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 $28,750 in May 2018 (www.bls.gov). Additionally, the BLS reports that the top ten percent earned $41,020 or greater, while the bottom ten percent made $18,670 or less. PayScale.com showed an annual pay range for teacher assistants at $17,661-$32,219 in June 2019.

Generally, health care coverage and other benefits are available for TAs who work full-time. However, the BLS reports that some 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 High school 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.

Salary by Experience

Payscale.com reported that teacher assistants with 0-5 years of job experience had an annual salary range of $16,980-$30,729 in May 2019. Wages increased with experience, with earnings increasing to $18,178-$32,314 with 10-20 years of experience and $19,453-$38,752 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 2018 that the states with the highest mean pay for this occupation included Alaska ($39,640), Massachusetts ($35,680), California ($35,350), the District of Columbia ($35,300) and Washington ($35,130). The mean earnings for the states with the highest employment levels included $35,350 for California, $31,330 for New York, $23,290 for Texas, $29,150 for New Jersey and $27,710 for Illinois.

Job Prospects

The BLS expects that teacher assistant job growth will be at an about average rate of 8% over the 2016-2026 decade. There were 1,308,100 employed in 2016, and this number is expected to increase to 1,417,600 by 2026, which equals 109,500 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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