Teaching assistants report high levels of job satisfaction, with an astonishing 95% feeling they are making a difference in the lives of others and 83% believing that their work gives them a sense of accomplishment.
It’s no wonder more people than ever are looking to become a teaching assistant.
If you’re interested in a role that offers fulfilment, progression and a good work-life balance, the teaching assistant role might be right for you. In this article, we’ll explain how to become a teaching assistant, including the qualifications, skills and experience you need to be considered for the job.
What qualifications do I need?
There are no mandatory qualifications needed to become a teaching assistant. However, we recommend earning some relevant qualifications before applying for the job. These qualifications will teach you valuable skills that will help you in the teaching assistant role. Qualifications will also improve your CV, making you a more appealing candidate.
The qualifications that can help you towards becoming a teaching assistant include:
- Level 2 Award in Support Work in Schools (RQF)
- Level 2 Certificate in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools (RQF)
- Level 3 Award in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools (RQF)
- Level 3 Certificate in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools (RQF)
- Level 3 Diploma in Specialist Support for Teaching and Learning in Schools (RQF)
- Level 4 Certificate in Higher Level Teaching Assistant (HLTA) (RQF)
How to get experience
Due to the competitiveness of the role, it’s advantageous to have some experience working in a similar area.
You can gain work experience in:
- Educational settings
- Sports activities
- Summer camps
- Youth work
Can I volunteer?
Work experience can include volunteer work. Many schools will be happy to take on volunteers — simply contact them and let them know which areas you’d be interested in supporting.
You may also choose to volunteer in any of the above sectors. There are very few structured work experience schemes, so your best bet will be to either get full-time or part-time employment in a relevant role before becoming a teaching assistant or take some temporary volunteer work.
What are the job responsibilities?
The responsibilities of a teaching assistant will vary from day to day. If you enjoy working in a varied role where no two days are the same, the teaching assistant job might be perfect for you.
- Preparing the classroom for lessons and tidying it up afterwards
- Assisting with lesson plans
- Supporting children across the curriculum
- Providing extra assistance to children with special needs
- Recording and reporting a student’s progress to the teacher
- Marking work
- Motivating and encouraging students
- Supervising students during school trips or activities
- Attending meetings
- Looking after children who are unwell or upset
Higher level teaching assistants may take on additional responsibilities:
- Teaching classes on their own
- Covering planned absences
- Managing other learning support staff
What is the salary of a teaching assistant?
Level 1 teaching assistants typically earn around £17,360 but can see their salary rise to £25,000 as they progress up the levels.
What skills will I need?
There are many skills required to be a successful teaching assistant. Check to see if you have suitable skills for the role:
- A positive and professional attitude
- The ability to motivate and inspire
- A passion for working with children
- A respect for diversity
- Strong communication and interpersonal skills
- Sufficient literacy and numeracy skills
- Strong team-working skills
- A flexible approach to your work
- Organisational skills
Does the teaching assistant role offer progression?
Yes! The teaching assistant role has many opportunities for development and progression.
You can progress within the role by becoming a higher level teaching assistant (HLTA) or you could choose to move into a different position that uses similar skills, such as an assessor, private tutor or examinations officer.
All the qualifications that will help you become a teaching assistant are available with CTC Training. Enrol on a course today to gain access to our student portal, where you can view course content and upload assessments at your leisure.