Studying a high-quality teacher aide courses in NSW is now easier than ever before. With thousands of potential schools in NSW, whether you live in Sydney, the Central Coast, Newcastle, Wollongong or anywhere around the state, there is no doubt that becoming a teacher aide is a smart decision. With the help of modern technology, online learning provides flexible study options so you can study when, where and for as long as you like. Combined with support from dedicated trainers with years of experience as either teachers or teacher aides, our research based, best practice teacher aide courses are a cut above the rest.
The introductory CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support will get your career off the ground. On the other hand, the higher-level CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support is a better choice for adult learners as it qualifies you to work with special need’s students. Even better still, is the Teacher Aide Combo – build your skills and confidence with two qualifications while saving time and money.
In all of our teacher aide courses available in NSW, you will learn foundational strategies such as scaffolding, modelling and chunking; advanced strategies such as metacognitive skills, and more modern approaches such as enquiry based learning and cooperative learning. Nowhere else will you study these, and dozens of other best practice strategies and techniques based on research from Australia and around the world.
This article has been developed specifically for people who live in NSW and who are considering a career as a teacher aide or learning support officer (the formal job title used by the NSW government). For details about any of our three popular programs, please follow the links below:
Most of us are too busy to read this entire article – here is a snapshot of what we think you need to know:
The tables below outline the basic facts and figures for the CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support and the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support. Please consult the main course page for the latest details for each course.
|Level||AQF Certificate III|
|Full title||CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support|
|Units||15 units of competency|
|Class mode||Virtual only (weekly webinars)|
|Skill level||Basic – intermediate (with some advanced content)|
|Duration||600 hours for someone with no experience with children or prior training|
|Placement||100 hours in your local school|
|Placement location||Any registered school|
|Job outcome||Mainstream teacher aide or LSO|
|Job location||Mainstream classroom|
|Special need’s school||Sometimes|
|Job prospects||Medium depending on area and quality of training|
|Job stability||Medium and is likely to increase with experience|
|Independence||Low but may increase with experience|
|Key role||Teacher aide, teacher assistant, learning support officer|
|Salary hour||$31.50 estimated average|
|Salary PA||$53,300 estimated average|
|Teaching strategies||Foundational strategies such as modelling, worked examples, reading and writing strategies.|
|Behaviour techniques||Able to employ 10-12 basic behaviour management strategies.|
|Knowledge||Basic knowledge of teaching strategies, techniques, programs, policies, disabilities, safety and requirements of the job role.|
|Graduate outcome||Work effectively in a mainstream classroom under the guidance of a teacher by employing a range of basic strategies and techniques.|
Above: The CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support in the introductory teacher aide course which teaches foundational skills and knowledge for work in mainstream classrooms.
Below: For adult learners, we recommend the more advanced teacher aide course: CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support or the Teacher Aide Combo, so you are qualified for every position.
|Level||AQF Certificate IV|
|Full title||Certificate IV in School Based Education Support|
|Units||17 units of competency|
|Skill level||Intermediate - advanced|
|Duration||600 hours for someone with no experience with children or prior training|
|Placement||100 hours in a local school (usually with special needs)|
|Placement location||Any registered school (usually with special needs)|
|Job outcome||Learning Support Officer, special needs education assistant, teacher assistant, teacher aide (special needs), specialist role|
|Job location||Mainstream classroom, inclusive classroom, specialist program, remedial program, special needs school|
|Special need’s school||Yes - often|
|Disability school||Yes - often|
|Specialist program||Yes - often|
|Job prospects||High depending on area and quality of training|
|Job stability||Very high after contracted depending on quality of training|
|Independence||Medium increasing with experience|
|Key role||Teacher aide, teacher assistant, learning support officer, special needs focus, specialist role|
|Salary hour||$34.50 average|
|Salary PA||$58,300 average|
|Teaching strategies||Basic and intermediate strategies such as explicit instruction. Some advanced strategies such as designing down and metacognitive skills.|
|Behaviour techniques||Able to employ 10-12 basic behaviour management strategies as well as a number of more advanced techniques.|
|Knowledge||Intermediate knowledge of teaching strategies, techniques, programs, policies, disabilities, safety and requirements of the job role.|
|Graduate outcome||Work effectively with special need’s students in either a mainstream classroom or a special needs school.|
As you can see from the tables above, the main difference between our two research-based teacher aide courses is the content of the course and the job outcome. While the CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support is designed for students who intend on working in a mainstream school carrying out basic tasks such as support students with general learning, the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support is more advanced and focuses on work with students with disabilities and disorders. This is why we recommend the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support for our students (or the Teacher Aide Combo).
