Get valuable job experience working as a lab assistant, observatory assistant or grader for introductory courses.

Application process

  1. Submit an application to the Physics & Astronomy department office (NH156).
  2. Once you have been offered a position, if you have not worked on campus before, please check the Student Employment "Before you start" webpage for forms you must complete.
  3. Complete Online Student Employment Safety Training.

Graders and lab assistants

Graders and lab assistants play a key role in assisting professors and students by grading homework and assisting in labs. The department has around 15 paid positions each semester.


  • Successful completion (grade of B or above) of a course or its content equivalent for the course in which you are assisting
  • Anyone who has taken Phys 133 with a B or higher is qualified to assist in Physics 133, 221 and 223.
  • Anyone who has taken Physics 222 or 235 with a B or higher is qualified to assist in Physics 222.

Why be a grader or lab assistant?

  • Grading homework is useful for reviewing material and building up your problem-solving skills.
  • You gain experience at evaluating other people's work--a valuable life-long skill.
  • You learn physics even better--any time you see a subject a second time, it helps you understand it more thoroughly and retain it longer.
  • Recommendations: your supervising professor will be able to write a much stronger letter of recommendation if he knows how well you work, if you are dependable, if you can interact well with others, if you can analyze problems in lab and articulate ways to lead students through the material.
  • It looks good on your resume.
  • You get paid for convenient, on-campus work.

Grader Description Lab Assistant Description Application

Help session aide

A help session aide provides assistance in the evenings to students seeking help with problem sets from various classes.


  • Must have completed at least one major sequence course beyond Phys235
  • Must have a good overall GPA in physics courses
  • Ability to "think on one's feet" for answering students' questions

Help Session Aid Description Application


An observer is responsible (together with a partner) to operate the telescopes on the Science Building roof on the weeknight assigned to them. They assist students coming to work on observing homework assignments, as well as give open-ended tours of the heavens to visitors. They also initiate the night's observing run at our automated, remote telescope in New Mexico.


  • Familiarity with telescope operation (training is provided)
  • Familiarity with basic astronomy (training is provided)
  • Excellent interpersonal skills for interacting with students and visitors

Observer Description Application