Graduate student assistants are graduate students who are employed as support personnel in universities. They assist professors as teaching assistants, research assistants, or aides, depending on their assigned instructions. Their duties include assisting professors in administrative tasks, organizing undergraduate events, and conducting research as well as analyzing data. During the assistantship period, instead of wages, they are given a stipend as compensation to the service provided. This graduate assistantship gives graduate students relevant experience and more employment options in the future.

Graduate Student Assistant Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real graduate student assistant resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Lead community-based health projects on and off campus as an Oslerian student scholar.
  • Manage social media publications to spread awareness and notifications on Facebook.
  • Utilize numerous cell and molecular biology techniques ranging from molecular cloning, biochemical assays, microscopy, and protein analysis.
  • Used python for the backend.
  • Cloned genes by lambda phage library screening and RT-PCR.
  • Used differential display RT-PCR to identify candidate mRNA's.
  • Develop test suite to automatically test this system using python.
  • Aid advisor in writing social cognitive neuroscience NIH and NSF grants.
  • Develop assays for kinetic analyses of DNA strand-displacement reactions on fix cells.
  • Research include a variety of areas in ecology and physiology of microalgae.
Graduate Student Assistant Traits
Analytical skills have to do with gathering information from various sources and then interpreting the data in order to reach a logical conclusion that benefits the business.
Detail oriented involves being extremely mindful and observant of all details.
Communication skills shows that you are able to relay your thoughts, opinions and ideas clearly to those around you.

Graduate Student Assistant Job Description

Perhaps the hardest question to answer when deciding on a career as a graduate student assistant is "should I become a graduate student assistant?" You might find this info to be helpful. When compared to other jobs, graduate student assistant careers are projected to have a growth rate described as "much faster than average" at 20% from 2018 through 2028. This is in accordance with the Bureau of Labor Statistics. What's more, is that the projected number of opportunities that are predicted to become available for a graduate student assistant by 2028 is 139,200.

Graduate student assistants average about $16.23 an hour, which makes the graduate student assistant annual salary $33,763. Additionally, graduate student assistants are known to earn anywhere from $17,000 to $64,000 a year. This means that the top-earning graduate student assistants make $47,000 more than the lowest earning ones.

As is the case with most jobs, it takes work to become a graduate student assistant. Sometimes people change their minds about their career after working in the profession. That's why we looked into some other professions that might help you find your next opportunity. These professions include a researcher, laboratory researcher, research internship, and assistant research scientist.

Graduate Student Assistant Jobs You Might Like

Graduate Student Assistant Resume Examples

Graduate Student Assistant Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 9% of Graduate Student Assistants are proficient in Cell Culture, Protein, and Chemistry. They’re also known for soft skills such as Analytical skills, Detail oriented, and Communication skills.

We break down the percentage of Graduate Student Assistants that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Cell Culture, 9%

    Maintained cell cultures of lymphocytes and a transformed neuronal line for cerebral-malaria related research.

  • Protein, 5%

    Utilized numerous cell and molecular biology techniques ranging from molecular cloning, biochemical assays, microscopy, and protein analysis.

  • Chemistry, 5%

    Used Gaussian computational chemistry program to perform ground and excited state calculations to aid in spectral analyses of experimental data.

  • Molecular Biology, 5%

    Defined protocols for newly introduced tests in laboratory, allowing for the regulatory compliance of novel research in molecular biology.

  • Data Analysis, 5%

    Conduct literature review and research related to individuals with disabilities and involved in data screening, data analysis and report writing.

  • Office Hours, 4%

    Provided one-on-one career coaching counseling to a diverse population of undergraduate and graduate students during day and evening office hours.

