How to Hire a Teaching Assistant

Does your growing school need a teaching assistant? Teaching assistants work with your regular teaching staff to help students learn.

Here are some tips to help you find great teaching assistant candidates and make the right hire for your school.

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Teaching assistants searching for jobs on Indeed*

184,732

Job seekers that clicked teaching assistant jobs

146,736

Resumes for job seekers with teaching assistant experience on Indeed

4,705

Teaching assistant jobs that received clicks

What is the cost of hiring teaching assistant?

  • Common salary in US: $12.33 hourly
  • Typical salaries range from $7.25$22.85 hourly
  • Find more information on Indeed Salary

*Indeed data (US) – April 2021

As of April 2021, teaching assistant jobs in the US are very competitive compared to other job markets, with an average of 39 job seekers per teaching assistant job.

Why hire a teaching assistant?

The need for new staff can affect both your existing team and your bottom line. A great teaching assistant hire can help your school by:

• Comprehending the teacher’s style and lesson plan
• Working with students one-on-one to develop a stronger understanding of the material
• Reporting to the teacher about any students with difficulty learning the lesson

Deciding between a full-time vs freelance teaching assistant

For teachers who need occasional assistance with their classes, freelance teaching assistants are available for hire. Some situations in which freelance teaching assistants may be required include one-off classes and classes that have a higher-than-average attendance. In these scenarios, hiring a freelance teaching assistant can save the school money due to lower overall costs when compared to full-time employees. 

For classes with consistently high attendance, full-time teaching assistants are available. Hiring a full-time employee can be cheaper than a freelancer when the hours are high enough. Full-time employees also have a larger degree of accountability for their work. 

What are the types of teaching assistants?

In elementary and secondary schools, there’s a variety of types of teaching assistants, including:  

  • Graduate teaching assistants: Graduate teaching assistants are students who are working on their graduate degrees. They help students in elementary, secondary and undergraduate university schools in specific classes.
  • Undergraduate teaching assistants: Undergraduate teaching assistants are students who are still in college and help teachers with classes they’ve taken before and performed well in. 
  • High school teaching assistants: Teaching assistants in high school can be either adults or students who help teachers with one or more of their classes. These teaching assistants typically have responsibilities that include taking attendance, scoring homework and working one-on-one with struggling students. 
  • Elementary teaching assistants: Elementary teaching assistants, also referred to as paraprofessionals, help elementary school teachers with their classes. They have similar responsibilities to high school teaching assistants and are typically hired on one-year contracts. 

Where to find teaching assistants

To find the right teaching assistant for your business, consider trying out a few different recruiting strategies:

  • Interview graduate students: Graduate students typically have the knowledge to help teachers in elementary and secondary schools with their classes. Conduct interviews with local graduates to find interested candidates.
  • Post help wanted flyers: Posting signs advertising the open position can increase awareness and attract quality candidates who have experience working with children.
  • Network: Building and maintaining relationships with former students and other teachers may lead to candidates who are interested in the teaching assistant position. Candidates who’ve been recommended by another teacher likely already have experience with the subject. 
  • Post your job online: Try posting your teaching assistant job on Indeed to find and attract quality teaching assistant candidates.

What are the types of teaching assistants?

In elementary and secondary schools, there’s a variety of types of teaching assistants, including:  

  • Graduate teaching assistants: Graduate teaching assistants are students who are working on their graduate degrees. They help students in elementary, secondary and undergraduate university schools in specific classes.
  • Undergraduate teaching assistants: Undergraduate teaching assistants are students who are still in college and help teachers with classes they’ve taken before and performed well in. 
  • High school teaching assistants: Teaching assistants in high school can be either adults or students who help teachers with one or more of their classes. These teaching assistants typically have responsibilities that include taking attendance, scoring homework and working one-on-one with struggling students. 
  • Elementary teaching assistants: Elementary teaching assistants, also referred to as paraprofessionals, help elementary school teachers with their classes. They have similar responsibilities to high school teaching assistants and are typically hired on one-year contracts. 

Writing a teaching assistant job description

A thoughtful description can help find qualified teaching assistant candidates. A teaching assistant job description includes a compelling summary of the role, a detailed list of duties and responsibilities and the required and preferred skills for the position.

When writing your teaching assistant job description, consider including some or all of the following keywords to improve the visibility of your job posting. These are the most popular search terms leading to clicks on teaching assistant jobs, according to Indeed data:

  • Teacher assistant
  • Assistant teacher
  • Teaching assistant
  • Education
  • Paraprofessional
  • Assistant
  • Teacher aide
  • Child care
  • School
  • Daycare

Interviewing teaching assistant candidates

Strong candidates for teaching assistant positions will be confident answering questions regarding:

• Working with students who learn at a different pace
• Providing feedback to teachers and parents about observed student performance
• Facilitating constructive recreational time

Need help coming up with interview questions? See our list of teaching assistant interview questions for examples (with sample answers).

FAQs about how to hire a teaching assistant

Can I become a teaching assistant with no qualifications?

While no formal qualifications are required to become a first-level teaching assistant, your personality and character traits may be analyzed at interviews to gauge your compatibility with the environment. 

What should a teaching assistant's cover letter include?

A teaching assistant’s cover letter should explore past accomplishments, experience and reasons for your interest in the position. 

What does a teaching assistant wear?

Teaching assistants should be dressed in a professional manner, but formal clothing isn’t required. When working with young children, clothing that allows comfortable movement works well.

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