For many learners, becoming a teaching assistant is just one of several milestones in a long and illustrious career. Though becoming a qualified teaching assistant is a great achievement in its own right, it also provides the foundation to progress into a more advanced role within the education sector.
This guide will explore the journey needed to become a teaching assistant, and the progression options available after securing the role.
Becoming a Teaching Assistant
While there are no mandatory qualifications required to become a teaching assistant, the role has become increasingly competitive, so it’s wise to earn qualifications that will help you stand out from the crowd.
Online teaching assistant training courses provide you with a range of knowledge and skills that will increase your prospects as a candidate. The qualifications you earn will demonstrate to potential employers that you possess the competence and passion to succeed in the role.
Plus, going into the role with a foundation of knowledge is sure to boost your confidence and help you to excel.
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)
Progression within the role
After starting out as a teaching assistant, you’ll have the opportunity to increase your salary and role responsibilities by progressing to a new level. Typically, there are three levels of experience within the teaching assistant role. If you wish to progress through each of these levels, you must work hard and show your commitment to the job.
The number of levels, the responsibilities of each level, and the salary expectations for each level will vary from school to school. However, the following is a general idea of the responsibilities you can expect to have at each level.
As a Level 1 Teaching Assistant you will:
- help the teacher prepare for the lesson
- encourage the children and motivate them to work
- work with pupils with certain needs
As a Level 2 Teaching Assistant you will have all the responsibilities of a level 1 teaching assistant, plus:
- work frequently with children on a one-to-one basis
- work closely with children who have special education needs, with those who don’t speak English as their first language, or with pupils who are academically gifted
As a Level 3 Teaching Assistant or higher level teaching assistant (HLTA), you will have all the responsibilities of a level 1 and 2 teaching assistant, plus:
- work as a cover supervisor, possibly covering lessons
Expected Teaching Assistant Salaries
Full-time, permanent TAs can expect the following average salaries:
- Level 1: £17,364
- Level 2: £18,000 – £20,000
- Level 3 and those with additional specialisms or SEN responsibilities: £25,000
Levels, responsibilities and salaries may vary from school to school. Check out our article on TA salary expectations for more detailed information.
Progression beyond a Teaching Assistant
Becoming a teaching assistant is a great springboard towards further roles in education.
Though many teaching assistants set their sights on becoming a teacher, there are many roles in the education industry that extend beyond working in a classroom.
If you wish to take your career progression in a different direction, you could train to work:
- As an assessor
- As a private tutor
- As an examinations officer
- In educational research
Teaching in the Adult Sector
If you are interested in teaching adults, the teaching assistant role provides the experience and many of the skills required for teaching in the adult sector. To increase your skills even further and improve your chances of making it as a teacher in the adult sector, consider earning qualifications.
The following qualifications can help you towards a career in teaching adults:
- Level 3 Teaching Qualification (PTLLS)
- Level 4 Certificate in Education and Training (CTLLS)
- Level 5 Diploma in Education and Training (DTLLS)
These courses will equip you with the skills and knowledge you need to succeed as a teacher in the adult sector.
CTC Training offers all of these online training courses for you to complete at your leisure. After enrolling, you will be given access to the 24/7 student portal, where you can access course content and upload assessments any time of day, any day of the week.
Perfect for learners with busy schedules, you’ll gain the opportunity to earn qualifications on a schedule that works for you.
Helping to develop professional skills in preparation for a job as a teaching assistant.
Develop skills, knowledge and understanding to enable you to work in diverse supporting roles.
Provides learners with the opportunity to develop skills, knowledge and understanding to enable them work various supporting roles.
Developing the knowledge and competence of learning support staff.
Aimed at learners employed in a teaching assistant role who wish to progress to Higher Level Teaching Assistant status.