The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the demand for paraeducators, or teacher assistants, in the United States will increase by 10 percent from 2008 through 2018, creating 134,900 new jobs nationwide. The types of schools in which paraeducators work greatly influence how much they earn. Geographic locational also influences how much paraeducators make.
The more than 1.2 million paraeducators in the United States made an average of $24,880 per year as of May 2010, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. As educational institutions in the United States typically close during the summer months, paraeducators usually receive these wages for nine months of work rather than for a full 12 months. Alaska was the highest-paying state for paraeducators, and Anchorage, Alaska, was the highest-paying metropolitan area, with annual wages of $33,960 and $38,770, respectively.
Elementary and Secondary Schools
Elementary and secondary schools are the largest employers of paraeducators in the United States, with 80 percent of the jobs in the field as of May 2010, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The overall salaries for teacher assistants at all types of elementary and secondary schools was $25,120 per year. Wages for paraeducators in elementary and secondary schools were slightly less than 1 percent above the nationwide average.
Within elementary and secondary schools, salaries for paraeducators differed based on institution types as of May 2010, explains the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. State-owned public schools featured the highest wages for paraeducators, at an average of $28,320 annually — approximately 13 percent more than the nationwide average in the field. At locally owned public schools, paraeducators received an average of $25,160 per year. Privately owned elementary and secondary schools were the lowest-paying employers of paraeducators: Wages at these institutions averaged $24,350 per year.
Among post-secondary schools, paraeducators at junior colleges were the highest paid, earning an average of $29,250 per year as of May 2010, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. At four-year colleges and universities, salaries for paraeducators averaged $28,750 annually. Vocational and trade schools at the post-secondary level paid paraeducators an average of $26,400 per year. Paraeducators who worked at computer and business post-secondary schools that didn't grant degrees made an average of $25,410, making them the lowest paid in post-secondary education.