California Occupational Guides

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Summary Guide for

Teacher Assistants in California

May also be called: Teacher Aides; Teaching Assistants; Instructional Aides; Paraeducators; Examination Proctors; Special Education Aides; and Instructional Assistants

What Would I Do?

Teacher Assistants provide instructional and clerical support for classroom teachers, allowing them more time for lesson planning and teaching. Under the direction of the teacher, they work with students individually or in small groups.

Teacher Assistants work in a variety of settings, including preschools and child care centers, but most work in elementary or secondary schools. They spend a lot of their time standing, walking, or kneeling.

Will This Job Fit Me?

The job of Teacher Assistant will appeal to those who enjoy activities that involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people.

What Wages and Benefits Can I Expect?

The median wage in 2017 for Teacher Assistants in California was $31,949 annually. The median is the point at which half of the workers earn more and half earn less.

Annual Wages for 2017Low
(25th percentile)
(50th percentile)
(75th percentile)
Source: EDD/LMID Occupational Employment Statistics Survey, 2017 Wages do not reflect self-employment.
View Wages for All Areas

Teacher Assistants who work full-time generally receive medical insurance, vacation, sick leave, and retirement benefits. Most part-time workers do not receive pensions, medical insurance, or other benefits. For those who work in the same district where their children go to school, an added benefit is sharing the same vacation schedule.

What is the Job Outlook?

School enrollments in California are expected to increase only slightly over the next decade. However, there will be a continued need for Teacher Assistants who work with special education students and English language learners.

How Do I Qualify?

There are many ways to become a Teacher Assistant. The education and experience required depends upon the employer and the needs of the job.

Finding a Job

Direct application to employers remains one of the most effective job search methods. Online job opening systems include JobCentral at and CalJOBSSM at

To find your nearest One-Stop Career Center, go to Service Locator. View the helpful job search tips for more resources. (requires Adobe Reader).

Learn More About Teacher Assistants