This article answers of the common questions that we receive from people considering a career as a teacher's aide in Perth Western Australia (also known as Education Assistants).
FTTA offer a range of flexible teacher aide courses in Perth such as the CHC30213 Certificate III in Education Support and the CHC40213 Certificate IV in Education Support. Our courses are designed and developed for busy adult learners who need regular support, flexibility and high-quality modern resources.
You can expect to earn approximately $30 per hour as a teacher's aide in Western Australia. Teacher's aides can earn more or less than this depending on a range of factors such as:
In Western Australia, there are three main pay levels at least for teacher's aides in the public sector. These 3 levels are explained below:
Obviously, level 2 pays higher than level 1 and so forth. Bear in mind that most teacher's aides do not work a 38-hour week and it is extremely rare that a teacher's aide will do overtime. Most teacher's aides work 32.5 hours per week which is about 80% of a full-time equivalent staff member or 0.8 FTE as it is commonly expressed. This is because most teacher's aides start a little bit later and finish a little bit earlier than a full-time classroom teacher. Teacher's aides are not required to complete any planning, resource development or other activities outside of the normal work hours as is expected of a full-time classroom teacher.
In some instances, such as when attending excursions and school camps, allowances such as meal and travel allowances may apply.
You can learn more by googling “education assistant award Western Australia” which outlines:
Note: This only applies to the public education system in WA. If you are working in a religious based or other private school, you will need to consult with your employer for accurate information regarding your position.
Finding a job as a teacher's aide in WA is relatively easy in terms of casual, part time or relief work. If you are hoping to work in a particular school, it may be some time before a position becomes available unless you are really lucky. Even then, there may be competition from existing staff.
You may need to broaden your horizons and seek employment in a range of schools in your local area. Don't discount special needs schools, high schools and schools that are further away than you would have liked. Early in your career it is important to get as much experience as possible. You can continue to look for work in your preferred school while working in another location.
Many students discount high school as an option. However, for those willing to give it a go, they often find it very enjoyable. It is potentially easier to find work in high schools. Remember that most staff with contracts and permanent positions do relief work first – sometimes for a year or more. Once schools feel comfortable with you, contract will suddenly appear!
Other factors that may influence your success at finding work include:
Obtaining a nationally recognised qualification such as the CHC30213 Certificate III in Education Support or the CHC40213 Certificate IV in Education Support is essential. Gone are the days when the average parent helper can become a teacher's aide in a school – the so called ‘mums' brigade.' Schools have long realised that trained teacher's aides are much more effective than the untrained, even if they are great with kids and have lots of parenting experience. During your nationally recognised qualification you will learn a range of strategies and techniques that are essential for working as a teacher's aide.
Positions are sometimes advertised online or on the jobs' board of the department's website. Often hundreds of people apply for these positions depending on the role and location. For this reason, we generally don't recommend that you hinge your job-hunting success on applying for advertised positions.
You may also find that some positions are advertised in the local newspaper such as the West Australian. This is mainly the case for part-time and temporary positions in the private sector such as at Catholic schools.
We recommend the following steps in order to find a teacher's aide job in western Australia:
This is the tried and tested method that we teach our students and is based on advice from schools, teachers, and those that do the hiring of teacher's aides in WA.
We may be a little bit biased here, but our recommendation is to first enrol in a nationally recognised qualification (preferably with FTTA of course). Almost all schools require that you hold a nationally recognised qualification such as the CHC30213 Certificate III in Education Support or the CHC40213 Certificate IV in Education Support.
Schools require their staff to hold a nationally recognised qualification as indicates that you understand all of the basics of working as a teacher's aide and that they get the best person for the job. For example, you may have read some of our other articles where we discuss research showing that untrained teacher's aides give students the answers 68% of the time; teachers only give students the answers 11% of the time. What this means is that the untrained teacher's aide are more concerned with task completion than conceptual understanding (something you will learn in your course). This has a big effect on learning outcomes.
You should talk to your trainer about casual work in your local area – they often know which schools are looking for staff. We regularly get requests from schools who are looking for casual or relief staff. You can also directly approach schools in your local area. Most students wait until they have completed their course. Many students find work during their work placement; however, this is not always the case.
