What does a Graduate Teaching Assistant do?

Take the Free Sokanu Career Test!

We've built the world's most comprehensive career test. Our questionnaire measures over 180 traits to match you against 500+ careers. Our mission is to help you find your calling in life.

Take the career test

What is a Graduate Teaching Assistant?

Also known as: Graduate Student Instructor, Graduate Assistant

A graduate teaching assistant is an instructor who helps a professor conduct a college course. Sometimes graduate teaching assistants may preside over their own course, with simply some guidance from a professor. A graduate teaching assitantship is not a life-long career. It is simply a job that one is able to have while they are attending graduate school. After one is no longer in enrolled in graduate school, they must cease their position as a graduate teaching assistant. Most graduate teaching assistants have further career goals of becoming a college professor or university researcher.

A Graduate Teaching Assistant is a specialized type of Teacher.

Find your compatibility

Would you make a good graduate teaching assistant? Sokanu's free assessment reveals your exact compatibility with this career, your strengths, and any unique areas of interest.

What does a Graduate Teaching Assistant do?

A graduate teaching assistant assists in running classes at a university. This may include helping a professor teach an especially large class, grading papers, running classroom related errands, and performing other menial tasks at the suggestion of their overseeing professor. At some schools, experienced graduate teaching assistants are given their own class to teach, and only meet with their assigned professor occasionally to discuss the matter. The classes that they teach are usually introductory courses in their field of study. For example, a graduate student studying English Literature will generally instruct or assist in instructing a Freshman Composition class, or a similar class within the field.

Graduate teaching assistants also sometimes help professors complete research. Assistants in the sciences may work preparing, setting up, and cleaning labs and scientific instruments. They may also work in university-sponsored tutoring centers, helping undergraduate students succeed. For example, a graduate student in Physics may work at a university tutoring center assisting introductory physics students in understanding ideas in their courses that they find to be complex. Graduate teaching assistants perform many jobs that professors are not interested in or consider to be menial or tedious.

What is the workplace of a Graduate Teaching Assistant like?

Graduate teaching assistants work for universities. Generally, they are given a cubicle in an office, which they can use for their studies and their assistantship work. Teaching assistants will also work in classrooms. Graduate teaching assistants spend a lot of time interacting with students, professors, and other assistants. Most graduate teaching assistants work part-time, in addition to completing full-time graduate studies. Many universities do not allow graduate teaching assistants to obtain additional employment outside of their assistantship. Graduate assistant offices are often some of the least funded places in a university. However, they do promote a sense of community between graduate students because of their openness and proximity to each other.


Title Company Location Info
jobs by Indeed job search More Graduate Teaching Assistant Jobs

Similar Careers