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By the Numbers: Research & Teaching Assistants
Compiled by Carolyn Wilson
To encourage the enrollment of talented graduate students, engineering departments offer many of them positions as research assistants (RAs) or teaching assistants (TAs). These students receive monthly salaries and tuition assistance. While departments tend to hire more RAs than TAs, the combined total has grown by several thousand over the past decade. Among all graduate students enrolled in engineering programs in 2018, approximately 40 percent held either an RA or TA position. The average monthly salary for RA and TA positions has increased over the past decade from approximately $1,840 in 2009 to $2,218 in 2018 for RAs and $1,755 in 2009 to $2,029 in 2018 for TAs. However, when those salaries are adjusted for inflation, the value of the stipends has increased only slightly. Various factors, including regional cost of living, affect the amount a department will offer. The salaries listed in the accompanying graphics do not take account of tuition adjustments, which also vary by school. In 2018, the average monthly salaries for RA and TA positions were higher at institutions in the Northeast and West than in the Midwest and South.
Data Source: ASEE’s 2018 Profiles of Engineering and Engineering Technology Colleges
Design by Toni Rigolosi