Summary Report for:
25-9044.00 - Teaching Assistants, Postsecondary
Assist faculty or other instructional staff in postsecondary institutions by performing instructional support activities, such as developing teaching materials, leading discussion groups, preparing and giving examinations, and grading examinations or papers.
Sample of reported job titles: Graduate Assistant, Graduate Fellow, Graduate Research Assistant, Graduate Student, Graduate Student Instructor (GSI), Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA), Research Assistant (RA), Teaching Assistant (TA), Teaching Fellow
Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Teach undergraduate-level courses.
- Evaluate and grade examinations, assignments, or papers, and record grades.
- Lead discussion sections, tutorials, or laboratory sections.
- Develop teaching materials, such as syllabi, visual aids, answer keys, supplementary notes, or course Web sites.
- Inform students of the procedures for completing and submitting class work, such as lab reports.
- Return assignments to students in accordance with established deadlines.
- Prepare or proctor examinations.
- Tutor or mentor students who need additional instruction.
- Meet with supervisors to discuss students' grades or to complete required grade-related paperwork.
- Schedule and maintain regular office hours to meet with students.
- Order or obtain materials needed for classes.
- Copy and distribute classroom materials.
- Notify instructors of errors or problems with assignments.
- Complete laboratory projects prior to assigning them to students so that any needed modifications can be made.
- Provide assistance to faculty members or staff with laboratory or field research.
- Demonstrate use of laboratory equipment and enforce laboratory rules.
- Attend lectures given by the supervising instructor.
- Arrange for supervisors to conduct teaching observations and provide feedback about teaching performance.
- Provide instructors with assistance in the use of audiovisual equipment.
- Assist faculty members or staff with student conferences.
- Analytical or scientific software — IBM SPSS Statistics ; SAS
- Calendar and scheduling software
- Computer based training software — Blackboard Learn; Desire2Learn; Learning management system LMS; Sakai CLE (see all 5 examples)
- Data base user interface and query software — Data entry software; Structured query language SQL
- Electronic mail software — Email software; Microsoft Outlook
- Graphics or photo imaging software — Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
- Information retrieval or search software — DOC Cop; iParadigms Turnitin
- Internet browser software — Web browser software
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office
- Optical character reader OCR or scanning software — Image scanning software
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — Collaborative editing software; Google Docs ; Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
- Compact disk players or recorders — Compact disk CD players
- Desktop computers
- Digital camcorders or video cameras — Digital video cameras
- Digital cameras — Compact digital cameras
- Digital video disk players or recorders — Digital video disk DVD players
- Epidiascopes — Opaque projectors
- High capacity removable media drives — Universal serial bus USB flash drives
- Inkjet printers — Poster printers
- Laser fax machine — Laser facsimile machines
- Laser printers — Computer laser printers
- Liquid crystal display projector — Liquid crystal display LCD projectors
- Microphone stand — Microphone podiums
- Microphones — Handheld microphones; Wireless microphones
- MP3 players or recorders — MP3 digital voice recorders
- Multimedia projectors — Computer projectors; Multimedia projection equipment
- Notebook computers — Laptop computers
- Overhead projectors — Overhead data projectors
- Photocopiers — Photocopying equipment
- Portable data input terminals — Interactive whiteboard controllers; Student response systems
- Projection screens or displays — Projector screens
- Scanners — Computer data input scanners
- Scientific calculator — Digital calculators
- Slide projectors — Carousel slide projectors
- Special purpose telephones — Multi-line telephone systems
- Tablet computers
- Teleconference equipment — Conference telephones
- Televisions — Liquid crystal display LCD televisions; Television monitors
- Touch screen monitors — Interactive whiteboards
- Videoconferencing systems — Videoconferencing equipment
- Web cameras — Webcams
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Detailed Work Activities
- Evaluate student work.
- Guide class discussions.
- Supervise laboratory work.
- Create technology-based learning materials.
- Develop instructional materials.
- Distribute instructional or library materials.
- Administer tests to assess educational needs or progress.
- Prepare tests.
- Tutor students who need extra assistance.
- Assist other educational professionals with projects or research.
- Supervise school or student activities.
- Teach others to use technology or equipment.
- Discuss problems or issues with supervisors.
- Schedule instructional activities.
- Order instructional or library materials or equipment.
- Attend training sessions or professional meetings to develop or maintain professional knowledge.
- Evaluate performance of educational staff.
- Electronic Mail — 77% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 66% responded “Every day.”
- Contact With Others — 65% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 48% responded “Some freedom.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 46% responded “Extremely important.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 48% responded “Some freedom.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 44% responded “Every day.”
- Public Speaking — 55% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 35% responded “Extremely important.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 44% responded “Very important.”
- Level of Competition — 39% responded “Moderately competitive.”
- Time Pressure — 37% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Physical Proximity — 48% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
- Spend Time Sitting — 30% responded “More than half the time.”
|Title||Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).|
|Related Experience||Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.|
|Job Training||Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations often involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organizational skills are required. Examples include pharmacists, lawyers, astronomers, biologists, clergy, neurologists, and veterinarians.|
|SVP Range||(8.0 and above)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
Interest code: SC Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
- Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
- Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2020)||$36,250 annual|
|Employment (2020)||165,400 employees|
|Projected growth (2020-2030)||Average (5% to 10%)|
|Projected job openings (2020-2030)||16,700|
|Top industries (2020)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data and 2020-2030 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.