Graduate Teaching Assistant  What They Do

Just the Facts


Assists 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.

This career is part of the Education and Training cluster Teaching/Training pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Teaches undergraduate level courses.
  • Evaluates and grades examinations, assignments, or papers and record grades.
  • Leads discussion sections, tutorials, or laboratory sections.
  • Develops teaching materials, such as syllabi, visual aids, answer keys, supplementary notes, or course Web sites.
  • Informs students of the procedures for completing and submitting class work, such as lab reports.
  • Returns assignments to students in accordance with established deadlines.
  • Prepares or proctors examinations.
  • Tutors or mentors students who need additional instruction.
  • Meets with supervisors to discuss students' grades or to complete required grade-related paperwork.
  • Schedules and maintains regular office hours to meet with students.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Irregular hours
  • Overtime work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Graduate Assistant --
  • Graduate Fellow --
  • Graduate Research Assistant --
  • Graduate Student --
  • Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) --
  • Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) --
  • Instructor --
  • Research Assistant (RA) --
  • Teaching Assistant (TA) --
  • Teaching Fellow --