Teacher Assistant  What They Do

Just the Facts


Performs duties that are instructional in nature or deliver direct services to students or parents. Serves in a position for which a teacher has ultimate responsibility for the design and implementation of educational programs and services.

This career is part of the Education and Training cluster Teaching/Training pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Provides extra assistance to students with special needs, such as non-English-speaking students or those with physical and mental disabilities.
  • Supervises students in classrooms, halls, cafeterias, school yards, and gymnasiums, or on field trips.
  • Tutors and assists children individually or in small groups to help them master assignments and to reinforce learning concepts presented by teachers.
  • Enforces administration policies and rules governing students.
  • Discusses assigned duties with classroom teachers to coordinate instructional efforts.
  • Instructs and monitors students in the use and care of equipment and materials to prevent injuries and damage.
  • Observes students' performance, and records relevant data to assess progress.
  • Presents subject matter to students under the direction and guidance of teachers, using lectures, discussions, or supervised role-playing methods.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.



Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Irregular hours

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Computer Lab Assistant -- Ensures that teachers and students have access to a dependable network of stand alone and networked computers.
  • Kindergarten Teacher Assistant -- Helps instruct individuals and small groups of students and helps keep the classroom running smoothly.
  • Preschool Assistant -- Assists the supervisor in the day to day running of the pre-school.
  • Substitute Teacher -- Provides instruction, manages the classroom environment, and promotes student learning in the absence of the regular classroom teacher.
  • Tutor -- Assists students in academic achievement by meeting them on a regular basis to clarify learning problems and work on study skills.