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HOW MUCH DO TEACHER AIDES GET PAID IN AUSTRALIA?

A guide to teacher aide salaries, pay, entitlements, wages and earnings.

HOW MUCH DO TEACHER AIDES GET PAID? WHAT IS THE AVERAGE TEACHER AIDE SALARY?


Teacher Aides can expect to earn between $24 and $37 per hour, or $32 per hour on average (based on public sector agreements). This equates to average earnings of $1040 per week or $54,000 per year based on a standard 5-day, 32.5-hour working week.


The precise salary that an individual teacher aide can expect to earn depends on several factors such as their experience, qualifications, location, type of school, and whether they work with special needs.


The great thing about working as a TA is the 12 weeks of paid leave per year! Bear this in mind when looking at the hourly rate because 12 weeks is 8 more than the standard 4 that most people get. Because the salaries of contract and permanent staff are annualised, the actual take-home pay per hour worked can often exceeds $40 (e.g. $54,000 ÷ 40 weeks ÷ 32.5 hours = $41.50) and can be as high as $48 for those on the top end of the scale.


The great thing about working as a TA is the 12 weeks of paid leave per year!


How much do teacher aides get paid? What do teacher aides earn per hour or week? What salary can I expect as a full-time teacher aide? Do teacher aides get paid for school holidays? As the go-to provider for teacher aide courses in Australia, we get asked these questions nearly every day and for good reason – if you're looking to invest your limited time and money on completing a nationally recognised teacher aide course, you should know what the financial reward will be at the end.


Speaking of nationally recognised courses, ITAC offer three programs which we encourage you to check out:


Not sure how to to choose a provider? Learn how to compare providers by reading this article.



Most teacher aides (let's say 80%) work with children with high needs (disabilties and disorders), and are therefore on the upper end of the pay scale (starting at circa $30 per hour in their first year).


A quick summary

For those who are busy, here's a quick summry: The simple answer is that teacher aides can expect to earn $32 per hour (on average) and higher. This is only an estimate, but it's suprisingly representative. Most teacher aides (let's say 80%) work with children with high needs (disabilties and disorders), and are therefore on the upper end of the pay scale (starting at circa $30 per hour in their first year).


These positions are more challeging and therefore TAs start on around the middle of most pay scales. This means most graduate teacher aides will start on around $30, and will progress each year to around $34-37 per hour depending on the state or territory.


Also note that most teacher aides work around 32.5 hours per week (or 6.5 hours per day) so that will affect the weekly and annual calculation. A large percentage of teacher aides work part-time or casually.


Casual teacher aides can expect to earn 25% more per hour, but do not recieve annual leave or personal leave entitlements (sick leave). Yes, teacher aides (on contract or permanent positions) get paid during school holidays - 12 weeks in fact.


Casual teacher aides can expect to earn 25% more per hour, but do not recieve annual leave or personal leave entitlements (sick leave).


The summary above will give you a good idea about what you can expect to earn as a teacher aide in Australia. It is however, very general, and we advise speaking with your school or employer if you need to know exactly what you will earn in your situation. To help you out however, we have done some research and put together more detailed information about how much teacher aides get paid in each state and territory, as well as answered many other questions:


How much do teacher aides get paid on average?
Teacher aide salaries in WA: How much do teacher aides earn in Western Australia?
Teacher aide salaries in QLD: How much do teacher aides earn in Queensland (QLD)?
Teacher aide salaries in Victoria: How much do teacher aides earn in Victoria?
Teacher aide salaries in NSW: How much do teacher aides earn in New South Wales?
Teacher aide salaries in SA: How much do teacher aides earn in South Australia?
Teacher aide salaries in ACT: How much do teacher aides earn in the ACT?
How many hours per week do teacher aides work?
Are teacher aides paid during school holidays?
What factors affect the pay rates for teacher aides?
What is the difference between the levels of pay?
Do I get paid more if I complete a teacher aide qualification?
What is the difference between casual, contract and permanent employment?
Can I be a teacher aide with no qualifications?


weekly pay as a teacher aide

As a teacher aide, your salary or pay is calculated based on several factors i.e. the type of position, whether you work in a rural area, which state or territory you work in, your previous experience, and whether your hold a nationally recognised qualification.

