Education Commission of the States • 700 Broadway, Suite 810 • Denver, CO 80203-3442 • 303.299.3600 • Fax: 303.296.8332 • www.ecs.org
50-State Scan of Instructional Paraprofessional Certification Requirements

Research for this Database Updated July, 2006

Source: This data was collected directly from DOE websites, local Administrative Code, General State Statutes, etc., at the state level. Links to all sources are listed and the collected information was verified by the appropriate paraprofessional, Title I or certification expert from each state.

Certification Requirements for All Instructional Paraprofessionals Are Title I Certification Requirements for Instructional Paraprofessionals Different than the Certification Requirements for All Instructional Paraprofessionals? Do Title I Instructional Paraprofessionals Need to be Certified?
Alabama None
  • N/A
  • No
  • Alaska None
  • N/A
  • No
  • Arizona None
  • N/A
  • No
  • Arkansas None
  • N/A
  • No
  • California None
  • N/A
  • No
  • Colorado None
  • N/A
  • No
  • Connecticut None
  • N/A
  • No
  • Delaware Title I paraprofessionals are required to hold a Title I Paraeducator Permit as outlined in the Delaware Administrative Code.

    Additionally, all Instructional Paraeducators and Service Paraeducators must hold the appropriate Permit. The Department issues a Permit to an Instructional Paraeducator applicant or a Service Paraeducator applicant for whom the district, charter school, or other employing authority has submitted a Department approved application form and who provides evidence of a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent.

    Notwithstanding the above, Instructional Paraeducators and Service Paraeducators hired before February 11, 2004 and who do not have a high school diploma may be issued the applicable permit, which expires June 30, 2006 unless evidence of a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent is provided prior thereto.

    If such evidence is provided prior to June 30, 2006, the Permit expires five years from the date of issuance and may be renewed.

    Source: DAC, 14:1584.3

  • Yes
  • Yes
  • District of Columbia
  • No information found.
  • No information found.
  • No information found.
  • Florida None
  • No
  • No
  • Georgia ALL Georgia Paraprofessionals must hold a valid state certificate issued by the Professional Standards Commission.
    • The applicant must be employed as a paraprofessional in a Georgia school system. The request for issuance of the certificate must be submitted electronically to the PSC from the employing school system utilizing procedures found on the PSC web site.
    • The applicant must hold at least a high school diploma or GED equivalent and satisfy all other federal hiring requirements appropriate to designated positions and phase-in time lines outlined by ESEA.
    • Completion of a PSC-approved Paraprofessional Preparation Program shall also satisfy ESEA hiring requirements.
    • Employing school systems are responsible for ensuring that all applicable Federal ESEA hiring requirements are met.
    • Paraprofessionals are NOT required to satisfy the Computer Skill Competency component of the Special Georgia Requirements.

    The Clear Renewable Paraprofessional certificate is valid for 5 years and can be renewed, if the applicant is employed as a paraprofessional in a Georgia school system, with:

    • 6 semester hours of college course work or 10 credits of Georgia Professional Learning Units (PLUs) or 10 credits of Continuing Education Units (see rule for acceptable credit and units); and,
    • A criminal record check.

    Source: GA COMP. R. & REGS. 505-2-.11, 505-2-.24

  • No
  • Yes
  • Hawaii None
  • N/A
  • No
  • Idaho None
  • N/A
  • No
  • Illinois Service as a paraprofessional requires a statement of approval issued by the State Board of Education, in consultation with the State Teacher Certification Board. Paraprofessionals first employed in programs for students with disabilities on or before June 30, 2005, shall be subject to this requirement as of July 1, 2007.

    Each individual who is required to hold a statement of approval shall submit an application to the State Superintendent of Education, accompanied by evidence that he or she meets the requirements listed below. Each individual who wishes to serve as a paraprofessional in a targeted assistance program and is paid with federal funds provided under Title I, Part A, or in a school-wide program that is supported with such funds shall submit an application for approval accompanied by evidence that he or she meets the heightened requirements expected of title I paraprofessionals. Each applicant who qualifies shall be issued a statement of approval, which shall indicate whether it applies to programs supported with federal Title I, Part A, funds. Each paraprofessional shall hold a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent. To receive approval to serve as a Teacher Aide, an individual shall :

    • Complete 30 semester hours of college credit at a regionally accredited institution of higher education; or
    • Complete an approved paraprofessional training program; or
    • Pass the ParaPro test offered by Education Testing Services (ETS) with at least the score identified by the State Board of Education in consultation with the State Teacher Certification Board; or
    • Pass the Work Keys test offered by ACT with at least the score identified by the State Board of Education or the State Teacher Certification Board and present verification by the employing district or other entity that the individual’s classroom performance was observed as part of a formal evaluation that yielded a satisfactory rating or the individual’s classroom performance was observed prior to employment and the districts representative has concluded that the individual was effective in performing the assigned duties.

