Paraprofessionals and Substitute Paraprofessionals

To become a full-time paraprofessional for the New York City Department of Education (DOE), you must first become a substitute paraprofessional, and serve at least 25 days in that role. You must also have the New York State Teaching Assistant certificate.

If you are currently employed as a substitute paraprofessional with the NYCDOE, please visit the Substitute Paraprofessionals page on the Employee InfoHub.

Substitute Paraprofessionals


Substitute paraprofessionals are contacted on an as-needed basis to cover absences reported by school-based full-time paraprofessionals. They help:

  • Teachers with class work
  • With the daily care of students who have:
    • emotional special needs
    • cognitive disabilities
    • physical handicaps
    • autism
    • other special needs

Their responsibilities may include, but are not limited to:

  • One-on-one or small group instruction, as outlined by the teacher
  • Reinforcing behavior through the use of positive behavior support
  • Teaching daily living skills such as independent feeding, dressing, toileting
  • Aiding occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech therapists and adaptive physical education providers during instruction
  • Guiding and assisting students in small group instruction settings with class routines and in transitioning from one activity to the next
  • Teaching students, under the direction of a teacher, in:
    • Recreation
    • Motor
    • Vocational
    • Socialization
    • Communication
  • Assisting students with ambulation:
    • within the school premises
    • on class trips
  • Lifting, feeding, toileting and diapering after receiving appropriate training
  • Collecting data documenting student behavior for instructional purposes
  • Writing anecdotal reports concerning student behavior
  • Providing language assistance for bilingual students

Pay Rate and Incentives

Substitute Paraprofessionals are paid at the contractual rate of $166.67 (as of May 14th, 2021), for actual days worked. They do not receive any benefits.

Eligibility Requirements

In order to apply for a Substitute Paraprofessional position, you must have, at least:

  • An online nomination by a school Principal
  • A high school diploma (or its recognized equivalent, e.g., GED).
  • Proficiency in reading, writing and speaking the English language
  • Authorization to work in the USA

Please Note: IEP Diplomas are not equivalent to a High School Diplomas.

Substitute Paraprofessionals are represented by the United Federation of Teachers (UFT).

The Hiring Process

Substitute Paraprofessional Nominations are now open for the 2022-2023 school year. If you are interested in becoming a Substitute Paraprofessional, contact the school(s) of your choice directly to inquire about obtaining a nomination.

Bilingual Candidates who are interested in serving as a Substitute Paraprofessional, who are not nominated by a principal, may complete the Bilingual Substitute Paraprofessional Interest Survey for further consideration. Please note that this interest survey is for fully bilingual candidates only and it does not guarantee a nomination as a Substitute Paraprofessional. We encourage bilingual candidates who complete this survey to continue reaching out to schools of interest to inquire about obtaining a nomination. We will review these surveys regularly and contact you if your qualifications meet our needs.

Stage I: Nomination

Applications for this position are only made available to people who have been nominated by a school principal, through the online application. Each school may nominate candidates for the position based upon the:

  • Current or projected vacancies(including number, location, and schedule)
  • Special requirements for some positions, such as:
    • Gender
    • Foreign language proficiency
    • Lifting/toileting
    • CPR
    • Etc.

If you meet the eligibility criteria outlined above, and are interested in becoming a substitute paraprofessional, contact school(s) directly.

Stage II: Assessment

Candidates who meet the requirements listed in Stage I will be invited to Stage II. If invited, you must meet the following requirements within a specified time period:

  • Demonstrate oral proficiency in the English language.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in written English by responding to an assigned topic.

Any candidate who does not demonstrate English language proficiency will not be permitted to reapply for the position for 12 months from the date of assessment.