How much do teacher aides get paid or earn on average?

A quick look at teacher aide salaries around Australia


In Australia, teacher aides can expect to get paid or earn $30 per hour on average in their first year. Based on a 6.5-hour day, this equates to $195 per day, $975 per week, or $50,700 per year.


Average pay and salary for teacher aides in Australia*

Location

Hourly rate

Weekly rate

Annual salary

WA $29.78 $1,131 $58,845
QLD $30.93 $1,175 $61,117
NSW $35.21 $1,1337 $69,574
Vic $28.80 $1,094 $56,908
SA $28.24 $1,073 $55,802
ACT $31.72 $1,205 $62,678

Average

$30.78

$1,169

$60,821

*Based on 7.6 hour working day/38 hour working week. Some assumptons have been made.


Some teacher aides in Australia work 38 hours per week and can expect to earn an average of $233 per day, $1,169 per week, and $60,821 per year. Many teacher aides however do not work 38 hours per week meaning the weekly and annual figures in the table above need to be adjusted down. Many teacher aides work 32.5 hours per week or 6.5 hours per day. Depending on the school, this means starting at 8:30 a.m. and finishing at 3 p.m.


In Australia, teacher aides can expect to get paid or earn $30 per hour on average in their first year. Based on a 6.5-hour day, this equates to $195 per day, $975 per week, or $50,700 per year.


The casual rate for teacher aides is the same as the hourly rate above plus a ‘loading’ such as 25% (exact rate varies by state). A casual employee however, does not accrue any benefits such as annual leave and personal leave.


Teacher aides may also be eligible for allowances and other entitlements such as a first aid allowance, regional loading allowances (if in a hard-to-staff school), toileting allowance (if assisting children with personal tasks such as toileting), and travel allowances (e.g. meal allowances if going on a camp with the class). These allowances are generally minor and so we do not advise worrying about them too much.


Teacher aide salaries in Western Australia: How much do teacher aides earn in WA?

Another way to think about the value of being paid for an additional 8 weeks of holidays, is it means the equivalent of an extra $6.40 for every hour worked – that means TAs in WA earn around $40 per hour worked!


A teacher aide in a Western Australia public school can expect to earn between $27.60 and $35.80 per hour depending on their role.


Our estimate is that the average salary of a teacher aide in WA is around $32.50 per hour which is $211 per day, $1050 per week and $54,600 per year – less tax.*


As TAs (or Education Assistants as they are known as in WA) work 32.5 hours per week, they can expect to earn between $880 and $1095 per week, or between $45,760 and $56,900 per year.


Types of TAs in WA


There are 2 main types of teacher aides in WA schools:

  1. mainstream education assistants
  2. special needs education assistants.

Special needs education assistants are divided into two categories. They can work with special needs students:

  1. in a mainstream classroom
  2. in an education support centre.

‘Mainstream’ means a school with students who do not require additional TA support due to a disability or disorder. A student with a disability or disorder may enrol in a mainstream school and be provided the assistance of a TA to help them integrate. An education support centre is a school designed specifically for students with disabilities and disorders. In terms of pay, basically the higher the support needs of the student(s), the more the teacher aide is paid:

  • An Education Assistant (mainstream) (level 1) starts on $27.06 and progresses to $27.72 the following year. They will start on $27.72 if they have an education support qualification. At this level EAs are not supporting students with disabilities or disorders and most at this level work in pre-primary or Year 1.
  • An Education Assistant (Special Needs) in mainstream and some other programs will start on $29.18 and can progress to $33.68 (depending on the level of need the child is classified as having). These roles are referred to as Level 2 or Level 2/3. Many EAs work at this level particularly with students with autism, ADHD and intellectual disability.
  • An Education Assistant (Special Needs) in education support schools (Level 3) will start on $32.09 (Level 3.1), progress to $32.86 after 1 year or if they have an ES qualification, and then $33.68 (level 3.3). Many EAs work at this level with students who require near-constant one-on-one support.
  • An education assistant (Auslan, Braille, or engagement centre) earns $35.59 per hour. Fewer EAs work at this level statistically speaking.

