Do I Need a Degree to be a Teacher’s Aide?

Working in the education field doesn’t always require an advanced degree, and if you’re interested in working as an assistant, you’ll find that you only need a basic degree to be a teacher’s aide. An Associate’s in Education provides a solid foundation that will prepare you for working with students in different education settings. In addition to researching degree requirements, you should examine the job closer.

What is a Teacher’s Aide?

A teacher’s aide is someone who serves as an assistant to a teacher, which is why some schools refer to these positions as teaching assistant jobs. Nearly half of those working in the area work on a part-time basis. They may work early in the morning and leave before another assistant arrives for the afternoon. Aides help students better understand the course materials and offer one-on-one support when needed. Most aides only work during the school year and have summers off. Some teaching assistants work outside of schools in child care facilities, hospitals and tutoring programs.

Salary and Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, teacher’s aides make approximately $23,640 a year. This represents the median wage reported across all aides and includes those working full-time and those working part-time. The BLS also believes that the outlook for this position is on par with other teaching positions and that the field will grow by nine percent by 2022. Those interested in working in the field will see the addition of more than 100,000 new jobs, which will become available to recent graduates and those moving from full-time teaching positions to part-time positions.

Do You Need a College Degree?

You do not need a degree to be a teacher’s aide. Some schools hire aides who have only a high school diploma, but it often depends on the requirements of the state and the school itself. The federal government gives grants and funds to schools with a high ratio of students who fall below the poverty line. Aides working for those schools must have an Associate’s degree in education or a related field, which you can complete in around two years. Students currently enrolled in a four-year degree program may also work as aides while completing their degrees.

Other Requirements for the Job

Working as a teacher’s aide requires many of the same characteristics of great teachers. You must know how to communicate with teachers and staff to help them understand the work that students do. Aides must also have the ability to work well with students of different ages and backgrounds. You might find yourself working with one group of students throughout the year or switching back and forth between different classrooms. Depending on your state, you may also find that you need to take a short test before seeking employment. Some states now test the skills of potential aides before granting them employment.

Working as a teacher’s aide requires that you have strong communication skills and the ability to work with different groups of people. Unlike full-time teachers, you don’t need to have a teaching license. While some schools only require that applicants have a high school diploma, other employers ask that applicants have an Associate’s degree to be a teacher’s aide.