Studying a teacher aide course has never been easier with government funding provided by the Queensland government. Queensland has 1250 schools including 920 primary schools, each one representing numerous opportunities for well-trained, qualified teacher aides with the right demeanour, attitude, and skills. ITAC’s teacher aide courses are based on research from around the world – only with ITAC will you learn best practice skills, strategies and techniques that will set you apart as a high performing teacher aide in any of Queensland’s 1250 schools.
Study the CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support to learn the basics of working as a teacher aide in Queensland. The CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support will show you how to work with special needs including students with complex needs that require ongoing support. The Teacher Aide Combo, our most popular offering, comes highly recommended – combining the best of both nationally recognised courses and improving your skills, knowledge, confidence, self-esteem, and job prospects.
Below we discuss many questions and topics about studying and working as a teacher aide in Queensland. For specific details about an individual course such as cost, duration and current government funding opportunities, please follow the relevant link below:
For those on the go, here is what you need to know in 60 seconds or less:
We regularly get asked about the difference between the government funded CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support and the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support.
Here is a side by side comparison to make it easy for you to broadly see the differences. Note that to make this table simple, we have made some broad generalisations.
|Level||Certificate III||Certificate IV|
|Full title||Certificate III in School Based Education Support||Certificate IV in School Based Education Support|
|Accredited or recognised||Yes||Yes|
|Class mode||Yes, Brisbane||Yes, Brisbane|
|Online mode||Yes, all QLD||Yes, all QLD|
|Clusters||5 topics||5 topics|
|Skill level||Basic - intermediate||Intermediate - advanced|
|Fee – funded concession||$50||$50|
|Fee – funded standard||$100||$100|
|Funding program||Certificate 3 Guarantee||Higher-Level Skills|
|Fee – non-funded (FFS)||$1960||$2160 (also note the Teacher Aide Combo)|
|Duration||26 weeks (no child-related experience)||26 weeks (no child-related experience)|
|Payment plan (FFS)||Yes||Yes|
|Placement||100 hours||100 hours|
|Placement location||Usually mainstream||Usually with special needs|
|Job outcome||Mainstream teacher aide||Special needs education assistant (or mainstream)|
|Job location||Mainstream classroom||Mainstream or special needs|
|Special need’s school||Sometimes||Yes|
|Job prospects||Medium (if studied best practice pedagogy)||Very high (if studied best practice pedagogy)|
|Job stability||Medium (if studied best practice pedagogy)||Extremely high (if studied best practice pedagogy)|
|Independence||Low to medium (if studied best practice pedagogy)||Medium to high (if studied best practice pedagogy)|
|Key role||General learning support||Support students with special needs|
|Salary hour||$26 - $30||$29 - $34|
|Salary PA||$47,000 average (32.5 hours)||$52,000 average (32.5 hours)|
|Teaching strategies||Scaffolding, modelling, one-on-one instruction, play based learning, others||All CHC3013 + metacognitive skills, levels of instruction, explicit instruction, cooperative learning|
|Behaviour techniques||Basic such as scanning and proximity||Basic and more advanced such as motivational strategies|
|Knowledge||Broad knowledge of teaching strategies, behaviour management, operational tasks, policies||Knowledge of basic strategies and some advanced strategies related to working with disabilities and disorders|
|Enrolment age||16+||18+ usually|
|Graduate outcome||Employ basic skills to effectively work as a teacher aide in the mainstream classroom environment under teacher direction.||Effectively work with students with a range of learning and behaviour needs including students with disabilities and disorders.|
As you can see from the above comparison, there are more similarities than differences particularly in terms of structure, cost, and modes. Both the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support and the CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support have 17 units, 5 clusters and cost $50 for concession and $100 for standard funded enrolments thanks to funding by the Queensland government.
The CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support specifically targets the skills and knowledge required to work with students with disabilities and disorders such as autism and ADHD. The CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support on the other hand is aimed at teaching you the basic and introductory skills to work with students in mainstream classrooms under the close guidance of the registered classroom teacher.