Teacher aides may also be eligible for other minor payments such as a district allowances if they are in regional or remote school, and a first aid allowance.


Casual EAs in WA earn a 25% loading based on the figures above but do not receive entitlements such as personal (sick) leave and annual leave. They are not paid during the 12-week holiday periods.


Teacher assistants in WA receive 12 weeks of paid leave – approximately 6 weeks for the Christmas break and 3x 2-week breaks throughout the year. They receive full pay during this time as it is an entitlement under the general agreement. If you factor in 12 weeks of paid leave, the hourly rate of pay is very impressive (it equates to 8 weeks of additional paid leave compared to other industries and is worth approximately $8500). Another way to think about the value of being paid for an additional 8 weeks of holidays, is it means the equivalent of an extra $6.40 for every hour worked – that means around $40 per hour worked!


Interesting: Clause 19.1 states that Education Assistants at any classification level can agree to be rostered on with teachers to assist in the supervision of students during student breaks including recess periods and lunch.


Below are extracts from the Education Assistants’ (Government) General Agreement 2021 which this information is based on. TAs working in private schools are employed under similar arrangements.


Western Australia teacher aide pay table 1 Western Australia teacher aide pay table 2 Western Australia teacher aide pay table 3

* Most teacher aides (80%+), including those just starting their career, are on Level 2 or 3 because most are employed to work with students with special needs. The midpoint on the pay scale, which you commonly see on other websites, is therefore not the salary that most TAs are likely to earn.

Teacher aide salaries in QLD: How much do teacher aides earn in Queensland (QLD)?

On average teacher aides in Queensland will earn $30.9 per hour, $235 per day, $1175 per week, and $61,117.68 per year. Teacher aides in Queensland can expect to earn between $26.95 and $34.92 per hour according to the Department of Education Teacher Aides' Certified Agreement 2018. Teacher aides in Queensland can therefore earn a salary of $204 to $265 per day, $1024 to $1327 per week, and $53,248 to $69,004 per year.


This average is calculated as the mid-point between the lowest and highest rate. As most teacher aides work with special needs however, they may be placed on a higher rate in year 1 (such as Class 003). Therefore, the average hourly rate for teacher aides in Queensland is closer to the higher end of the pay scale (around $30-32 per hour). Also note that the calculations above are based on a 7.6-hour day and many teacher aides work 6.5 hours.


The casual rate for teacher aides is the same as the hourly rate above plus a ‘loading’ such as 25% (exact rate varies by state). A casual employee, however, does not accrue any benefits such as annual leave and personal leave.


Below: Mainstream teacher aides in QLD can expect to be placed on Class 002 Paypoint 1 in their first year. Interestingly, the award specifies that to move to the third or fourth class (003 and 004), staff need to hold a Certificate III as a minimum.


weekly pay as a teacher aide

To learn more about teacher aide jobs, courses and other relevant information pertaining to Queensland, I recommend reading this article.

Teacher aide salaries in Victoria: How much do teacher aides earn in Victoria?

On average teacher aides in Victoria will earn $28.8 per hour, $218 per day, $1094 per week, and $56,908 per year. Teacher aides in Victoria can expect to earn between $24.15 to $33.45 per hour according to the Victorian Government Schools Agreement 2017 Teacher aides in Victoria can therefore earn a salary of $183 to $254 per day, $917 to $1271 per week, and $47,720 to $66,097 per year.


This average is calculated as the mid-point between the lowest and highest rate. As most teacher aides work with special needs however, they may be placed on a higher rate in year 1 (such as Level 2.1). Therefore, the average hourly rate for teacher aides in Victoria is closer to the higher end of the pay scale (around $31-33 per hour). Also note that the calculations above are based on a 7.6-hour day and many teacher aides work 6.5 hours.


