Special Education Assistant Career Info, Job Duties and Requirements
Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a special education assistant. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degree programs, job duties and necessary skills to find out if this is the career for you.
Special education assistants work with specially trained teachers to educate students with emotional and behavior disorders, intellectual disabilities, communication challenges or physical disabilities. Prospective special education assistants should complete an associate's degree program for teacher assistants, and they may also be required to pass a skills test designed for individuals working with special needs students, depending on state requirements.
|Required Education||Associate's degree|
|Other Requirements||Skills test for working with special education students, depending on state; background check; on-the-job training|
|Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)*||9% for all teacher assistants|
|Median Salary (2013)*||$24,000 for all teacher assistants|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Special Education Assistant Career Information
A variety of methods are used in special education classrooms, so assistants in this field must be adaptable and able to pay attention to details and instructions provided by teachers. Most work with special needs children includes both one-on-one interaction and small group settings. In some cases, a teaching assistant may work with younger children like toddlers who have shown developmental disabilities and delays. With the supervision of a therapist or teacher, these assistants use games and exercise to aid the physical and behavioral development of special needs students.
Though the duties of a special education assistant vary depending on students' specific needs, their primary goal is generally to provide classroom support to teachers. This support includes work with students and other tasks like paperwork and lesson planning. These assistants also help by attending to any physical needs a student may have, like grooming or eating. Overseeing students to ensure that no harm or danger befalls them in the classroom and in other areas like hallways, cafeterias and playgrounds is another important job aspect.
Special education assistants must pass a background check prior to hiring. Some school districts also require prospective special education assistants to pass a drug screening. This position requires excellent communication and writing skills along with the patience to handle difficult and stressful situations. Experience working with children and remaining calm under pressure is helpful for this career. The ability to speak a second language like Spanish and knowledge of different cultural backgrounds is helpful for assistants working in urban areas.
Employers usually prefer to hire special education assistants who have some experience with children, either formal or experiential. Due to the specific needs of special education students, a special education assistant should have an associate's degree along with some understanding of physical disabilities, developmental disorders, learning disorders and other special needs. Job training involves understanding the rules and operations of the school along with receiving a thorough explanation of each student's special needs.
Related to Special Education Assistant
- Recently Updated
Special education instructional assistants, also known as teacher assistants, work exclusively with special education students....
People interested in working with children with disabilities or gifted students can pursue studies in special education. Degree...
Within schools, special education programs are designed to help children who have disabilities ranging from hearing and seeing...
College can be an expensive venture for any student, but options are available that can help grads leave college debt free....
- Educating the Children of Fallen Warriors: Education Portal Speaks to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation
- Online Schools for Special Education Majors: How to Choose
- Online Special Education Certificate and Certification Information
- Top Criminal Justice Degree Programs - Lexington, KY
- Top University with a Criminal Justice Program - Fort Wayne, IN
- Top Healthcare Administration Degrees - Phoenix, AZ
- Top Ranked Business Administration Degree Program - Milwaukee, WI
- Special Education Associates Degree Program Overviews
- Online Graduate Schools with Special Education Programs: How to Choose
- Top Ranked School for Electronics and Computer Technology - Fremont, CA
- Become a Foreign Aid Worker: Step-by-Step Career Guide
- Top Degree Programs in Business Administration - Little Rock, AR