    Source: IAC 25.510(b)

  • N/A
  • No
  • Indiana None
  • N/A
  • No
  • Iowa Iowa paraeducator certificates are a requirement and are issued when the application is filed on a form provided by the board of educational examiners. An applicant for an initial paraeducator certificate who completes the paraeducator preparation program from a recognized Iowa paraeducator approved program shall have the recommendation from the designated certifying official at the recognized area education agency, local education agency, community college, or institution of higher education where the preparation was completed. A recognized Iowa paraeducator approved program is one which has its program of preparation approved by the state board of education according to standards established by the board. A certificate is valid only from and after the date of issuance. The paraeducator certificate is valid for five years.

    Source: Iowa Administrative Code 282.21

  • No
  • Yes
  • Kansas None
  • N/A
  • No
  • Kentucky None
  • N/A
  • No
  • Louisiana None
  • N/A
  • No
  • Maine The term used for "certification" of Educational Technicians in Maine is "authorization". There are three levels of authorization for the increasing levels of responsibility of Educational Technicians.

    General Eligibility Individuals authorized by the Department of Education must meet the following general qualifications:

    • Be of good moral character;
    • Be at least 18 years of age;
    • Submit an application in accordance with Section 3.1 of this rule;
    • Meet the preparation requirements for the authorization sought from this Section; and
    • Satisfactorily complete a Criminal History Records Check.

    Specific Eligibility Requirements

    • Educational Technician I: hold a high school diploma or GED.
    • Educational Technician II: document a minimum of 60 credits of approved study in an educationally related field; or, for career and technical education authorization, document a minimum of two years of paid applied employment within the field of assignment.
    • Educational Technician III: document a minimum of 90 credits of approved study in an educationally related field; or, for career and technical education authorization, document a minimum of three years of paid applied employment within the field of assignment.
    • Eligibility Exception for Educational Technician II and III Individuals who were designated as an Educational Technician II or III at the time of the transition to the system of authorization of educational technicians without meeting the minimum preparation requirements may continue to hold this authorization under the following conditions:
      1. The individual continues to be employed in the same school administrative unit or approved private school;
      2. The individual has no interruption in service, excluding normal school vacations and paid leave; and
      3. The position held is not subject to additional federal requirements.

    Educational technician authorization is valid for a five-year term.

    Source: MABE, 115.1.10

  • No
  • Yes
  • Maryland None
  • N/A
  • No
  • Massachusetts None
  • N/A
  • No
  • Michigan None
  • N/A
  • No
  • Minnesota Section 15 [Credential for Education Paraprofessionals]of the Minnesota Omnibus Education Bill implements the following three subdivisions:

    • Subdivision 1 requires the Board of Teaching to adopt rules implementing statewide credential for education paraprofessionals.
    • Subdivision 2 requires paraprofessionals to have training in students' characteristics, support, academic instructional skills, managing student behavior, and ethical practices.
    • Subdivision 3 requires paraprofessionals, prior to working with students, to receive initial training in various school and operational policies.

    Source: MSL S.F. No. 1528 - E-12

  • No
  • Yes
  • Mississippi None
  • N/A
  • No
  • Missouri Although there are no state certification requirements for paraprofessionals, paras that are paid by Title 1 funds have long been required to have 60 hours of college credit. Now, all paras in school-wide Title 1 schools who were hired after Jan. 8, 2002, must have completed two years of college study or be able to demonstrate their knowledge and ability through a formal assessment. Paras who were employed before Jan. 8, 2002, will have four years to meet the new requirements.
  • N/A
  • No
  • Montana None
  • N/A
  • No
  • Nebraska None
  • N/A
  • No
  • Nevada None
  • N/A
  • No
  • New Hampshire Certification in the state of New Hampshire is optional, not required. To be certified as a paraeducator, an individual must meet the following entry level requirements relative to education and experience:
    • Possess a high school degree or GED equivalent; and
    • Meet one of the following requirements:
      1. Hold an associates’ or higher degree from an institution of higher education;
      2. Have a minimum of 2 years of study at an institution of higher education; or
      3. Demonstrate a knowledge of and ability to assist in the instruction of reading, writing, or mathematics or reading readiness, writing readiness, or math readiness, as evidenced by a formal assessment managed by the department and administered by the department, the department’s agent(s), or the local district

    Certification as a paraeducator lasts for a period of 3 years. The certification can be renewed, provided the candidate for renewal:

    • Is recommended in writing by the superintendent to the administrator as having met the requirements; or
    • Complies with the requirements as demonstrated by a certificate of continuing education or a transcript which:
      1. Is issued by the institution providing such education; and
      2. Documents that the candidate has completed continuing education courses totaling at least 50 clock hours.

