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

Stan T.Career, Overview

Graduate Teaching Assistants

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.

Salary
$39460
Becoming One
Very Hard
Education
Bachelor's degree
Job Satisfaction
Job Growth

Personality
Interest Match



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.



Featured Schools

Salary

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 states Hourly Annual
MA $- $55,020
WA $- $53,180
MN $- $52,650
UT $- $51,750
OH $- $47,400

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.


Requirements

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.

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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.

PROS
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
CONS
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
76%

Is this job meaningful
77%


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.

Melissa Morris
A private medium-sized Florida university with just under 10,000 students

On a typical day, I usually teach two or three classes and then meet with students, grade assignments, or prepare for class. I may also attend meetings or work on writing or other projects. In the evenings or weekends, I work on writing or researching insurance articles.

Typical day

8:00 am: Check emails, quick review of what I need for class

8:30 to 9:45 am: Teach one class

10:00 am to noon: Office hours, meet with students, respond to emails

Noon to 1:00 pm: Prep for class or grade assignments

1:00 to 2:15 pm: Teach second class

2:30 to 3:45 pm: Teach third class

4:00 pm: Wrap up emails or make a to-do list for tomorrow

Pros

The biggest pro for me is working with students. I love talking with them and sharing my passion for health, nutrition, and fitness with them. I enjoy seeing how much progress they make throughout the semester. The knowledge they gain from my classes will help them both personally and professionally, which is so important.

My contract is for nine months, so I am not required to teach in the summer. I do, but I also get paid extra for it. I love the flexibility of summer, I can work at my own pace, do research, write, or plan for my fall classes. I can travel and work remotely in the summer as well. I also enjoy our longer break for winter and spring break.

Cons

The biggest con is that I never quite feel caught up. I am so busy some days that I don’t get to interact with all of my students as I would like. Some semesters I have 140+ students so I would love more one-on-one time to talk with them throughout the semester.

Some might say the pay is a con in education, but I didn’t work in education to get rich. The pay is ok, but I also teach summer classes and extra classes to bump up my salary, which helps. Another con is that I cannot take a vacation anytime I want.

I am locked in during the semester because I can’t miss a week of classes to take a vacation. But, I have a lot more flexibility over winter break and summer break.

Melissa Morris
Melissa is an Assistant Teaching Professor at a private medium-sized Florida university. On the side, she writes and researches for the life insurance site, EffortlessInsurance.com.



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.



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Graduate Teaching Assistants job description, Graduate Teaching Assistants salary, Graduate Teaching Assistants information, what is the job of a Graduate Teaching Assistant like, pros and cons about Graduate Teaching Assistants, colleges and universities for Graduate Teaching Assistants, is Graduate Teaching Assistants the right career for me, careers in Education

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