Education Research Assistant: Career and Salary Facts

Research what it takes to become an education research assistant. Learn about job duties, education requirements, employment outlook and wages to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Education Assessment & Evaluation degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Does an Education Research Assistant Do?

An education research assistant works on education-related research projects. They may work under the supervision of college or university professors who specialize in education research, or they may be part of research groups at nonprofit organizations, consulting firms or research institutions that focus on advancing knowledge related to education. Depending on where they work, they may study topics such as urban education, effective assessment strategies, early childhood development and equity in higher education.

The following chart gives you an overview of what you need to know about entering this field.

Degree Required Varies from a high school diploma to a college degree
Education Field of Study Education, social or behavioral science
Key Responsibilities Problem-solving, time management, organizational skills, communication
Job Growth (2014-2024) 5.6%* (social science research assistants)
Mean Salary (2015) $45,760* (social science research assistants)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Is an Education Research Assistant?

Education research assistant jobs are typically temporary positions, lasting for a set period of time. Research assistant positions are typically available through colleges, universities and education-related organizations. Generally, your main duty will be to provide assistance to a research team during the development and implementation stages of a research project.

Positions may be open to almost any college graduate or currently enrolled student; although some positions require specific prior coursework or majors. It is common for students at the graduate level to work as research assistants in universities. Some positions may be available to those who already have graduated and possess a degree, preferably in an education-related field. Through a research assistant job, you can gain experience in research methods, along with experience and knowledge in a specific area of study.

You may work on a variety of education-related research assignments involving the development of new courses, creation of programs to improve education for the under-privileged or testing to see if improvement is needed in specific educational departments within a college. As a research assistant, you may work on education reform, conduct research to secure grants or other funding, develop new testing procedures or discover new resources to use in education.

What Are the Job Duties?

As an education research assistant, your job duties can vary depending on the needs of the research team. In some situations, you may serve as a liaison between different team members, helping to relay information and keep everyone in the loop on developing situations with the research project. In other positions, you may handle typical office duties, including record keeping, filing, copying and taking phone calls. You may be involved in testing, design and research.

Often, you'll help organize and analyze data that has been collected during the research process. Writing reports, creating computer logs and preparing presentations may also be part of your job if you're brought in near the end of a project.

What Skills or Training Do I Need?

Some positions may require no education and are open to all students currently enrolled in college. Other positions may require you to have a college degree or be enrolled in a graduate program.

Experience required by employers may include previous teaching or research experience in the field of education. If the research is within a specific education area, you may also need work experience in that area.

Some skills needed to be a research assistant are standard. Common requirements include having experience with computers, communication skills, the ability to multi-task and being detail-oriented. Some positions may require leadership skills, project management experience and knowledge of statistical analysis.

How Much Can I Earn?

Salaries for research assistants vary according to the position and the organization you'll be working for. Often, college and graduate students will receive a small stipend for their work, along with college credits. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average hourly wage of social science research assistants working in a college or university was $20.42 in 2015. Assistants who worked in management and technical consulting industries earned an average of $22.17 and those who worked for social advocacy organizations earned $22.30 an hour (www.bls.gov).

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

If you are interested in a research support position, you could choose to get a job in a different academic field, such as chemistry. As a laboratory technician in a chemistry lab, you would help scientists with experiments by setting up instruments, preparing solutions, monitoring chemical processes and compiling results. For this job, you need to have at least an associate's degree. Alternatively, if you are looking for a job in education, you could consider becoming a teacher yourself. As a high school teacher, you would instruct students in a particular topic, like history or biology, in order to prepare them for college and/or career success. High school teachers need to have a bachelor's degree and a license to work in a public school.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Walden University

    Walden University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Walden University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Full Sail University

    Full Sail University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Full Sail University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Strayer University

    Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Purdue University Global

    Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Northcentral University

    Northcentral University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Northcentral University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Trident University

    Trident University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Trident University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Concordia University Portland

    Concordia University Portland responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Concordia University Portland:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. Next »