Elementary and Secondary School Teacher Assistants

(NOC 4413)

in All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services

Elementary and secondary school teacher assistants support students and help teachers and counsellors with teaching and non-instructional tasks. They help in areas of personal care, teaching and behaviour management under the supervision of teachers or other childcare professionals. They work for public and private schools and treatment centres.

Job Outlook

Average

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  • Estimate Weak growth employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 310 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate Low rate of unemployment in 2019

Compared to: All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services

  • Estimate 770 employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 4115 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

Many teacher assistants were laid off when schools closed in March. When teaching resumed in a limited online format later in the spring, teacher assistants did not resume their usual duties. However, when schools physically reopened in September, workers in this occupation were back on the job.
The provincial government typically hires teacher assistants before the beginning of the school year. However, a second round of hiring took place later in the fall of 2020 to address unique needs created by the closure of schools during the spring.

In recent years, employment prospects for this occupation have been average. Employment growth is determined largely by the priorities and resource allocation of the provincial public-school system. Since 2018, the number of workers in this occupation has increased somewhat as the result of additional funding for classroom supports. During the first of two hiring rounds in 2020, 85 support staff were added to primary and secondary schools. The provincial Department of Education has indicated that the present staffing levels are sufficient for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year, so additional hiring is not likely until at least September 2021.

The median employment income for the 13% of Elementary and Secondary School Teacher Assistants who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $33,805. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, the 59% of those who worked full-time, year-round had a median employment income of $43,600. (Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

$12.95

Minimum

$18.32

Median

$23.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$2,825

Minimum

$21,213

Median

$36,121

Maximum

Compared to: All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services

Hourly Pay

$14.74

Minimum

$33.28

Median

$46.76

Maximum

Annual Pay

$5,616

Minimum

$44,335

Median

$92,599

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Elementary and secondary school teacher assistants support students and help teachers and counsellors with teaching and non-instructional tasks. They help in areas of personal care, teaching and behaviour management under the supervision of teachers or other childcare professionals. They work for public and private schools and treatment centres.

Job duties

Elementary and secondary school teacher assistants:

  • Help students with integration into the classroom and school setting.
  • Help students individually or in small groups with assignments and reinforce learning and retention concepts under the supervision of classroom teacher.
  • Help students with special needs using techniques like sign language, braille, and remedial programs.
  • Monitor and report student progress to classroom teacher.
  • Help implement and track behaviour management plans as developed by the teacher and/or program planning team.
  • Accompany and supervise students during activities in school gymnasiums, laboratories, libraries, resource centres and on field trips.
  • Personal care may be required (including lifting, positioning, toileting, feeding).
  • May administer medication and carry out medical procedures under the direction of principals and in accordance with policy.
  • May help teacher operate projectors, tape recorders, and other audio-visual or electronic equipment.
  • May help in school library or office and do other duties assigned by school principal.
  • May monitor students during recess, at noon hour or during the day.

Sample job titles

  • child care attendant - elementary school
  • educational program assistant
  • lunchroom supervisor - school
  • program support assistant
  • special needs educational assistant
  • student monitor
  • student support assistant
  • teacher's aide
  • teacher's assistant
  • teacher's helper

Skills

You should enjoy working with children. Good health and physical stamina are needed. You must be patient, imaginative, and resourceful. The ability to work in a team environment is necessary. You must have the ability to demonstrate fair and ethical judgements and maintain confidentiality as the norm. You must model appropriate problem solving and conflict resolution strategies. The ability to communicate ideas in a clear, concise, and pleasant manner is also necessary.

Job requirements

  • High school is required.
  • Teacher assistants usually require completion of a 10-month college program in teaching assistance, human services, educational assistance or other social science program.
  • Current certification in CPR, First Aid, and non-violent crisis intervention are required.

Other considerations

Movement to other occupations related to child care and adolescent supportive instruction is possible with experience. Teacher assistants who help students with special needs usually require specialized training and experience.

By the numbers

Quick look

4,010

employed in 2016

42.3%

employed full-time

0.2%

self employed

90.5%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
9.5%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
49.7

median age

Compared to: All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services

55,420

employed in 2016

76.4%

employed full-time

6.6%

self employed

64.0%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
36%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
43.5

median age

Where will I likely work?

40.8%

Halifax

16.5%

Cape Breton

15.6%

North Shore

15.5%

Annapolis Valley

11.6%

Southern

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

North Shore

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

99.7%

Educational services

0.3%

Accommodation and food services

What is the age of Employment?

