Considering a career as a teacher aide or teacher assistant? Think you have the right personality to support students to learn and develop new skills? Australia’s most popular teacher assistant courses are now available by distance or online learning to anyone in NSW including the greater Sydney area. Study with the leader in teacher assistant training in Australia and enrol in a research-based, best practice, practical teacher assistant course and become part of NSW’s education sector.
We offer several programs to students in New South Wales: The popular Teacher Aide Combo is a streamlined program that saves time and money. The CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support is the highest teacher assistant qualification that opens doors and makes you very employable. The CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support is the introductory teacher assistant course in NSW and will get your career off to a good start.
The current enrolment details for our nationally recognised education support courses can be found by following the links below:
This article looks closely at the courses, careers, roles, responsibilities, schools, and other aspects of studying and working as a teacher assistant (or Learning Support Officer – LSO as they are commonly called) in Sydney and across New South Wales.
We answer many common questions including which qualifications schools are asking for, how to find work as a teacher assistant in NSW, the types of jobs that are available, your expected pay and salary, study options for those in NSW seeking to become a teacher assistant and many other questions that you need to know if you are considering a career in this stable, rewarding and ever evolving industry.
If you don’t have time to read this whole article, here’s a quick peek at what we believe are the most important takeaways from this article:
After you have finished reading this article, remember to check out these valuable (and free) resources so you can be sure that enrolling in a teacher aide course in NSW is the right choice for you:
Have you ever dreamt of becoming a teacher aide but never had the time, opportunity or money? Now is your chance – the CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support is available by online mode in Sydney and all areas of New South Wales. If you need to get your teacher assistant career in NSW off to a running start, this introductory course may be the right program for you. You will study and master 4 key areas of work as a teacher assistant or learning support officer that will enable you to deliver high quality services to both your teacher and your students. These four areas are briefly described below.
Teaching strategies: The main focus of the CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support is teaching you how to best support students learning and skills development. To use technical terms, this is referred to as ‘pedagogy’ which is most commonly thought of as ‘the art of teaching’.
You will learn a range of teaching and learning strategies and techniques (in ITAC’s research-based courses at least) including more traditional strategies such as modelling, worked examples, repeated reading, active reading, graphic organisers and scaffolding.
You will also learn a range of modern strategies such as play-based learning, enquiry learning, cooperative learning and metacognitive skills. Finally, we place an emphasis on practical teaching skills such as best practice questioning skills, formative evaluation, remedial instruction, one-on-one instruction, pair and group work, and many others.
In fact, you will learn dozens of skills and strategies when studying a teacher assistant course such as the CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support by supported online learning from Sydney and anywhere in NSW for that matter.
Behaviour Management: this crucial aspect of your CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support is a feature of all teacher assistant courses that we offer in NSW. It is one of the most important skills that schools notice and use as the basis for hiring decisions (which is important to know given that many of our students are offered positions based on their performance during their placement).
Behaviour management is all about keeping kids on track; motivating them to spend as much time as possible learning and as little time as possible ‘off-task’ as we call it in the industry. A range of techniques are used to achieve this goal such as low-key responses, scanning, proximity and non-verbal cues. You will learn all the basic behaviour management techniques in ITAC’s research-based teacher assistant courses available by online learning in New South Wales.
Special needs: another vital element of the work of all teacher assistants in NSW is supporting the learning, development, progress and behaviour of students who have one or more additional needs (often called special needs). This includes learning about Autism, ADHD, visual and hearing impairment, processing disorders, behavioural disorders, physical disabilities and a range of other learning issues such as Dyslexia and Dysgraphia.
The CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support with ITAC will teach you the essential and basic background knowledge (overview, characteristics, treatment) as well as how to apply a number of strategies and techniques when working with children diagnosed with a disability or disorder. For those seeking to work with special needs in a mainstream classroom or in a special needs school, the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support or the Teacher Aide Combo is recommended as these course focus solely on working with students with complex needs of various types.