Most graduate student assistants list "cell culture," "protein," and "chemistry" as skills on their resumes. We go into more details on the most important graduate student assistant responsibilities here:

  • Analytical skills can be considered to be the most important personality trait for a graduate student assistant to have. According to a graduate student assistant resume, "market research analysts must be able to understand large amounts of data and information." Graduate student assistants are able to use analytical skills in the following example we gathered from a resume: "analyzed each sample on an icp-mass spectrometer for the 234u/238u activity ratio and uranium concentration. "
  • Another commonly found skill for being able to perform graduate student assistant duties is the following: detail oriented. According to a graduate student assistant resume, "market research analysts must be detail oriented because they often do precise data analysis." Check out this example of how graduate student assistants use detail oriented: "advised over 40 academic, service-oriented and governmental student organizations. "
  • Graduate student assistants are also known for communication skills, which can be critical when it comes to performing their duties. An example of why this skill is important is shown by this snippet that we found in a graduate student assistant resume: "market research analysts need strong communication skills when gathering information, interpreting data, and presenting results to clients." We also found this resume example that details how this skill is put to the test: "facilitate communication between registered student organizations, the center, and auxiliary support offices. "
  • See the full list of graduate student assistant skills.

    After discovering the most helpful skills, we moved onto what kind of education might be helpful in becoming a graduate student assistant. We found that 71.3% of graduate student assistants have graduated with a bachelor's degree and 20.8% of people in this position have earned their master's degrees. While most graduate student assistants have a college degree, you may find it's also true that generally it's impossible to be successful in this career with only a high school degree. In fact, our research shows that one out of every ten graduate student assistants were not college graduates.

    Those graduate student assistants who do attend college, typically earn either biology degrees or psychology degrees. Less commonly earned degrees for graduate student assistants include chemistry degrees or biochemistry, biophysics, molecular biology degrees.

    When you're ready to become a graduate student assistant, you might wonder which companies hire graduate student assistants. According to our research through graduate student assistant resumes, graduate student assistants are mostly hired by East Carolina University, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Microsoft. Now is a good time to apply as East Carolina University has 3 graduate student assistants job openings, and there are 2 at Los Alamos National Laboratory and 2 at Microsoft.

    If you're interested in companies where graduate student assistants make the most money, you'll want to apply for positions at Microsoft, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and Los Alamos National Security. We found that at Microsoft, the average graduate student assistant salary is $115,391. Whereas at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, graduate student assistants earn roughly $72,811. And at Los Alamos National Security, they make an average salary of $61,875.

    View more details on graduate student assistant salaries across the United States.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious graduate student assistants are:

      What Researchers Do

      A researcher is responsible for collating, organizing, and verifying necessary information for a specific subject. Researchers' duties include analyzing data, gathering and comparing resources, ensuring facts, sharing findings with the whole research team, adhering to required methodologies, performing fieldwork as needed, and keeping critical information confidential. Researchers must be knowledgeable about the current market trends and align findings with the research goals. A researcher must show strong communication skills, as well as strong attention to detail and time-management skills to meet deadlines under minimal supervision.

      In this section, we take a look at the annual salaries of other professions. Take researcher for example. On average, the researchers annual salary is $26,271 higher than what graduate student assistants make on average every year.

      While their salaries may differ, one common ground between graduate student assistants and researchers are a few of the skills required in each craft. In both careers, employees bring forth skills like cell culture, protein, and chemistry.

      As far as similarities go, this is where it ends because a graduate student assistant responsibility requires skills such as "office hours," "gpa," "coursework," and "theory." Whereas a researcher is skilled in "lab equipment," "conduct research," "internet," and "tensorflow." So if you're looking for what truly separates the two careers, you've found it.

      Researchers tend to reach lower levels of education than graduate student assistants. In fact, researchers are 41.2% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 11.0% less likely to have a Doctoral Degree.

      What Are The Duties Of a Laboratory Researcher?

