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 $25,310 in May 2012 (www.bls.gov). Additionally, the BLS reports that the top ten percent earned $36,680 or greater, while the bottom ten percent made $17,180 or less. PayScale.com showed an annual pay range for teacher assistants at $15,819-$32,022 in January 2014.

Generally, health care coverage and other benefits are available for TAs who work full-time. However, the BLS reports that approximately 37% of these professionals work only part-time. Some belong to labor unions or are under contract with a union.

Salary by Training

Job training requirements for teacher assistants vary by state or school system. Typically, minimum educational requirements include a high school diploma combined with some experience working with children. 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 January 2014, PayScale.com reported that teacher assistants with associate degrees earned $12,323-$30,311 annually. Those with bachelor's degrees made $14,294-$33,338.

Salary by Experience

Payscale.com reported that teacher assistants with 1-4 years of job experience had an annual salary range of $13,365-$35,539 in January 2014. Wages increased with experience, with earnings increasing to 14,140-$35,022 with 10-19 years of experience and $12,846-$39,732 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 2012 that the states with the highest mean pay for this occupation included Alaska ($33,510), Nevada ($32,300), Delaware ($30,590), Maine ($30,160) and Washington ($30,120). The mean earnings for the states with the highest employment levels included $29,490 for California, $27,130 for New York, $20,720 for Texas, $26,170 for New Jersey and $25,100 for Pennsylvania.

Job Prospects

The BLS expects that teacher assistant job growth will be at an about average rate of 15% over the 2010-2020 decade. There were 1,288,300 employed in 2010, and this number is expected to increase to 1,479,300 by 2020, which equals 191,100 new jobs. Student enrollment increases will drive the growth, as well as turnover from those moving on to different occupations.

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