Education Assistants

Support Roles in the Classroom

Education Assistants (EAs) work with teachers to support students with diverse learning challenges, and special needs.  The positions within this classification varies from more general positions to specialized roles such as Autism support workers, severe behaviour worker, and sign language interpreters.

Education Assistants who support students with special needs are also known as Special Education Assistants (SEAS).  The supports they provide include behaviour management, curriculum implementation, social skills development, personal care and physical assistance.

SEAs may work with a school based team including teachers, parents, and medical professionals to support a student’s physical, emotional, and learning needs.  They also help to implement individualized education plan (IEP) designed to help students thrive in the classroom.

Qualifications and Certification Details

For general education assistant roles, certificates or diplomas from recognized college programs are required.  For roles supporting students with particular needs or challenges, additional training in a particular area may be required. For example:

  • Classroom and Community Support Worker Program
  • Special Education Assistant Certificate
  • Special Needs Worker Program
  • American Sign-Language
  • Applied Behaviour Analysis Therapy

Typical job titles within this classification may also include:

  • Teacher Assistant
  • Special Education Assistant
  • Autism Support Worker
  • Severe Behaviour Worker
  • Sign Language Interpreter
  • Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA) Therapist


Education Assistants in BC’s K-12 Education Sector are members of their local support staff union. The terms of employment, including hours of work, will vary depending on the district, the collective agreement, and the type of position held by the employee.

Some districts have applied for and received temporary labour market adjustment hourly increases for specific positions to address the recruitment and retention difficulty of certain position; these adjustments are not reflected in the wages below.

The following are salary estimates based on data from August 1, 2009. Salaries and hourly rates vary from district to district.

Teaching Assistant$17.21 – $25.93$21.99
Special Education Assistant$18.91 – $27.00$23.52
Child and Youth Care Worker$18.49 – $31.16$24.65
Aboriginal Support Worker$16.27 – $28.61$22.92
Child and Youth Care Worker$18.49 – $31.16$24.65
StrongStart Facilitator$22.71 – $25.00$23.90
Visual Language Interpreter$19.01 – $28.12$23.48
Noon Hour Supervisor$14.85 – $25.25$19.17

Training and Educational Programs

The following are post-secondary institutions offering certified education assistant or special education assistant training in BC.

Employment Opportunities

Find Education Assistant and SEA jobs on under the ‘support’ position category.

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