What Factors Influence Teacher's Assistant Pay?

Angela Farrer

Several factors influence teacher's assistant pay, including school location and demand, the grade level in which he or she is working, the assistant’s previous experience, and his or her current level of education. Some teaching assistants (TAs) work at the kindergarten through 12th grade (K – 12) level, others work as TAs at colleges or universities, and still others assist home-schooling parents with their children's curriculum. Teacher's assistant pay can also vary by state and school district.

Grade level may influence teacher's assistant pay.
Grade level may influence teacher's assistant pay.

Teacher's assistant jobs require a high school diploma at minimum, though most school districts prefer a college degree as well. Some school districts may also require applicants to pass a teacher's assistant certification exam prior to consideration for employment. Many dedicated educators begin their careers in teaching by completing four-year degrees in education or child development and then working as teaching assistants before securing tenured teaching positions.

A teacher assistant's current education level will affect her or his pay.
A teacher assistant's current education level will affect her or his pay.

Pay for TAs is usually higher in areas with steady rates of population growth, which creates the need for new schools and opens up job opportunities within them. Different school districts within the same state can set higher or lower teacher's assistant pay rates, depending on the district resources and the classroom need for TAs. A TA working in a primary or secondary school can often earn higher pay than one in a college or university. Graduate students in advanced degree programs can often secure college teaching assistant jobs. They are frequently responsible for teaching introductory or other lower-division undergraduate courses in their specific fields.

Most teaching assistants have at least some familiarity with different educational methods and theories.
Most teaching assistants have at least some familiarity with different educational methods and theories.

Previous experience is a significant factor influencing teacher's assistant pay. Pay for entry-level teacher's assistant jobs is relatively low for those employed in public school districts, and this amount can go up after a few years of experience. Teaching assistants at the college level typically start at about the same rate or a little lower than public school assistants, and again they can receive raises as they gain more skill at helping classes run smoothly.

A self-employed teacher's aide has a bit more flexibility in terms of pay rate. These teaching assistants can be privately employed with one or more families who home-school their children. In exchange for helping to create effective lesson plans, offering students extra tutoring, and aiding the parents in tracking their children's progress, self-employed TAs in this area can set their own hourly rates.

In most cases, teaching assistants do not need to be licensed or certified.
In most cases, teaching assistants do not need to be licensed or certified.

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