FTTA is the main provider for teacher's aide qualifications in WA. Your other option is enrolling with a local TAFE. This is best if you are a younger student such as in year 12 and would prefer to be in class and in a similar environment to a high school. If you are considering an online program or blended (part online and part class), private providers like FTTA are more suitable. The majority of adult learners enrol with private providers.
Your course has several components. Firstly, there is the theoretical (what we call the theory part) of your course. The theory part of your course involves a range of learning activities culminating in an assessment. These activities include:
There are no essays or lengthy reports and most of the assessments are made up of short answer questions, case studies and mini projects relevant to your work as a teacher's aide. We try to keep things as practical and as relevant as possible to your chosen profession.
Another aspect of your course is your work placement. Your work placement is completed at a local school where you will complete a range of activities culminating in a workplace assessment. Your workplace assessment includes a visit by your trainer who will observe you undertaking a range of common (day to day) tasks.
Ensure that you enrol with a provider who visits you in the workplace. It may be the last opportunity you have for a trainer observe you in the workplace and provide a series of recommendations on how you can improve. This can mean the difference between finding work and not finding work, enjoying your job and not enjoying your job, being stressed all day and not being stressed all day. It's also an important service for if there are issues during your placement. Even the best students can have issues from time to time.
Another aspect of your course that we are yet to discuss is classes. Classes are held one day per week which is more than do-able for even the busiest of people. Classes are great for students who live within driving distance of the venue. We highly recommend classes if you can make it. Some online students attend classes now and then as well as tutorials. You can also attend live online webinars which are held on a weekly basis on specific topics relevant to your course. Your trainer can also be contacted as needed by phone, face to face or email.
All of FTTA's teacher's aide courses are available online. It's important to bear in mind that online does not mean that you are on your own with no support. You may for example, attend regular tutorials and live webinars. Trainers also contact students on a regular basis to ensure they are on track.
Many students who enrol online do so because they want additional flexibility to study at a time that suits them. It's more about a time management issue than not wanting to attend regular classes. However, staying in regular contact with your trainer is essential and helps to ensure that you are progressing through the course. We recommend students enrol with a provider who offers face to face tutorials and phone support.
Teacher's aide is the broad term that we use and that most of the general public use to describe the person who works in a school supporting students, teachers and sometimes doing a range of other activities such as administration tasks. In WA the term education assistant or EA is also commonly used especially by industry insiders. There is no difference between a teacher's aide and an EA other than the name. You should be aware that in some circles, the term teacher's aide is considered to be a little derogatory - most teacher's aides in WA prefer the term education assistant or EA.
If you're looking for a teacher's aide job and come across an advert for an education assistant, just remember both terms have the same meaning. Note that if you're in another state such as South Australia, you may be familiar with the term SSO or school support officer. In Victoria, the term integration aide is widely accepted. Other states have different terms for teacher's aides.
Our nationally recognised qualifications will generally take 6 months to complete. In fact, the average is somewhere between 6-9 months. It should be noted that some students complete the CHC30213 Certificate III in Education Support or the CHC40213 Certificate IV in Education Support anywhere from 3 months to 6 months. Some students take a longer period of time - anywhere from 9 months to 18 months. The time it takes to complete your course depends on:
Having many years' experience as a parent makes a huge difference to the speed at which you can work through you teacher's aide course. This is because a lot of the material and topics are familiar, and you will not have to learn a huge amount of content. Generally, it is just a case of applying what you know into a professional context and learning the expectations, policies and procedures of Australia's modern education system.
As far as nationally recognised courses are concerned the CHC30213 Certificate III in Education Support and the CHC40213 Certificate IV in Education Support are probably at the lower end as far as difficulty is concerned especially when compared to more technical courses such as engineering, trades, accounting or even some business courses. This doesn't mean that the time it takes to complete the course will be any less however.
As you can see from the examples below, we try to make our assessments and learning materials practical and relevant to your work as a teacher's aide or education assistant. These examples will give you an idea of the types of things you may come across in your course. Note that every provider sets out their course, learning materials and assessments in a very different way. As we create all of our own materials, you are not likely to see this content elsewhere. *
Many people ask about the difference between FTTA and TAFE as far as teacher's aide courses are concerned. To give a very general and broad explanation, TAFE has been known as the provider for high school students, younger students, regional and rural areas and for students with special needs. This is because TAFE has a lot more resources and specific departments with a lot of government funding aimed towards certain groups of students.
