Everyone has the one thing they’re deeply passionate about. For some people, it may be sports, and for others, it may be music. Whether your passion is dance, teaching, helping others, photography, cars, fitness, or art, everyone has something they’re enthusiastic about.
If you have a passion for working with children and youth, a rewarding career as an Education Assistant could be the dream path for you. Find out how you can start and build your career as an Education Assistant below.
What’s It Like to Be an Education Assistant?
Education Assistants are important members of the education field – especially for students who require the help and support of one.
Contrary to popular misconceptions, the role of an Education Assistant is not to help with mundane tasks like fetching coffee, photocopying, or cleaning the classroom up. Rather, Education Assistants are there to assist the classroom teacher in managing behaviours.
In their very hands-on job, Education Assistants work one-on-one and directly with students with exceptionalities, ranging from young children in elementary school all the way up to teenagers in high school. The common factor between all the students that Education Assistants work with is that they all experience or have been diagnosed with a behavioural or mental health issue.
Benefits of Becoming an Education Assistant
In addition to the fulfilling and rewarding aspect of being able to work and help students out in their studies, Education Assistants also see a number of benefits that make this career opportunity a very appealing one.
Since Education Assistants often work in schools, and schools have summer vacations and winter breaks, working as an Education Assistant would mean that you would have lots of time off to relax and enjoy. If working full-time is your thing and you would prefer not to have those periods off, you can always continue working at summer schools.
In addition to the benefit of plenty of time off, Education Assistants often receive full benefits including health, vision, and dental insurance. Education Assistants may also receive other benefits like short-term and long-term disability insurance, paid time-off, retirement plans, and much more.
If all of that wasn’t enough, Education Assistants also experience a median annual salary of over $50,000 in BC.
How to Start Your Career as an Education Assistant
Since the role of an Education Assistant is extremely hands-on, you need to have proper training and knowledge in the industry to be able to be successful in your everyday working life and career.
In addition to the minimal completion of a secondary school, most employers hiring for an Education Assistant look for workers who have completed a qualifying college program in education assistance, teaching assistance, or other relevant program. This higher education demonstrates to employers that you are already familiar and knowledgeable in the field, and can quickly hit the ground running.
The Education Assistant Program at Sprott Shaw
At Sprott Shaw College, we have a 43-week hands-on Education Assistant program that includes training in behavioural therapy, how to support students with medical issues, insulin administration, and so much more.
The program also includes three field practicums at elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools across BC so students can build relevant work experience before even graduating. Many of our graduates go on to working at public school districts across the province in Vancouver, Richmond, Surrey, Burnaby, Abbotsford, Maple Ridge, Mission, Chilliwack, and more.
Many of our students also get hired right from practicum because of the great demand for qualified workers in this field. This positive employment rate that our students experience is no surprise as several principals from the schools that our students worked at have said a number of positive comments about them including:
“Always a positive experience. Students are extremely well prepared and fit in seamlessly”
“If we could hire them tomorrow, we would”
“Fantastic and well prepared. Fully equipped to work alongside some very challenging behaviours”
“Strong skill set, well taught, well prepared”
“Fantastic, well-valued addition to our team”
To learn more about Education Assistants and how you can become one, contact an advisor below.