Teaching Assistants, Special Education
25-9043.00

This title represents an occupation for which data collection is currently underway.

Assist a preschool, elementary, middle, or secondary school teacher to provide academic, social, or life skills to students who have learning, emotional, or physical disabilities. Serve in a position for which a teacher has primary responsibility for the design and implementation of educational programs and services.

Sample of reported job titles: Special Education Aide, Special Education Paraprofessional, Special Education Teacher Assistant

Occupation-Specific Information

Tasks

  • Assist in bus loading and unloading.
  • Assist librarians in school libraries.
  • Attend staff meetings and serve on committees, as required.
  • Carry out therapeutic regimens, such as behavior modification and personal development programs, under the supervision of special education instructors, psychologists, or speech-language pathologists.
  • Clean classrooms.
  • Discuss assigned duties with classroom teachers to coordinate instructional efforts.
  • Distribute teaching materials, such as textbooks, workbooks, papers, and pencils to students.
  • Employ special educational strategies or techniques during instruction to improve the development of sensory- and perceptual-motor skills, language, cognition, or memory.
  • Enforce administration policies and rules governing students.
  • Grade homework and tests, and compute and record results, using answer sheets or electronic marking devices.
  • Instruct and monitor students in the use and care of equipment and materials to prevent injuries and damage.
  • Instruct students in daily living skills required for independent maintenance and self-sufficiency, such as hygiene, safety, or food preparation.
  • Laminate teaching materials to increase their durability under repeated use.
  • Maintain computers in classrooms and laboratories and assist students with hardware and software use.
  • Observe students' performance, and record relevant data to assess progress.
  • Organize and label materials and display students' work in a manner appropriate for their eye levels and perceptual skills.
  • Organize and supervise games and other recreational activities to promote physical, mental, and social development.
  • Participate in teacher-parent conferences regarding students' progress or problems.
  • Prepare classrooms with a variety of materials or resources for children to explore, manipulate, or use in learning activities or imaginative play.
  • Prepare lesson materials, bulletin board displays, exhibits, equipment, and demonstrations.
  • Prepare lesson outlines and plans in assigned subject areas and submit outlines to teachers for review.
  • Present subject matter to students under the direction and guidance of teachers, using lectures, discussions, supervised role-playing methods, or by reading aloud.
  • Provide assistance to students with special needs.
  • Provide disabled students with assistive devices, supportive technology, and assistance accessing facilities, such as restrooms.
  • Requisition and stock teaching materials and supplies.
  • Supervise students in classrooms, halls, cafeterias, school yards, and gymnasiums, or on field trips.
  • Take class attendance and maintain attendance records.
  • Teach socially acceptable behavior, employing techniques such as behavior modification or positive reinforcement.
  • Tutor and assist children individually or in small groups to help them master assignments and to reinforce learning concepts presented by teachers.
  • Use computers, audio-visual aids, and other equipment and materials to supplement presentations.

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Technology Skills

Hot technology Hot Technologies are requirements frequently included in employer job postings.

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Occupational Requirements

Detailed Work Activities

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Experience Requirements

Job Zone

Title
Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
Education
Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
Related Experience
Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples
These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include hydroelectric production managers, travel guides, electricians, agricultural technicians, barbers, court reporters, and medical assistants.
SVP Range
1-2 years of preparation (6.0 to < 7.0)

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Training & Credentials

State training
Local training
Certifications
State licenses
Apprenticeships
Have a career path or location in mind? Visit Apprenticeship.gov external site to find apprenticeship opportunities near you.

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Workforce Characteristics

Wages & Employment Trends

Median wage data for Teaching Assistants, Except Postsecondary.
Employment data for Teaching Assistants, Except Postsecondary.
Industry data for Teaching Assistants, Except Postsecondary.
Median wages (2021)
$29,360 annual
State wages
Local wages
Employment (2020)
1,306,300 employees
Projected growth (2020-2030)
Average (5% to 10%)
Projected job openings (2020-2030)
136,400
State trends
Top industries (2020)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021 wage data external site and 2020-2030 employment projections external site. “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

State job openings
Local job openings

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More Information

Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

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