What Is the Salary of a Teacher Assistant?

Teacher assistants (TA) work with teachers to provide support with student supervision and handle administrative tasks. The salary and benefits depend on a variety of factors like experience, training and location. Keep reading to find out more about the requirements and earnings of teacher assistants. Schools offering Teaching Assistant degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Salary Overview

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), average earnings of a teacher assistant were $26,000 in May 2014 (www.bls.gov). Additionally, the BLS reports that the top ten percent earned $37,270 or greater, while the bottom ten percent made $17,510 or less. PayScale.com showed an annual pay range for teacher assistants at $13,472-$35,550 in September 2015.

Generally, health care coverage and other benefits are available for TAs who work full-time. However, the BLS reports that approximately 40% of these professionals work only part-time. Some belong to labor unions or are under contract with a union.

Important Facts About This Occupation

Required Education High school diploma or equivalent is the minimum requirement; associate's degree or some college is preferred by employers
Key Skills Communication and interpersonal skills; patience and resourcefulness
Work Environment Public and private primary schools, religious organizations, preschools, and childcare and community centers
Similar Occupations Highschool teacher, middle school teacher, preschool teacher, childcare worker

Salary by Training

Job training requirements for teacher assistants vary by state or school system. While some employers' minimum educational requirements may be limited to a high school diploma combined with some experience working with children, most prefer an associate's degree or two years of college, according to the BLS. Formal postsecondary education may increase job opportunities and possibilities for advancement. In addition, completion of certificate or degree programs may facilitate job placement and increase opportunities. Teacher assistants who have a 2-year degree or more may enjoy higher salaries than those without similar training.

In November 2015, PayScale.com reported that teacher assistants with associate's degrees earned 2% more than the national yearly average of $22,000.

Salary by Experience

Payscale.com reported that teacher assistants with 0-5 years of job experience had an annual salary range of $13,168-$35,807 in September 2015. Wages increased with experience, with earnings increasing to $14,162-$35,696 with 10-20 years of experience and $13,514-$39,093 with 20 or more years of experience.

Teacher assistants with special education training and experience working with special needs children may command higher salaries. Training in English as a Second Language (ESL) may also prove beneficial for higher earnings and demand. Additionally, speaking a foreign language like Spanish may be beneficial in job placement and advancement.

Salary by Location

Densely populated regions in the West and South have the most demand for teacher assistants. Therefore, wages may be higher due to greater demand for teacher assistants in these areas. Other factors to consider are school populations and type of school system, such as public or private.

The BLS reported in May 2014 that the states with the highest mean pay for this occupation included Alaska ($37,440), Rhode Island ($31,670), Maine ($31,190), Nevada ($31,040) and Washington ($30,880). The mean earnings for the states with the highest employment levels included $30,410 for California, $27,780 for New York, $21,270 for Texas, $26,690 for New Jersey and $26,960 for Illinois.

Job Prospects

The BLS expects that teacher assistant job growth will be at an about average rate of 6% over the 2014-2024 decade. There were 1,234,100 employed in 2014, and this number is expected to increase to 1,312,800 by 2024, which equals 105,000 new jobs. Student enrollment increases will drive the growth, as well as turnover from those moving on to different occupations.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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