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What Training Is Needed to Become a Teacher Aide?

Teacher aides are part of the educational team in a classroom, and they work with children and young adults. Learn what kind of training is needed for this position by reading below.

Education

There are several educational paths to become a teacher aide. First, you'll need a high school diploma or general education equivalent. Then, you'll need to obtain educational experience such as a college degree or an educational certificate program that allows you to teach. A college degree is preferred.

Associate's and bachelor's degree programs for teacher aides may include majors in education, child development, elementary education, and communication. You'll learn about topics such as communication skills, child and language development, classroom management, sociology principles, psychology, and education technology. Tuition reimbursement programs may be available at some schools.

Important Facts About Teacher Aides

Work Environment School, daycare center, community centers, religious organization
Key Skills Communication, patience, resourcefulness, interpersonal skills
Similar Occupations Childcare worker, library technician, occupational therapist
Professional Certification None required unless working with special needs students (depending on state)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Training and Other Qualifications

On-the-job training is necessary for many teacher aides to familiarize yourself with the school system. You'll learn about the tasks you'll be performing, along with how to properly interact with faculty and students.

You'll need to know how to operate audiovisual equipment such as televisions, video recorders, and DVD players. Knowledge of computers is recommended to perform computer-based educational programs and administrative tasks.

To work with children, you'll need to complete a background check and possess a valid driver's license. Having bilingual skills, especially in Spanish, is desirable in diversified classrooms. You may be working with students from different cultures and backgrounds. You'll need patience and fairness in working with children.

Career Overview

As a teacher aide, also known as a teacher assistant, you'll assist teachers with educational tasks such as creating and following lesson plans or supervising a classroom. You'll perform routine tasks such as keeping classroom records, grading papers, issuing and supervising tests, overseeing recess periods, and setting up instructional equipment.

Job Outlook and Salary

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov) reported that teacher assistants are expected to see average job prospects in the near future. Job growth is expected to increase by 8% from 2016 to 2026, a rate consistent with the national average predicted for all occupations. Job prospects are best for those working with students who possess disabilities or who are non-English speakers.

The BLS notes that teacher aides earned a median salary of $26,970 per year. According to the BLS, teacher aides who were in the top 10% of wage in estimates had yearly incomes of at least $41,020 in 2018. Scientific research and development services and junior colleges were some of the top-paying industries for teacher aides as of 2018. The top-paying states included Alaska, Massachusetts, California, Washington and the District of Columbia.