28.0%

45-54

28.0%

55-64

26.0%

35-44

6.0%

15-24

6.0%

25-34

6.0%

65+

Compared to: All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services

24.2%

35-44

22.7%

45-54

21.4%

25-34

17.2%

55-64

8.4%

15-24

Top levels of education

42.2%

College Diploma

$22,924 median annual income
23.7%

High school

$16,723 median annual income
15.0%

Bachelor

$17,061 median annual income
6.1%

Apprenticeship

$23,973 median annual income
6.0%

Less than high school

$4,158 median annual income

Compared to: All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services

28.9%

Bachelor

$45,929 median annual income
21.2%

College Diploma

$35,398 median annual income
16.8%

Master

$71,043 median annual income
14.6%

High school

$29,055 median annual income
4.6%

Doctorate

$100,443 median annual income

Education & training

Adult high school/secondary diploma programs

This program is typically offered at the high school level.

The Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning (NSSAL) administers, coordinates, and supports the development and delivery of adult education programs through learning partners in Nova Scotia. Our learning partners include the Nova Scotia Community College, Adult High Schools, Université Sainte-Anne, and community-based learning organizations that offer tuition-free programming across the province. NSSAL offers clear, accessible pathways from adult basic education to a high school credential or GED, empowering Nova Scotians to achieve their learning and employment goals.

Institutions providing this program

Universite Sainte-Anne

Siège Social: 1695, Route 1

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0

(902) 769-2114

Nova Scotia Community College - Adult Learning

PO Box 220

Halifax, NS B3J 2M4

(866) 679-6722

Adult High Schools

Various, NS

Community Learning Organizations

Various, NS

Developmental service worker

This program is typically offered at the trades/college level.

This instructional program class includes any program that prepares individuals to apply practical knowledge and skills to support individuals with a variety of physical, mental or developmental disabilities in a family or community setting. These programs include courses in health care, basic nutrition, pharmacology, nursing, autism, mental health, psychology, sociology, behavioural analysis, communication, intervention, counselling and community services, and developmental services, such as literacy and life skills training.

Institutions providing this program

CBBC Career College Inc. - Sydney Campus

315 Jamieson Street

Sydney, NS B1N 2P7

(902) 564-2222

Maritime Business College

800 Sackville Drive

Lower Sackville, NS B4E 1R8

(902) 463-6700

Island Career Academy

721 Alexandra Street

Sydney, NS B1S 2H4

(902) 564-6112

CBBC Career College Inc. - Dartmouth Campus

45 Alderney Drive

Dartmouth, NS B1N 2P7

(902) 706-5529

Human services - General

This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.

This instructional program class includes any program that focuses on the general study and provision of human and social services to individuals and communities and prepares individuals to work in public and private human services agencies and organizations. These programs include courses in the social sciences, psychology, principles of social service, human services policy, planning and evaluation, social services law and administration, and applications to particular issues, services, localities, and populations.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Community College - Cumberland Campus

PO Box 550, 1 Main Street

Springhill, NS B0M 1X0

(902) 597-3737

Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus

372 Pleasant Street

Yarmouth, NS B5A 2L2

(902) 742-3501

Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus

236 Belcher Street

Kentville, NS B4N 0A6

(902) 678-7341

Nova Scotia Community College - Pictou Campus & School of Fisheries

PO Box 820, 39 Acadia Avenue

Stellarton, NS B0K 1S0

(902) 752-2002

Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute

226 Reeves Street

Port Hawkesbury, NS B9A 2A2

(902) 625-2380

Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus

PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6J7

(902) 563-2450

Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus

36 Arthur Street

Truro, NS B2N 1X5

(902) 893-5385

Nova Scotia Community College - Ivany Campus

80 Mawiomi Place

Dartmouth, NS B2Y 0A5

(902) 491-1100

Teaching assistants/aides - General

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class includes any program that prepares individuals to assist a teacher in regular classroom settings or in providing instruction and supervision to special student populations, such as bilingual/bicultural students, special education students, adult learners, and students learning English. These programs include courses in techniques of general classroom supervision, maintaining order, assisting with lessons and carrying out related assignments.

Institutions providing this program

CBBC Career College Inc. - Sydney Campus

315 Jamieson Street

Sydney, NS B1N 2P7

(902) 564-2222

Universite Sainte-Anne

Siège Social: 1695, Route 1

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0

(902) 769-2114

CBBC Career College Inc. - Dartmouth Campus

45 Alderney Drive

Dartmouth, NS B1N 2P7

(902) 706-5529

Teaching assistants/aides - Other

This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.

This instructional program class includes any program not listed above that relates to Teaching Assistants/Aides.

Institutions providing this program

Jane Norman College (Truro)

60 Lorne Street, Suite 1

Truro, NS B2N 3K3

(902) 893-3342

Employment requirements & contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile

Contacts

Nova Scotia Teachers Union
3106 Joseph Howe Drive
Halifax, NS B3L 4L7
Tel: (902) 477-5621
Fax: (902) 477-3517

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.

Job postings

There are currently no job postings for this occupation.