Career

Science and Research

 
Science and Research Careers | Research Assistant

Research Assistant

What Does a Professional in this Career Do?

Assists with a research program or project. Works in a variety of fields within science or the social sciences, in programs based at a university or research institution, or works on government or industry sponsored research projects. Conducts field or library research or recruits participants for a study; may also assist with legal research.

Job Outlook

There were 280 Research Assistant job postings in North Carolina in the past year and 9124 in the United States.

In combination with other careers in the Researcher / Research Associate industry, which includes the Research Assistant career, the following graph shows the number of people employed for each year since 2012:

Salary

Many new Research Assistant jobs have salaries estimated to be in the following ranges, based on the requirements and responsibilities listed in job postings from the past year.

National

The average estimated salary in the United States for this career, based on job postings in the past year, is $37,804.

State

The average estimated salary in North Carolina for this career, based on job postings in the past year, is $36,049.

Percentiles represent the percentage that is lower than the value. For example, 25% of estimated salaries for Research Assistant postings in the United States in the past year were lower than $30,872.

Education and Experience

Posted Research Assistant jobs typically require the following level of education. The numbers below are based on job postings in the United States from the past year. Not all job postings list education requirements.

Education LevelPercentage
Associate's Degree11%
Bachelor's Degree59%
Master's Degree27%
Doctoral Degree3%
Other0%

Posted Research Assistant jobs typically require the following number of years of experience. The numbers below are based on job postings in the United States from the past year. Not all job postings list experience requirements.

Years of ExperiencePercentage
0 to 2 years71%
3 to 5 years25%
6 to 8 years3%
9+ years1%

Skills

Below are listings of the most common general and specialized skills Research Assistant positions expect applicants to have as well as the most common skills that distinguish individuals from their peers. The percentage of job postings that specifically mention each skill is also listed.

Baseline Skills

A skill that is required across a broad range of occupations, including this one.

  • Research (99%)
  • Communication Skills (38%)
  • Organizational Skills (25%)
  • Detail-Oriented (23%)
  • Microsoft Excel (23%)

Defining Skills

A core skill for this occupation, it occurs frequently in job postings.

  • Experiments (19%)
  • Molecular Biology (9%)

Necessary Skills

A skill that is requested frequently in this occupation but isn’t specific to it.

  • Data Collection (18%)
  • Scheduling (15%)
  • Data Entry (14%)
  • Biology (13%)
  • Data Analysis (11%)

Distinguishing Skills

A skill that may distinguish a subset of the occupation.

  • Investigational Review Board (IRB) (6%)
  • Western Blot (3%)
  • Tissue Culture (3%)

Alternative Job Titles

Sometimes employers post jobs with Research Assistant skills but a different job title. Some common alternative job titles include:

  • Research Assistant I
  • Research Assistant II
  • Graduate Research Assistant
  • Senior Research Assistant

Similar Occupations

If you are interested in exploring occupations with similar skills, you may want to research the following job titles. Note that we only list occupations that have at least one corresponding NC State Online and Distance Education program.

Common Employers

Here are the employers that have posted the most Research Assistant jobs in the past year along with how many they have posted.

United States

  • Pennsylvania State University (259)
  • The Ohio State University (142)
  • University Of California (104)
  • University of Chicago (92)
  • North Dakota State University (89)

North Carolina

  • University of North Carolina (57)
  • North Carolina State University (36)
  • East Carolina University (20)
  • Duke University (17)
  • Nc State University (8)

NC State Programs Relevant to this Career

If you are interested in preparing for a career in this field, the following NC State Online and Distance Education programs offer a great place to start!

Not sure where to start?

Get personalized program recommendations with Career Insight.

Go to Career Insight