You may have noticed that we like to use the term ‘research-based’ and ‘best practice’ to describe our courses. So, what exactly does this mean? In simple terms, when we develop our courses, our experts comb through research from Australia and around the world to find what works. We look at what teachers are taught in universities, the skills that governments want their teachers to have and what the research says about teacher aides and their effectiveness. Here are just three examples:
From there, we develop and provide you with the best information and resources so you can become the most effective teacher aide possible. This means the services that you provide your students will be second to none – in many instances you will know more teaching strategies than your teacher!
Practically speaking, this means that we base our teacher aide courses around a whole heap of best practice strategies, skills and techniques that are used by high performing teachers, teacher aides, schools and government around the world including Australia. Depending on which teacher aide course you enrol in, the following strategies are likely to be part of your course:
Only by enrolling in one of ITAC’s research-based teacher aide courses such as the CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support or the Teacher Aide Combo will you learn these and many more best practice skills and strategies – making you one of the best teacher aides your classroom teacher has ever seen.
Oh and by the way – I should point out that the list above is only a small part of just one topic from our teacher aide courses in NSW – we haven’t even discussed the other main topics in your teacher aide course with ITAC!
There is no doubting that ITAC’s teacher aide courses in NSW are the best in the industry and it is therefore not surprising that our students are sought after. You will find our students in thousands of schools across Australia. Don’t waste time and money with anyone but ITAC – your career will thank you very soon!
If you are serious about becoming a teacher aide or just exploring your options, these guides are a good source of information. Our experts have developed detailed articles so you can make the best decision for your situation and goals.
|Teacher aide courses: 18 things you should know||A summary of 18 important things that students say they wish they knew when they first started their teacher aide course.|
|How to become a teacher aide||The advice we give to our students about the best way to become a teacher aide and the various things to think about along the way.|
|What do teacher aides do?||A discussion of the many different types of teacher aides in Australia so you can decide what position suits you the best.|
|Courses and qualifications for teacher aides||Our take on what it takes to be a high-quality teacher aide including accredited and non-accredited courses and other ways to improve.|
|Teacher aide pay and salary||A guide that helps you to figure out what you are likely to earn as a teacher aide in NSW depending on your position, school etc.|
|Teacher Aide Courses Online||What it means to study a teacher aide course online in today’s technology driven world.|
|CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support: Everything you need to know||A comprehensive guide to all things related to the introductory teacher aide course: CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support.|
|CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support: Everything you need to know||A comprehensive guide to all things related to the special need’s teacher aide course: CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support.|
Above: Following the completion of a teacher aide course in NSW, you could find work in a school as a teacher aide, teacher assistant or learning support officer. You could work in special need’s schools with students with disabilities and disorders, a high school, or a primary school as pictured. To ensure your career gets up and running, you will need to enrol in a best practice, research-based teacher aide course in order to ensure that you learn all of the techniques, skills and strategies that will make you a central and valuable part of your school.
Above: A high quality teacher aide course where you learn best practice skills and strategies opens doors. Learning techniques such as those pictured (feedback, questioning, rapport building, worked examples, behaviour management, motivation strategies and so forth) will give you confidence and a long, stable and rewarding career as in a NSW school. Only at ITAC will you learn industry best practice skills and strategies – enrol with the leader in teacher aide training in Australia.
Above: A high-quality teacher aide course such as ITAC’s Teacher Aide Combo, will help you to develop and perfect your pedagogical expertise. This means you will study and practice strategies such as team teaching, metacognitive skills, one-on-one instruction and play based learning. In the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support, you will also learn more advanced skills such as Cognitive Load theory and Bloom’s taxonomy. To get your career started in NSW, enrol in a world-class teacher aide course alongside thousands of happy graduates.
