Career Detail


Teachers - University, College, and Postsecondary
“The Professors”
Instruct students in a wide variety of academic and vocational subjects beyond the high school level.
The Job
The students of most postsecondary teachers are students who are working toward a degree, but many others are studying for a certificate or certification to improve their knowledge or career skills. Postsecondary teachers include college and university faculty, postsecondary career and technical education teachers, and graduate teaching assistants. College and university faculty may give lectures to several hundred students in large halls, lead small seminars, or supervise students in laboratories. They also grade exams and papers; and advise and work with students individually. In universities, they also supervise graduate students' teaching and research. Postsecondary teachers must also keep up with new developments in their field and may consult with government, business, nonprofit, and community organizations. Most postsecondary teachers have flexible schedules. They must be present for classes, usually 12 to 16 hours per week, and for faculty and committee meetings. Most establish regular office hours for student consultations, usually 3 to 6 hours per week. Otherwise, teachers are free to decide when and where they will work, and how much time to devote to course preparation, grading, study, research, graduate student supervision, and other activities.
Work Environment
Most postsecondary teachers work with others who enjoy their field of study. Class enviornment varies greatly depending on the nature of the field of study.
College Majors
Doctorate or masters in the field of study
Minimum Qualifications
Usually require candidates for full-time, tenure-track positions, to hold a doctoral degree. However, they may hire master's degree holders or doctoral candidates for certain disciplines, such as the arts, or for part-time and temporary jobs.
Personality traits helpful for this career
be self-motivated and able to work in an environment in which they receive little direct supervision.
Quick Facts
  • The use of e-mail, chat rooms, and other techniques has greatly improved communications between students and teachers and among students.
  • Most postsecondary teachers have flexible schedules.
  • Educational qualifications range from expertise in a particular field to a Ph.D., depending on the subject taught and the type of educational institution.
  • Job opportunities are expected to be very good, but many new openings will be for part-time or non-tenure-track positions.
  • More Info: Council of Graduate Schools, Internet: http://www.preparing-faculty.org
Compensation and Outlook
Earnings for college faculty vary with the rank and type of institution, geographic area, and field. According to a 2008-09 survey by the American Association of University Professors, salaries for full-time faculty averaged $79,439. By rank, the average was $108,749 for professors, $76,147 for associate professors, $63,827 for assistant professors, $45,977 for instructors, and $52,436 for lecturers.
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H.S. diploma H.S. diploma
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