Free vs Paid Teacher’s Aide Courses: The Difference Explained
If you work well in an education environment, there’s no reason to ever leave it. Why not pursue a career in the classroom? You don’t necessarily need to invest in higher education by pursuing a Bachelor of Education. If you’re a supportive person that loves to learn and communicates well with young people, why not pursue a full-time career as a Teacher Aide?
Studying education support will equip you with the skills you need for managing a classroom environment. There are many course options available online, depending on what you’re looking to get out of your studies, how much time you’re willing to commit, and how much you’re willing to pay.
If you’re interested in pursuing a career in teaching assistance and community education, but not ready to commit by dishing out the cash yet, there are options without the course fees. There are self-paced educational programs available online, designed to enrich your understanding of education support. There are no entry requirements, so you can get started right away.
These courses typically use online module programs so that you can learn:
These free teacher’s aide courses are great if you want to cover the basics of education support. Most courses can be completed in just a few hours. So if you have a spare afternoon and you’re just looking to dip your toes in, these modules will give you a good idea if this is the right career path for you.
But if you feel ready to commit to a career in teaching assistant work, a paid course is more suitable.
This is not only because a paid course will cover more ground in terms of your learning, but also because certification is essential once you start looking for work.
If you’re Australian, a Certificate III in Education Support (CHC30213) is the minimum qualification you will need to get qualified as a Teacher Aide. Getting certified with an Education Support course will legally allow you to work as a Teacher’s Aide or Education Assistant/Officer. If you get the dual qualification with a Certificate IV in Education Support (CHC40213), you can specialise in your field and work as a Special Needs Teacher’s Aide, Inclusion Support Aide or Education Support Worker. This certification is necessary for your future employment.
No matter what your experience is, you can enrol in a Certificate III & IV in Education Support, as the program has no formal entry requirements. The course can be completed entirely online, over 24 months, and offers RPL: recognition of prior learning.
The TAFE coursework goes into further detail than free courses, so that you can expand your skills and learn how to:
To get certified in these areas, TAFE requires you to complete 100 hours of work placement. While that might sound intimidating in numbers, work placement is one of the bonuses of a paid course. Work placement allows you the time and space to develop your skills effectively and well. Imagine having only completed a free online course in a few hours, and then jumping into your first day of work.
You would have no idea what to do! Having completed your mandatory work placement through the Certificate III & IV, you can ease your way into it, in a comfortable learning environment and someone to call on if you get stuck.
TAFE institutions offer this kind of student support throughout your entire program, with technical advisors, assessors and support officers available if you need to voice any concerns or have something to enquire.
While a free online course can still be a great option if you’re short of time or cash, there’s no doubt that you get what you pay for. If you’re looking to commit to your new career in education support and want to envision yourself as a Teacher Aide, it’s worthwhile enrolling in a registered course.
There are payment plans available if paying upfront is your concern. More importantly, the reason these certified programs are worthwhile is that they’re developed by industry professionals.
Enrolling with the professionals means you can be sure that you’re getting equipped with up-to-date, job-ready skills, ensuring that you feel your absolute best on your first day on the job.