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Certificate Programs to Be a Teacher's Aide

Get information on certificate programs for teacher's aides. Learn about prerequisites, curriculum, job growth forecast, average salaries and state certification requirements.

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Essential Information

Teacher's aides, or teacher assistants, work with lead teachers and provide support by assisting with student instruction, monitoring students and performing classroom administrative duties. A teacher aide certificate, offered by many community colleges, is typically the minimum educational requirement necessary for the job.

These programs combine general education courses with practical teaching experiences. Most programs can be completed in less than a year. Students need a high school diploma or GED certificate.

In a state where certification is required for teacher assistants, a program's curriculum might be designed specifically to meet those certification requirements. Courses usually cover child development, classroom management and educational psychology. Many programs emphasize early childhood and elementary education, and teacher's aides may take courses in teaching reading and math at that level.

Educational Prerequisites

A high school diploma or equivalent is required for admission to a certificate program in teacher assisting. Some programs require demonstrable math skills, either through high school transcripts or math competency testing. An English placement test or college-level English course may be required as well.

Program Coursework

Students are provided with the skills and knowledge needed to effectively assist a lead in a classroom setting. Some programs emphasize early childhood or elementary school students. Courses may include the following:

  • Child development
  • Educational psychology
  • Children's literature
  • Math for elementary teachers
  • Child behavior
  • Classroom management

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Employment of teacher's aides was expected to grow at an average rate during the decade from 2010-2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) (www.bls.gov). More teacher's aides were expected to be hired because of factors like the growing enrollment of ESL (English as a second language) and special education students. The growing focus on education quality has led to some increase in the employment of teacher's aides. In 2012, the median annual salary for teacher's aides was $23,640 reported the BLS.

Certification and Continuing Education

Some states require teacher's aides to become certified, which may require passing a competency test. A growing number of schools prefer to hire aides with college degrees, such as a 2-year associate's degree, according to the BLS. Certificate programs may allow students to apply credits towards associate's degrees. Professional organizations, such as the National Resource Center for Paraprofessionals (www.nrcpara.org), provide additional opportunities or suggestions for continuing education.

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics