5Rochester City School District$29,411$14.1414
6Green Bay Schools$29,294$14.088
7Centennial School District$29,029$13.968
8Delta-T Group$28,871$13.8814
9City of New York$28,742$13.82106
10Teachers On Call$28,372$13.6432