Stage III: Pre-Processing

Candidates meeting the criteria listed in Stage II will be emailed detailed instructions for Stage III. This requires that you complete the requirements listed below within a specified time period:

  • Complete DOE's mandatory Employment Forms online
  • Be fingerprinted and photographed by the DOE.
    • Fingerprints are now being administered at any IdentoGO location, which are located throughout New York City and State.
      • Instructions on completing fingerprints are only available to nominated candidates, after they have completed the Employment Forms online. 
      • Candidates who have already been fingerprinted by the DOE or have sent their fingerprint results to the New York State Education Department (NYSED) need not be re-fingerprinted.
      • However, they are required to be photographed and must submit the appropriate forms.
  • Successfully complete a NYSED-approved workshop on Child Abuse Identification.
  • Successfully complete a NYSED-approved workshop on School Violence Prevention.
  • Successfully complete a NYSED-approved workshop on the Dignity for All Students Act
  • Successfully complete the New York State Assessment of Teaching Assistant Skills (NYSATAS) test or provide proof of registration for the test.
  • Successfully complete the DOE-supported and authorized online training program for Paraprofessionals.
    • There is no additional fee for this online training program.
  • Create an online profile with the NYSED Office of Teaching Initiatives.
    • There is no additional fee for the online profile.
  • Use the DOE's online portal to schedule a date for the Processing Event

Stage IV: Processing Event

Candidates meeting the requirements listed in Stage III will be invited to a processing event. There you will submit:

  • Documentation confirming the fulfillment of the requirements listed earlier
  • A $50.00 money order payable to the NYC Department of Education

You will also receive information on:

  • handling Bloodborne Pathogens
  • SubCentral, our automated absence management system

Stage V: Staffing

Subject to receiving clearance (fingerprint and appraisal of record) from the DOE's Office of Personnel Investigations, nominees can be staffed as a Substitute Paraprofessional. This means that you are approved to serve on a citywide basis. This approval is good for the current school year. It must be renewed yearly.

Stage VI: Continuation of Substitute Status

To continue substitute status for the next school year, substitutes are required to fulfill the renewal requirements. These are updated annually.

Renewal Requirements

The renewal requirements include the following:

  • Provide at least 20 days of service as a Substitute Paraprofessional during the school year.
  • Maintain a positive record in the schools worked and be in good standing (as determined by the Office of Personnel Investigations).

For additional information, please visit the Substitute Paraprofessionals page on the Employee hub or email


Paraprofessionals are teaching assistants who provide instructional services to students under the general supervision of a certified teacher. In New York City, most paraprofessionals work in special education and early childhood education settings. Full-time paraprofessionals receive a generous benefits package, including:

  • Health insurance
  • Paid leave
  • Pension
  • Opportunities to receive:
    • tuition assistance
    • paid release time for college study.

Full-time employees are entitled to a salary above the minimum of $25,927 if they have the appropriate college credits and/or related work experience.


Before you can be eligible for full-time employment, you must work as a day-to-day substitute paraprofessional. Once you've done that, and if you meet the hiring requirements, you are eligible to apply for full-time paraprofessional positions. However, an appointment to a full-time position is:

  • based on each school's vacancies, budget, other personnel needs, etc.
  • competitive
  • not guaranteed


Lead Teacher Assistant – Paraprofessional

The Lead Teacher Assistant – Paraprofessional (LTA) is a career ladder position that allows for more diverse use of paraprofessionals in classrooms and schools to support student needs. It allows schools to use a paraprofessional in the role of a true assistant teacher by:

  • Supporting all aspects of instruction in the classroom
  • Working with students alone or in small groups under the general supervision of the classroom teacher.
  • Supporting the practice of other paraprofessionals at their school

It also may, under limited circumstances, provide absence coverage for the teacher of record.

This position is compensated with an additional $5,000 per school year over the paraprofessional's base salary. Payment is the responsibility of the selecting school.

The Career Training Program

The Career Training Program provides tuition assistance for eligible substitute and full-time paraprofessionals.

Bilingual Paraprofessionals Pursuing a Career in Bilingual Education (BPS Program)

The Bilingual Pupil Services (BPS) program prepares and trains bilingual paraprofessionals in pursuit of a teaching career to support and serve English Language/ Multilingual Learners (ELLs/MLLs) in Title I public elementary schools. The goal is to promote the linguistic and academic progress of these students, whose primary language is Spanish, Chinese, or Haitian-Creole, by providing supportive instructional services through the assignment of our BPS teacher interns.