Here at FTTA, the average age of our students is just over 37. We are geared towards adult learners who have work commitments and are unable to spend long periods of time in a classroom (TAFEs are in many way an extension of high school).
If you're a younger student or would like to attend class similar to a high school environment, then TAFE may be right for you. However, if you are looking for a more flexible but supported program, a provider like FTTA will likely be more appropriate.
You can find out more information about teacher's aide courses in WA by contacting FTTA or reading some of our other articles which are all freely available on our website. Please note we are regularly publishing new information and articles for those considering working as a teacher's aide in Western Australia. You could also contact one of our friendly student advisors by dropping into our office, or via email or phone.
This article is mainly relevant to people in Western Australia, although, people in other states will also find this information relevant to their situation. This article has covered all of the typical questions that we get in regard to teacher's aide courses in WA including:
Working as a teacher's aide and supporting students and teachers is one of the most rewarding yet challenging careers anyone can envisage. Before jumping in however, it's important to consider whether this career path is right for you and to make the best decision in terms of your provider, the mode and the course. This article will hopefully help you answer these very important questions.
With more than 4000 happy graduates, government subsidised courses from $50, an 80% completion rate, payment plans and no additional or hidden fees, FTTA has long been the go-to provider for teacher aide courses in Perth and surrounding areas. Speak to one of our friendly student advisers today about your career aspirations and begin your new journey with FTTA.
Adam Green is a former teacher, member of the government’s Education Support Industry Advisory Group, MD at FTTA, and a post-graduate researcher at Murdoch university.
Disclaimer: Information provided in this article is general, may not be relevant to you, is not legal advice and no guarantee of accuracy is provided. Users should seek expert advice before relying on any information provided in this article.
*Example from learner guide:
The Multiple Intelligence Theory proposes that people learn in one of 7 possible ways. Each individual will have a type that they prefer and learn the easiest from. Each individual will also have an intelligence that is less suited to them. How do you learn?
The table below lays out how the theories above are relevant to your classroom practice.
Classroom application of theory
|Erikson's Theory of Psychosocial Development||
|Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs||
|Kohlberg's Theory of Moral Development||
|Piaget's Cognitive Developmental Theory||
|Gardner's Multiple Intelligence Theory||
Maslow's hierarchy of needs is a motivational theory in psychology comprising a five-tier model of human needs, often depicted as hierarchical levels within a pyramid.
Maslow (1943, 1954) stated that people are motivated to achieve certain needs and that some needs take precedence over others. Our most basic need is for physical survival, and this will be the first thing that motivates our behaviour. Once that level is fulfilled the next level up is what motivates us, and so on.
Source: Simplepsychology.org, 2018
“Let people realise clearly that every time they threaten someone or humiliate or unnecessarily hurt or dominate or reject another human being, they become forces for the creation of psychopathology, even if these be small forces. Let them recognise that every person who is kind, helpful, decent, psychologically democratic, affectionate, and warm, is a psychotherapeutic force, even though a small one.”
― Abraham Maslow
Physiological needs are the needs for food, water, shelter and anything required for survival including protection and security from physical harm. Have you ever been so hungry that getting food was all you could think about?
Safety needs is the need for security and welfare. Many schools have pastoral care programs which aim to help children who suffer from abuse or neglect. If students are worried about being bullied or facing an angry teacher they will concentrate on preparing a defence strategy instead of concentrating on learning.
Social needs are the need to belong. At a younger age this need is fulfilled by the family but as children grow peers have an increasing influence. Unhappiness is usually the result of social isolation.
Esteem needs builds on social needs. It is the need for your role in a group to be positive and important. Positive self-esteem is the belief that you are viewed positively by others and have skills that are useful.
Self-actualisation is a stage where people strive to grow spiritually and intellectually.
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With more than 4000 graduates, FTTA is the go-to provider for teacher's aide courses. 1 in 2 students choose to study the CHC40213 Certificate IV in Education Support with FTTA.