Taking the leap and enrolling in a teacher aide course such as the CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support or the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support is not a decision to be taken lightly. We dissect these courses in great detail and answer many of the most common questions regarding studying and working as a teacher aide in Queensland.
What you’ll learn
|Teacher aide courses: 18 things you should know||We have done the research and put together 18 things that we think you should know before enrolling in a teacher aide course in Queensland.|
|How to become a teacher aide||So, you want to become a teacher aide but are not sure of exactly how to go about it? This article explains everything you need to know in order to become a teacher aide in Australia.|
|What do teacher aides do?||If you have searched 'what do teacher aides do' this is the article for you.|
|Courses and qualifications for teacher aides||This article will summarise the learning opportunities available for teacher’s aides in Australia and includes qualifications, certificates, short courses, and ways of learning and developing your skills independently.|
|Teacher aide pay and salary||How much do teacher aides get paid? What do teacher aides earn? What is the teacher aide salary in my state?|
|Teacher Aide Courses Online||Our trainers have put together this detailed guide so you can make the best decision about whether studying a teacher aide course online in QLD is right for you.|
|CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support: Everything you need to know||Read in depth answers and make the best decision about whether the CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support or any other teacher aide course is right for you.|
|CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support: Everything you need to know||We've done the research and come up with the most accurate and relevant answers to your questions such as 'is the Cert 4 in School Based Education Support difficult' and 'how long does the Cert 4 take to complete'?|
Above: Study a research-based teacher aide course with ITAC and learn industry best practice teaching and learning strategies such as play-based learning, modelling, co-operative learning, pre and post reading strategies, feedback techniques, learning styles, guided learning, rapport building, using cues, active reading and many others – only when you study with the leader in teacher aide training in Australia.
Above: Best practice skills such as one-on-one instruction, worked examples and scaffolding are essential for all teacher aides. At ITAC, you will study a range of effective techniques and strategies including Cognitive Load theory, social stories, motivational strategies, and many more skills that will make you an invaluable and essential member of your school community! Ensure you learn best practice skills by enrolling in a reputable teacher aide course with ITAC.
Above: Teacher aides who have completed a teaching aide course with a reputable provider and studied best practice skills are often given additional responsibilities such as managing small group learning and even developing and facilitating ongoing programs. The teacher aide in the picture above is implementing a range of strategies including questioning skills, feedback skills, metacognitive skills, the levels of instruction and cooperative learning. You too could do this, by enrolling with the leader in teacher aide courses – ITAC.
Above: A group of students sit on the floor to engage in a learning activity provided by their teacher aide. In our best practice teacher aide courses in Queensland, you will study skills such as those shown above: consolidation, review activities, pair and group work, scaffolding, developing resources, designing programs and activities and many more.
Above: Could this be you? An ITAC student on placement for the CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support soon after demonstrating her ability to implement a series of best practice strategies and techniques such as active reading, writing strategies, building on existing knowledge, anchor activities and mental scripting. Study best practice teaching and learning strategies by enrolling in one of ITAC’s research-based teacher aide courses.
Above: Teacher aides who have completed a high-quality course to learn best practice skills and strategies may be provided with additional responsibilities. The picture above is an ITAC student on her placement who is planning, organising, facilitating, and reporting on a numeracy activity that she has been asked to implement in order to address learning needs of several students. You too could do this by completing a nationally recognised teacher aide course with ITAC.
Above: ITAC students learn a range of best practice strategies particularly for use in the literacy and language classroom. This includes critical literacy, multi-modal strategies, multiple exposures, writing to learn, self-questioning, pre-reading activities, and many other. Learn best practice skills and strategies and boost your career as a teacher aide in Queensland.
Above: An ITAC student who recently completed her 100-hour placement for the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support. As you can see from the board, she has been implementing best practice strategies such as worked examples, repeated reading, spelling, and writing strategies, and a range of other traditional and non-traditional strategies. Could you do this?
Whether you enrol with ITAC or another provider, it is important to choose a provider that is high quality, who teaches best practice strategies and skills, who represents value for money and finally, who has experience and expertise. Here is how you can achieve this:
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:
Where else will you study, learn and master these skills? Nowhere but ITAC! We use the principles of adult learning, combined with high quality expert support, and in-house developed materials, to bring you a world-class teacher aide course that is second to none.
