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Online Colleges for Teacher Assistants

Teachers may be front and center in the classroom, but they don't work alone. Teacher aides, also called teacher assistants, provide a vital service and ensure that students have access to the one-on-one instruction they need. According to the National Education Association (NEA), most teacher aides work in kindergarten and elementary classrooms to supervise students, perform administrative tasks or provide personal assistance to children with special needs. NEA data indicates 71 percent of teacher assistants work with special education students while 83 percent have job responsibilities that promote school safety. Teachers count on these assistants to maximize learning in the classroom, and online teacher aide programs are one way to enter this rewarding field.

Teacher Aide Online Programs

In many school districts, teacher aides have no formal education requirements beyond a high school diploma. However, those wishing to work in Title I schools -- institutions that serve a large number of low-income students -- are required by law to have at least a two-year degree or equivalent. Other schools may prefer to have teacher aides with a college education. The NEA reports 39 percent of teacher assistants have some college credits. Among aides, 22 percent have an associate degree, 18 percent have a bachelor's degree and 4 percent have an advanced degree. Online teacher aide programs can range from certificates for teacher assisting to associate degrees in education. Some online teacher aide degrees may focus on skills such as teacher leadership, early childhood or education psychology. Those who wish to go on to work as a teacher can then continue their education with a bachelor or master's degree in education.

Jobs for teacher assistants are expected to grow 9 percent from 2012-2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 2014, the BLS estimated the mean annual wages for teacher assistants at $26,000. However, online teacher aide degrees can lead to careers in related professions as well. Teaching may be a popular option for teacher aides who decide to continue their education. In order to become a teacher, one will have to earn a four-year degree and become licensed to be able to teach. The BLS reports various salaries for teachers based upon the grade taught. Among K-12 levels, those teachers working at the secondary level had the highest mean annual wages in 2014, coming in at $59,330. The occupation of library technician is another profession worth considering. In Title I schools, these technicians have the same education requirements as teacher aides, but earn slightly higher incomes. According to May 2014 BLS data, library technicians earned a mean annual wage of $29,040. Schools need well-qualified assistants, and online teacher aide degrees offer a convenient way to prepare for entry into this satisfying career.


Sources:

  1. Library Technicians, Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2014. http://www.bls.gov/oes/2007/may/oes254031.htm
  2. Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education, Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2014. http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252031.htm
  3. Teacher Assistants, Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, Jan. 8, 2014. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/teacher-assistants.htm
  4. Teaching Assistants, Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2014. http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes259041.htm

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