What Does an Educational Assistant Do?

Educational Assistants (620E), under the direction of the teacher, supports the educational goals of students, and works as a member of a multi-disciplinary team (including families) to support teacher/team developed goals, instructions and activities in a school setting.

Job -Related Skills, Interests and Values

  • working and communicating in a professional and ethical manner with team members/families in a school setting and at meetings on individual education planning and review processes to support the development of realistic and achievable goals for individual students 
  • identifying learning styles, learning about and applying behaviour management/crisis management techniques, reporting observations, maintaining flow of information  among the team, using identified strategies and routines
  • gaining a thorough working knowledge of relevant Acts and codes, such as the Education Act, Child and Family Services Act, Young Offenders Act, Ontario Human Rights Code, Freedom of Information/Protection of Privacy Act etc.
  • observing and monitoring student performance by gathering data, sharing observations with the team so student strengths and needs can be addressed
  • assisting with life skills and living skills development, monitoring administration of medication, facilitating personal care, as well as using specialized equipment when required
  • writing and recording observations and outcomes
  • conducting routine safety inspections of physical settings to ensure student/staff safety
  • accessing instructional resources and utilizing the professional network within the school, board, and community
  • helping develop and maintain support materials, including instructional materials, to facilitate student learning and educational plan

Additional information on training standards for this particular trades in the Service sector may be found on the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT) website at: http://www.collegeoftrades.ca/wp-content/uploads/TS_Educational_Assistant_620_EN.pdf

What Preparation and Training Do You Need?

You will need to complete high school or equivalent (GED or ACE), preferably with senior credits in English/ Communications; co-op experience in a school or social services setting or volunteer work with children/ youth would be an asset prior to completion of a 2268 hour on-the-job apprenticeship as well as 432 hours of in-school training. This is the minimum to be apprenticed in this trade under the (OCTAA) Ontario College of Trades Apprenticeship Act (2009). Please note that minimum entry requirements to this and other trades are currently under review by the Ontario College of Trades. Post-secondary training is available through some community college programs: check out: www.gbrownc.on.ca

Apprenticeship Subject Pathways for secondary school students can be found at: http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/training/apprenticeship/skills/pathwaye.pdf

What’s Your Future as an Educational Assistant?

Educational Assistants work indoors, mostly in a classroom setting, and may use computers and other office equipment. Employment is usually full-time, with public or privately funded schools, either at the elementary or secondary school level, for a ten-month (normal school year) period. Some may use this position as a stepping-stone to becoming a teacher.  Passing a Criminal Records Check, and having CPR credentials may be necessary. Employers could be:

  • School Boards
  • Private Schools
  • Centres for Children

Wage Rate

  • Apprentices generally earn less than fully qualified Journeypeople
  • Fully qualified Educational Assistants can earn from $12,000 - $34,000 per year depending on the employer (or union contract in a unionized environment)


Ask Yourself: Is Working as an Educational Assistant For You?

Do you have the patience to work with all types of children/youth?

Yes      No

Do you have excellent communication and problem solving skills and the ability to make decisions as part of a team?

Yes      No

Do you enjoy working in a team environment with children/youth, some with disabilities, communicating verbally and in writing with their families and other professional personnel?

Yes      No

Do you have the emotional maturity and desire to engage in constructive, structured relationships with young people and their families?

Yes      No

Do you like to learn about and apply educational theory, behaviour management and learning techniques?

Yes      No

Are you reliable and consistent in your own work habits?

Yes      No

Would you be able to pass a police reference check?

Yes      No

If you answered Yes to most of these questions, a career as an Educational Assistant May be for You!

You may also want to explore other careers that require similar interests and skills, such as:

  • Early Childhood Educator
  • Child and Youth Worker
  • Psychologist
  • Social Worker
  • Rehabilitation Specialist


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