The casual rate for teacher aides is the same as the hourly rate above plus a ‘loading’ such as 25% (exact rate varies by state). A casual employee, however, does not accrue any benefits such as annual leave and personal leave.


The Victorian Government Schools Agreement 2017 places teacher aides on two levels. The 2020 levels are circled below:

weekly pay as a teacher aide

Teacher aides in Victoria are paid at range 1 when they are providing basic support to students and teachers. The agreement says that teacher aides at this level “undertakes routine tasks that are usually carried out under close supervision and direction.” Teacher aides in Victoria can expect a salary at level 2 if they are taking on higher level responsibilities such as coordinating programs, supervising other staff, or working with students with complex needs that require support staff with specialised training.


To learn more about teacher aide jobs, courses and other relevant information pertaining to Victoria, I recommend reading this article.

Teacher aide salaries in NSW: How much do teacher aides earn in NSW?

On average teacher aides in NSW will earn $35.2 per hour, $267 per day, $1337 per week, and $69,574 per year. Teacher aides in NSW can expect to earn between $32.58 to $37.85 per hour according to the Crown Employees (School Administrative and Support Staff) Award 2019. Teacher aides in NSW can therefore earn a salary of $247 to $287 per day, $1238 to $1438 per week, and $64,378 to $74,791 per year.


This average is calculated as the mid-point between the lowest and highest rate. As most teacher aides work with special needs however, they may be placed on a higher rate in year 1 (such as SLSO 2). Therefore, the average hourly rate for teacher aides in NSW is closer to the higher end of the pay scale (around $35 per hour).


The casual rate for teacher aides is the same as the hourly rate above plus a ‘loading’ such as 25% (exact rate varies by state). A casual employee, however, does not accrue any benefits such as annual leave and personal leave.


The Crown Employees (School Administrative and Support Staff) Award 2019 pay rates are listed below (see SLSO rows and far left column):


weekly pay as a teacher aide

To learn more about teacher aide jobs, courses and other relevant information pertaining to NSW, I recommend reading this article.

Teacher aide salaries in SA: How much do teacher aides earn in SA?

On average teacher aides in SA will earn $28.2 per hour, $214 per day, $1073 per week, and $55,802 per year. Teacher aides in SA can expect to earn between $25.73 to $30.74 per hour according to the South Australian school and preschool education staff enterprise agreement 2020. Teacher aides in SA can therefore earn a salary of $195 to $233 per day, $977 to $1168 per week, and $50,842 to $60,762 per year.


This average is calculated as the mid-point between the lowest and highest rate. As most teacher aides work with special needs however, they may be placed on a higher rate in year 1 (such as SLSO 2) as well as progress each year. Therefore, the average hourly rate across all teacher aides in SA is closer to the higher end of the pay scale (around $30 - $32 per hour).


The casual rate for teacher aides is the same as the hourly rate above plus a ‘loading’ such as 25% (exact rate varies by state). A casual employee, however, does not accrue any benefits such as annual leave and personal leave.


The pay rates for School Support Officers or SSOs in SA are set out in the South Australian school and preschool education staff enterprise agreement 2020


weekly pay as a teacher aide

To learn more about teacher aide jobs, courses and other relevant information pertaining to SA, I recommend reading this article.

Teacher aide salaries in ACT: How much do teacher aides earn in the ACT?

On average teacher aides in the ACT will earn $31.7 per hour, $241 per day, $1205 per week, and $62,687 per year. Teacher aides in the ACT can expect to earn between $28.5 to $34.8 per hour according to the Act Public Sector Administrative and Related Classifications Enterprise Agreement 2018 – 2021. Teacher aides in the ACT can therefore earn a salary of $217 to $264 per day, $1086 to $1324 per week, and $56,493 to $68,883 per year.


This average is calculated as the mid-point between the lowest and highest rate. Also note that the calculations above are based on a 7.6-hour day and many teacher aides work 6.5 hours per day.


The casual rate for teacher aides is the same as the hourly rate above plus a ‘loading’ such as 25% (exact rate varies by state). A casual employee, however, does not accrue any benefits such as annual leave and personal leave.


