The teaching assistant field has grown considerably in the past few years, and it’s only getting bigger as the student population increases. If you’re looking for an entry-level position that will allow you to gain some experience and increase your employment prospects down the road, teaching assistant jobs may be just what you’re looking for. Whether you’re an English major interested in becoming a high school English teacher or an aspiring engineer who wants to learn more about education administration, TA jobs can be rewarding and lucrative if you follow these tips for landing your first job as a teaching assistant in the USA.
While most teaching assistant jobs will ask that you have a bachelor’s degree, it’s not uncommon to also be hired as a graduate assistant. The pay ranges greatly, but can range from $2,400-$6,000 per year with benefits and tuition waiver—which is comparable to starting teacher salaries. Most entry-level teaching assistant jobs are reserved for masters-degree holders, but it never hurts to apply even if you don’t meet all of their criteria.
Finding teaching jobs
If you are considering a career as a teacher’s assistant, then there are several ways that you can find employment. Every school has a human resources department and they usually know how to reach out to people who have what it takes to be an effective TA. An excellent way to get your foot in door is by talking with them directly. You should also do some research on-line and contact each university that you may want to work at and ask if they offer teaching assistant jobs.
For teaching assistant jobs you will need a degree. This can be either undergraduate or postgraduate, and as long as it is from a reputable institution it shouldn’t matter too much. As well as your degree, you will likely need references from previous employers; teaching assistants are meant to help teachers with their classes so if you have experience tutoring children or adults, including evidence of that on your CV should help when applying. Other than these basic requirements there are no set qualifications needed.
Working on your portfolio
If you’re preparing to apply for teaching assistant jobs, you’ll need a portfolio ready to go. Look through current job postings to see what qualities hiring managers value and decide how to best highlight your qualifications. Here are some suggestions
If you are looking to teach English abroad, but have little or no experience, there are two ways you can go about getting that experience: You can find a teaching assistant job at a university and take on extra classes, which will give you extra time with students and a classroom of your own. Or if you just want to try out teaching English as a language before making it your career, you could do what is known as an au pair job—which means taking care of children while helping their parents around the house.
It is not always easy to find a teaching assistant job, but it is not impossible either. You just need to be willing to do some legwork. You can start by looking at local colleges and universities as well as organizations that hire TAs such as museums and children’s centers. The best time to search for these jobs would be towards the end of summer and during fall when most schools are hiring their TAs. Also make sure you keep a good GPA when applying so that your resume gets noticed.
Job Hunting Tips
If you’re looking to work as a teaching assistant, you may have no shortage of options. In fact, some experts estimate that there are approximately 65,000 full-time teaching assistants employed by K-12 schools across America. While these positions may vary greatly depending on your location and school district, they all require a bachelor’s degree at minimum. And because teaching assistant jobs typically do not require significant prior experience, many people are able to land their first career position right out of college. Still interested?