A quick note – the list above only covers a small percentage of the total skills, strategies and techniques that you will study in your teacher aide course with ITAC – we didn’t mention behaviour management, disabilities, disorders, additional needs, operational and logistical tasks and many other topics essential to your professional development. Whether you study the CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support or the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support, learning and mastering a range of best practice skills is vital for your future career and your students’ success.
If you are just joining us, we have been discussing and examining some of the key strategies that you will learn in a nationally recognised teacher course and explaining why these strategies are so important to your career. You will study these strategies in all three programs with ITAC.
The three options in Queensland are:
The Teacher Aide Combo is not funded however but is a good option for anyone not eligible for a subsidised fee.
1. How much do teacher aides earn in Queensland? 2. How do I become a teacher aide in Queensland? 3. How hard is it to find a teacher aide job in Queensland? 4. Can I study a teacher aide course online in Queensland? 5. Tell me about the teacher aide courses in Queensland. 6. Are teacher aides also known as teacher assistants in QLD? 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 does it take to complete each of these? 8. Should I enrol with ITAC or a TAFE provider for the CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support or the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support?
The majority of teacher aides in Queensland earn approximately $30 per hour. The exact pay will range from $23 to $33 or even higher depending on the position you are employed to undertake and other factors. Some teacher aides work in mainstream classes with students who have special needs and are therefore paid a higher salary than those who do not work with special need’s students. This is due to the fact that working with special needs requires a higher level of knowledge and understanding of a range of complex disabilities, strategies, processes and policies. It also requires the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support.
The highest paid teacher aides are those who work in special needs centres or special need’s schools – often also called education support centres or special schools. These are schools that operate within or are attached to a larger mainstream school in many cases. They quite often have their own school managers (principal, deputy, HOD, registrar etc.) yet run independently from the main school (with a similar name). They may have the same or a similar name and hence are often overlooked by many job hunters.
Hint: Remember to apply for work (including relief work) in special need’s schools – many teacher aides work in special need’s centres and they are quite often looking for new staff.
There are a range of positions and specialist roles filled by teacher aides in Australian schools. The pay for these roles varies depending on factors such as:
Broadly speaking, many teacher aides earn $30 per hour and work approximately 32 hours per week (over five days). The average teacher aide in Queensland therefore is probably earning around $1000 per week give or take.
The most common process and first step to become a teacher aide is to complete a nationally recognised qualification with a reputable provider. The two main courses to become a teacher aide in Queensland is the CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support and the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support. Both are government funded for those who are eligible. See our website for further details.
In the past it was not necessary to complete a qualification and many teacher aides did not hold a certificate or any kind (there were no accredited courses anyway). These days, almost all schools require that their support staff hold a certificate or qualification of some description – and, if they don’t hold it – they will be working towards completing it. Schools need to know that all of their staff represent maximum value for money and are well trained in key areas such as:
Once you have enrolled and completed (or nearly completed) your nationally recognised qualification, you can begin looking for work as a teacher aide in your local community. We recommend putting your name down at 20 or more schools where you are willing to work. The more schools you are willing to work at, the higher your chances of finding work and the sooner you are likely to be hired. Most graduates eventually manage to find work within a reasonable and comfortable travel distance from their home. However, if you are narrowing down your search to less than 5 schools, you are limiting your opportunities and chances of success.
It is important to organise your clearances and to prepare a professional resume. We have a resume builder and introductory letter template on our website – free, easy to use and no sign-up required. This template is just a basic outline to get you started.
A quick hint: make sure you clearly state your qualifications on your resume (the front page) where it is clearly visible for someone who scans the resume in a few seconds.
For obvious reasons, we can’t promise that every person who wants to become a teacher aide, will find a job as a teacher aide. We certainly can’t promise you a job in the school of your choosing. However, most graduates tend to find work in their local community following their course (assuming of course you enrolled in a reputable course and learnt all the best practice strategies that schools require).
