Career Detail


Teacher Assistants
“Mind Helpers”
Provides clerical support and assist children in learning class material using the teacher's lesson plans, providing students with individualized attention.
The Job
In addition to instructing, assisting, and supervising students, teacher assistants may grade tests and papers, check homework, keep health and attendance records, do typing and filing, and duplicate materials. They also stock supplies, operate audiovisual equipment, and keep classroom equipment in order. Approximately 4 in 10 teacher assistants work part time. However, even among full-time workers, about 17 percent work less than 40 hours per week. Most assistants who provide educational instruction work the traditional 9-month to 10-month school year.
Work Environment
Teacher assistants work in a variety of settings-including preschools, child care centers, and religious and community centers, where they work with young adults-but most work in classrooms in element
College Majors
Education, Childhood Development
Minimum Qualifications
Training requirements for teacher assistants vary by State or school district and range from a high school diploma to some college training. A number of colleges offer associate degrees or certificate programs that either prepare graduates to work as teacher assistants or provide additional training
Personality traits helpful for this career
have good writing skills and be able to communicate effectively with students and teachers.
Quick Facts
  • Almost 4 in 10 teacher assistants work part time.
  • Bilingual and those who work with special education students have better job prospects.
  • For more information: National Resource Center for Paraprofessionals, 6526 Old Main Hill, Utah State University, Logan, UT 84322. http://www.nrcpara.org
Compensation and Outlook
Median annual wages of teacher assistants in May 2008 were $22,200. The middle 50 percent earned between $17,610 and $28,180. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $15,340, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $33,980.
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