How to get teaching assistant jobs

Do you want to find a job in education? Teaching assistant jobs are a good way to start. Learn about the job, what training you need, and the first steps to getting employed in a school.

teaching assistant jobs - two women

What are teaching assistant jobs?

In classrooms all over the country, teachers are faced with large classes and not enough time to give personal attention to each student. A teaching assistant can help. Teaching assistant jobs are very important in the classroom. Teaching assistants support teachers by helping students and by taking care of time-consuming tasks.

Other names for this job are teacher’s aide, teacher’s assistant, and para-educator.

About teaching assistant jobs

What can you expect as a teaching assistant?


The role of a teaching assistant may change from school to school. An assistant often helps students one by one or in small groups. They keep the classroom tidy and clean. Part of the job is to save the teacher time so he or she can focus on teaching. The other part of the job is to help the students with their work.

Duties include:

  • Making copies and collecting homework
  • Working with students who have special needs
  • Getting students to and from classrooms and buses
  • Preparing lessons
  • Organizing classroom supplies
  • Watching the students to see if they need help
  • Helping with the student’s yearly education plan
  • Meeting family members to talk about the student
  • Supervising students during recess and lunch


Teaching assistants work in  public elementary, middle and high schools. They also work in private school. They may work in special education facilities, such as schools for the disabled, preschools, child care centers, and religious organizations.

Salary for teaching assistant jobs

Teaching assistants earn an average of $19,000 to $23,640 a year. Pay is higher (up to $30,000) in areas with a higher cost of living.

About the person

Teaching assistant jobs are perfect if you enjoy working with children and if you want to be a teacher in the future. It’s also a good career if you are want to work with children with special needs (mentally or physically disabled children). Your language skills will be valuable in teaching assistant jobs if you are working with newcomer student.

Watch a video about a Vietnamese refugee who is a special education teaching assistant

Qualities you should have

  • Patience
  • Friendly nature
  • Kindness and understanding
  • Ability to maintain discipline
  • Good at communicating
  • Flexible
  • Responsive to students’ needs

Skills you will need

  • Teaching skills
  • Computer skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Good grammar and math skills
  • First aid

Get qualified

Training for teaching assistant jobs

You will need to have an associate’s degree (two-year degree) in education or at least two years of college to get teaching assistant jobs in most public schools.

Some private or charter schools do not require an associate’s degree. But you are more likely to teaching assistant jobs with some teaching training. Also, if you want to go on to become a teacher in the future, you can use your education towards that goal.

Two-year colleges offer associate’s degrees in paraprofessional education, teacher assistance or educational assistance. You can study for one of these degrees at a community college. If you are working during the day, you can study online for some these degrees. Find a community college near you. You can also learn about online associate educational degrees.


To get certified as a teaching assistant, you will need to have your two years of college. You will also need to have completed an internship. That means you will practice your skills in a real classroom. Many states also require a certificate called the ParaPro Assessment.

If you are still in school or college, apply for an internship as a teacher’s assistant. This will save you time later. You will probably need six months or a year of experience as an intern to qualify for teaching assistant jobs. If you are looking for a paid job, is a website for educational jobs.

Learn more 

Other resources

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