Teaching Assistant Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: June 22, 2022

A Teaching Assistant, or Teacher Assistant, is responsible for helping Teachers complete daily tasks within a classroom environment. Their duties include leading lessons or small group activities for students, grading student assignments in accordance with the Teachers grading criteria and providing individual guidance to students with learning disabilities or behavioral challenges.

Build a Job Description

Teaching Assistant duties and responsibilities

Teaching Assistants perform many leadership, organizational and classroom management tasks to support both Teachers and students. Their duties and responsibilities often include:

  • Helping Teachers with lesson preparation, including collecting materials and setting up equipment
  • Reviewing lessons or lectures with students on a one-on-one basis or in small groups
  • Supervising students in class, between classes and during recreation periods and field trips
  • Tracking attendance, grading assignments and calculating grades
  • Giving extra help to students who need special accommodations or are struggling with a concept
  • Assisting students with special learning requirements, including disabilities or English as a second language students
  • Attending faculty meetings and parent conferences
  • Collaborating with the Teacher to identify students’ issues and recommend solutions
  • Observing state, school and class rules and regulations
Build a Job Description

Teaching Assistant Job Description Examples

What does a Teaching Assistant do?

Teaching Assistants typically work for daycare centers, preschools, elementary schools, middle schools or high schools to contribute to students’ beneficial learning experiences. They work closely with Teachers to develop lesson plans and create individualized coursework for students performing above or below the average education level for their grade. Their job is to motivate students to complete assignments and provide additional insights to parents about their child’s progress. They may also be responsible for speaking with Teachers about recurring instances of bullying or students struggling to learn course material to find creative solutions.

Teaching Assistant skills and qualifications

A Teaching Assistant uses a variety of soft skills and specialized knowledge to promote a safe, engaging and informational experience in the classroom, including:

  • Excellent communication skills, including writing, public speaking and interpersonal conversation
  • Great organization and planning skills
  • Collaboration and teamwork abilities
  • In-depth knowledge of subjects or discipline they’re assisting with
  • Understanding of pedagogical best practices
  • Ability to engage students of all learning levels and grade levels
  • Patience and empathy
  • Compassionate, positive and encouraging attitude 

Teaching Assistant salary expectations

Teaching Assistants make an average of $25,733 per year. Salary may depend on level of education, experience and geographical location.

Teaching Assistant education and training requirements

Teaching Assistant candidates typically have at least a high school diploma or GED. Some candidates may have completed a teaching training program and earned a professional certificate, while others may have an associate degree in psychology or education. Other candidates may have a bachelor’s degree in psychology, education, early childhood development or another relevant discipline. Training in classroom activities and teaching practices through teaching practicums, student teaching programs, unions and professional organizations may also be common. A Teaching Assistant who works with special needs students may have completed specialized training in best practices.

Teaching Assistant experience requirements

An entry-level Teaching Assistant may have relevant experience from a practicum, student teaching program or training program. Other entry-level candidates may have previous experience with roles in customer service, administrative support and childcare, which may provide candidates with relevant communication, organization and interpersonal skills. For roles with special education students, previous experience as a Teaching Assistant or in another special education role may be required. Experienced candidates may have years of experience as a Teaching Assistant or in another childcare- or classroom-related role.

Job description samples for similar positions

If this Teaching Assistant job description template isn’t what you’re looking for, see our job descriptions for related positions:

Ready to Hire a Teaching Assistant? Build a Teaching Assistant Job Description

Frequently asked questions about Teaching Assistants


What is the difference between a Teaching Assistant and a Teacher?

Teaching Assistants and Teachers work together to provide students with successful learning opportunities. However, they have different qualifications. This means Teachers take on a more senior role, while Teaching Assistants provide a supportive role, which subsequently affects the scope of their job responsibilities. For example, Teachers need to earn at least a bachelor’s degree in education, followed by obtaining a teaching license. In contrast, Teaching Assistants may have a high school diploma and certification or an associate’s degree. Teaching Assistants may also be in the process of obtaining their bachelor’s degree during their employment. 

Because of their differences in education, Teachers have more in-depth job responsibilities like ensuring that course materials align with local or state education guidelines, managing parent communications and entering grades ahead of midterms or report card deadlines. In contrast, Teaching Assistants help them with grading or teaching certain lessons throughout the day.


What are the daily duties of a Teaching Assistant?

On a typical day, a Teaching Assistant arrives at their workplace before the school day starts. They work with the Teacher to set up activities, grade papers and run through lesson plans. They greet students and help them start their warm-up activities. Throughout the day, they lead small activities and provide students with assistance when necessary. After students leave, they help the Teacher by cleaning up the classroom and grading more assignments.


What qualities make a good Teaching Assistant?

A good Teaching Assistant has excellent public speaking abilities, enabling them to help students stay focused and engaged throughout lessons. They have a personable nature that helps students feel comfortable asking for questions or advice, but they also have the ability to discipline students when necessary. Further, a good Teaching Assistant demonstrates respect toward the Teacher and sets an example of how students should treat the Teacher. A good Teaching Assistant also has a creative mindset that enables them to develop fun educational activities or displays.


What should you look for on a Teaching Assistant resume?

When reviewing resumes for a Teaching Assistant candidate, be sure to look for key qualifications or skills that match your initial job description. Typically, Teaching Assistants have earned an associate’s degree or a high school diploma followed by internship experience or certifications. They may also have previous experience in a Teaching Assistant role. In this situation, review what grade level they worked with and the types of tasks they helped Teachers perform to get more information about their qualifications. 

Further, Teaching Assistants should use their resume skill section to highlight their love for teaching children and using educational software to plan lessons or grade assignments.

Job Description Examples

Need help writing a job description for a specific role? Use these job description examples to create your next great job posting. Or if you’re ready to hire, post your job on Indeed.

No search results found