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Teaching Assistants Job, Salary, and School Information

Published On : September 01, 2010

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Training and Education

What's Needed:

  • Depending on the specific school district requirements teaching assistants usually must hold at least a high school diploma.
  • An associate degree or certificate program may be required for some teaching assistant positions.

What You Study:

Areas of study in a certificate or degree program can include:

  • Introduction to Education
  • History or Fine Arts
  • English
  • Psychology and Child Development
  • Introduction to Computers
  • Physical Education

What courses you'll take

Below are examples of courses that you might take as a teaching assistant student.

CourseStudiesPurpose
Introduction to EducationTopics can include: changes and influences in K-12 education in American society; principles of child and adolescent development; motives for teaching; expectations for teachers and teacher aides; effective teaching skills and strategies; education technologies; ethical and legal considerations; job options; and professionalism.Give teaching assistant students a broad basis for continuing studies in education.
Introduction to PsychologyFamiliarizes students with the science of human behavior by studying such topics as: techniques applied by psychologists; research findings and applications; biological factors in behavior; human learning; perception; intelligence; memory; stress and coping; social influences; and mental disorders.Provide teaching assistants with a core understanding of their students' behaviors that can be applied to future studies and in the classroom.
Child and Adolescent DevelopmentStudies the development of the human lifecycle from prenatal to adolescence. Covers topics such as: biological factors of behavior; cognitive development; personality development; language; motivation; work and play; and social and emotional development.Help teaching assistants more effectively teach by deepening the understanding of their K-12 students' development patterns.
Reading and WritingPractices the drafting revision and editing of essays. Builds skills for analyzing published writings. Introduces research-based techniques for improving K-12 students reading and writing abilities. For elementary students topics covered may include: alphabet recognition and phonics; vocabulary; fluency; comprehension; and strategies for individual and small group instruction.Prepare teaching assistant students to support the education of K-12 students in reading and writing.
Math for Childhood EducationFocused on elementary mathematics topics such as: problem solving; set theory; whole numbers; functions; number theory; fractions; and decimals.Prepare teaching assistants to be able to support elementary math studies.


Video Overview

Shows a brief overview of what teaching assistants do. Created for the US Dept. of Labor.


Certifications and Licensing

Many states offer their own certification programs for teaching assistants; these certifications may include educational requirements as well as a specified amount of meaningful contact time within a classroom. Additionally the standardized testing company ACT offers its own Proficiency Certificate for Teaching Assistants. This certificate includes three WorkKeys examinations that allow teaching assistants to demonstrate their proficiency in a variety of classroom subjects. A fourth element in achieving certification through this ACT program is composed of an in-depth evaluation of the teaching assistant in a number of structured activities within the classroom setting.


Job Flexibility

Full-time versus part-time:

Over 75 percent of teaching assistants work in elementary and high school settings; most are employed full-time. Work schedules generally mirror the regular school hours and may continue through the summer vacation in schools that offer programs for their students during this time period. Hours may be adjusted to accommodate the needs of the individual in some cases.


Recommended Websites

These online resources can provide valuable information for teaching assistants and others in the education profession.

  • U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Handbook — This website is an essential resource for teaching assistants and those considering a career in the field of education. It offers salary ranges typical job duties and other important information to help students make the right career choices.
  • Association for Childhood Education International — This in-depth website offers insights into the state of education in the U.S. and around the world. Teaching assistants can develop a deeper understanding of the issues facing educators and the challenges that lie ahead in this rewarding field.
  • The National Education Network — Based in the United Kingdom this website provides a wide range of teaching resources lesson plan ideas and links to free online educational materials for use in the classroom setting.
  • American Federation of Teachers –A member organization for educators in the U.S. the American Federation of Teachers publishes a number of journals designed specifically for those in the teaching field. This website is an outstanding resource for news and current events in the educational world and can provide perspective on difficult issues for teaching assistants.
  • National Resource Center for Paraeducators — Teaching assistants can find valuable information on state and federal guidelines for their profession on this specialized website. Additionally the site offers a discussion board an online bookstore a suggested bibliography and information on conferences held by the organization throughout the year.
  • National Education Association — Representing the interests of teachers throughout the educational field the NEA serves as an advocate for both students and educators. The website provides information on continuing education opportunities certification options and current events in the field of education.


