New York State Teaching Assistant Certification Requirements

Take a look at the certification required to become a teaching assistant in New York State. Find out more about how to obtain the certificate, the requirements necessary to apply, and how you can advance your career as a teaching assistant. Schools offering Teaching Assistant degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Information at a Glance

New York teaching assistants must meet certain certification requirements to work in the classroom. Take a look at the chart below for more information about being a teaching assistant in New York State (NYS).

Education Required High school diploma or GED
Certification New York State Teaching Assistant Certificate
Key Skills Patience, interpersonal skills, resourcefulness, communication skills
Job Growth (2016-2026) 8% (for teacher assistants across the U.S.)*
Median Salary (2017) $26,260 (for teacher assistants across the U.S.)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

What Certification Do I Need to Become a Teaching Assistant in New York State?

All prospective teaching assistants in New York state are required to obtain a teaching assistant certificate so they can undertake work in a public school. The certificate is offered from levels 1-3, with an additional pre-professional certificate for prospective teachers. The level 1 certificate is appropriate for individuals who do not have previous experience in the role. It is an entry-level certification, which can lead to a level 2 certificate for those who demonstrate the experience required to advance.

How Do I Obtain the Certificate?

Each candidate must pass the New York State Assessment of Teaching Assistant Skills test (NYSATAS). They must also successfully complete the following workshops: Child Abuse Identification, School Violence Prevention and Intervention, and Dignity for All Students Act (DASA). These workshops are available only through selected providers, which you can find on the government NYS education website. Your workshop provider should submit proof of completion of a workshop to NYS electronically. You must also have a high school diploma or GED and pass a fingerprint clearance.

How Should I Apply?

Applications are made through the NY.gov TEACH account, which each prospective teaching assistant should create as they begin the process of application. From here, you can track the verification of completed workshops, see your skills test result, and complete your teaching assistant certification application, including paying the fee to apply. Once you have logged in to your account, you will be asked to verify your personal details and add the appropriate certificate to your application. You will input details about the grade you will work with and your subject area of interest. The final step includes answering several moral character questions, signing your application and paying the required fees.

Which Certificate Level Should I Apply For?

The level of certification that is appropriate for you will differ depending on your previous experience. Applicants with no prior experience can apply for the level 1 certificate, which provides an entry-level qualification for the role. Once you have been in the role for three years, you can either apply to extend your level 1 certificate or apply for level 2, depending on the experience you have gained during that time. Level 2 certificates are for those who have completed 9 credit hours of postsecondary education as well as one year as a licensed or certified teaching assistant. Applicants with 18 college credit hours as well as one year of experience can apply directly for a level 3 certificate. The highest level NYS offers is the pre-professional certificate, which is appropriate for those who are enrolled in an NYS teacher education program.

Can I Work in a School Without the Certificate?

It is possible to work as a teacher aide in NYS without the teacher assistant certificate. This role requires assisting the teacher in non-teaching duties as specified under their direction. The main elements of the role may include assisting with administrative duties, such as managing records or organizing materials and equipment for classroom use. You may also attend to non-educational needs of children and support the teacher when necessary.

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