Special Education Paraprofessional

Last Updated:
September 19, 2023

Job Description Overview

A Special Education Paraprofessional is someone who works in the Education industry to assist students with special needs. They are responsible for providing one-on-one support to students with disabilities, such as physical, emotional, behavioral, or intellectual challenges. Special Education Paraprofessionals work under the supervision of a certified teacher, and provide direct services to students with special needs. They help students develop and improve their academic, social, and life skills.

A Special Education Paraprofessional job description usually includes tasks such as assisting with classroom instruction, providing individualized support and care to students, monitoring student behavior, and helping to create and implement individualized education programs (IEPs). They may also provide support for students with mobility or communication impairments, and help them navigate the school environment. The job requires patience, compassion, and a willingness to work closely with students and other educators to provide the best possible learning environment.

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Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Supporting and assisting special education teachers in lesson planning and instruction
  • Providing individualized assistance to students with disabilities in the classroom
  • Monitoring and documenting student progress and behavior
  • Helping to implement accommodations and modifications for students with special needs
  • Providing support during assessments and testing
  • Collaborating with school staff and parents to establish and achieve student goals
  • Helping to ensure student safety and well-being
  • Assisting with daily classroom management and organization
  • Providing a positive and supportive learning environment for students with disabilities.

Experience and Education Requirements

To become a Special Education Paraprofessional, you need both education and experience. Typically, you'll need at least a high school diploma or equivalent to apply for this job. Some employers may require a bachelor's degree in education, psychology, or a related field. It's also important to have experience working with individuals with disabilities. If you don't have direct experience, any experience working with children can be helpful. You'll also need good communication and teamwork skills. Paraprofessionals work closely with teachers, administrators, and families to support the educational goals of students with disabilities. With the right education and experience, you can make a positive difference in the lives of students with special needs.

Salary Range

If you're curious about the salary range for a Special Education Paraprofessional in the Education industry in the United States, it can vary widely based on location and experience. Entry-level positions typically pay around $22,000 to $28,000 per year, while experienced paraprofessionals with several years of experience can earn up to $40,000 or more. Some school districts or states may offer higher salaries to attract and retain qualified paraprofessionals. For example, in Massachusetts, the median salary for a Special Education Paraprofessional is around $38,000 per year.


  • PayScale: Special Education Paraprofessional Salary
  • Salary.com: Special Education Paraprofessional Salary in Massachusetts
  • Glassdoor: Special Education Paraprofessional Salaries

Career Outlook

Special Education Paraprofessionals provide essential support to special needs students and help them thrive in the educational environment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of paraeducators, including special education paraprofessionals, is expected to grow by 4 percent from 2019 to 2029. The need for qualified Special Education Paraprofessionals is growing, as more students with disabilities require special attention and assistance to succeed. Additionally, with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for virtual and online learning has also increased, resulting in more opportunities for Special Education Paraprofessionals to work with students remotely. Overall, a career as a Special Education Paraprofessional has a positive career outlook for the next 5 years.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What is a Special Education Paraprofessional?

A: A Special Education Paraprofessional is a support staff member who assists teachers in providing educational and behavioral support to students with disabilities.

Q: What are the duties of a Special Education Paraprofessional?

A: The duties of a Special Education Paraprofessional include, but are not limited to, working with students one-on-one, small group instruction, assisting with personal care needs, monitoring student progress, and providing behavioral support.

Q: What kind of education do I need to become a Special Education Paraprofessional?

A: Generally, a high school diploma or equivalent is required. However, some states may require additional certification or training in the field of Special Education.

Q: What is the average salary of a Special Education Paraprofessional?

A: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for a Special Education Paraprofessional is $27,920.

Q: What personal qualities are important for a Special Education Paraprofessional to have?

A: Good communication skills, patience, empathy, flexibility, and a passion for working with students with disabilities are all important qualities for a Special Education Paraprofessional to possess.

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