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Occupation Details

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Special Needs Assistant - SNA

Job Zone

Education
These occupations usually require a Leaving Certificate or equivalent.

Related Experience
Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, jobs requiring you to deal with the public would benefit from previous experience working directly with the public.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees.

Job Zone Examples
These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include sheet metal workers, forest fire fighters, customer service representatives, physical therapist aides, retail salespersons and tellers.

€20k > 38
Special Needs Assistant
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€20 - 38
Related Information:
Full-time SNAs work on a salary scale that starts at €20,869 (€23,188 if they started after 2011), rising to a maximum of €33,605 (or €37,339) after 15 years' service from the date of first appointment.
Data Source(s):
Department of Education and Skills Circular 004/2011

Last Updated: February, 2015

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
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At a Glance... header image

Special needs assistants help children with a wide range of learning, physical or behavioural difficulties.


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The Work header image

Special Needs Assistants (SNA) are recruited specifically to assist in the care of pupils with disabilities in an educational context. They may be appointed to a special school or a mainstream national school to assist school authorities in making suitable provision for a pupil or pupils with special care needs arising from a disability.

  • Preparation and tidying up of classroom(s) in which the pupil(s) with special needs is/are being taught.
  • Assisting children to board and alight from school buses. Where necessary travel as escort on school buses may be required.
  • Special assistance as necessary for pupils with particular difficulties e.g. helping physically disabled pupils with typing or writing.
  • Assistance with clothing, feeding, toileting and general hygiene.
  • Assisting on out-of-school visits, walks and similar activities.
  • Assisting the teachers in the supervision of pupils with special needs during assembly, recreational and dispersal periods.
  • Accompanying individuals or small groups who may have to be withdrawn temporarily from the classroom.
  • General assistance to the class teachers, under the direction of the Principal, with duties of a non-teaching nature. (Special Needs Assistants may not act either as substitute or temporary teachers. In no circumstances may they be left in sole charge of a class).
  • Where a Special Needs Assistant has been appointed to assist a school in catering for a specific pupil, duties should be modified to support the particular needs of the pupil concerned.


Personal Qualitiesheader image

To be a special needs teaching assistant, you would need to have:

  • an interest in education and in working with children
  • good communication and 'people' skills
  • the ability to work well as part of a team
  • good literacy and numeracy skills
  • tact and sensitivity
  • a responsible attitude
  • patience
  • the ability to be firm when necessary
  • willingness to help with children's personal care needs.

An ability to speak local community languages could also be useful for some jobs.


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Contactsheader image

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Organisation: Department of Education and Skills
Address: Marlborough St, Dublin 1
Tel: (01) 889 6400
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...


...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Education & Teaching
Psychology & Social Care

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