Special education teacher's aide
low pay jobs special ed paraprofessional
Median pay: $22,700
% who say their job is stressful: 59.3%

These teacher's aides get great hands-on experience working with students with physical, learning or behavioral challenges. But the stress levels can run high.

Since many aides come to the classroom with little experience, they end up learning on the job, said George Giuliani, executive director of the National Association of Special Education Teachers. And sometimes their working relationship with the teacher -- who is effectively their boss -- can be strained.

"[Aides] work under direct supervision of teachers and they may have a different sense of what their roles are," said Giuliani.

Most find it very rewarding, however, he said, although the monetary rewards tend to be very low. Median pay is less than $25,000 a year.


Source: Payscale
Methodology: Starting from a database of more than 9,000 jobs, PayScale used data from over 120,000 respondents who rated their jobs for quality of life factors. The top 15 were selected based on the national median pay for workers with at least five or seven years' experience and the percent of workers surveyed who said their jobs were "fairly stressful" or "extremely stressful." They were then ranked in order of pay, lowest to highest. Only jobs with median pay less than $50,000 were eligible., and only one job per "job family" was included. PayScale conducted the survey between August 2010 and August 2012.
- Last updated March 07 2013 08:59 AM ET
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