The compensation for graduate teaching assistants is slightly different than for most other jobs. Graduate teaching assistants are not paid a salary, but are instead given a stipend. The average stipend for a graduate teaching assistant is $20,000 per year. However, this figure varies between universities based on the level of funding available. Stipends may also vary on the number of classes an assistant is assigned. The more classes an assistant is assigned, the more money they will be awarded, in comparison to other assistants in the same department of their university. Assistants in high-need fields such as math and science are generally compensated more than assistants in the arts and humanities.
It is expected that the number of assistantships will increase over the next ten years. However, it is also expected that the pay for these assistantships will decrease. This is because there are more students attending both graduate and undergraduate schools, but there have been many problems with funding higher education in recent years. Many schools report the intention of lowering their assitantship stipends to only $10,000 a year. Some are reportedly even lowering the amount for an assistantship to only $6,000 a year, or $2,000 per semester. If these schools also have rules in place that do not allow assistants to seek outside employment, this could cause many assistants to live below the poverty level - as such, the subject of these decreases has been very controversial.