    Source: NHER, 504.05 (a)

  • No
  • No
  • New Jersey None
  • N/A
  • No
  • New Mexico New Mexico has a multi-tiered paraprofessional licensure framework. Persons that wish to serve as educational assistants must at least have earned a Level I License. All Educational Assistants (EAs) assisting in instruction in Title I programs must hold a New Mexico Level III Paraprofessional Educational Assistant license, as enacted by the legislature of the State of New Mexico.

    NMSA, 22-10A-17.1

  • Yes
  • Yes
  • New York Any candidate employed as a teaching assistant shall hold one of the following credentials:

    • Temporary license,
    • Continuing certificate,
    • Level I teaching assistant certificate,
    • Level II teaching assistant certificate,
    • Level III teaching assistant certificate, or a
    • Pre-professional teaching assistant certificate.

    Source: NY SDE, Section 80-5.6

  • Yes
  • Yes
  • North Carolina None
  • N/A
  • No
  • North Dakota Paraprofessionals providing instructional support in a program supported with title I funds and paraprofessionals serving students with disabilities, except paraprofessionals providing services only in the speech-language pathology discipline, must hold the North Dakota certificate of completion for their respective discipline.

    Source: NDAC 67-11-14-01

  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Ohio Currently, in Ohio, the educational aide permit, valid for working with learners under the supervision of a fully licensed educator, shall be issued to an individual deemed to be of good moral character, who has a high school diploma or the equivalent, and who has been recommended by the employing school district, in accordance with the Ohio Administrative Code.

    The educational aide permit will continue to be issued as defined above for ALL educational aides in Ohio. However, paraprofessionals who have instructional duties in targeted assistance schools and schoolwide Title I buildings must meet the additional requirements of No Child Left Behind (effective Jan. 8, 2002).

    Source: OHAC, 3301-25

  • No
  • Yes
  • Oklahoma Although paraprofessionals are not required to be certified, they can obtain a Title I paraprofessional credential in the following way.
    • Have a high school diploma or a General Educational Development (GED) Diploma;
    • Meet a career development paraprofessional program approved by the State Board of Education; and
    • Has on file with the Board a current Oklahoma criminal history record from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation as well as a national fingerprint-based criminal history record provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Upon receipt of the Oklahoma criminal history record, the Board may issue a temporary credential which shall be effective until receipt of the national fingerprint-based criminal history record. The person applying for a credential shall be responsible for the cost of the criminal history records.

    Source: OKAC,210-20

  • N/A
  • No
  • Oregon The Oregon Department of Education does not require that paraprofessionals be certified, but does, however, outline the following requirements.

    A teacher aide shall:

    • Have a high school diploma or such knowledge and experience determined by the local district superintendent to be sufficient to function as an educational assistant.
    • Have standards of moral character as required of teachers.

    Source: OAR, 581-037-0006

  • N/A
  • No
  • Pennsylvania None
  • N/A
  • No
  • Puerto Rico
  • No information found.
  • No information found.
  • No information found.
  • Rhode Island Although teacher assistants do not need to be certified, they are required to be qualified. The Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) ensures that teacher assistants are qualified through a process other than certification. This process includes:
    • Approving the pre-employment teacher assistant training programs that teacher assistants are required to take (for persons hired after January 1, 1999).
    • Requiring employers (school districts and related educational programs) to ensure that teacher assistants meet the above qualifications as established in state and federal law;
    • Having in place monitoring and enforcement procedures for ensuring that employers’ personnel policies and procedures comply with teacher assistant qualifications requirements.

    Source: RIGA, § 16-11.2-2

  • No
  • No
  • South Carolina None
  • N/A
  • No
  • South Dakota The Department of Education grants certificates to paraprofessionals once they have met the appropriate qualification requirements.

    The data on these paraprofessionals are gathered in the PRF data collection system. However, only those paraprofessionals who are currently working in a Title I program will be listed. From the PRF system, the list of paraprofessionals is generated and certificates are issued to those who have achieved the “qualified” status.

    Source: SDDOE, 200.58

  • Yes
  • No
  • Tennessee None
  • N/A
  • No
  • Texas Each person employed in Texas public schools as an educational aide (instructional paraprofessional) must be certified according to requirements established by the State Board for Educator Certification.

