New York State Certification, Professional Development
February 11, 2014

Fact Sheet: 14-1 Certification Requirements for Teaching Assistants

Source: NYSUT Research and Educational Services


In February 2004, the NYS Education Department implemented new regulations governing the certification of Teaching Assistants in NYS to reflect the policy initiatives of the Board of Regents.  These policy initiatives increased the preparation requirements for teaching assistants and created a career ladder for teaching assistants. 

This Fact Sheet focuses on certification requirements for teaching assistants post February 2004.  It also summarizes the duties of teacher aides and teaching assistants in the areas of employment, job duties, licensing and certification, including New York State laws and regulations governing each area.  Finally, it addresses the most frequently asked questions related to certification and licensure.

The document is provided for general information purposes only.  An official response on the interpretation of certification regulations or the determination of individual certification status can only be obtained from the Office of Teaching Initiatives of the New York State Education Department.

Teacher Aides

According to Education Law, Section 3009 (2)(a):

A teacher aide is appointed by a board of education to assist teachers “in the performance of their teaching functions by performing those non-teaching duties (emphasis added) otherwise performed by such regular teacher or teachers.”

Commissioner’s Regulations, Section 80 – 5.6, Supplementary School Personnel, describe the duties of a teacher aide.  They include:

  • Managing records, materials and equipment;
  • Attending to the physical needs of children; and
  • Supervising students, and performing such other non-teaching duties which support teaching when such services are determined and supervised by the teacher.

Teacher aides are classified employees, whose employment rights are governed by Civil Service Law.  They are not subject to licensure and certification requirements under Education Law.