      Laboratory researchers are professionals who manage a research laboratory while performing cellular and biochemical experiments with the primary researcher. These researchers must work with hazardous chemicals and should show expertise in handling lab equipment such as glassware and field equipment. They are required to assist with research projects and interpret the test data of an experiment. They must manage the order of all lab equipment by filling up the purchase requisition forms. Laboratory researchers are required to work with students in all aspects of laboratory research.

      Now we're going to look at the laboratory researcher profession. On average, laboratory researchers earn a $1,426 higher salary than graduate student assistants a year.

      While the salary may be different for these job positions, there is one similarity and that's a few of the skills needed to perform certain duties. We used info from lots of resumes to find that both graduate student assistants and laboratory researchers are known to have skills such as "cell culture," "chemistry," and "molecular biology. "

      In addition to the difference in salary, there are some other key differences that are worth noting. For example, graduate student assistant responsibilities are more likely to require skills like "protein," "office hours," "gpa," and "coursework." Meanwhile, a laboratory researcher might be skilled in areas such as "lab equipment," "pcr," "laboratory research," and "laboratory equipment." These differences highlight just how different the day-to-day in each role looks.

      Laboratory researchers may earn a higher salary than graduate student assistants, but laboratory researchers earn the most pay in the pharmaceutical industry with an average salary of $48,492. On the other side of things, graduate student assistants receive higher paychecks in the manufacturing industry where they earn an average of $51,037.

      When it comes to the differences in education between the two professions, laboratory researchers tend to reach lower levels of education than graduate student assistants. In fact, they're 46.2% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 11.0% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      How a Research Internship Compares

      A research intern is responsible for assisting the research team with conducting an investigation, compiling information, and analyzing results for an organized research study. Research interns' duties also include understanding the work processes and operation procedures, sharing strategies and recommendations on research methods, reaching out to appropriate research correspondents, managing clients' inquiries and concerns, keeping important client records for reference, studying current market trends, and maintaining the eagerness to learn. A research intern must have strong attention to detail and excellent communication skills to perform on daily research tasks.

      The research internship profession generally makes a lower amount of money when compared to the average salary of graduate student assistants. The difference in salaries is research interns making $5,042 lower than graduate student assistants.

      By looking over several graduate student assistants and research interns resumes, we found that both roles utilize similar skills, such as "cell culture," "protein," and "data analysis." But beyond that the careers look very different.

      As mentioned, these two careers differ between other skills that are required for performing the work exceedingly well. For example, gathering from graduate student assistants resumes, they are more likely to have skills like "chemistry," "molecular biology," "office hours," and "gpa." But a research internship might have skills like "research intern," "tensorflow," "blockchain," and "analyze data."

      Research interns make a very good living in the finance industry with an average annual salary of $44,567. Whereas graduate student assistants are paid the highest salary in the manufacturing industry with the average being $51,037.

      Research interns are known to earn lower educational levels when compared to graduate student assistants. Additionally, they're 38.3% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 14.3% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      Description Of an Assistant Research Scientist

      An Assistant Research Scientist assists in planning, conducting, and analyzing various research projects. They also order and manage lab inventory, materials, and equipment.

      Assistant research scientists tend to earn a higher pay than graduate student assistants by about $26,889 per year.

      According to resumes from both graduate student assistants and assistant research scientists, some of the skills necessary to complete the responsibilities of each role are similar. These skills include "cell culture," "chemistry," and "molecular biology. "

      While some skills are shared by these professions, there are some differences to note. "protein," "office hours," "gpa," and "coursework" are skills that have shown up on graduate student assistants resumes. Additionally, assistant research scientist uses skills like lab equipment, laboratory equipment, experimental design, and pi on their resumes.

      In general, assistant research scientists make a higher salary in the manufacturing industry with an average of $70,058. The highest graduate student assistant annual salary stems from the manufacturing industry.

      The average resume of assistant research scientists showed that they earn lower levels of education to graduate student assistants. So much so that the likelihood of them earning a Master's Degree is 31.4% less. Additionally, they're more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree by 3.5%.