Teaching assistant Classroom assistant, learning support assistant

Teaching assistants support teachers and help children develop.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £14,000 to £25,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 35 to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

Each school sets its own entry requirements. You'll need:

  • experience of working with children
  • GCSEs (A* to C) in English and maths

Qualifications in childcare or youth work could also be helpful.

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.

You'll need clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • the ability to build good relationships with children, teachers and parents
  • the ability to cope with challenging behaviour
  • IT skills

3. What you'll do

You could work as a teaching assistant in a nursery, infant or junior school, special school, secondary school or independent school.

Your day-to-day duties could include:

  • getting the classroom ready for lessons
  • listening to children read or reading to them
  • helping children with special educational needs
  • helping teachers plan lessons and prepare teaching materials
  • helping teachers manage class behaviour
  • supervising group activities
  • looking after children who are upset
  • clearing away materials and equipment
  • helping with outings and sports events
  • keeping records on children's progress
  • leading classes with help from the teacher

4. Salary

Starter: £14,000 to £18,000

Experienced: £16,000 to £21,000

Highly Experienced: £21,000 to £25,000

Wages are set by local education authorities.

You may only get paid for working in term time.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You'll work from around 8.30am to 3:15pm or 4.30pm.

Full-time teaching assistants work up to 40 hours a week during term time.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could become a senior assistant or apply for a Higher Level Teaching Assistant (HLTA) role.

You could also train as a teacher.

Last updated: 10 October 2016