Maryland paraprofessionals may perform several duties, such as providing individual tutoring and providing small group instruction under the guidance of a certified teacher. Paraprofessionals also assist the regular teacher with classroom management tasks such as discipline and the preparation of educational materials. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for a paraprofessional was $22,200 in 2008.
Maryland paraprofessionals must have a high school diploma or GED. They must also either complete at least an associate's degree or 48 college credit hours. While Maryland does not require that paraprofessionals take certain classes, prospective paraprofessionals should consider taking classes in child development, child psychology, educational psychology and classroom management. Many college and universities offer associate's program specifically designed to prepare paraprofessional for employment.
Maryland paraprofessionals must be able to demonstrate competency in reading, writing and mathematics. To demonstrate competency, paraprofessionals in Maryland must receive passing scores on the Parapro test offered by the Education Testing Service. The test fee is $45, as of 2011. After the test, your test scores will automatically be sent to the Maryland State Department of Education.
To work in a Maryland school, paraprofessionals must pass a background check. Also, they must enjoy working with children and they need to have a patient and caring personality, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They should have effective communication skills and be able to follow directions appropriately.
Paraprofessionals who work primarily as a translator or a parent involvement assistant are exempt from the paraprofessional requirements that require college credit hours and passing scores on the Parapro assessment. However, they still must have a GED or high school diploma.
2016 Salary Information for Teacher Assistants
Teacher assistants earned a median annual salary of $25,410 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, teacher assistants earned a 25th percentile salary of $20,520, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $31,990, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 1,308,100 people were employed in the U.S. as teacher assistants.