The pay rates for teacher aides in the ACT are set out in the Act Public Sector Administrative and Related Classifications Enterprise Agreement 2018 – 2021


weekly pay as a teacher aide

How many hours per week do teacher aides work?

Most teacher aides are paid for a 32.5 hour working week (based on working 5 full days). This equates to 6.5 hours per day with a non-paid half hour lunch break. Many teacher aides are part-time and work 2-3 days per week. Some teacher aides work 38 hours per week and are therefore required to stay on school grounds for the additional hours (usually something like 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.). Check with your school about what hours you are expected to be on site.


Are teacher aides paid during school holidays?

Teacher aides who are employed on a part-time or full-time basis are paid during school holidays.


For this reason, the hourly, daily and weekly pay isn't that relevant because TAs are paid to not do any work for 3 months of the year! Even though teacher aides only work about 40 weeks of the year (broadly speaking), they will be paid for 52 weeks when on a 12-month contract or if they have a permanent positon.


The 12 weeks of holidays per year is one of the main reasons why many people, particularly mothers, become teacher aides in the first place - and you get paid for not working! TAs are not expected to do any work on the holidays whatsoever (although many do some bits a pieces like making resources and activities).


For this reason, the hourly, daily and weekly pay isn't that relevant because TAs are paid to not do any work for 3 months of the year!

What factors affect the pay rates for teacher aides?

How much an individual teacher aides earns depends on a range of factors such as the following:

  • Location: the majority of teacher aides are employed by the state or territory government and each have their own agreements, pay scales etc.
  • School: faith-based, independent, and alternative schools also employ teacher aides and they determine their own rates. We only cover the government schools in this article however they are pretty similar.
  • Students: generally speaking, teacher aides who work with special needs students are paid more than teacher aides who work in more generalist positions.
  • Experience: for every year of FTE (Full-Time Equivalent) experience, a teacher aide earns slightly more (up to a certain point).
  • Allowances: some teacher aides are entitled to allowances such as a regional loading for working in rural and remote schools.
  • Specialist areas: specialist position such as AIEO (Aboriginal and Indigenous Education Officer) and other roles may attract a higher salary.

To learn more about the differnet types of Teacher Aides, read the following article: What do teacher aides do?

What is the difference between the levels of pay?

classroom work as a teacher aide

Teacher aides can work in government and non-government schools.


How much you can expect to earn as a teacher aide will depend on your pay level. All states and territories (as well as most non-government schools) use a tiered system. When you first begin to work in a school, you will be placed on a 'level'.


This initial level is mainly determined by the position and your experience as a TA. With each passing year of experience, the TA moves up one level. Each higher level means slightly more pay. This is to reward experience and to encourage more experienced teacher aides to stay in the industry. As a general rule, there are three levels:


Level 1 is for teacher aides who work in mainstream classrooms but not with a student with a disability or disorder. They help our with light cleaning, taking children to the toilet, cutting up fruit, and other very basic tasks. They will do some instructional work as well, such as reading to children.


Level 2 is for teacher aides who work in mainstream classrooms but (unlike level 1) are assigned to a student with high needs. Often this means a students with autism or a physical disability that requires one-on-one support for much of the day.


Level 3 is for experienced Level 2 teacher aides or for those who work with high needs students in special needs schools (also called education support centres, special schools, SSP schools etc.) or other specialist programs. This includes teacher aides who support students with physical disabilities, neurological and learning disorders, and challenging behavioural issues such as ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder).


In these schools, 4-5 TAs may be in a class with a single teacher and 8 or so students - each student having been diagnosed with one or more conditions. The most common disorder being supported by TAs is autism, followed by ADHD and intellectual disability. Level 3 teacher aides are paid the most and earn well in excess of $30 per hour i.e. $32-34 per hour and even higher in some cases.