Above: Teacher aides can work in a range of environments including inclusive mainstream classrooms with students with disabilities and disorders. ITAC’s CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support is a popular teacher aide course in NSW which will teach you industry best practice skills for working with students with a range of disabilities and disorders such as Autism, ADHD, FASD and many others. Become a vital part of your classroom and learn to effectively develop students’ skills and knowledge by studying with Australia’s leading provider of teacher aide courses.
Above: One of many graduates from ITAC’s popular CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support. This student is now fully employed in a special needs school where she helps the teacher and her colleagues with a range of activities including developing resources and planning activities and programs. As you can see in the background, the school uses a range of assistive technologies, teaching props, social stories and visuals – all things that you will only learn with the experts in teacher aide training: ITAC.
Above: ‘Number sense’ is the numeracy equivalent to ‘phonemic awareness’ – learning sounds (often referred to as phonics). In the picture above, our CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support student has been using a range of best practice teaching and learning strategies from her course to support the development of number sense. This includes differentiated instruction, scaffolding, modelling, explicit instruction, setting goals, play-based learning, technology learning, deliberate practice, massed practice, spaced practice and remedial instruction. You too could learn these skills by enrolling in one of our popular teacher aide courses from NSW.
Above: Pictured is a CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support student on placement who has been working in a year 1 classroom implementing a range of strategies from her teacher aide course. As you can see from the picture, her main focus has been phonics in order to develop students’ phonemic awareness (ability to use sounds and letters). Only at ITAC will you learn best practice strategies such as phonics, remedial instruction, repeated reading and a range of writing and reading support strategies.
Above: Congratulations to this student who completed the Teacher Aide Combo (CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support and CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support). Pictured on placement above, the student studied, practiced, improved and mastered a bunch of best practice teaching and learning strategies such as one-on-one instruction, questioning skills, feedback skills, phonics, repeated reading and assistive technology. You too could learn these skills and begin your new career as a teacher aide in any one of NSW’s 2500 (approx.) schools.
If you skipped straight to this section, the three courses you have to choose between are the:
We realise that ITAC may not be the best teacher aide course provider for every student in NSW. To help you out, here are our tips for choosing a provider for your nationally recognised teacher aide course whether you choose the CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support, the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support or the very cost effective Teacher Aide Combo:
1. Is it easy to find a teacher aide job in NSW? 2. How do I become a teacher aide or learning support officer in NSW? 3. Tell me about teacher aide courses or learning support officer courses in NSW 4. Can I study the learning support officer course or teacher aide course online? 5. How much do teacher aides earn in New South Wales? 6. Are teacher aides called learning support officers in NSW? 7. Is the CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support or the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support difficult and how long do they take? 8. How long does it take to complete the CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support or the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support? 9. Should I enrol with TAFE or ITAC for a teacher aide course? 10. How do I enrol in a teacher aide course in NSW?
As there are more than 6 million people living in New South Wales, there are quite a few schools – thousands in fact. There are approximately 4,500 schools in the state. Each of these schools can employ anywhere between 10 and 50 learning support officer or special needs teacher aides. Additionally, most of the people who work in these schools as teacher aides, only work part-time (1, 2, 3 or 4 days per week although many choose to work full-time as well). In other words, there are plenty of opportunities out there for the right person, with the right skill set and knowledge.
To maximise your chances of finding work in NSW, completing a nationally recognised qualification such as the CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support through a reputable provider is a must - schools want to be sure that their staff have been adequately trained. This gives them confidence that you have the necessary skills and background knowledge to support the teacher and the academic, cognitive, social, emotional and physical development of students. How do we achieve this? By teaching you industry best practice teaching strategies such as modelling, scaffolding, explicit instruction, metacognitive skills, reading strategies and dozens of others!
Typically speaking, it’s easy to find work on a casual or relief basis – many find relief work quite easily in their local community. Of course, this information is general and may not apply to you and your area. However, in our experience most schools are constantly looking for qualified and well-trained relief staff. We recommend putting your name down for relief at several schools near you.
Relief work is a steppingstone for more permanent positions and contracts. There are other avenues to finding work such as those listed below:
The simplest and easiest way to become a teacher aide in NSW is to follow the advice above: working relief first as this often leads to contract and permanent positions. This is one of the main ways that many teacher aides or learning support officers find work in schools in New South Wales.
