Student Assistant Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Student Assistant, or Student Office Assistant, is responsible for completing a range of clerical tasks to uphold department operations. Their duties include taking phone calls and transferring callers to Professors or other staff, making copies for staff members or distributing mail and directing students to different offices or departments.

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Student Assistant Duties and Responsibilities

A Student Assistant assists professors, staff and other students with various duties and responsibilities associated with post-secondary education, including:

  • Advising student and their families on necessary steps for correctly completing financial aid and admissions forms
  • Assisting administrative personnel and professors in providing photocopies and filings
  • Performing administrative duties related to students’ programs
  • Maintaining and managing private student information in online and physical files
  • Managing and overseeing bulletin boards and other displays announcing course offerings and seminars
  • Assisting the admissions office in processing admission forms for potential students
  • Interacting with students via email and phone, addressing any questions or concerns

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What Does a Student Assistant Do?

Student Assistants typically work for universities or colleges in a specific department to provide administrative support to campus staff as they complete classes. They work closely with other Student Assistants and full-time campus employees to complete their work activities. Their job is to run errands on behalf of staff members, handle exams or graded materials and use software programs to update department schedules. They may also be responsible for helping Professors set up class materials or proctor exams in their absence.

Student Assistant Skills and Qualifications

A Student Assistant generally needs to be currently enrolled and have an extensive understanding of procedures and standards of the college or university they are working for. In addition, the following skills and qualifications are helpful:

  • Multitasking and prioritizing tasks to meet deadlines
  • Exceptional written and spoken communication skills
  • Ability to anticipate the needs of existing and new students and efficiently manage them
  • Experience dealing with sensitive and personal information
  • Proficient using Microsoft Office Suite and Google Drive
  • Experience with database and data-entry software

Student Assistant Salary Expectations

A Student Assistant position has an average salary of $10.71 per hour. This information is based on 4,584 anonymously submitted salaries by Student Assistant employees, Indeed users and past and current Indeed job listings within the last 36 months.

Student Assistant Education and Training Requirements

Educational requirements for a Student Assistant position will vary from location to location. In addition to a high school diploma, a Student Assistant will most likely need to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school and be actively enrolled in a graduate degree program with the college or university they are working in. Most positions will have grade point requirements, and some may have prerequisite coursework requirements.

Applicants hired for a Student Assistant position are generally hired to fulfill roles that are closely related to their desired career path. Similar to an internship, Student Assistant positions provide an opportunity for students to develop real-world skills related to their chosen fields.

Student Assistant Experience Requirements

Examples of Student Assistant employers include colleges, universities, professional schools, technical schools, computer training schools, junior colleges, business schools and medical and surgical schools. Regardless of the type of program requiring a Student Assistant, this position can provide a great deal of experience and is an excellent addition to a student’s resume as they enter the workforce.

Many professors who work with Student Assistants have valuable networking contacts within their field, so they can often be instrumental in helping a successful Student Assistant in finding a good job after graduation. Student Assistants have to maintain balance as they have to fulfill all of their job responsibilities along with the educational responsibilities and other student tasks.

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Frequently asked questions about Student Assistants

What is the difference between a Student Assistant and a Student Research Assistant?

The difference between a Student Assistant and a Student Research Assistant is their qualifications and the scope of their job responsibilities. For example, Student Assistants are usually in the process of obtaining a bachelor’s degree at a college or university. Student Assistants can usually be from any major, as their job responsibilities include administrative and clerical work. 

In contrast, Student Research Assistants are usually a few years into a bachelor’s degree program, or master’s degree program. Because they have experience in a particular major or subject area, they have the ability to work with a Professor to conduct experiments, review primary sources and compile reports based on their findings.


What are the daily duties of a Student Assistant?

On a typical day, a Student Assistant starts by checking in with the Professors and other administrative staff in their department to see if they have any requests or errands that need to be completed. Throughout their shift, they answer calls from students or campus staff and relay information about office hours or meeting vacancies for Professors. They make copies, scan documents onto the computer and help students find a Professor’s office. Student Assistants also retrieve mail from the mailroom and distribute it in department mailboxes. 

Department staff typically send Student Assistants on errands to deliver materials to other departments or pick up food on their behalf.


What makes a good Student Assistant?

A good Student Assistant has a personable nature and an eagerness to learn, enabling them to contribute to a productive work environment. They always arrive early and demonstrate enthusiasm when faced with new or challenging tasks. Further, a good Student Assistant understands how to use an industrial copier, phone system and scheduling software, or at least has a strong desire to learn how to use office equipment effectively. A good Student Assistant also interacts with student visitors in a professional manner when working in the department.


Who does a Student Assistant report to?

A Student Assistant typically reports to either the Department Secretary, Department Director or a Professor, depending on their work environment. These individuals help train Student Assistants on how to use copier machines and other office equipment. They also provide Student Assistants with daily tasks to complete on their behalf. Student Assistants may also report to other Student Assistants who have more experience in their role.

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