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Become A Substitute Paraprofessional

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Working As A Substitute Paraprofessional

  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Getting Information
  • Thinking Creatively
  • $32,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Substitute Paraprofessional 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 Substitute Paraprofessional

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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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Para Educator 3.0 years
Para Professional 3.0 years
Instructional Aide 2.5 years
Substitute Teacher 2.3 years
Top Careers Before Substitute Paraprofessional
Cashier 11.7%
Internship 6.5%
Volunteer 6.0%
Teacher 3.8%
Tutor 3.0%
Server 2.7%
Assistant 2.4%
Top Careers After Substitute Paraprofessional
Cashier 8.4%
Teacher 6.9%
Volunteer 5.7%
Internship 3.6%
Tutor 2.9%
Nanny 2.8%
Server 2.7%

Do you work as a Substitute Paraprofessional?

Average Yearly Salary
$32,000
Show Salaries
$24,000
Min 10%
$32,000
Median 50%
$32,000
Median 50%
$32,000
Median 50%
$32,000
Median 50%
$32,000
Median 50%
$32,000
Median 50%
$32,000
Median 50%
$42,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
EastHartford Schools
Highest Paying City
Milpitas, CA
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
1.9 years
How much does a Substitute Paraprofessional make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Substitute Paraprofessional in the United States is $32,133 per year or $15 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $24,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $42,000.

How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Substitute Paraprofessional?

Have you worked as a Substitute Paraprofessional? Help other job seekers by rating your experience as a Substitute Paraprofessional.

Top Skills for A Substitute Paraprofessional

  1. Classroom Management
  2. Special Needs
  3. Small Groups
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Assisted classroom teachers with classroom management and general supervision of students and activities.
  • Supervised and encouraged special needs preschool children to participate in daily school activities.
  • Work with individual students or small groups of students to reinforce learning of materials or skills initially introduced by classroom teacher.
  • Assisted the teacher in developing and implementing strategies to support student learning.
  • Tailored lesson plans for students with emotional and cognitive disabilities.

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Top 10 Best States for Substitute Paraprofessionals

  1. Vermont
  2. New Hampshire
  3. Massachusetts
  4. Connecticut
  5. California
  6. Delaware
  7. Maine
  8. Alaska
  9. Maryland
  10. District of Columbia
  • (26 jobs)
  • (90 jobs)
  • (152 jobs)
  • (78 jobs)
  • (743 jobs)
  • (54 jobs)
  • (3 jobs)
  • (0 jobs)
  • (169 jobs)
  • (9 jobs)

Substitute Paraprofessional 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 2,724 Substitute Paraprofessional 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 Substitute Paraprofessional Resume

View Resume Examples

Substitute Paraprofessional Demographics

Gender

Female

69.7%

Unknown

17.0%

Male

13.2%
Ethnicity

White

66.6%

Hispanic or Latino

14.9%

Black or African American

9.7%

Asian

5.5%

Unknown

3.2%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

68.1%

French

6.6%

Arabic

4.4%

German

2.2%

Romanian

2.2%

Japanese

2.2%

Russian

2.2%

Italian

2.2%

Portuguese

1.1%

Chinese

1.1%

Hungarian

1.1%

Somali

1.1%

Hmong

1.1%

Hindi

1.1%

Mandarin

1.1%

Thai

1.1%

Nepali

1.1%
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Substitute Paraprofessional Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

9.9%

Touro College

6.1%

University of Connecticut

6.1%

Kaplan University

5.7%

Minnesota State University - Mankato

5.3%

Brooklyn College of the City University of New York

5.3%

College of New Rochelle

5.3%

City College of New York of the City University of New York

4.9%

Central Connecticut State University

4.9%

Kingsborough Community College of the City University of New York

4.9%

Grand Canyon University

4.9%

Modesto Junior College

4.6%

University of Massachusetts Amherst

4.6%

Liberty University

4.6%

Bronx Community College of the City University of New York

3.8%

Southern Connecticut State University

3.8%

Minnesota State University - Moorhead

3.8%

Grand Valley State University

3.8%

Career College of New York - Staten Island

3.8%

Eastern Connecticut State University

3.8%
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Majors

Business

12.0%

Psychology

11.9%

Elementary Education

6.8%

Education

6.1%

Liberal Arts

6.0%

Special Education

6.0%

Early Childhood Education

5.8%

Criminal Justice

4.9%

Social Work

4.8%

Health Care Administration

4.8%

Human Services

4.4%

Accounting

3.9%

English

3.6%

Communication

3.0%

Medical Assisting Services

3.0%

General Studies

2.9%

Nursing

2.9%

Sociology

2.8%

Human Development

2.5%

Fine Arts

1.9%
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Degrees

Bachelors

40.1%

Other

22.3%

Associate

17.0%

Masters

13.3%

Certificate

4.8%

Diploma

1.8%

License

0.5%

Doctorate

0.2%
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