Most teacher aides work around Level 2 or 3 (70-80%+ at a guess) because the majority of positions in schools require the TA to work with high-needs students - particularly autism. The reason for this is that the money available to a school for teacher aides is calculated based on the number and needs of the school's students. That funding also moves with the student (should the student move school so does the dollars).


For demonstration purposes here is what teacher aides in WA can expect to earn in 2022:

  • $27.06 - $31.36 for mainstream (not special needs)
  • $29.18 - $30.46 for mainstream special needs
  • $32.09 - $33.68 for education support programs (special needs schools)

Source: Education Assistants' Award WA


When you apply for jobs you will also notice that these levels are stated on the job advertisement. The advert below is from the WA government's jobs' board:.

weekly pay as a teacher aide

Do I get paid more if I complete a higher qualification?

Yes, in most cases you will start on a higher level if you hold an education support qualification such as the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support, or complete a qualification when already employed in a school.


Some agreements even state that a relevant education support qualification is required in order to progress beyond a certain pay point.


We recommend that students enrol in the highest qualification possible and in particular in the Teacher Aide Combo. The reasons for this are as follows:

  • Schools rarely hire staff without qualifications.
  • Having higher qualifications builds your self-confidence and helps you to feel like you have mastered your trade.
  • If you don't complete a qualification, how do you know what you don't know?
  • You will learn key instructional skills that you could not learn from experience only. This includes basics such as systematic prompting, explicit instruction and constructivist methods.
  • The higher the qualification the more you will learn and the better you will be able to support students (e.g. better pedagogical knowledge).
  • Even permanent positions can be made redundant – those with higher qualifications are less likely to be moved to another school or made redundant.
  • Staff with qualifications can apply for higher level positions that attract a higher salary such as positions that entail managing learning programs. In some instances, this can place you on a similar salary to some teachers. When these positions become available, you want to be ready.
  • If you ever want to move schools or apply for a new job, the higher the qualification the better as you will be competing against other applicants.
  • While having certain qualifications may not be required now or by your current principal, it is likely to be required in the near future - this has even been discussed in state parliament.

In other words, there are many reasons for why getting the highest qualification possible (or preferably two qualifications) is recommended.

What is the difference between casual, contract and permanent employment?

Casual staff are employed on an ‘as needed’ basis to cover staff who are absent due to reasons such as sickness and annual leave. They are referred to as ‘relief’ or 'supply' staff in most states.


Relief staff are paid a loading of 25% in most cases but do not get any leave entitlements such as annual leave and personal (sick) leave. Many teacher aides begin their career by working relief for a year or so, gaining experience in a range of classrooms, and then applying for contract positions as they come available.


Contact employment means the person is on a short-term contract ranging from a term (10 weeks) to a full year. A contracted employee may be employed to cover a staff member who is on maternity leave, long service leave or to fill a vacancy. They may also cover staff who have left the school or to fill a short-term gap due to an unexpected student enrolment.


Often staff are offered multiple contracts in succession (one after the other) before obtaining the much sort-after ‘permanency’ (meaning a permanent position). Interestingly, the same staffing arrangements apply to teachers, deputy and principal positions as well.


You may want to read the following artice: How to become a teacher aide.

Can I be a teacher aide with no qualifications?

It is possible to become a teacher aide with no qualifications as there are no legal requirements to hold qualifications at this point in time. Staff with no qualifications are sometimes referred to as ‘the mums' brigade’ but these days almost all schools require a qualification such as the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support. In terms of pay, in many states teacher aides are paid more if they have completed and hold a teacher aide qualification.


Learn more by about ITAC’s qualifications including the introductory CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support and the higher level CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support.

About the author

Image of the managing director of ITAC.

ADAM GREEN

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.

Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to check his article for accuracy, information may be outdated, inaccurate or not relevant to you and your situation. This information is not intended to be legal or professional advice. Calculations are often assumptions based on amalgamated or extrapolated figures taken from publically available information. While calculations are presented in table format, comparisons between jurisdictions may not be accurate or valid due to the calculation methed. Users should seek expert advice such as by contacting the relevant education department, should make their own enquiries, and should not rely on any of the information provided for career or financial decisions.

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