Many students who enter our training programs have an idea of where they would like to work, although, by the time they finish their course, they have a very different set of goals in mind. Many students (after or before enrolment) tell us that they would like to work with lower grades. However, once they start learning about other opportunities, such as special needs or high schools, they are more open to alternative options. The more you are open to trying things outside of your comfort zone, the easier it will be to find work as a teacher aide – cast a wide net.
In general, we find that most students do not struggle to find work, provided they have a suitable demeanour to work in schools and enjoy working with people and children. As we have discussed earlier, it really depends on your search parameters. If you are only willing to work at one school, then your chances of finding work in the near future is limited (you are basically waiting for someone to retire or quit).
Most students initially find work by applying for relief or casual work in a variety of schools near them (20-30 minutes’ drive) and then working casual relief until a long-term contract becomes available. This can happen quite quickly depending on the needs of the school and your skills and abilities. Sometimes, however, it takes more persistence (assuming of course, you are looking for contract work – many prefer relief work and the flexibility it provides – as well as the 25% per hour loading).
Finding work may also depends on whether you have completed a qualification from a reputable provider and the quality of the training provided. Schools like to know that you have completed your course with a reputable provider so they can be confident in your abilities. Our advice: Do not skimp on investing in your own education.
You should also think about where you would prefer to ultimately work. Part of this decision will be led by your experience but also your personality – some people work well with younger students, others older students.
You can narrow your job search by first selecting one or more categories from the below list. While not recommended, it might be a way to get your started on your job-hunting expedition. You can widen your criteria every few weeks.
|Combined P-10 or P-12|
At the time of writing this you can study the CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support and the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support online in Queensland and in all areas. Online can mean various things however, depending on the provider, so it is important to ask questions to find out about the types of resources you will be provided and how much support the RTO is actually going to offer you.
As far as support is concerned (what your fees pay for), choose a provider who visits you in the workplace (while you are undertaking your work placement). This is essential for two key reasons. Firstly, it’s probably the only opportunity of this kind that you will ever have (to be observed and receive feedback). This crucial feedback will include advice on how you can improve you practice in order to:
Even the best students have trouble from time to time and if something goes wrong, you will be thankful for a quick site visit from your friendly trainer who can (hopefully) help to resolve the problem.
Online courses don’t mean that you will be sitting and staring at a computer screen 8 hours a day for months on end. While studying online does mean using the internet regularly, there are a range of other activities that you will engage with. At least this is the case with reputable providers. For example, our students work through activities online and offline; they listen to pre-recorded webinars and classroom lectures – often while taking the dog for a walk, catching the train or sitting on a plane. Students can also watch and interact with other students in our regular scheduled online lectures (webinars), chat to trainers and ask questions via the webinar platform.
Firstly, we have already discussed various aspects of the work placement and the fact that the 100-hours is completed in a local registered school. During your work placement you will complete a range of activities such as assisting the teacher and supporting students in the lead up to your workplace assessment. In this assessment, your trainer will visit you in the school. He or she will observe you completing a range of tasks such as helping students with reading and writing (and implementing best practice teaching and learning strategies).
Another aspect of your course is the theory assessments. The theory assessments are comprised of short answer questions, mini projects, case studies and other activities of that nature. There are no essays or long reports to stress about. You certainly don’t need to be a professional writer to enrol and complete the CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support or the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support – many people are apprehensive before they enrol and imagine writing dozens of essays and reports – this simply is not the case (at least with ITAC – we cannot speak of what other providers expect).
If you skipped straight to this section, the three teacher aide courses we offer in Queensland are below. Note the Teacher Aide Combo is not currently funded (students who are not eligible for funding tend to enrol in the Teacher Aide Combo however we do not discuss it in length in this article).
Note that while all of our teacher aide courses are nationally recognised, no two RTOs are the same, nor do they use the same materials or write the same assessments. So, while you could enrol in the CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support or the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support with any number of different providers, the title of the course is where the similarities end.