Professional Skills: Teacher assistants in NSW help the teacher with a range of classroom tasks such as administration, record keeping, communicating with parents, developing resources, planning activities and programs, researching, purchasing and managing equipment, organising events such as excursions and a range of other activities that necessitates a methodical, professional and business-like approach. The CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support teaches you how to support the management of the classroom under the guidance of a teacher and in accordance with the laws, regulations and policies of NSW and Australia.
A step up from the course above is the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support. Touted as the ‘special needs course’ by industry, this is the go-to course for many teacher assistants in NSW who work with special needs and especially those who work in special needs centres and schools.
You will learn most of what students learn in the CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support as well as more advanced topics to further expand your skills and knowledge. This course is concerned with developing your abilities to effectively work with special need’s students such as students with Autism, ADHD, learning disorders such as dyslexia, physical disabilities, and more complex behavioural issues. Before the introduction of our famous Teacher Aide Combo, The CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support was our most popular course.
Take your practice to the next level and join the ranks of Australia’s best teacher assistants by completing two qualifications in one streamlined, cost effective program. ITAC popular and unique program, the Teacher Aide Combo, combines the best of the CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support and the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support to give you maximum employability, maximum skills and maximum confidence. For not much more time and cost compared to a single course, study ITAC’s flagship offering and give yourself a significant advantage over other job applicants.
We have designed the Teacher Aide Combo in a way that combines the basics of the CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support with the focus on disabilities and disorders found in the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support. You will also learn a range of useful, effective, practical and advanced skills such as Cognitive Load theory and the Zone of Proximal Development to boost your classroom performance.
If you are looking for a long and stable career as a teacher assistant in NSW, we tend to recommend either the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support or the Teacher Aide Combo (which combines the Certificate III and IV). While there are plenty of opportunities for teacher assistants in NSW, particularly if you have completed a high-quality course with a reputable provider, having two qualifications is always advantageous.
The CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support is what most teacher assistants in NSW hold and is by far the most popular course across all providers (about double the number of people enrol in this than the higher-level CHC40221). We do things differently at ITAC however and advise students to not do the CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support unless there is a good reason to do so.
A good reason would include language issues (learning English), the student is young (year 10 or 11) or some other reason that means the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support is not suitable. Our expert student advisers have years of experience with advising students in this regard – feel free to give us a call.
Modern technology has provided us with a plethora of new and exciting options. Residents of NSW now have the opportunity to enrol in any of ITAC’s research-based teacher assistant courses by studying online. This means you can study at any time of the day or night, from anywhere in New South Wales (or indeed Australia), and as often or as little as you like in a way that suits your goals, commitments and schedule.
You may have noticed many providers advertise an ‘online’ mode of study and indeed some of these courses seem like good value. However, we believe that downloading some PDFs from a website is not what we call a high quality ‘online’ course. In fact, we don’t think that is even a course! ITAC’s online teacher assistant courses, including those available in NSW, are world-class. They are based on the principles of adult learning and utilise modern technologies in combination with a case managed, structured and supported approach.
Our courses provide a range of resources to suit all types of learners and are backed by live webinars and contact with/from your trainer on a regular basis. Learners can watch pre-recorded class lectures, complete interactive learning toolboxes, read guides and advice from experts from around the world and even complete theory assessments online. That is what a high-quality course from a world leading provider looks like – enrol with the experts, do your career a favour and ensure that your professional practice is nothing but cutting edge.
There is a big difference between learning something in a book and putting it into practice. Teaching is a perfect example of this. Hence the 100-hour placement requirement for the CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support and the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support. Students can complete their 100 hours in any number of NSW’s many schools (usually in a school not far from their home). The placement is an exciting yet challenging part of your teacher assistant course.
Most students find a placement by speaking with people who they know and who work in schools. This is the preferred method as it means students have existing relationships to support them and they can be placed more easily in an NSW school that is suitable and aligns with their future career aspirations. ITAC can also assist however it is much harder for providers to place students in the student’s preferred school (everyone wants to work in lower primary).
The placement is often completed 2 or 3 days per week for 16 days (total) depending on the school’s opening and closing time. We count the 100 hours from ‘siren to siren’ meaning from when the bell goes in the morning to when it sounds at the end of the day.
