Professor Job Overview
Professors, whether they are full-time or part-time professors, work at universities, colleges or vocational schools. They use their expertise and experience to train individuals and equip them for rewarding careers. Some of the normal duties of professors include:
- Presenting lectures and planning lessons
- Conducting research and writing academic papers
- Working with students to help them grasp material and make progress
- Advising students on which classes they should take
- Assessing student assignments and tests
- Participating in school functions and working on committees responsible for managing a school’s budget and policies
Professors need to cultivate positive work relationships with others, especially the associate professors and assistant professors who share their area of expertise.
Professor Job Education Requirements
Most universities require that professors hold a Ph.D. in their area of specialty, although the requirements vary between schools and subjects. In some cases, a school may hire a professor who only has a master’s degree or who is a doctoral candidate.
In smaller schools and community colleges, the educational requirements are often not as stringent. These institutions may regularly hire candidates who have a master’s degree and do not plan to pursue a Ph.D. If there are a lot of candidates for a job opening, schools give preference to those with the most education or those who have teaching experience.
Professor Job Market
Postsecondary education is becoming increasingly important for young job seekers, and scholarships to universities and colleges are more plentiful than ever. These factors are leading to growing enrollment rates in educational institutions, which is in turn leading to a need for more professors. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects above average job growth for postsecondary educators in upcoming years.
Of course, the availability of professor positions depends on schools’ budgets. Schools without ample funding are more likely to hire part-time professors than they are to hire full-time ones.
Professor Job Salary Information
The median annual wage for postsecondary teachers is roughly $69,000, although professors who hold a Ph.D. are likely to make significantly more. Law professors tend to make more than any other type of postsecondary teacher; their median annual wage is around $100,000. Private universities tend to offer the highest rates of pay, while community colleges and vocational schools usually pay much less. Many professors have a job in addition to what they do at the school; they may hold a research position in their area of expertise.