Graduate Teaching Assistants: Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

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Job description

Graduate Teaching Assistants 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.

  • Teach undergraduate level courses.
  • Evaluate and grade examinations, assignments, or papers and record grades.
  • Lead discussion sections, tutorials, or laboratory sections.
  • Develop teaching materials, such as syllabi, visual aids, answer keys, supplementary notes, or course Web sites.
Read more about what does a Graduate Teaching Assistant really do at work and what is it like being and working as one.

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Average salary
$36390 per year

Graduate Teaching Assistants with little to no experience tend to make between $18320 and $21640 while the more experienced ones can earn over $46670 per year.

Top 5 paying statesHourlyAnnual

One of the easiest ways to increase your salary as a Graduate Teaching Assistant is to move to a higher paying state like MA. Right now, the highest paying states for Graduate Teaching Assistants are MA, WA, MN, UT and OH.

However, a higher pay at MA doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at MA might be twice as high than where you are currently at now.

Three other factors that can increase your salary as a Graduate Teaching Assistant is the degree you hold, the industry you work in, and lastly the company you work for.


Recommended degree level
Bachelor’s Degree

We asked other Graduate Teaching Assistants what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had a Bachelor’s Degree followed by a Master’s Degree.

Other than that, we also asked them what did they major in and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Read more about how to become a Graduate Teaching Assistant and the degree, training and education you need.

Pros and Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons of being a Graduate Teaching Assistant.

Suitable for people who likes to help and teach others
Suitable for people who values achievements and are results-oriented
This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.
Demand for this career is growing fast
Not suitable for people who likes practical and hands-on work
One of the lowest paying jobs
It is very hard to get into this career. Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience is required for this career.

What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Is this job meaningful

76% of Graduate Teaching Assistants said they were satisfied with their job and 77% said they feel like their job is making other people’s lives better.

Is this right for me

Best personality for this career
The Helpers and The Organizers

You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tends to like working with, communicating with, and teaching people. They like helping or providing service to others..

They also like following set procedures and routines. They like working with data and details more than with ideas.

Learn more about Graduate Teaching Assistants

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Job Description
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Exam Proctor, Faculty Research Assistant, Graduate Assistant, Graduate Fellow, Graduate Research Assistant, Graduate Student Instructor (GSI), Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA), Instructor, Proctor, Research Assistant (RA)

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