It is important that you hold a nationally recognised qualification such as the CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support or the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support. Obtaining a nationally recognised qualification should be your first step in the process to becoming an LSO. If you don’t hold a nationally recognised qualification (or are not working towards it), with a reputable provider, you will find it quite difficult to obtain work in a school.
As you can see from the search applications above there are plenty of opportunities for qualified and well trained teacher aides who have completed either the CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support or the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support. While not recommended, you could consider narrowing your search down to 1 or 2 categories from the following:
To enrol in a teacher aide course or learning support officer course in New South Wales, there are two main options. If you are an adult learner, then enrolling with a provider such as ITAC is probably the most suitable option. ITAC is geared towards supporting busy adult learners who need a structured and supported yet flexible course. This allows students to study around other commitments such as family, work, medical issues and travel. This is also why the average age of our students is 37.
TAFE may be a good option for students under the age of 18 who are still at school. It is also ideal for students who really struggle with English and need ongoing support and guidance that may only be possible by attending class 4-5 days per week. The TAFE system is typically known as the provider for younger students or for people in regional and rural areas.
There are effectively three parts to your course. The learning part is probably the longest and most time-consuming part of your teacher aide course. Learner materials (at least with ITAC) include:
The second part of your course are the theory assessments. The theory assessments are often not as hard as many think, yet they do cause some stress amongst students (until they have completed the first assessment, at which point most realise they are very ‘do-able’). All our assessments focus on the practical aspects of work as a learning support officer or teacher aide in a typical school (mainstream or special needs).
The final part of your course is your work placement. This critical requirement is completed by all students who undertake either the CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support or the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support. The work placement is for a minimum of 100 hours and is usually completed in a local school. Many students are offered work in the school where they complete their placement – a reason why enrolling in a best practice teacher aide course is necessary (if you don’t learn best practice strategies – why would schools want to hire you?).
All of ITAC’s teacher aide courses are available online. This includes the CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support, the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support and the Teacher Aide Combo. Note that some components are not online based such as the placement which must be completed in a school.
Even when enrolling in an online program, ensure that your provider can offer sufficient, timely and high-quality support services. This is important even for students who are confident in their abilities and who have lots of experience (with children, study, related industries etc.). The reason for why additional support is important is because it reduces the stress, frustration, and time that it takes to complete your course. Support services may include:
Lacklustre support can lengthen the time it takes for you to complete your course. For example, if you send an email asking for assistance on a particular topic and wait a week for a reply – your course effectively takes a week longer to complete. Ask 20 questions, and you are out of the workforce for a long time – not earning income for you and your family. At ITAC, we return calls and emails within a few hours or at the worst the next day in most cases.
Finally, we highly recommend a provider who visits you in the workplace. Having a trainer who visits you in the workplace is the key to your professional development; it could be the last opportunity you ever have of this kind. Trainers provide invaluable advice that can drastically improve your skills. This can mean the difference between being offered a contract at the end of your placement and spending months afterwards searching for work.
In summary, ensure that you invest your time and money with a reputable provider because your education is not worth skimping on and your career success depends on it.
Teacher aides in New South Wales earn approximately $34 per hour. Teacher aides are paid depending on the type of work they are doing and the types of children that they are working with. For example, a teacher aide could be employed in a special needs centre or a special need’s school which is a school that specialises in supporting children with special needs.
At these schools or centres, you can expect a salary of approximately $34 or more per hour. On the other hand, if you are working with a special need’s student in a mainstream classroom, you may be paid around about the $30 mark. If you are working in mainstream classrooms without any special need’s responsibilities, you will earn a little less than when working with special needs.
Most teacher aides or as they are commonly called in New South Wales, Learning Support Officers (LSO), are paid around about the $34 an hour mark. This is because the majority of learning support officers work with students with special needs. It should also be noted that there a range of other factors that can contribute to the calculation of how much you are paid.
