Getting Hired to Work in the Labs

Year after year we hire dozens of students to work in the labs and would not be able to operate the facilities without the help of our student workers.

Opportunities for Undergraduate Students Working in the Labs:

Below are a some of the typical roles and responsibilities of student workers in the labs. Students are not limited to a single role and often transition from one to another during their "lab careers."

Peer Learning Assistant (PLA)

PLAs are responsible for helping students and trainees learn how to use the lab equipment. They must be and or become proficient with the programming software used in the labs as well as the instructions for labs they are they are responsible for. PLAs typically work in groups of three for lab sessions lasting 2 hrs. Students are typically recruited and invited to apply for open PLA positions after being observed to show competence and a desire to help others learn by current PLAs and the lab staff. There have even been times when a student enrolled in a class with morning labs is recruited to help teach the labs in the afternoon. For more insight into the PLA experience checkout this article on the Society of Manufacturing Engineers Advanced Manufacturing site "Putting Excited Novices in Charge Works for WPI"

  • Help Session Instructor

Help session instructors are typically experienced PLAs. They primarily help students with CNC programming questions, but also often help with machine tool setup and operations questions. Help Session hours are posted at

  • 3rd PLA (ME1800)
  • 2nd PLA (ME1800)
  • Lead PLA (Me1800)
  • Head PLAs (ME1800)
  • Advanced Operator Training Class Instructor
  • Advanced Operator Training Class Manager

Videographer / Production Assistant

In the labs we are constantly creating training tools and content. Students working in this role have opportunities to help craft, create, and produce dynamic multimedia content including live streams, and short format content for instruction and marketing.

Operations Assistant

  • Administrative Assistant
  • Maintenance Tech
  • Tool Room Assistant
  • Purchasing Assistant