Salaries by City

See typical salaries and ranges for this career below Shift click to sort by more than one column — for example first shift-click on state and then shift-click on salary to find best and worst salaries in each state.

StateCity / RegionTypical SalarySalary RangeJob Count% of All Jobs
AKAnchorage$35250$25K – $48K17100.99%
AKFairbanks$35590$29K – $56K2200.60%
ALAnniston – Oxford$17620$16K – $21K1900.43%
ALAuburn – Opelika$18230$16K – $28K2700.55%
ALBirmingham – Hoover$20200$16K – $25K16900.35%
ALDecatur$17740$16K – $20K2900.55%
ALDothan$18880$16K – $24K2900.51%
ALFlorence – Muscle Shoals$18900$16K – $28K2900.56%
ALGadsden$18360$16K – $23K1500.43%
ALHuntsville$18670$16K – $30K8000.39%
ALMobile$18210$16K – $23K6700.40%
ALMontgomery$18590$16K – $24K6300.40%
ALTuscaloosa$18170$16K – $23K4200.47%
ARFayetteville – Springdale – Rogers$19360$16K – $28K15800.78%
ARFort Smith$19320$16K – $29K7800.69%
ARHot Springs$18710$16K – $25K2800.79%
ARJonesboro$18850$16K – $24K5201.06%
ARLittle Rock – North Little Rock – Conway$19210$16K – $26K17200.52%
ARPine Bluff$18810$16K – $24K3701.07%
AZFlagstaff$26040$18K – $30K5601.01%
AZLake Havasu City $ Kingman$21250$17K – $29K4901.12%
AZPhoenix – Mesa – Glendale$22210$17K – $30K132900.77%
AZPrescott$20420$17K – $28K6001.14%
AZTucson$21710$17K – $31K36801.06%
AZYuma$21790$17K – $29K4900.88%
CABakersfield – Delano$25710$18K – $33K37001.35%
CAChico$28060$20K – $38K9901.47%
CAEl Centro$27530$19K – $38K6801.30%
CAFresno$28220$20K – $37K45501.44%
CAHanford – Corcoran$30380$22K – $38K6501.72%
CALos Angeles – Long Beach – Glendale (Metro Area)$27190$19K – $39K350700.91%
CAMadera – Chowchilla$28520$20K – $39K3901.01%
CAMerced$30760$20K – $38K12202.04%
CAModesto$29790$21K – $37K19801.29%
CANapa$31550$20K – $38K4800.77%
CAOakland – Fremont – Hayward (Metro Area)$30550$20K – $44K91800.95%
CAOxnard – Thousand Oaks – Ventura$31270$19K – $38K32001.11%
CARedding$20560$18K – $29K10901.89%
CARiverside – San Bernardino – Ontario$30370$20K – $38K144801.25%
CASacramento – Arden – Arcade – Roseville$28700$21K – $38K83401.02%
CASalinas$30990$20K – $38K13300.85%
CASan Diego – Carlsbad – San Marcos$28450$20K – $38K82700.66%
CASan Francisco – San Mateo – Redwood City (Metro Area)$31850$21K – $43K56900.57%
CASan Jose – Sunnyvale – Santa Clara$31250$20K – $43K80400.90%
CASan Luis Obispo – Paso Robles$24190$20K – $37K8800.87%
CASanta Ana – Anaheim – Irvine (Metro Area)$32970$18K – $46K120900.86%
CASanta Barbara – Santa Maria – Goleta$30730$18K – $43K14000.83%
CASanta Cruz – Watsonville$30280$19K – $44K8701.04%
CASanta Rosa – Petaluma$32360$21K – $38K14300.83%
CAStockton$26090$18K – $38K16200.83%
CAVallejo – Fairfield$30140$22K – $37K9400.78%
CAVisalia – Porterville$28020$21K – $37K15501.18%
CAYuba City$28780$19K – $38K5301.45%
COBoulder$30550$20K – $42K12000.75%
COColorado Springs$23260$19K – $30K24301.00%
CODenver – Aurora – Broomfield$26830$19K – $38K88600.72%
COFort Collins – Loveland$23730$18K – $30K9500.72%