One such as calculation is whether you hold a nationally recognised qualification. If you are just joining us now, this means one or more of:
The majority of learning support officers or teacher aides in New South Wales do not work a full 38-hour work week (normally 32 hours is typical for a 5-day week). This is because most support staff finish work at approximately 3:00 in the afternoon. Some, however, must work a little bit later and hence it’s important to check the requirements with your supervisor before signing a contract.
Yes - generally speaking, these two terms and interchangeable and mean the same thing. The term ‘teacher aide’ is used by the average person and hence we use this term on our website and throughout this article. People in the industry may use other terms such as learning support officer, integration aide and school support officer – depending on where you are from. Note that internationally, researchers all use the term ‘teacher aide’ for uniformity and as a kind of lingua franca.
So, is there a difference between a teacher aide, teacher assistant and learning support officer? It a nutshell - no. The former is a slightly older term whereas learning support officer is more modern sounding. In the past teacher aides were sometimes employed to do menial tasks such as making coffee, storing records and photocopying - those days are long and truly gone. Nowadays, updated terms have been implemented to try and reflect the changing responsibilities of teacher aides in the Australian school system.
Overall, these are not a particularly difficult courses at least for the majority of students (in our experience with 6000+ graduates over the last decade or more). However, defining ‘difficulty’ depends on a range of factors such as:
There are a range of factors as you can see from the points above, that can contribute to the success or failure of your studies. We find that most students who are dedicated, committed and consistently work through the course material do not consider this course to be difficult. Where students struggle is staying on track especially when there are interruptions such as travel, medical issues, family problems and fluctuations in work patterns.
Our teacher aide courses are certainly not difficult in the sense that you need to memorise copious amounts of information, write detailed reports/essays or anything of that nature. Unlike some courses, such as in accounting or IT, you do not need to learn and memorise complex technical information. Most of the course content is logical, relevant and practical - we try to explain things in a relatively simple, practical and usable way with additional content for those that want to extend their abilities.
Similar to the answer above - it all depends on several factors. If for example, you are only spending a few hours hour per week on the course, you will take a lot longer than someone who dedicates 20 hours per week to their studies.
If you have raised your own children or have experience with any of the caring industries (childcare, aged care, youth work, community services, AOD), you may complete the course faster due to existing knowledge and skills relevant to the course content.
People who struggle with this course struggle because of:
Many of our students are successful even though English is their second language – what is known as ESL (English as a Second Language). Some students do struggle, however, depending on their reading, writing and verbal English language skills. If you are able to read this blog without too many problems then generally speaking you should be fine with a nationally recognised qualification such as the CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support or the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support.
Many students under the age of 18, consider TAFE initially as their preferred provider. This is because TAFE is geared towards students who are under the age of 18 such as those in year 10, 11, 12 (effectively TAFE is year 13 or an extension of high school – the line between senior college and TAFE is often blurred and in many cases operate on the same campus).
Private providers on the other hand, such as ITAC, are geared towards and specialise in offering teacher aide courses such as the CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support to busy adult learners – the average age of our students is 37. This is not to say that younger students don’t enrol with ITAC or older students don’t enrol at TAFE. TAFE courses are often class-based with students expected to attend 3+ days per week (for 1-4 semesters). This is great for those who need to be in class to be successful and who don’t have much experience in terms of working with children (e.g. year 10s).
For adult students however, private providers can offer structured, supported and flexible study programs that allow for intermittent and irregular study patters and which work around and in conjunction with other commitments.
You can enrol in either the CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support or the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support quite quickly and easily by completing our online enrolment form. For those that struggle or who are not comfortable with an online form, a hardcopy enrolment form can be provided.
The enrolment form can take from 10-30 minutes to complete. We generally process the form within a few hours to a few days at the most.
With those 10 questions answered, which course is right for you?
This article summarises the main questions that we get every day from people wanting to begin a new career as a teacher aide – what is commonly also referred to as a learning support officer in New South Wales. We’ve done the research for you and put together the only guide of its kind (that we know of), detailing everything that you need to know about working in this exciting industry specifically for residents of NSW. Here is what we have learnt so far:
If you have any additional questions regarding this topic and anything related to our popular teacher aide courses such as the CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support or the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our friendly support staff.
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
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Save time and money by completing ITAC's popular Teacher Aide Combo.LEARN MORE
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For the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support.
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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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