Graduate Teaching Assistant

Help Professors teach classes while completing your graduate studies.

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$17,000 – $54,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Graduate Teaching Assistants do?

Graduate Teaching Assistants help Professors with their teaching duties. After all, many college classes are large, and Professors need all the help they can get. Often known simply as a “TA,” you’re a graduate student who’s actively enrolled in graduate school, working in the classroom in order to help pay for your education while also getting practical college-level teaching experience in the subject you’re studying (which is great, since you probably want to become a Professor once you’ve completed both your master’s and your Ph.D.).

Just like the Professor you assist, your duties as a Graduate Teaching Assistant include giving lectures, leading discussion groups, developing teaching materials, planning classes, and writing course syllabi. You also create and administer tests, grade homework, score exams, and hold office hours for the purpose of meeting with students and advising them. In addition, you may be asked to tutor individual students outside of class, and to pinch-hit for the Professor when he or she is absent by serving as a surrogate Instructor.

A bridge between Professors and students, you’re like Professor “Lite”: A substitute for the real thing, you taste a lot like the original, but you have fewer calories and a smidge less flavor (that is, fewer scholarly credentials and less academic authority).

Should I be a Graduate Teaching Assistant?

You should have a master's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Independent: You enjoy flying solo and doing things your own way.

  • Also known as: GSI, GTA, Teaching Fellow

    How to Become a
    Graduate Teaching Assistant

    Most Graduate Teaching Assistants have a Doctorate or a Master's degree. Start by getting your Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:baa9mn&chl=no+college+%281%25%29|||bachelor%27s+%2844%25%29|master%27s+%2827%25%29|doctorate+%2828%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,1,44
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