Can you negotiate pay as an instructional assistant/para?

Discussion in 'Paraprofessionals' started by Brandon Sanders, Dec 31, 2019.

  1. Dec 31, 2019

    Hi! I’m new here. I have a question about pay for classified employees.

    I have an interview on Thursday for an instructional assistant position, but the pay is absolute crap. The district posted the starting pay for the position on the job posting, but I’m wondering if you can, or should, negotiate pay. I’m asking because I do hold a teaching certification, so I feel like I’d have more to offer than someone who doesn’t have a degree in education, and therefore deserve more than $11.33 an hour.

    Am I wrong for thinking this way? Should it be something that is brought up in the interview?

    Any advice?

    Tired Teacher likes this.
  3. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Connoisseur

    Jul 31, 2019
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    Dec 31, 2019

    Yes, if they want you, they will pay more. You have to do it when they 1st hire you/ before you sign if you are in a union state. The way they will do it is count your academic training and experiences as steps up at the "get go." You may have to offer evidence of other things too that you have accomplished.
    $11.33 an hr for a certified teacher is garbage. If you are in a hard to get into district and are doing it to get your foot in the door, I can see doing it for a yr to see if it helps you. If it doesn't, I'd go somewhere else. I left a state years ago to get experience. Then came back years later. It still was not easy, but found a job. Around here, you have to wait until some1 dies or retires to get a job usually.
    Brandon Sanders likes this.
  4. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

    Jul 19, 2014
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    Dec 31, 2019

    You can try to negotiate pay, but don't be surprised if they don't budge too much. You are over qualified for the job you are applying for, and they will know that. The truth is that there are a lot of people who can do instructional assistant positions for exactly what is offered, and that is your competition. They will also know, through past experience, that hiring a certified teacher who doesn't like the pay straight away is not likely to be happy in the position in the long run. To their way of thinking, a less educated candidate who will learn the job exactly as they want it done probably has more potential as staying long term. There can be lots of reasons to take a job that is below you for the short term, but you do have to be honest about whether you see this as a career or just a way to get a teaching job in the district. Be honest with yourself first, so you can be honest with the hiring committee. If you need, really NEED this job, you will ask about the possibility of a bump up due to your certification, but if you don't get the answer you are hoping for, assure them you will do the job exactly as they have presented it, without any bad feelings. If you are looking for the foot in the door, you will have to decide whether or not this is the job you want them to see you at, because being seen as an instructional assistant may leave you always looking like an instructional assistant to them. Just something to consider. If the job is full time and has benefits that you need, that will be a consideration, too. Good luck.
    czacza and Brandon Sanders like this.

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