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Graduate Research Assistant Careers

As a graduate research assistant, your primary duty is to support the professors and researchers you're working for. Keep in mind that it's difficult to support someone you can't stand, so you should choose wisely when it comes to becoming a graduate research assistant.

Sometimes you'll be paid as a graduate research assistant, but the way you're paid may be different, depending on the position. Some assistant positions receive a paycheck, while others receive a stipend or tuition reimbursment. None of those sound like bad options though.

A lot of what you'll do as a graduate research assistant will be centered around gathering data and analyzing that data. Of course, the type of data you collect will depend entirely upon what professors or researchers you're helping and the project they're leading. Since it's a broad career, you'll have plenty of career opportunities as a graduate research assistant.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a graduate research assistant. For example, did you know that they make an average of $15.19 an hour? That's $31,601 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 20% and produce 139,200 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Graduate Research Assistant Do

There are certain skills that many graduate research assistants have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed analytical skills, communication skills and detail oriented.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a graduate research assistant, we found that a lot of resumes listed 10.5% of graduate research assistants included research projects, while 8.4% of resumes included data analysis, and 7.1% of resumes included technical reports. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the graduate research assistant job title. But what industry to start with? Most graduate research assistants actually find jobs in the education and hospitality industries.

How To Become a Graduate Research Assistant

If you're interested in becoming a graduate research assistant, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 69.6% of graduate research assistants have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 21.2% of graduate research assistants have master's degrees. Even though most graduate research assistants have a college degree, it's impossible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a graduate research assistant. When we researched the most common majors for a graduate research assistant, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on graduate research assistant resumes include doctoral degree degrees or associate degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a graduate research assistant. In fact, many graduate research assistant jobs require experience in a role such as research assistant. Meanwhile, many graduate research assistants also have previous career experience in roles such as internship or graduate teaching assistant.

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Average Salary
$31,601
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
20%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
31,504
Job Openings

Graduate Research Assistant Career Paths

Top Careers Before Graduate Research Assistant

Top Careers After Graduate Research Assistant

Graduate Research Assistant Jobs You Might Like

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Graduate Research Assistant

Graduate Research Assistants in America make an average salary of $31,601 per year or $15 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $49,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $20,000 per year.
Average Salary
$31,601
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Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
Boston, MA
Salary Range42k - 74k$56k$56,023
Fairbanks, AK
Salary Range39k - 52k$46k$45,543
New York, NY
Salary Range33k - 60k$45k$45,376
Stockton, CA
Salary Range26k - 46k$35k$34,999
Brownsville, TX
Salary Range24k - 46k$34k$33,502
Salt Lake City, UT
Salary Range26k - 38k$32k$32,116
$24k
$74k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Graduate Assistant-Research
Graduate Assistant-Research
The Texas A&M University System
The Texas A&M University System
06/25/2021
06/25/2021
$21,60006/25/2021
$21,600
Graduate Assistant-Research
Graduate Assistant-Research
Prairie View A&M University
Prairie View A&M University
06/25/2021
06/25/2021
$21,60006/25/2021
$21,600
Graduate Assistant-Statistics or Research Methods
Graduate Assistant-Statistics or Research Methods
University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
06/23/2021
06/23/2021
$30,00006/23/2021
$30,000
University of Alaska
IR Graduate Research Assistant
IR Graduate Research Assistant
University of Alaska
University of Alaska
06/12/2021
06/12/2021
$50,08806/12/2021
$50,088
Graduate Research Assistant
Graduate Research Assistant
University of Utah
University of Utah
05/20/2021
05/20/2021
$31,70205/20/2021
$31,702
See More Recent Salaries

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Graduate Research Assistant Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Graduate Research Assistant. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Graduate Research Assistant Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Graduate Research Assistant resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

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Graduate Research Assistant Demographics

Gender

male

48.7 %

female

38.8 %

unknown

12.5 %

Ethnicity

White

57.4 %

Hispanic or Latino

16.7 %

Black or African American

11.3 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

32.6 %

Chinese

12.7 %

French

12.3 %
See More Demographics

Graduate Research Assistant Education

Degrees

Bachelors

69.6 %

Masters

21.2 %

Doctorate

5.7 %

Top Colleges for Graduate Research Assistants

1. Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, GA • Private

In-State Tuition
$12,424
Enrollment
15,201

2. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,188
Enrollment
15,105

3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,832
Enrollment
4,550

4. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

5. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$59,430
Enrollment
8,216

6. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

7. Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,740
Enrollment
5,567

8. Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,465
Enrollment
6,483

9. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

10. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,695
Enrollment
6,596
See More Education Info

Online Courses For Graduate Research Assistant That You May Like

SPSS For Research
udemy
4.5
(1,263)

SPSS data analysis made easy. Become an expert in advanced statistical analysis with SPSS...

Research Methodology
udemy
4.1
(491)

Academic Research Business Research Thesis & Dissertation Report Research Paper / Journal...

Qualitative Research Methods: Analyzing Data
edX (Global)

This short course is adapted from a semester length graduate level course taught at MIT covering Qualitative Research Methods. The first half of the course is covered in 21A.819.1x, and covers an introduction to qualitative research and conducting interviews. This course consists of the second half of the course, and covers what to do with the data once you have started collecting it. This will include transcribing data, creating codes and codebooks, coding data, analyzing codes, and how to...

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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Graduate Research Assistant

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 10.5% of graduate research assistants listed research projects on their resume, but soft skills such as analytical skills and communication skills are important as well.

Best States For a Graduate Research Assistant

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a graduate research assistant. The best states for people in this position are Maine, Hawaii, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania. Graduate research assistants make the most in Maine with an average salary of $58,538. Whereas in Hawaii and Massachusetts, they would average $56,011 and $55,892, respectively. While graduate research assistants would only make an average of $46,459 in Pennsylvania, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Massachusetts

Total Graduate Research Assistant Jobs:
2,067
Highest 10% Earn:
$95,000
Location Quotient:
2.49
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Pennsylvania

Total Graduate Research Assistant Jobs:
1,226
Highest 10% Earn:
$78,000
Location Quotient:
1.17
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Maine

Total Graduate Research Assistant Jobs:
100
Highest 10% Earn:
$93,000
Location Quotient:
0.83
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Graduate Research Assistant Employers

1. Bureau of Economic Geology
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$37,975
Graduate Research Assistants Hired: 
702+
2. Georgia State University
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$41,900
Graduate Research Assistants Hired: 
603+
3. Texas A&M University
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$41,217
Graduate Research Assistants Hired: 
579+
4. Georgia Tech
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$37,667
Graduate Research Assistants Hired: 
577+
5. University of Illinois at Chicago
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$42,511
Graduate Research Assistants Hired: 
527+
6. University of Missouri-Kansas City
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$39,613
Graduate Research Assistants Hired: 
494+
Updated October 2, 2020