While there are many different ways to go about the task of finding work as a teacher assistant in NSW (after you have completed your nationally recognised course), we recommend the following steps. Note that these steps are a guide only and are not designed to be followed lock-step; where you live, your goals, your connections, the time of year and various other factors will affect the way in which you go about searching for work as a teacher assistant in one of New South Wales many schools:
Some additional tips for finding work as a teacher assistant in NSW:
As part of the process of finding work (the previous section), we recommended setting goals and thinking about where you wanted to ideally work. There are several options available to you in NSW including:
Most teacher assistants in NSW work in the public sector as government schools represent the majority of schools in the state. Government schools include:
You can search for schools in your area using the Find a School service on the Department’s website by clicking here.
Don’t forget to search for vacancies on the government’s recruitment website which can be accessed here. Note that jobs for teacher assistants in NSW use the official term ‘Learning Support Officer’ in most cases. The number of positions advertised varies greatly depending on the time of the year.
Take your practice to the next level and join the ranks of Australia’s best teacher assistants by completing two qualifications in one streamlined, cost effective program.
Once you have decided on whether you want to become a teacher assistant in NSW, and whether you will enrol in the CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support or the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support, the next step is to choose your provider. The problem is, how do you know which provider will give you the skills and knowledge that you need to be effective (and be offered a job), and which providers you should avoid. Here are our tips for finding a provider (whether for this course or any other industry such as aged care or childcare):
Hint: A good sign that your provider is a quality provider is if they deliver classes. Classes require a high level of expertise from a trainer’s perspective – stay away from 100% online providers.
The time it takes to complete a teacher aide course depends on whether you study a unit-by-unit course or a clustered course. A clustered course takes half the time in many cases (around 26 weeks or 600 hours). Those with experience with children may take even less as much of the course material will seem like a no-brainer. Students who have no experience with children or related industries such as aged care will take 900-1200 hours.
To become a Learning Support Officer or LSO in NSW you will need to complete a nationally recognised education support such as the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support. During your course you will learn the essential and vital skills required to perform the duties and responsibilities of a teacher assistant in NSW including supporting learning and behaviour.
An education aide is the same thing as a teacher aide, teacher assistant, integration aide, LSO and integration aide. To become an education aide, you will need to complete the CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support as a minimum. The CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support is the better choice for adult learners particularly if you intend on working with students with disabilities and disorders.
Both of these courses cover very similar topics and have almost identical job roles – the main difference is the students being supported. The CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support is the introductory course and is aimed at those who work in mainstream classrooms. The CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support has more of an emphasis on working with students with disabilities and disorders such as Dyslexia and Autism.
To enrol in a teacher assistant course or not to enrol in a teacher assistant course? Whether you decide to enrol in the CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support or the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support, you have several decisions to make, and ones which you should not make lightly – after all, your career depends on it. Which provider should I enrol with? Where do I want to do my placement? What are my career goals? Where do I see myself working in 3 years’ time? These are the questions we believe you need to answer before enrolling in a nationally recognised teacher assistant course in NSW.
The good news is that we have developed a range of articles for you to continue reading in order to learn more about your options and your future career as a teacher assistant in New South Wales.
If we can help you further regarding any of our national recognised courses, please do not hesitate to contact our office.
Adam Green is an advisor to government, a registered teacher, an instructional designer and a #1 best selling author. He is completing a Doctor of Education and was previously head of department for one of the country’s largest SAER (students at educational risk) schools. Adam is managing director of ITAC, an accredited training provider for thousands of teacher aides every year.
The introductory teacher aide course covering all the basics of working in a school.LEARN MORE
The industry standard TA course with a focus on disabilities and disorders.LEARN MORE
Save time and money by completing ITAC's popular Teacher Aide Combo.LEARN MORE
Be sure to ask your provider for a sample of their resources and assessments before enrolling.LEARN MORE
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The Institute of Teacher Aide Courses is the go-to provider for nationally recognised teacher aide courses. Around 1 in 2 students choose to study Australia's most popular TA course with ITAC.
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