Popular Careers

Career Development

Career development resources for aspiring professionals.

Career Change Center

Career change guides, tutorials and resources for professionals in transition.

Job Search Resources

Job search resources, websites, guides and directories for job seekers.


Career and Education Opportunities for Graduate Research Assistants in Chicago, Illinois

For those living in the Chicago, Illinois area, there are many career and education opportunities for graduate research assistants. Graduate research assistants generally assist department chairperson, faculty members, or other professional staff members in college or university 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.

The average wage in the general category of Postsecondary Education jobs is $23 per hour or $59,029 per year in Illinois, and an average of $23 per hour or $64,226 per year nationwide. Graduate research assistants earn less than people working in the category of Postsecondary Education generally in Illinois and less than people in the Postsecondary Education category nationally. People working as graduate research assistants can fill a number of jobs, such as: research assistant , instructor, and graduate fellow.

There are 180 schools of higher education in the Chicago area, including twelve within twenty-five miles of Chicago where you can get a degree to start your career as a graduate research assistant. The most common level of education for graduate research assistants is a Bachelor's degree. You can expect to spend about four years studying to be a graduate research assistant if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Graduate Research Assistant

In general, graduate research assistants assist department chairperson, faculty members, or other professional staff members in college or university 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. They also graduate assistants must be enrolled in a graduate school program.

Graduate research assistants copy and distribute classroom materials. They also meet with supervisors to consider students' grades, and to finish required grade-related paperwork. Equally important, graduate research assistants have to evaluate and grade examinations, assignments, and papers, and record grades. They are often called upon to return assignments to students in accordance with established deadlines. Finally, graduate research assistants notify instructors of errors or problems with assignments.

Every day, graduate research assistants are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to articulate ideas and problems.

It is important for graduate research assistants to lead discussion sections and laboratory sections. They are often called upon to inform students of the processes for completing and submitting class work such as lab reports. They also ready and proctor examinations. They are sometimes expected to schedule and maintain regular office hours to meet with students. Somewhat less frequently, graduate research assistants are also expected to complete laboratory projects before assigning them to students so that any needed modifications can be made.

They also have to be able to furnish instructors with assistance in the use of audiovisual equipment and notify instructors of errors or problems with assignments. And finally, they sometimes have to order or obtain materials needed for classes.

Like many other jobs, graduate research assistants must have exceptional integrity and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Chicago include:

  • Adult Education Teacher. Teach or instruct out-of-school youths and adults in remedial education classes, preparatory classes for the General Educational Development test, literacy, or English as a Second Language. Teaching may or may not take place in a traditional educational institution.
  • Agriculture Professor. Teach courses in the agricultural sciences. Includes teachers of agronomy, dairy sciences, and agricultural soil conservation.
  • Architecture Professor. Teach courses in architecture and architectural design, such as architectural environmental design, interior architecture/design, and landscape architecture.
  • Communication Professor. Teach courses in communications, such as organizational communications, public relations, radio/television broadcasting, and journalism.
  • Computer Science Professor. Teach courses in computer science. May specialize in a field of computer science.
  • English Professor. Teach courses in English language and literature, including linguistics and comparative literature.
  • High School Teacher. Instruct students in secondary public or private schools in one or more subjects at the secondary level, such as English, mathematics, or social studies. May be designated according to subject matter specialty, such as typing instructors, commercial teachers, or English teachers.
  • Instructional Systems Specialist. Develop instructional material, coordinate educational content, and incorporate current technology in specialized fields that provide guidelines to educators and instructors for developing curricula and conducting courses.
  • Law Professor. Teach courses in law.
  • Math Professor. Teach courses pertaining to mathematical concepts, statistics, and actuarial science and to the application of original and standardized mathematical techniques in solving specific problems and situations.
  • Middle School Teacher. Teach students in public or private schools in one or more subjects at the middle, intermediate, or junior high level, which falls between elementary and senior high school as defined by applicable State laws and regulations.
  • Nursing Professor. Demonstrate and teach patient care in classroom and clinical units to nursing students. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of both teaching and research.
  • Physical Education Professor. Teach courses pertaining to recreation, leisure, and fitness studies, including exercise physiology and facilities management.
  • Self-Enrichment Education Teacher. Teach or instruct courses other than those that normally lead to an occupational objective or degree. Courses may include self-improvement, nonvocational, and nonacademic subjects. Teaching may or may not take place in a traditional educational institution.
  • Teaching Assistant. Perform duties that are instructional in nature or deliver direct services to students or parents. Serve in a position for which a teacher or another professional has ultimate responsibility for the design and implementation of educational programs and services.
  • Vocational Instructor. Teach or instruct vocational or occupational subjects at the postsecondary level (but at less than the baccalaureate) to students who have graduated or left high school. Includes correspondence school instructors; industrial, commercial and government training instructors; and adult education teachers and instructors who prepare persons to operate industrial machinery and equipment and transportation and communications equipment. Teaching may take place in public or private schools whose primary business is education or in a school associated with an organization whose primary business is other than education.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Graduate Research Assistant Training