    School districts use the following guidelines to assign educational aides.

    An educational aide I: is assigned and performs routine tasks under the direction and supervision of a certified teacher or teaching team; releases the teacher from routine tasks and participates in selecting, planning, organizing, and evaluating; helps the teacher with clerical operations; helps the teacher supervise students in routine movement from one recreational activity to another; helps supervise the playground, bus, and lunchroom; helps the teacher prepare and use instructional media; duplicates instructional materials for teachers; performs classroom clerical operations under the supervision of a certified teacher; or performs equivalent activities determined by the local school district.

    An educational aide II: is assigned and performs tasks under the general supervision of a certified teacher or teaching team; releases the teacher from routine tasks and participates in selecting, planning, organizing, and evaluating; helps the teacher prepare and use instructional materials; conducts drills and exercises as directed by the teacher; helps administer and score objective measurement instruments; helps the teacher work with individual students and groups; duplicates materials; records grades and attendance; prepares instructional aids, including displays and mockups; assists with play area activities; helps operate and use educational media; assists with testing routines; works with individual students in drills and exercises; conducts group drills and exercises; assists students with programmed or precise units of instruction; or performs equivalent activities determined by the local school district.

    An educational aide III: performs and assumes responsibility for tasks under the general guidance of a certified teacher or teaching team; releases the teacher from routine tasks and participates in selecting, planning, organizing, and evaluating; helps the teacher implement methodology and use instructional media to yield an educational environment for all students; assists the teacher with instructional activities; works with individuals or groups of students in a variety of educational experiences; relieves the teacher of selected exercises and instructional drills with students; or performs equivalent activities determined by the local school district.

    An applicant for an educational aide I certificate must:

    • Be a high school graduate or hold a general education diploma (GED) certificate; and
    • Have experience working with students or parents as approved by the employing superintendent. Experience may be work in church related schools, day camps, youth groups, private schools, licensed day-care centers, or similar experience.

    An applicant for an educational aide II certificate must:

    • Be a high school graduate or hold a general education diploma (GED) certificate;
    • Have satisfied one of the following requirements:
      1. Have two creditable years of experience, as an educational aide I; or
      2. Have a minimum of 15 semester hours of college credit with some emphasis on child growth and development or related subject areas; or
      3. Have demonstrated proficiency in a specialized skill area as determined by the local school district; and
      4. Have experience working with students or parents as approved by the employing superintendent.

    An applicant for an educational aide III certificate must:

    • Be a high school graduate or hold a general education diploma (GED) certificate;
    • Have satisfied one of the following requirements:
      1. Have three creditable years of experience, as either an educational aide I or II; or
      2. Have 30 semester hours of college credit with some emphasis on child growth and development or related subject areas; and
      3. Have experience working with students or parents as approved by the employing superintendent.

    Source: TXAC §230.551

  • No
  • Yes
  • Utah None
  • N/A
  • No
  • Vermont
  • No information found.
  • N/A
  • No
  • Virgin Islands None
  • N/A
  • No
  • Virginia None
  • N/A
  • No
  • Washington None
  • N/A
  • No
  • West Virginia A Paraprofessional Certificate is issued to a person who has completed:

    • The general requirements specified in WVBE, Policy 5202; and
    • The conditions for issuance identified in WVBE, Policy 5202.

    The Paraprofessional Certificate entitles the holder to serve in a support capacity including, but not limited to, facilitating the instruction and direct or indirect supervision of pupils under the direction of an educator.

    The Permanent Paraprofessional Certificate shall continue to be valid unless surrendered, suspended or revoked.

    The applicant for licensure must submit evidence of satisfying 36 semester hours of post-secondary education or its equivalent in the studies outlined in WVBE, Policy 5202.

    Source: WVBE, ‘126-139-12.1.3 (a) – (i).

  • No
  • Yes
  • Wisconsin None
  • N/A
  • No
  • Wyoming None
  • N/A
  • No


  • The collection and analysis of this database is supported by The National Center for Teacher Transformation based at St. Petersburg College, Florida.

    For questions, comments or changes, please contact Angela Baber at 303.299.3655 or ababer@ecs.org. To request permission to excerpt part of this publication, either in print or electronically, please fax a request to the attention of the ECS Communications Department, 303.296.8332 or e-mail ecs@ecs.org.


    © 2013 by the Education Commission of the States (ECS). All rights reserved. ECS is the only nationwide, nonpartisan interstate compact devoted to education.
    To request permission to excerpt part of this publication, either in print or electronically, please fax a request to the attention of the ECS Communications Department, 303.296.8332 or e-mail ecs@ecs.org.
    Helping State Leaders Shape Education Policy