Teacher's Aide Requirements in Washington State

Washington State has introduced new standards for teacher's aides, or paraeducators. It is shifting from No Child Left Behind (NCLB) to Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), removing the term ~'highly qualified~' for teacher's aides as well as for educators. Read on to learn about the specific requirements to become a teacher's aide in Washington. Schools offering Teaching Assistant degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Overview of Requirements for Washington Teacher's Aides

Individuals who plan to work as teacher's aide in a school that operates a Title I, Part A schoolwide or targeted assistance program must meet the new ESSA standards, which are due to be fully implemented from 2019 onwards. Title I, Part A is a federal program serving the needs of children from kindergarten to grade 12. A Title I school receives funding to help reduce the gap between different levels of family incomes.

Education/Experience Required High School Diploma or GED (General Educational Development)
Exams Required ETS ParaPro Assessment (Optional)
Average Annual Salary (2018)* $35,130 (teacher assistants in WA)
Projected Job Growth (2016-2026)* 8% (teacher assistants, nationally)

Source:*US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Washington's Teacher's Aides Education and Certification Requirements

The basic credential a teacher's aide must have is a high school diploma or GED (General Educational Development). In addition to this, a potential teacher's aide must fulfill one of the following options:

  • Complete two years of study at an institution of higher education that should meet five criteria of the Higher Education Act, Section 101(a). Individuals must attend classes at 100 level or above (72 quarter or 48 semester credits).
  • Have an associate degree or higher.
  • Pass the ETS ParaPro Assessment, which tests skills and knowledge related to reading, writing and math. The ETS ParaPro Assessment consists of 90 multiple choice items - 30 questions in each of the core subjects of reading, writing, and mathematics. The passing score is 461. The exam cost is $50.00. However, applicants should be aware of extra local surcharges.

All above qualifications must be documented by official transcripts. Keep also in mind that qualifications may vary by district. Some districts could require more education or higher credentials.

Finally, teacher's aides are required to meet the 14 competencies necessary to support children with disabilities.

Salary and Job Growth Projection

According to the BLS in 2018, the average annual wage for teacher's aides in the state of Washington is $35,130. The employment of teacher's aides is projected to grow 8% nationally during the period from 2016 to 2026.

Job Duties and Skills

Teacher's aides are also referred to as teacher assistants, paraeducators, paraprofessionals, education assistants, and instructional aides. Teacher's aides assist teachers in their instructional responsibilities. They work with teachers in the classroom to help students meet their educational goals. Their tasks include student supervision, parental involvement activities, record-keeping, tracking student attendance, calculating grades, reinforcing school and class rules, providing one-on-one tutoring, assisting with classroom management and preparing equipment or classroom material. Some teacher's aides work in specific areas like computer laboratories, helping students use computers and software. Teacher's aides may also specialize in specific education areas, such as drama, for example, as translators for non-native English speakers or in helping students with disabilities.

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