Paraprofessional

Industry:
Education
Last Updated:
July 19, 2023

Job Description Overview

A Paraprofessional job description covers various responsibilities in the Education industry. Paraprofessionals work alongside licensed teachers, supporting students in and outside the classroom. They may provide individualized assistance to students with special needs, help administer exams, grade papers, and keep track of students' progress. Additionally, Paraprofessionals may assist teachers in creating lesson plans, organizing materials, and supervising students on field trips. They may also perform administrative tasks, such as answering phones, handling paperwork, and attending staff meetings. Paraprofessionals need to have excellent communication and interpersonal skills, as they work directly with students, teachers, and parents. They also need to be patient, caring, and able to follow instructions. Paraprofessional jobs require at least a high school diploma or equivalent, and some employers may prefer candidates with relevant experience or certifications.

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Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Assist teachers in the classroom with daily activities and lessons
  • Work with individual students or small groups to provide extra help or support
  • Help to manage classroom behavior and create a positive learning environment
  • Assist with classroom organization and preparation of instructional materials
  • Provide translation and interpretation services for students and families with limited English proficiency
  • Collaborate with teachers and other professionals to develop and implement learning plans for students with special needs
  • Monitor student progress and provide feedback to teachers and parents
  • Maintain confidentiality and adhere to ethical standards in all interactions with students and families
  • Participate in professional development opportunities to stay current with best practices in education and student support.

Experience and Education Requirements

To become a paraprofessional in the education field, you typically need a combination of education and experience. Most schools require a high school diploma, but some may prefer or require an associate's degree or some college-level coursework. Additionally, experience working with children or in an educational setting can also be helpful.

Paraprofessional roles vary depending on the school or district, but they usually involve working directly with students or supporting classroom teachers. As such, experience with behavior management, lesson planning, and classroom management can be beneficial. Strong communication skills and a passion for working with children are also highly valued in this role.

If you're interested in becoming a paraprofessional, check with your local school district for specific education and experience requirements. Some schools may also offer on-the-job training or professional development opportunities for paraprofessionals.

Salary Range

Paraprofessionals in the education industry provide support to teachers and educators in the classroom, assisting with a range of tasks from lesson planning to student supervision. If you're wondering about paraprofessional salary range, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median annual wage for paraprofessionals in education was $28,900 as of May 2020. However, salaries can vary depending on the specific job title, location, and years of experience. In Canada, the median hourly wage for educational assistants is CAD 24.06, according to Job Bank Canada. In the United Kingdom, teaching assistants can make between £12,000 to £21,000 per year on average, based on data from Prospects. 

Sources:

  • United States Bureau of Labor Statistics: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/teacher-assistants.htm
  • Job Bank Canada: https://www.jobbank.gc.ca/marketreport/wages-occupation/17319/22489
  • Prospects: https://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/teaching-assistant

Career Outlook

If you like working with children and want to make a difference in their education, working as a Paraprofessional in the Education industry might be the job for you. But what’s the outlook for this career in the next five years? It looks promising. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of these professionals is projected to grow 11 percent from 2016 to 2026, which is faster than the average for all occupations. This growth is because schools are recognizing the benefits of having extra support for students, especially those with special needs. So, if you want to be part of this growing field, get ready to make a difference in children’s lives.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What is a Paraprofessional in education?

A: A Paraprofessional is a trained teacher's aide who works in a classroom to support the teacher and help with instruction, behavior management, and student needs.

Q: What are the educational requirements for a Paraprofessional?

A: Educational requirements vary by state and school district, but most require a high school diploma or equivalent. Some may require an associate's degree or higher education credits.

Q: What are the main responsibilities of a Paraprofessional?

A: The main responsibilities of a Paraprofessional include reinforcing lessons, working with small groups of students, assisting with classroom management, and helping with student needs such as individualized education plans (IEPs).

Q: What skills are necessary to become a successful Paraprofessional?

A: Successful Paraprofessionals have strong communication and organizational skills, patience, and the ability to adapt to different learning styles and needs. They must also be able to follow directions and work collaboratively with teachers.

Q: What is the job outlook for Paraprofessionals in education?

A: The job outlook for Paraprofessionals is expected to grow as schools strive to provide more individualized attention to students. Opportunities may be greater in districts with larger populations or a higher number of students with special needs.


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