what is a teaching assistant?

Teaching assistants play a crucial role in supporting teachers and students in educational settings. Working alongside a lead teacher, you help students to achieve their learning objectives and foster a positive learning environment. You provide one-on-one assistance to students, particularly those who may struggle academically or have special educational needs, ensuring that everyone receives the attention and guidance they need to succeed.

Teaching assistants can be found in primary, secondary, and even tertiary education institutions. Your responsibilities may vary based on the specific needs of the school or the students they support. You may focus on helping students with learning difficulties or work with students who have physical disabilities or behavioural issues. Additionally, you may work with gifted students or those learning a second language.

As a teaching assistant, you have the opportunity to make a meaningful impact on students’ lives, helping them to develop confidence, independence, and essential skills for their academic journey. If you're passionate about education and enjoy working with young people, this could be the perfect career path for you. Keep reading to learn more about the role, salary expectations, and the skills required to excel as a teaching assistant.

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average teaching assistant salary

According to Payscale, the average salary of a teaching assistant is around ₹238,000 per year. This amount will vary depending on a number of factors which we will explore below. To get an idea of the range of pay that you can expect, entry-level teaching assistants may earn a modest salary of ₹184,627 per year. Meanwhile, those with more experience or specialised training can expect to earn a higher income, demanding as much as ₹798,000 per year.

factors that affect a teaching assistant’s pay

Many factors influence the pay of a teaching assistant. One key factor is the level of experience. More experienced teaching assistants are likely to earn higher salaries, as their expertise is invaluable in supporting students and teachers. Additionally, teaching assistants who possess specialised skills or qualifications, such as working with students with special needs, may earn a higher income.

The type of educational institution also impacts your potential salary. For example, private schools or international schools may offer higher salaries compared to government-funded institutions. Similarly, the location of the school can affect pay, with urban areas typically offering higher salaries due to the increased cost of living.

Another factor to consider is the scope of responsibilities held by a teaching assistant. Teaching assistants with more comprehensive duties, such as those who take on administrative tasks or help with lesson planning, may earn a higher salary. Lastly, the demand for teaching assistants in a specific region can influence pay, with areas experiencing a shortage of teaching assistants potentially offering more competitive salaries in order to attract and retain qualified candidates.

Three colleagues having a meeting in a meeting room.
Three colleagues having a meeting in a meeting room.

types of teaching assistants

The most common types of teaching assistants include:

  • general teaching assistant: in this role, you provide support to the teacher in a variety of classroom settings, assisting with lesson preparation, managing classroom behaviour, and providing individual help to students as needed.
  • special educational needs teaching assistant: in this position, you focus on supporting students with special educational needs, working closely with these students to address their specific learning requirements and help them achieve their academic goals.
  • bilingual teaching assistant: as a bilingual teaching assistant, you assist students who are learning a second language, helping them to develop their language skills and supporting their overall academic progress.

working as a teaching assistant

As a teaching assistant, you work in a dynamic educational environment, providing vital support to both teachers and students. You have the opportunity to make a real difference in students' lives while gaining valuable experience in the education sector. Read on to explore the duties, responsibilities, and work environment of a teaching assistant.


education and skills

Some of the academic qualifications for teaching assistants include:

  • bachelor’s degree: A bachelor's degree is often required, although some schools may accept candidates with a higher secondary education and relevant experience.
  • teacher assistant training: many schools and institutions offer teaching assistant training courses. These cover a range of topics, such as classroom management, lesson planning, and supporting students with special needs.

teaching assistant skills and competencies

Some of the qualities of a teaching assistant include:

  • communication skills: excellent verbal and written communication skills are essential since teaching assistants typically interact with students, teachers, and other staff members on a daily basis.
  • patience and empathy: teaching assistants demonstrate patience and empathy when working with students, particularly those who may be struggling academically or emotionally.
  • time management: Effective time management skills are crucial for teaching assistants, as they need to balance various tasks and responsibilities throughout the day, such as grading assignments, preparing lesson materials, and working with individual students.
  • adaptability: you are adaptable and flexible in your approach, as you may need to adjust your teaching methods or strategies to suit the diverse needs of students and respond to changes in the classroom environment.
Two woman sitting on a window sill looking at papers.
Two woman sitting on a window sill looking at papers.

FAQs about working as a teaching assistant

Here, you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the profession of teaching assistant.

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