COGreeley$23120$19K – $30K8301.03%
COPueblo$29680$23K – $38K2900.52%
CTBridgeport – Stamford – Norwalk$26600$19K – $42K48501.17%
CTDanbury$24160$18K – $37K7201.09%
CTHartford – West Hartford – East Hartford$29240$19K – $44K64701.17%
CTNew Haven$28600$19K – $38K39301.45%
CTNorwich – New London$28560$22K – $38K16701.30%
CTWaterbury$24870$18K – $63K6601.04%
DCWashington – Arlington – Alexandria (Metro Area)$27370$18K – $47K162300.69%
DEDover$$19K – $46K4700.81%
DEWilmington (Metro Area)$25770$17K – $43K24900.77%
FLCape Coral – Fort Myers$27130$21K – $35K12600.62%
FLCrestview – Fort Walton Beach – Destin$28180$17K – $39K4400.60%
FLDeltona – Daytona Beach – Ormond Beach$22640$17K – $30K6600.43%
FLFort Lauderdale – Pompano Beach – Deerfield Beach (Metro Area)$19100$17K – $29K37400.52%
FLGainesville$18050$16K – $24K7300.61%
FLJacksonville$23060$17K – $35K30400.53%
FLMiami – Miami Beach – Kendall (Metro Area)$20820$17K – $35K31000.31%
FLNorth Port – Bradenton – Sarasota$21380$17K – $33K13600.57%
FLOcala$22390$20K – $26KN/AN/A
FLOrlando – Kissimmee – Sanford$22440$18K – $30K59100.58%
FLPalm Bay – Melbourne – Titusville$22890$19K – $29K9800.51%
FLPalm Coast$24230$20K – $30K2001.08%
FLPort St. Lucie$21460$17K – $27K6800.56%
FLSebastian – Vero Beach$19130$17K – $23K2900.65%
FLTallahassee$23430$17K – $35K13400.86%
FLTampa – St. Petersburg – Clearwater$23730$17K – $34K61700.55%
FLWest Palm Beach – Boca Raton – Boynton Beach (Metro Area)$23430$18K – $35K16400.32%
GAAlbany$18040$16K – $24K8601.45%
GAAthens – Clarke County$17970$16K – $22K7000.91%
GAAtlanta – Sandy Springs – Marietta$20190$16K – $28K160200.71%
GAAugusta – Richmond County$17760$16K – $21K23401.16%
GABrunswick$18760$16K – $23K3600.95%
GAColumbus$17710$16K – $20K13401.22%
GADalton$17820$16K – $20K3800.60%
GAGainesville$18880$16K – $28K6100.85%
GAHinesville – Fort Stewart$18420$16K – $29K3101.82%
GAMacon$18020$16K – $23K5400.58%
GARome$20160$16K – $25K2600.72%
GASavannah$19610$16K – $25K6300.43%
GAValdosta$18010$16K – $25K1900.38%
GAWarner Robins$17560$16K – $20K3700.67%
HIHonolulu$28050$21K – $36K51901.20%
IAAmes$19100$16K – $25K3300.82%
IACedar Rapids$26770$18K – $36K$17K – $30K13900.78%
IADes Moines – West Des Moines$21900$17K – $30K28000.86%
IADubuque$26560$18K – $30K7201.28%
IAIowa City$21390$17K – $29K6700.79%
IASioux City$21460$17K – $29K5300.75%
IAWaterloo – Cedar Falls$18790$16K – $28K7900.89%
IDBoise City – Nampa$21870$17K – $31K22700.87%
IDCoeur d'Alene ID$20920$17K – $25K4600.90%
IDIdaho Falls$21580$17K – $30K5801.18%
IDLewiston$25690$18K – $31K3101.33%
IDPocatello$18980$16K – $24K4401.34%
ILBloomington – Normal$19650$18K – $29K6500.75%
ILChampaign – Urbana$22330$18K – $34K7400.78%
ILChicago – Joliet – Naperville (Metro Area)$21950$18K – $34K271500.75%
ILDanville$19430$18K – $24K3001.10%
ILDecatur$19490$18K – $28K900.19%
ILKankakee – Bradley$21590$18K – $28K4501.13%
ILLake County – Kenosha County (Metro Area)$2

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