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  • Sometimes called teaching assistants, school paraprofessionals work alongside certified or licensed teachers in classroom settings, performing a variety of tasks. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 10 percent increase in school paraprofessionals through 2018, creating 134,900 jobs.

    Function

    School paraprofessionals assist lead teachers by performing clerical and routine tasks, freeing the teacher to attend to educating and working with students.

    Types of Duties

    School paraprofessionals supervise students at lunch, at recess, on the way to gym or other classes and in the classroom during activities. School paraprofessionals also perform tasks like setting up the classroom, cleaning up after activities, making photocopies and stapling handouts.

    Variations

    In some classrooms, school paraprofessionals perform some of the instruction or lead activities under supervision from the lead teacher. Paraprofessionals may also assist with grading or provide one-on-one support for students with physical or mental disabilities.

    Requirements

    The federal government requires that school paraprofessionals who work in areas where the majority of students are from low-income families attend at least two years of college or pass a state examination. Most schools prefer to hire paraprofessionals who have experience working with children as well as some post-secondary education.

    Compensation

    As of May 2008, school paraprofessionals averaged annual salaries of $23,560, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    Source:

    U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Teacher Assistants

    U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2008

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