Elmhurst College - Elmhurst, IL

Elmhurst College, 190 Prospect Ave, Elmhurst, IL 60126-3096. Elmhurst College is a small college located in Elmhurst, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,315 students and an admission rate of 69%. Elmhurst College has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Education.

Ellis University - Chicago, IL

Ellis University, 111 N Canal St Ste 380, Chicago, IL 60606. Ellis University is a small university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 2,692 students. Ellis University has associate's degree, bachelor's degree, and master's degree programs in Education.

Benedictine University - Lisle, IL

Benedictine University, 5700 College Rd, Lisle, IL 60532-0900. Benedictine University is a medium sized university located in Lisle, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,053 students and an admission rate of 80%. Benedictine University has a master's degree program in Education which graduated 149 students in 2008.

Ivy Tech Community College-Northwest - Gary, IN

Ivy Tech Community College-Northwest, 1440 E 35th Ave, Gary, IN 46409-1499. Ivy Tech Community College-Northwest is a medium sized college located in Gary, Indiana. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,701 students. Ivy Tech Community College-Northwest has an associate's degree program in Education which graduated three students in 2008.

Dominican University - River Forest, IL

Dominican University, 7900 W Division St, River Forest, IL 60305. Dominican University is a small university located in River Forest, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,413 students and an admission rate of 85%. Dominican University has a master's degree program in Education.

University of Chicago - Chicago, IL

University of Chicago, 5801 S Ellis Ave, Chicago, IL 60637. University of Chicago is a large university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 14,620 students and an admission rate of 28%. University of Chicago has a master's degree program in Education which graduated nine students in 2008.

Saint Xavier University - Chicago, IL

Saint Xavier University, 3700 W 103rd St, Chicago, IL 60655. Saint Xavier University is a medium sized university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,307 students and an admission rate of 71%. Saint Xavier University has a master's degree program in Education.

Lewis University - Romeoville, IL

Lewis University, One University Parkway, Romeoville, IL 60446-2200. Lewis University is a medium sized university located in Romeoville, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,536 students and an admission rate of 71%. Lewis University has a master's degree and a post-master's certificate program in Education.

Northwestern University - Evanston, IL

Northwestern University, 633 Clark St, Evanston, IL 60208. Northwestern University is a large university located in Evanston, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 20,128 students and an admission rate of 27%. Northwestern University has a bachelor's degree program in Education.

Purdue University-Calumet Campus - Hammond, IN

Purdue University-Calumet Campus, 2200 169th St, Hammond, IN 46323-2094. Purdue University-Calumet Campus is a medium sized university located in Hammond, Indiana. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 9,325 students and an admission rate of 74%. Purdue University-Calumet Campus has a master's degree program in Education which graduated seventy-seven students in 2008.

North Park University - Chicago, IL

North Park University, 3225 W Foster Ave, Chicago, IL 60625-4895. North Park University is a small university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,255 students and an admission rate of 30%. North Park University has a master's degree program in Education.

Concordia University - River Forest, IL

Concordia University, 7400 Augusta, River Forest, IL 60305-1499. Concordia University is a small university located in River Forest, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,185 students and an admission rate of 58%. Concordia University has a bachelor's degree program in Education.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois photo by Dschwen

Chicago is situated in Cook County, Illinois. It has a population of over 2,853,114, which has shrunk by 1.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chicago, 114, is well above the national average. New single-family homes in Chicago are valued at $200,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred eighty-one new homes were built in Chicago, down from eight hundred seventy the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Chicago are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 35 minutes. More than 25.5% of Chicago residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chicago is 11.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Chicago residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Southlawn United Methodist Church, Southern Missionary Baptist Church and Lakeside Evangelical Church are all churches located in Chicago. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Chicago is home to the Five Crossings and the Wrigley Field as well as Monticello Park and Wilson Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Lincoln Village Shopping Center, Market Place at Six Corners Shopping Center and Kimbark Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Chicago can choose from Extended Stay America, Embassy Suites Lakefront and Cottage Inn for temporary stays in the area.