A research assistant is a junior professional employed by an organization to collect, analyze, monitor, report and maintain information pertaining to the industry, such as competitor information, market research or scientific research.
Corporate Research Assistants
Corporate research assistants support specific business areas, such as equities or the retail sector. These professionals support a manager by compiling research materials such as periodicals and business dossiers, maintaining research databases and carrying out various administrative tasks.
Academic/Scientific Research Assistants
Within educational and scientific environments, research assistants support the work of scientists and academic subject matter experts, coordinating studies and performing the administrative tasks required to complete projects.
Within corporate organizations such as financial services, research assistants work in offices. In academic and scientific institutions, however, these professionals may work in laboratories.
In order to become a research assistant, candidates must possess at least a four-year degree within a field of study that relates to the industry in which they will work, such as finance or education.
In 2010, Indeed.com reported that the average annual salary of a research assistant working in the United States of America is $46,000.