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Research Assistant Careers

While you won't leading a research project, you will have some pretty important tasks that lead to the success of research projects as a research assistant. In fact, you're tasked with a number of responsibilities that assist the main researcher on the project.

Pretty cool, right? You might get to conduct literature reviews or analyze data. Maybe you'll even get to prepare a grant to help with the project. Basically your position is essential to the project, which also means you have a lot riding on your shoulders.

Depending on who you'll be working for, you may need a bachelor's degree or you may just need an associate's degree. Chances are you'll probably be a research assistant to a professor or another professional in the field. And no matter what, you'll definitely receive some on-the-job training.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a research assistant. For example, did you know that they make an average of $21.02 an hour? That's $43,713 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 Research Assistant Do

There are certain skills that many 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 research assistant, we found that a lot of resumes listed 9.8% of research assistants included lab equipment, while 9.6% of resumes included research projects, and 8.1% of resumes included data collection. 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 research assistant job title. But what industry to start with? Most research assistants actually find jobs in the education and health care industries.

How To Become a Research Assistant

If you're interested in becoming a research assistant, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 58.9% of research assistants have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 26.2% of research assistants have master's degrees. Even though most 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 research assistant. When we researched the most common majors for a 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 research assistant resumes include doctoral degree degrees or associate degree degrees.

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

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Average Salary
$43,713
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
20%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
25,293
Job Openings

Research Assistant Career Paths

Top Careers Before Research Assistant

Volunteer
11.1 %

Top Careers After Research Assistant

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 Research Assistant

Research Assistants in America make an average salary of $43,713 per year or $21 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $62,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $30,000 per year.
Average Salary
$43,713

Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
New Brunswick, NJ
Salary Range43k - 76k$58k$57,877
Washington, DC
Salary Range36k - 64k$49k$48,678
San Francisco, CA
Salary Range34k - 65k$48k$47,716
New York, NY
Salary Range35k - 62k$47k$47,471
Chicago, IL
Salary Range35k - 60k$46k$46,396
Tallahassee, FL
Salary Range32k - 59k$44k$43,833
$26k
$76k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Research Assistant 2
Oregon Health & Science University
Oregon Health & Science University
01/30/2021
01/30/2021
$35,56801/30/2021
$35,568
Research Assistant
Research Assistant
Kelly
Kelly
01/30/2021
01/30/2021
$39,65301/30/2021
$39,653
Temporary Research Assistant
Temporary Research Assistant
University of Colorado
University of Colorado
01/29/2021
01/29/2021
$31,30501/29/2021
$31,305
University of Washington
Research Study Assistant
Research Study Assistant
University of Washington
University of Washington
01/29/2021
01/29/2021
$35,47201/29/2021
$35,472
Research Assistant I
Research Assistant I
Kelly Services
Kelly Services
01/29/2021
01/29/2021
$35,47901/29/2021
$35,479
See More Recent Salaries

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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 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 Research Assistant Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless 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.

View Detailed Information

Research Assistant Demographics

Gender

female

46.5 %

male

41.5 %

unknown

12.0 %

Ethnicity

White

57.8 %

Asian

17.8 %

Hispanic or Latino

13.0 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

36.8 %

French

12.2 %

Chinese

10.5 %
See More Demographics

Research Assistant Education

Majors

Biology
11.3 %

Degrees

Bachelors

58.9 %

Masters

26.2 %

Doctorate

9.8 %

Top Colleges for Research Assistants

1. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

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

2. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Public

In-State Tuition
$15,262
Enrollment
30,079

3. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

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

4. Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD • Private

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

5. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,695
Enrollment
6,596

6. Washington University in St Louis

Saint Louis, MO • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,399
Enrollment
7,356

7. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

8. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

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

9. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

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

10. SUNY Stony Brook

Stony Brook, NY • Public

In-State Tuition
$9,625
Enrollment
17,407
See More Education Info
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a 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, 9.8% of research assistants listed lab equipment on their resume, but soft skills such as analytical skills and communication skills are important as well.

Best States For a Research Assistant

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a research assistant. The best states for people in this position are New Jersey, Hawaii, New York, and Illinois. Research assistants make the most in New Jersey with an average salary of $57,956. Whereas in Hawaii and New York, they would average $54,222 and $47,219, respectively. While research assistants would only make an average of $46,335 in Illinois, 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. New Jersey

Total Research Assistant Jobs:
994
Highest 10% Earn:
$97,000
Location Quotient:
1.26
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. Rhode Island

Total Research Assistant Jobs:
136
Highest 10% Earn:
$76,000
Location Quotient:
1.13
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. Illinois

Total Research Assistant Jobs:
1,123
Highest 10% Earn:
$76,000
Location Quotient:
0.95
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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How Do Research Assistant Rate Their Jobs?

What do you like the most about working as Research Assistant?

What I like is that,you get to interact with different people from various communities.Relationships are formed in the process Show More

What do you NOT like?

Language barrier can be a problem,because communication needs to be formed in the language that each community you interact with understands. Show More

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Top Research Assistant Employers

We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ research assistants and discovered their number of research assistant opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that University of California Press was the best, especially with an average salary of $39,742. University of Illinois at Chicago follows up with an average salary of $39,718, and then comes Bureau of Economic Geology with an average of $41,484. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as a research assistant. The employers include Dartmouth College, University of Utah, and Kelly Services

1. University of California Press
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$39,742
Research Assistants Hired: 
1,967+
2. University of Illinois at Chicago
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$39,718
Research Assistants Hired: 
1,787+
3. Bureau of Economic Geology
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$41,484
Research Assistants Hired: 
1,472+
4. Purdue University
3.9
Avg. Salary: 
$39,724
Research Assistants Hired: 
1,095+
5. University of Minnesota
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$39,713
Research Assistants Hired: 
1,023+
6. North Carolina Central University
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$40,051
Research Assistants Hired: 
1,009+

Research Assistant Videos

Updated October 2, 2020