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Graduate Teaching Assistant

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All About Graduate Teaching Assistants

Position Description Assist faculty or other instructional staff in postsecondary institutions by performing teaching or teaching-related duties, such as teaching lower level courses, developing teaching materials, preparing and giving examinations, and grading examinations or papers. Graduate teaching assistants must be enrolled in a graduate school program. Graduate assistants who primarily perform non-teaching duties, such as research, should be reported in the occupational category related to the work performed.

A Day in the Life of a Graduate Teaching Assistant

  • Teach undergraduate level courses.
  • Develop teaching materials, such as syllabi, visual aids, answer keys, supplementary notes, or course Web sites.
  • Notify instructors of errors or problems with assignments.
  • Lead discussion sections, tutorials, or laboratory sections.
  • Copy and distribute classroom materials.
  • Complete laboratory projects prior to assigning them to students so that any needed modifications can be made.

What Every Graduate Teaching Assistant Should Know

Graduate Teaching Assistants state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Instructing: Teaching others how to do something.

Learning Strategies: Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Types of Graduate Teaching Assistant

  • Teaching Assistant (TA)
  • Teaching Fellow
  • Graduate Research Assistant
  • Instructor
  • Graduate Fellow

Is There Job Demand for Graduate Teaching Assistants?

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 168,300 jobs in the United States for Graduate Teaching Assistant. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 7.7% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 12,900 new jobs for Graduate Teaching Assistant by 2026. The BLS estimates 14,400 yearly job openings in this field.


The states with the most job growth for Graduate Teaching Assistant are Utah, Nevada, and Colorado. Watch out if you plan on working in Maine, Illinois, or North Dakota. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Average Graduate Teaching Assistants Salary

The typical yearly salary for Graduate Teaching Assistants is somewhere between $18,320 and $59,290.


Graduate Teaching Assistants who work in Massachusetts, Washington, or Minnesota, make the highest salaries.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Graduate Teaching Assistants in different U.S. states.

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $23,740
Arkansas $20,590
California $36,350
Colorado $39,190
District of Columbia $38,220
Florida $29,110
Georgia $26,460
Idaho $29,730
Illinois $43,670
Indiana $40,140
Iowa $31,370
Kansas $36,390
Louisiana $31,220
Maine $23,970
Maryland $46,840
Massachusetts $55,020
Michigan $36,820
Minnesota $52,650
Mississippi $39,390
Missouri $31,170
Montana $18,850
New Jersey $36,390
New Mexico $27,040
New York $38,520
Ohio $47,400
Oklahoma $26,590
Oregon $36,950
Pennsylvania $44,960
South Carolina $37,880
Tennessee $23,330
Texas $34,930
Utah $51,750
Washington $53,180
West Virginia $21,670
Wisconsin $36,190

What Tools & Technology do Graduate Teaching Assistants Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Graduate Teaching Assistants may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Web browser software
  • Data entry software
  • Email software
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
  • Structured query language SQL
  • SAS
  • Google Docs
  • IBM SPSS Statistics
  • Calendar and scheduling software
  • Learning management system LMS
  • Blackboard Learn
  • Course management system software
  • Sakai CLE
  • Desire2Learn
  • iParadigms Turnitin

How to Become a Graduate Teaching Assistant

Individuals working as a Graduate Teaching Assistant have obtained the following education levels:


How many years of work experience do I need?


Where Graduate Teaching Assistants Work


Below are examples of industries where Graduate Teaching Assistants work:



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More about our data sources and methodologies.

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