According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, the median pay for a teaching assistant is $23,220 per year. The actual salary for a teaching assistant will vary depending upon the school district, the number of years of experience, and the amount of education the TA has.
Teacher's aides are normally paid by the hour, but because the hours are so regular, they often end up being paid very similarly to a salaried pay schedule. Just like the certified teachers in the district, they may be paid bi-weekly, and their salary may be spread out over the course of the entire year, rather than during only the school year. If a school district pays a TA over a twelve-month period, rather than over a nine-month school year period, this is beneficial because then there is no period of time when a teaching assistant is not receiving pay.
Furthermore, because teacher's aides are often including in bargaining agreements by teacher unions, they also receive the benefits that teachers receive through these unions. These bargaining agreements ensure that teacher's aides receive fair compensation and benefits, as well as receive just treatment by the administration. Just like certified teachers, teacher's aides often receive great health and retirement benefits in addition to their salary.
Although the pay for a TA is less than the salary for a certified teacher, there are many advantages to a teaching assistant's salary:
• The pay for a teacher's aide is significantly better than minimum wage, and the minimum requirements for becoming a teaching assistant are not only very reasonable to achieve, but also ensure a level of job security, since only a portion of the population meets these requirements.
• Teacher's aides have far fewer responsibilities than certified teachers, so for many, the lower pay is worth the significant decrease in stress. Teaching assistants often find that they have much more time and energy to enjoy time with their family and to pursue other passions.
• In many places, if one is careful about budgeting, the salary of a TA is more than enough to live on.
• A teacher's aide can experience the satisfaction of making a significant difference in the lives of countless children without becoming as involved in the politics and drama of the certified teaching profession. Many teachers have been discouraged by the increased pressure and responsibility placed upon teachers, and by the lack of appreciation and respect they feel. However, as a TA, you can remain much more removed from such negative feelings and spend more time enjoying life!