Research Assistant Jobs
University of Pittsburgh
Fort Devens, MA
West Hills, CA
Research Assistant Jobs Overview
You may read or hear the words "studies have shown that…" in the news. But what studies? And who is doing these studies? The engine behind research studies is often students or recent graduates with research assistant jobs. Being an RA is often a step on the path toward getting a Ph.D. and can help you decide if you want to pursue a career in academia. Private research organizations, government departments, and non-profit associations also employ research assistants.
A research assistant usually works with one professor, research fellow, or research team in an academic environment. Any field of study you can think of utilizes research assistants. The first assignment for an RA is often to write grant requests to fund the rest of the research they'll work on. After that, the main functions of a research assistant are:
- preparing lit reviews
- running trials
- collecting data
- analyzing data using statistics
- writing presentations and papers
If working as a research assistant in the private sector or higher education interests you, you can expand your search to related jobs such as:
Research Assistant Education and Skills
To become a research assistant, you need a master's degree. You can also work as a research assistant while pursuing a Ph.D. The basic requirements for the job are an education in research methods, including the ethics of research, and a thorough understanding of the topic you'll be researching.
The Council on Undergraduate Research identifies five skills that research assistants need to be successful. They are creativity, judgment, communication, organization, and persistence. Take a look at this Monster job description to see the other responsibilities and qualifications you might need to be hired for a research assistant job.
Update Your Research Assistant Resume
The first test of your writing, information-gathering, and presentation skills is your resume. Take a look at this sample resume for jobs in higher education to get started. You can download it as a free template from Monster. You'll also want to create a cover letter to accompany your resume. Here's an example cover letter we've put together specifically for research assistant positions. You can read other resume tips and advice about cover letter writing in the Monster library.
When you interview for a research assistant job, you will, of course, be asked questions about the topic you would be researching to judge your understanding. You'll also face traditional job interview questions you can prepare for, such as "What motivates you?" and "Where do you see yourself in five years?" Taking time to think through and craft your responses before the interview can make the process go smoothly and successfully.
How Much Do Research Assistant Jobs Pay?
According to Monster, the median pay for a research assistant in the U.S. is $36,048. Monster's Salary Tools will also tell you what salary to expect as a research assistant in different parts of the U.S., and the page will have links to current job openings. Be sure to look on that page to find out the next steps you can take in your research career.
Interested in Learning More About a Company?
Suppose you're pursuing a research assistant position at the university you attended. In that case, you are probably familiar with it and have a good indication of whether it's a good fit. But if you plan to look into an unfamiliar university or the public sector, you'll need to do some research to make sure the organization meets your goals and expectations.
You can get a feel for an organization's persona by looking at Monster's Company Profiles. You can find out things like:
- what awards and accolades they've earned
- when and why they were founded
- what benefits they offer employees
Investigate Research Assistant Jobs on Monster
You've found the best job research tool here at Monster. Study the postings for research assistant jobs on this page. Then, prepare your first report—a personal profile on Monster. Completing a profile will allow us to connect you with recruiters and send research assistant job openings to your email.