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Teaching assistant

Alternative titles for this job include Classroom assistant, learning support assistant

Teaching assistants support teachers and help children with reading, writing and learning activities.

Average salary (a year)

£18,000 Starter


£23,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

16 to 32 term time

You could work

evenings occasionally

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become Teaching assistant

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • volunteering
  • applying directly


You could take a college qualification to get started, for example:

  • Level 2 or 3 Certificate in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools
  • Level 3 Diploma in Childcare and Education
  • T Level in Education and Early Years

Entry requirements

You may need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths for a T Level

More Information


You could do the Teaching Assistant Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship to become a teaching assistant.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

More Information


You could get experience by volunteering in a local school or community organisation.

Volunteering can sometimes lead to paid work or a chance to get a qualification.

Direct Application

You can apply directly for jobs through schools, local authorities and academy trusts. Each school sets its own entry requirements, though you'll usually need GCSEs grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) in English and maths.

You'll also need to show that you can work well with children, teachers and parents. A qualification in nursery work, childcare, playwork or youth work will give you an advantage.

More Information

Career tips

Many teaching assistants specialise in the kind of extra help they give, for example:

  • languages
  • behavioural
  • pastoral
  • special needs support

Further information

Teaching assistants are employed term-time only. This can vary from a few hours a week up to full time.

Advertised pay rates are also often listed as full-time equivalent (FTE). Actual pay will depend on the number of hours worked.

You can find more on working as a teaching assistant from Skills for Schools.

You can also search for jobs using the Teaching Vacancies service.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • sensitivity and understanding
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • active listening skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • to enjoy working with other people
  • the ability to teach pupils how to do something
  • the ability to create the best conditions for learning or teaching new things
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

As a teaching assistant, you could:

  • help teachers prepare lesson materials
  • set up and tidy classrooms for lessons
  • work with students to make sure they understand
  • watch, record and report the progress students make
  • look after children who are upset or unwell
  • lead classes with help from the teacher

Working environment

You could work at a school or at a special needs school.

Your working environment may be physically and emotionally demanding.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could take a course to become a higher level teaching assistant (HLTA).

With further study you could become a fully qualified teacher. You can learn about routes into teaching from Get into teaching

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Level 3 Teaching Assistant Apprentice

  • Wage: £11,980.80 a year Annually
  • Location: Harrow

Apprentice Learning Support Assistant Level 3

  • Wage: £10,816 a year Annually
  • Location: Willingham Road, Market Rasen, Lincolnshire

Courses In England

L2 Certificate in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools

  • Start date: 02 September 2024
  • Location: Hereford

Level 3 Certificate In Supporting Teaching & Learning in Schools

  • Start date: 09 September 2024
  • Location: Farnborough

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