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Teacher Assistant Job Description

The career of a teacher assistant is quite fulfilling.

They help teachers with their day-to-day activities, teaching functions, reinforcing learning and assisting students.

They also assist the teachers with preparation for each lesson and conducting them.

Some duties of teacher assistants include supervising students during recess, grading papers, enforcing rules in the classroom, supervising students during lunch breaks or field trips as well as helping students with lessons individually.

Teacher assistants are expected to have a college degree.

As a minimum, they may hold a high school diploma together with an educational program certificate.

The working hours of teacher assistants are usually the same as teachers.

What Does a Teacher Assistant Do

In simple terms, the work of a teacher assistant includes the following:

Assisting teachers and students with everyday classroom activity.

They may be responsible for setting up equipment for the lesson, such as visual aids, art supplies, computers, etc.

A teacher assistant helps the teacher with grading papers and supervising students when needed.

Preferably, teacher assistants should hold some college degree.

On average, the annual salary of a teacher assistant is $24,000.

Most of their working day, they spend in the classroom with teachers during school hours.

Also, assistants usually have summers off.

Teacher assistants provide additional support for teachers and students in the classroom.

They also assist with the supervision of students during lunch and snack breaks, recess, and field trips.

Teacher Assistant job


  • Assist teachers with lesson preparation.
  • Assist with grading papers and recording grades.
  • Prepare the equipment for classes, such as computers, books, visual aids, art supplies.
  • Assist students with classwork either in small groups or one-on-one.
  • Supervise students during lunch, recess, field trips, and other activities.
  • Assist with the organization of parent and teacher conferences.
  • Enforce classroom and school rules to control behavior and reinforce the code of conduct.
  • Report findings to teachers, such as letting them know if a student is having problems so that appropriate steps can be taken.

How to Become a Teacher Assistant

Teacher assistants need at least a high school diploma to work at private and charter schools.

However, with a college degree, job prospects will be a lot more positive.

For most opportunities, you may obtain an associate’s degree in education as well as a teaching assistant certificate.

You may have to enroll in an internship as well as pass tests, which vary from state to state.

As you complete these requirements, you can start seeking a position as a teacher assistant.

At some locations, you may have to pass a background check.

You also need some skills and traits that are important for this job.

Essential Skills


Teacher assistants work directly with students.

You need a certain level of patience to adapt your teaching methods to the needs of a particular student.


Assistants also help teachers with papers, tasks, and grades organization.

In a classroom full of students, it can be difficult to stay organized, but with other bureaucratic necessities, it can become even harder.

Such necessities include handling general paperwork as well as organizing parent-teacher meetings and other events.


It may seem that the job of a teacher assistant isn’t very creative, however, it does require you to find innovative solutions to engage students and keep their interest.

You may have to try new things with students every day.

Training and Qualifications

To succeed in this position, you need a great deal of patience, great communication skills, and love for kids.

You should be dependable and reliable while assisting the teacher with various tasks.

Education in a related area can be extremely helpful.

With some teacher assistant programs, you can benefit from the internships, through which you can land a job.

Certifications and licenses may vary from one state to another.

Usually, you need to take 75 hours of professional development after 3 years for renewal.

Certification requirements include State Education Department testing which will assess the skills of a teacher assistant.

Alternatively, a Liberal Arts and Sciences Test may be required.

The requirements differ in every state set by the State Education Department.

Assistants may also have to pass a paraprofessional exam.


The job of a teacher assistant is fairly easy to obtain with the education and training they have to take.

With an internship, job prospects will significantly expand.

If you have a bachelor’s degree in education or a related area, your job prospects will also be more positive.

You can gain some experience while you are in school by working as a teacher assistant part-time in a charter or private school.

If you complete a paraprofessional exam, it can be counted as a substitute for the required experience.

Working Hours

The average workweek of a teacher’s assistant features 32.5 hours.

The working day usually begins 15-30 minutes before the students arrive and end 15-30 minutes after they leave school.

Assistants usually have a lunch break, which is unpaid, and the summer months are typically off for teacher assistants.

Some overtime work may be involved, however, that happens rarely.

Career Outlook

The demand for teacher assistants should grow in the near future.

The salary of assistants is below average,  $24,000 per year.

Assistants may encounter some stress at work sometimes, especially if they work with younger children who can be restless and energetic at their age.

Regardless, a teacher assistant job is a rewarding career that allows you to contribute to the personal and academic development of kids.

There will always be demand for educators.

With more experience and a paraprofessional certification, you can receive an increased salary.

This is a worthwhile career for those interested in educating children.

The area isn’t very competitive.

You can find a wide range of opportunities in all schools, including private, charter, and public.

Through some available programs, you can earn credits for a teacher assistant degree and transfer it to an education degree.

With it, you can advance to the position of the lead teacher.


If you like working with children, the position of a teacher assistant can be a great opportunity and a rewarding career.

They assist teachers in providing a productive and safe learning environment where the needs of students are attended to.

Teacher assistants provide support to teachers in classroom activities.

They also assist with grading assignments, preparing equipment, enforcing classroom policies and rules, and providing support to students.

They provide caring and nurturing to students to help them succeed.

Teacher assistants work less than 40 hours per week and earn an average salary.

The educational requirements may vary depending on the school, as some require an associate’s degree while others settle for a high school diploma.

Teacher assistants need to hold a certification, the testing for which differs by state.

Specific requirements for obtaining the certification and employment are set by each State Department of Education.

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