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How To Become a Paraprofessional

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How to Become a ParaprofessionalParaprofessionals, or paraeducators, are an integral part of any school! Being a para is an excellent choice if you are passionate about education, love helping others, and want to change the lives of students. Starting a rewarding career as a paraprofessional is pretty simple! This article will walk you through it.

The role of paras goes beyond academic support. There is an increasing need for caring, loving paraprofessionals who can provide the social and emotional support our students need. As paras work closely with students, they are able to develop a closer relationship with them!

What Is a Paraprofessional?

Paraprofessionals, also known as paraeducators, teacher assistants, or instructional aides, are school employees who work under the supervision of certified teachers or other professionals. Their responsibilities usually involve working directly with students in different capacities such as one-on-one tutoring, small-group instruction, classroom management, or the provision of instructional support services, among other important responsibilities.

Often, paras are employed as teacher assistants, and they can be employed at childcare facilities, private schools, or public schools. In addition, paras may work with children who display challenging behaviors or who have special needs. They may also work with students who are disabled. In those roles, when needed, they move, feed, or take them to the restroom.

It is imperative that paraprofessionals be flexible, patient, and care for their students’ success.

What Requirements or Tests Do You Need to Become a Paraprofessional?

Paras should have at least a high school diploma or GED. In most states, it is necessary to have a degree or complete a certain number of hours of post-secondary education.

For paraprofessional certification, many states require the ParaPro Assessment. Reading, writing, and math are the core subject areas of this test. After passing the required assessment, you can apply for paraprofessional certification if your state requires it. If you’re looking for help making sure you pass this exam, check out our free ParaPro Assessment Practice Test and Prep. If you want the full confidence of knowing you can pass, subscribe to our ParaPro Assessment Study Guide.

Some states, such as Colorado, require more than one assessment.

Path to Becoming a Paraprofessional

Image from: https://www.cde.state.co.us/fedprograms/tii/a_hqp

You can access more information about preparing for the ParaPro Assessment by visiting the 240 Tutoring Praxis®️ ParaPro Practice Test and Prep page.

How Much Can a Paraprofessional Expect to Make?

Paraprofessionals are paid differently depending on the state and school where they work. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, paraprofessionals earn an average of $28,900 per year (median annual wage). Paraeducators can advance to teaching positions with additional education, which increases their salaries significantly.

Average salary for teaching assistants and paraprofessionals

Image from: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/teacher-assistants.htm#tab-5

How Do You Become a Paraprofessional Substitute?

As a substitute paraprofessional, you may be able to fulfill your passion for teaching without the commitment of a full-time position!

The minimum requirement for becoming a substitute paraprofessional is a high school diploma or GED. However, an associate’s degree in a relevant field is highly recommended. In addition to these requirements, good skills in teaching, classroom management, organization, and collaboration are encouraged.

There are some states, such as Texas, that do not require substitute teachers to hold any certification or permit. As a result, schools or school districts in Texas are responsible for setting requirements and hiring substitute teachers.

The role of paras goes beyond academic support! There is an increasing need for caring, loving paraprofessionals who can provide the social and emotional support our students need. As paras work closely with students, they are able to develop a closer relationship with them!

Do you feel ready to embark on this amazing journey? We are confident you can be successful and are here to help you start your career as a paraprofessional.

Get the confidence you need to pass by subscribing to our ParaPro Assessment Study Guide.