Job prospects Elementary School Teacher's Aide in Ontario

Job opportunities for Elementary and secondary school teacher assistants (NOC 4413) are limited in Ontario over the next 3 years. These job prospects are also applicable to people working as an elementary school teacher's aide.

Note that these employment prospects were published in December 2019 based on information available at that time. You can read our new special report to learn about the impact of COVID-19 on some occupations in your province or territory. You can also visit the Canadian Online Job Posting Dashboard to find the latest data on the demand and work requirements for this occupation.

Job opportunities in Ontario

elementary school teacher's aide
Prospects over the next 3 years

The employment outlook will be limited for Elementary and secondary school teacher assistants (NOC 4413) in Ontario for the 2019-2021 period.

The following factors contributed to this outlook:

  • Employment growth will lead to a moderate number of new positions.
  • Several positions will become available due to retirements.

The majority of teacher assistants work in elementary and secondary schools. Recent investments in public schools may create some job opportunities, for those working with special needs students faring better over the forecast period. However, previous cuts to staff are expected to moderate job opportunities for teacher assistants over the forecast period.

The Ontario government announced a new education plan in March 2019 that will increase average class size limits for secondary schools from 22 students to 28. The average funded class size in Ontario for grades 9 to 12 will be increased from 22 to 28 students per teacher. In elementary grades, the average funded class size for grades 4 to 8 will be increased from 23.9 to 24.5 students per teacher. School operations funding granted to the 70+ school boards in Ontario has been adjusted downwards accordingly, as the average provincial per-pupil funding is projected to be $12,246 in 2019/20, a decrease of 0.4% from 2018/19.

Correspondingly, the Ontario government is projecting there will be a decrease of 3,475 teaching jobs on a net basis over the next four years, in a move that will save an estimated $851 million. The provincial government has recommended school boards delay hiring new teachers, as the current number of redundancy and/or layoff letters that have been issued to elementary and secondary school teachers total approximately 2,000 as of May 2019, while other positions in the education sector are being negatively impacted as well. However, the education ministry is introducing a $1.6 billion Attrition Protection Allocation fund for up to four years to protect front-line staff impacted by the proposed changes to class sizes, possibly allowing school boards to protect teachers from layoffs due to the reduced funding allocations.

While employment of teacher assistants has grown in Ontario over the past decade, candidates in the field should expect more opportunities in part-time, occasional, and temporary work. Work opportunities for elementary and secondary school teacher assistants are less abundant in the summer months due to the slowdown in school activities in this period.

Employers may prefer candidates with a college diploma or other postsecondary education in relevant fields such as Educational Assistant, Developmental Services, Early Childhood Education and Child and Youth Care. Certifications in CPR, First Aid, and Crisis Prevention may also be required. Teacher assistants working with special needs students require postsecondary education in a relevant field and may need to demonstrate additional skills such as knowledge of sign language, Braille, assistive/adaptive devices, and special education techniques.

Educational Assistant is considered a voluntary skilled trade in Ontario. According to Ontario Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology survey data from 2012/2013 to 2016/2017, 59% of the graduates of the two-year Educational Assistant program were employed as a teacher assistant within six months of graduation. In addition, 38% of the graduates from the Educational Resources and Special Needs program were employed as teacher assistants within six months of graduation. Retirements are still expected to generate some employment opportunities in this occupation over the next few years, as the age profile of occupation is slightly older than the general Ontario workforce.

Here are some key facts about Elementary and secondary school teacher assistants in the Ontario region:

  • Approximately 38,600 people work in this occupation.
  • Elementary and secondary school teacher assistants mainly work in the following sectors:
    • Elementary and secondary schools (NAICS 6111):more than 95%
  • The distribution of full-time and part-time workers in this occupation is:
    • Full-time workers: 61% compared to 79% for all occupations
    • Part-time workers: 39% compared to 21% for all occupations
  • 17% of elementary and secondary school teacher assistants work all year, while 83% work only part of the year, compared to 63% and 37% respectively among all occupations. Those who worked only part of the year did so for an average of 37 weeks compared to 31 weeks for all occupations.
  • Less than 5% of elementary and secondary school teacher assistants are self-employed compared to an average of 12% for all occupations.
  • Breakdown by region

    Explore job prospects in Ontario by economic region.

    Location Job prospects
    Hamilton–Niagara Peninsula Region Limited Limited
    Kingston–Pembroke Region Limited Limited
    Kitchener–Waterloo–Barrie Region Limited Limited
    London Region Limited Limited
    Muskoka–Kawarthas Region Limited Limited
    Northeast Region Limited Limited
    Northwest Region Limited Limited
    Ottawa Region Limited Limited
    Stratford–Bruce Peninsula Region Limited Limited
    Toronto Region Limited Limited
    Windsor-Sarnia Region Limited Limited
    Legend: The job opportunities can be: Undetermined Limited Fair Good

    Source Labour Market Information | Prospects Methodology

    You can also look at this data on a map. Go to LMI Explore

    Job prospects elsewhere in Canada

    We expect that the labour supply and demand for Elementary and secondary school teacher assistants (NOC 4413) will be balanced in Canada over the next 10 years.

    Learn more

Labour Market Information Survey
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