Teacher’s assistants and teacher aides are two terms that mean the same thing in almost all cases. Other terms are commonly used depending on your location such as:
If you have travelled overseas such as in the US, you may have heard of terms such as paraprofessional and paraeducator. All these terms are effectively the same thing, sometimes with slight differences. Teacher aide is the common phrase used by the general public and by most countries around the world. The term is considered a tad old fashioned, as it tends to indicate that the person is employed as a personal assistant to the teacher. Today, modern titles (with the word ‘support’ or ‘education’) is eludes to the pedagogical responsibilities of support workers.
In the past, teacher aides were first hired to aid teachers with clerical type activities (well before the invention of modern computers). As time went by, people in these positions started helping students more and more. In the last decade or two, alongside the rise of concepts such as inclusivity and diversity (students with complex needs entered the mainstream classroom), governments, unions and the community have normalised the ubiquitous use of teacher aides, especially as the main means of supporting students with complex needs.
As students with disabilities more commonly entered the mainstream classroom, time-poor teachers needed an additional mechanism in which to juggle the demands of mainstream non-disabled students and those with complex individual needs (neurological, learning, physical, or behavioural disorders and disabilities).
It is widely known that the diagnosis of some disabilities and disorders have increased over time. Autism (ASD) including Asperger's is an example of this phenomenon. There are varying explanations to why this is the case but regardless it has meant that more and more teacher aides have been required by schools.
What does this all mean? It means that role of the teacher aide in Australian schools continues to evolve and change – more change is still to come and with it, new titles will probably be invented to reflect new changes in expectations and roles.
Generally, the course will take approximately six months to complete – this is an average – some take 9, some 4 – there are various factors that need to be considered such as previous experience.
There is also a large variance in the amount of time per week that students dedicate to their studies. Some students can only manage a few hours whereas other dedicate 20, 30 or 40+ hours. It really depends on:
Think of it like this - how long does it take to bake a cake? How long does it take to walk a dog? All of these things can really depend on the person. It can also depend on the topic as well. If you have worked in mining, construction or another industry with an emphasis on ‘work health and safety’ then you’ll find the first topic in the CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support and the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support rather easy - the first topic is “work health and safety”.
Here’s another way to think about it - how long will it take you to read a chapter and answer 10 or 15 activity questions? Some students will be able to do this in an hour or two whereas others will need to read it many times over a period of a week, do some research, ask some questions, attend a tutorial, and so forth.
In general, if you have worked with (or raised) children in the past, or been employed in similar industries such as aged care or childcare, you should move through the course at a very reasonable pace without too much trouble.
You have two options when considering a study path in the CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support or the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support in Queensland.
The first option is to enrol in a teacher aide course in Queensland with a private provider such as ITAC. As a private provider, we specialise in delivering nationally recognised teacher aide courses to adult learners. Here at ITAC, the average age of our students is 37. Our trainers case manage students who need flexible yet supportive study programs – students study when they can, around other commitments such as work, family and health.
The TAFE system on the other hand is generally geared towards students who are younger or live in regional and rural areas. Many students who are currently in high school or have recently graduated from high school enrol in TAFE so they can be in class several days per week (TAFE in this way is an extension of high school).
So far you have discovered some of the opportunities in Queensland for those looking for a new and exciting career as a teacher aide or teacher assistant. But first, a few challenges lay in your way – where to study? What to study? We have tried to allay fears and answer some of these questions, as well as many of the common enquiries we receive each and every day – pay, courses, modes, support, difficulty etc. If your questions remain unanswered, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our student advisers.
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
For the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support.
Interest free plans from $40 - no hidden fees, includes all resources.
From $50 - courses subsidised by the Queensland government.
Friendly trainers with years of experience in local schools.
We visit every learner on placement to help improve your practice.
A 30-day no obligation period so you can be sure the course is for you.
Supported, self-paced distance mode or class from 1 day per week.
Learn industry best practice and research-based pedagogy.
An established provider with more than 5000 happy graduates.
The introductory teacher aide course for anyone seeking to work as a support worker.LEARN MORE
Maximise your job prospects and skills with the highest level teacher aide course.LEARN MORE
Turbo charge your resume and save $1500 with our most popular teacher aide course.LEARN MORE
View resources and materials from our research-based, best practice teacher aide courses.LEARN MORE
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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