Graduate teaching assistants, or TAs, are graduate students who teach introductory and intermediate level college courses in universities. TAs develop course materials, lead student discussions or laboratory work, and grade papers and tests for undergraduate, or bachelor’s level, courses. For large classes taught by a faculty member, TAs assist faculty members with materials and equipment during class, and in conducting their research. They also provide feedback to students and, for very large classes, act as a bridge between the professor teaching it, and the students enrolled. Graduate teaching assistants hold office hours for answering students’ questions, and offer extra help or tutoring outside of class. Graduate teaching assistants must be enrolled in a graduate school program, and have at least a bachelor’s degree in the field they teach. Typically, they have completed a portion of the coursework required for a doctoral program.
What they do:
Assist faculty or other instructional staff in postsecondary institutions by performing teaching or teaching-related duties, such as teaching lower level courses, developing teaching materials, preparing and giving examinations, and grading examinations or papers. Graduate teaching assistants must be enrolled in a graduate school program. Graduate assistants who primarily perform non-teaching duties, such as research, should be reported in the occupational category related to the work performed.
On the job, you would:
Teach undergraduate level courses.
Evaluate and grade examinations, assignments, or papers and record grades.
Lead discussion sections, tutorials, or laboratory sections.
Arts and Humanities
Education and Training
teaching and course design
Engineering and Technology
computers and electronics
Math and Science
arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics
reading work related information
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
communicate by speaking
listen and understand what people say
Ideas and Logic
come up with lots of ideas
create new and original ideas
People interested in this work like activities that include helping people, teaching, and talking.
They do well at jobs that need:
Attention to Detail
Concern for Others
You might use software like this on the job:
Computer based training software
Word processing software
Electronic mail software
bachelor's degree or master's degree usually needed