What is an Assistant Professor

Assistant professors are entry-level academic staff who assist full-time professors at universities or colleges. They write proposals for research funding, voice their concerns and suggestions at faculty meetings, recruit and train junior staff, and answer students' questions via email or over the phone.

Academic environments are highly competitive, so you need to be able to keep a fast pace and show what you are made of. You will need to have a Ph.D. degree to be considered for this position, but this does not mean your learning days are over. You will have to write and publish papers in academic journals in your field and do presentations at conferences if you have the chance. Assistant professors give classes and supervise graduate and undergraduate students in their work as well.

Being an assistant professor is a challenging and promising phase in an academic career, as long as you get the chance to eventually upgrade to full employment. As an entry-level tenure track position, an assistant professor makes $60,167 per year on average.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being an assistant professor. For example, did you know that they make an average of $45.38 an hour? That's $94,395 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 11% and produce 155,000 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does an Assistant Professor Do

There are certain skills that many assistant professors have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed interpersonal skills, speaking skills and writing skills.

Learn more about what an Assistant Professor does

How To Become an Assistant Professor

If you're interested in becoming an assistant professor, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 43.9% of assistant professors have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 25.0% of assistant professors have master's degrees. Even though most assistant professors have a college degree, it's impossible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become an assistant professor. When we researched the most common majors for an assistant professor, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on assistant professor resumes include doctoral degree degrees or associate degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become an assistant professor. In fact, many assistant professor jobs require experience in a role such as instructor. Meanwhile, many assistant professors also have previous career experience in roles such as research assistant or lecturer.

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Average Salary
$94,395
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
11%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
27,133
Job Openings
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Assistant Professor Career Paths

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Average Salary for an Assistant Professor

Assistant Professors in America make an average salary of $94,395 per year or $45 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $166,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $53,000 per year.
Average Salary
$94,395
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Assistant Professor Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming an Assistant Professor. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write an Assistant Professor Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Assistant Professor resumes and compiled some information about how to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Assistant Professor Resume Examples And Templates

Assistant Professor Demographics

Assistant Professor Gender Statistics

male

50.7 %

female

40.6 %

unknown

8.7 %

Assistant Professor Ethnicity Statistics

White

67.4 %

Asian

15.9 %

Hispanic or Latino

8.1 %

Assistant Professor Foreign Languages Spoken Statistics

Spanish

31.4 %

French

14.8 %

Chinese

7.4 %
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Assistant Professor Education

Assistant Professor Majors

11.7 %
7.3 %

Assistant Professor Degrees

Bachelors

43.9 %

Masters

25.0 %

Doctorate

24.6 %

Top Colleges for Assistant Professors

1. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$8,987
Enrollment
18,946

2. University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Minneapolis, MN • Private

In-State Tuition
$14,760
Enrollment
31,451

3. Ohio State University

Columbus, OH • Private

In-State Tuition
$10,726
Enrollment
45,769

4. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Private

In-State Tuition
$15,262
Enrollment
30,079

5. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

6. University of Washington

Seattle, WA • Private

In-State Tuition
$11,207
Enrollment
30,905

7. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$59,430
Enrollment
8,216

8. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

9. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,828
Enrollment
26,339

10. University of Florida

Gainesville, FL • Private

In-State Tuition
$6,381
Enrollment
34,564
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Top Skills For an Assistant Professor

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 20.1% of assistant professors listed diversity on their resume, but soft skills such as interpersonal skills and speaking skills are important as well.

12 Assistant Professor RESUME EXAMPLES

Best States For an Assistant Professor

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as an assistant professor. The best states for people in this position are California, Arkansas, Alaska, and Texas. Assistant professors make the most in California with an average salary of $127,016. Whereas in Arkansas and Alaska, they would average $122,158 and $117,796, respectively. While assistant professors would only make an average of $110,827 in Texas, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Texas

Total Assistant Professor Jobs:
1,317
Highest 10% Earn:
$203,000
Location Quotient:
1.28
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Oregon

Total Assistant Professor Jobs:
383
Highest 10% Earn:
$190,000
Location Quotient:
1.82
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Alaska

Total Assistant Professor Jobs:
91
Highest 10% Earn:
$155,000
Location Quotient:
2.14
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Assistant Professors

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Updated August 18, 2021