Laboratory medicine

Laboratory medicine

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Research Assistant: career path guide

How to Become a Research Assistant: Career Path Guide

If you want to become a research assistant in science, business, social science or any other area, you first need to determine if this career path is a good fit for you. If the following description sounds like you, then you’re probably well suited for a career as a research assistant:

Those who become research assistants are typically individuals who would either like to gain more research experience in their chosen field, advance their education in that field, or they may simply enjoy being part of a research team in the field of their interest. Regardless of their individual career ambitions, research assistants typically have a keen interest and an education in the area to which their work in research relates.

Research assistants must be comfortable working in an environment that relates to their field, such as a laboratory, library or an office setting. Research assistants must be trustworthy, punctual and very well organized individuals. They must also be comfortable taking directive from other research assistants and lead researchers, as well communicating their work to others.

Education Needed to Become a Research Assistant

The educational requirements for becoming a research assistant may vary by field of employment, and by specific employer.

Research Assistants in Academia

Research assistants that work in academia are likely students that have already earned a bachelor’s degree in an area that closely relates to their field of work, and are in the process of earning a graduate degree in that field. For example, a research assistant working in the psychology department of a university likely has a bachelor's degree in psychology and is earning a master's or doctoral degree.

Some research assistants may be students that are in the process of earning their bachelor’s degree, although receiving credit towards their degree, rather than receiving financial compensation, usually compensates these research assistants.

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