Field Research Assistant

Gather and research basic data for specific scientific projects.
picture of Field Research Assistant

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$26,000 – $71,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Field Research Assistants do?

In a laboratory, a Scientist is a god who controls everything. Light levels, air quality, and water quantity can all be adjusted with a flick of a switch.

Field research is a lot more complicated and much harder to control. As a result, Scientists simply can’t do this research alone. That’s where the Field Research Assistant comes in. As a Field Research Assistant, you help the Scientist in the field, preventing fits of weeping and feelings of hopelessness.

Research takes place in almost every industry imaginable, and the sorts of tasks you do each day depend heavily on the research you’re supporting. In general, a Field Research Assistant takes on most lower-level tasks. For example, you answer the phone for the Scientist, take notes for them, open the mail, or clean the tools. Giving compliments to the Scientist might also be a daily task.

Most of the time, you also help gather basic data. If you’re researching birds, for example, you might count the birds in a particular space, capture a few of them, and place tags on their scrawny feet. If you’re researching plants, you might measure the height of each plant daily, and take chemical readings to determine how much phosphorus is in the soil.

When the research is complete, the writing phase begins. If you’re lucky, you’re asked to compile some charts and graphs for your Scientist, and you share in the glory when the research is published. Sometimes, though, you’re content to simply proofread the report your Scientist pulls together. Marking the errors in thick, red pen makes you feel better.

Should I be a Field Research Assistant?

You should have an associate's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Persistent: You keep pushing through, even when faced with tough obstacles.

  • Also known as: GPS Field Data Collector, Research Soil Scientist

    How to become a Field Research Assistant

    We recommend at least an Associate's degree. Check out these schools offering Field Research Assistant-related education!
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