Graduate Teaching Assistants

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About the Job

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.

It is also Called

  • Teaching Fellow
  • Teaching Assistant (TA)
  • Research Assistant (RA)
  • Proctor
  • Instructor
  • Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA)
  • Graduate Student Instructor (GSI)
  • Graduate Research Assistant
  • Graduate Fellow
  • Graduate Assistant

What They Do

  • Assist faculty members or staff with student conferences.
  • Provide instructors with assistance in the use of audiovisual equipment.
  • Order or obtain materials needed for classes.
  • Attend lectures given by the instructor whom they are assisting.
  • Arrange for supervisors to conduct teaching observations; meet with supervisors to receive feedback about teaching performance.
  • Provide assistance to faculty members or staff with laboratory or field research.
  • Develop teaching materials, such as syllabi, visual aids, answer keys, supplementary notes, or course Web sites.
  • Complete laboratory projects prior to assigning them to students so that any needed modifications can be made.
  • Teach undergraduate level courses.
  • Demonstrate use of laboratory equipment and enforce laboratory rules.


People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: SC.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Social interests, but also prefer Conventional environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Achievement, but also value Support and Independence in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.
  • 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.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Education Required

Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).

LMI Region


In 2014, the average annual wage in United States was $32,970 with most people making between $18,250 and $49,240


avg. annual growth

During 2012, this occupation employed approximately 150,300 people in United States. It is projected that there will be 165,800 employed in 2022.

This occupation will have about 1,550 openings due to growth and about 2,250 replacement openings for approximately 3,800 total annual openings.

Industries that Employ this Occupation

Industry breakdown is not available for this occupation