Do you want to become a teaching assistant? We’ll help you learn about the skills and qualifications that will help you get a teaching assistant job, how to apply for teaching assistant jobs and how much you’ll earn working as a teaching assistant.
Working as a teaching assistant is a rewarding job, however it can be challenging too. You need to make sure it’s a good fit for your skills and personality. Read our guide about what Teaching Assistants do on a day-to-day basis. This will vary depending the type of school you plan to work at and the age of the children you’ll be working with.
It is possible to get a teaching assistant job with no qualifications in teaching. Schools set their own entry requirements for teaching assistant jobs. You may only need GCSEs grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) in English and Maths or to apply. Find out more about how to get a teaching assistant job with no experience.
However, schools often receive a high volume of applications, due to the demand in teaching assistant jobs.
To improve your chances of getting invited for an interview, you’ll need to:
If you are confident that you already have the qualifications and experience needed to get a job as a teaching assistant, move onto step 6.
If not, you’ll need to choose one of the following as your next step;
The entry requirements for teaching assistant courses and apprenticeships are usually:
If you didn’t get a 9 to 4 (A* to C) in GCSE English and GCSE Maths, Functional Skills Level 2 qualifications are equivalent. Find out more about Functional Skills Maths Level 2 and Functional Skills English Level 2.
Starting a Teaching Assistant apprenticeship, or course can have both pros and cons. These are are outlined in the table below:
|Teaching Assistant Course||Teaching Assistant Apprenticeship|
|Start from minimum wage of £8.72 an hour||Start from minimum apprenticeship wage of £4.15 an hour (for the first year)|
|8 to 12 week course||18 month course|
|Level 1, 2 or 3 Course Options||Level 3 Course|
|No guarantee you'll get a teaching assistant job||You'll start a teaching assistant job as part of your apprenticeship|
Gaining new teaching assistant qualifications to add to your CV will be valuable for your career.
Having some experience working with children would be beneficial. This could be paid or voluntary work, for example, working as a sports coach, or nursery assistant, or volunteering for youth groups.
Employers will look for transferable skills that will help you transition into working in a classroom setting. Where possible, get experience working with children who are of a similar age to those you would want to work with in a teaching assistant role. If you plan to work in a specialist area, or with children with special education needs, try looking for relevant work or volunteering opportunities.
Contact the organisation directly if you are looking to volunteer in a school, nursery, college or any other educational setting. Volunteers are accepted in most educational organisations, but you will need to have a DBS check and be supervised in the initial stages of your placement.
The next step is to search for teaching assistant jobs to apply for. We’ve written a short guide explaining how to find teaching assistants jobs.
When you’ve found some teaching assistant jobs you want to apply for, the next step is to write cover letters / personal statements for them.