Post-secondary teaching and research assistants provide support to university professors, college teachers and other faculty members. Usually, they are enrolled in a master’s or doctoral program in the same department at the university or college where they work.
Estimated median employment income based on 2021 Job Bank median hourly wage rate (median annual salary = hourly wage rate x 40 (hours per week) x 52.14 (weeks per year))
Note:Estimated median employment income based on 2021 Job Bank median hourly wage rate (median annual salary = hourly wage rate x 40 (hours per week) x 52.14 (weeks per year))
Source: 2021 Job Bank Wage Report
Source: B.C. Labour Market Outlook
10 year expected job openings: 450
N/A - Data not available
Post-secondary teaching assistants:
Post-secondary research assistants:
Post-secondary teaching and research assistants work on university and college campuses. They perform their teaching or research duties while they study toward their degree.
Large classes may have multiple teaching assistants who work together. Small classes usually have a single assistant.
Post-secondary teaching and research assistants typically work in an office or lab. They may have access to their supervising professor’s office. More often, they share a larger office with other graduate students. Some may work from home.
Work levels vary and at times can become stressful, depending on the assistant’s own course load. Positions tend to be seasonal, with fewer opportunities from May through August.
Teaching and research assistants use technology, including online learning platforms. On-the-job technology-related training is usually provided.
Source: 2016 Census
Most post-secondary teaching and research assistants hold a bachelor’s degree and are registered in a master’s or doctoral program at the school where they work. Some are working toward an undergraduate degree.
Most jobs require previous teaching experience or coursework in education as well as experience in the course being taught.
For more information about programs offered specifically for this career, visit EducationPlannerBC.
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Most teaching and research assistants leave their position once they earn their graduate degree. This creates job openings for other students.
The switch to online teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic greatly increased the demand for teaching assistants in the short term.
Demand for teaching and research assistants is also increasing as undergraduate enrolment rises. In particular, demand for assistants with science and engineering specializations is expected to increase as undergraduate interest in these areas grows.
Increasing undergraduate enrolment can also add to the workload of existing assistants. Moreover, larger class sizes can mean that teaching assistants do more grading.
Non-research-based institutions tend to hire more non-student research assistants. Because B.C. has a limited number of research universities, a relatively small number of research assistant positions are available to students.