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New York State requirements for paraprofessionals

In order to be permanently appointed as a paraprofessional you must hold a New York State Education Department Teaching Assistant Certificate Level 1.

Once you are employed by the DOE as a paraprofessional (also known as “teaching assistants” in many other New York State school districts) you must meet additional requirements to continue your employment.

  • By the end of your third year of service, complete nine college credits and apply to the SED for your Teaching Certificate Level II.
  • By the end of your sixth year of service, complete 18 college credits and apply to the SED for your Teaching Certificate Level III. Credit By Examination

Your first professional development period begins on July 1 following the effective date of your Level III Teaching Assistant certificate. A professional year is July 1 to June 30. You must complete 75 hours of professional development every five years. This maintains the validity of the certificate and allows you to continue to work for the DOE.

How to apply for your Teaching Assistant certificates for Levels I, II and III:

  • You must complete the application online at this website.
  • If you are already registered with TEACH, the online certification registry, click “Log in to TEACH.” If you are not yet registered, click “Selfregister with TEACH” and follow the instructions to register.
  • Complete the basic profile and then click to apply for the certificate.


  • Select area of interest — OTHER SCHOOL SERVICE
  • Grade-level — Pre-K to 12, All Grades
  • Title — Teaching assistant
  • Type of certificate — Level (the level you are applying for)
  • Complete the application and pay the fee online using a credit card. Print the transaction summary and receipt of payment. Keep this print out for your records.
  • Put your Social Security number on all of your documents and include a note that you have applied via the TEACH online system and to kindly update your account as soon as possible.
  • Mail (by certified mail with a return receipt) all official transcripts and additional documents such as a copy of your high school diploma (or GED certificate) to:

New York State Education Department
The Office of Teaching Initiatives
Building, 5N-EB
89 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12234

  • If you have difficulties with the online system, call the TEACH hotline at 1-518-486-6041.
  • Check the status of your application regularly and continue to update your work experience.
  • If you are applying for an SED Teaching Assistant Certificate Level 1, you will need to submit an OSPRA 104 form to the DOE. You can find the form here. This will authorize the city to release the results of your fingerprinting to the state.
  • If you need more information, call your UFT borough office educational liaison.
Related Topics: Chapter News, Certification