5 reasons why you should become an education assistant

Nov 9 2016, 6:37 am

Did you know that there are currently more than 9,800 full-time education assistants working in schools in BC?

According to the provincial government, the number of EAs has increased by 48% in the past 15 years. With nearly one in three classes in BC having an assigned education assistant, it’s clear that special education is a growing field with a positive career outlook.

If you’re looking for a meaningful career working with children and youth, training to be an education assistant (also known as special education assistant), is worth serious consideration. Here are the top five reasons why you, or someone you know, should consider this field.

A rewarding career

The people who are happiest in their careers are often those who find meaning in what they do. Education assistants help children with diverse learning challenges and special needs to thrive in the classroom. EAs have a direct impact on the children they serve, and get to see them grow and achieve individual milestones throughout the year.

Valued member of the school community



Education is a team effort. EAs are valued members of a multidisciplinary team, which includes teachers, resource teachers, parents, and medical professionals. The group works together on Individual Education Plans, setting goals for each student and collaborating on the implementation of the plan.

Education assistants redefine the classroom

Every child is different, so education assistants must use creative strategies to help their students succeed. A leader in Education Assistant training, Capilano University’s Education Assistant program emphasizes a variety of high-tech and low-tech strategies that can be used to enhance learning and communication for students. For example, Capilano U grad Kathy Purves integrates technology like an iPad as well as outdoor learning for her non-verbal students.

Hours and compensation

Like teachers, education assistants work school hours, so when the kids are on vacation, so are you. With summer, spring break, and winter holidays off, you’ll have more time to do other things. Hours are flexible, with school districts looking to fill full-time, part-time and on-call positions. Curious what an EA gets paid? You’ll find details about compensation on the Make a Future website, a resource for careers in B.C. education.

Part-time options

Education assistant programs are often offered part-time, making it possible to start training as an EA without leaving your current job. At Capilano University, classes take place two evenings a week and some Saturdays. The program can be completed in only 20 months, and includes a hands-on practicum in a school.

If this sounds like the ideal career for you, come to an information meeting at Capilano’s North Vancouver or Sunshine Coast campus next week.

Education Assistant program information meeting

North Vancouver campus

When: Tuesday, November 15, 6 to 8 pm

Where: Capilano University, Fir building, room FR211, 2055 Purcell Way, North Vancouver

Sunshine Coast campus

When: Wednesday, November 16, 4 to 6 pm

Where: Capilano University, room 120, 5627 Inlet Avenue, Sechelt

Or, you can also attend the Explore Capilano Info Night, Capilano University’s general information night. You’ll learn about dozens of programs, including the Education Assistant program.

Explore Capilano Info Night

When: Wednesday, November 23, 6 to 8:30 pm
Where: Capilano University, Birch building, main floor, 2055 Purcell Way, North Vancouver, BC

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