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Educational requirements vary with the subject taught and the type of educational institution. Most commonly, postsecondary teachers must have a Ph.D. However, a master's degree may be enough for some postsecondary teachers at community colleges. In career and technical schools, work experience may be important for getting a postsecondary teaching job.Education
Postsecondary teachers who work for 4-year colleges and universities typically need a doctoral degree in their field. Some schools may hire those with a master’s degree or those who are doctoral degree candidates for some specialties, such as fine arts, or for some part-time positions.
Doctoral programs generally take multiple years after the completion of a bachelor’s degree program. They spend time completing a master’s degree and then writing a doctoral dissertation, which is a paper presenting original research in the student’s field of study. Candidates usually specialize in a subfield, such as organic chemistry or European history.
Community colleges or career and technical schools also may hire those with a master’s degree. However, in some fields, there are more applicants than available positions. In these situations, institutions can be more selective, and they frequently choose applicants who have a Ph.D. over those with a master’s degree.
Postsecondary teachers who teach career and technical education courses, such as culinary arts or cosmetology, may not be required to have graduate-level education. At a minimum they must hold the degree of the program in which they are teaching. For example, the teacher must hold an associate’s degree if they teach a program that is at the associate’s degree level. In addition, work experience or certification may be just as important as education for getting a postsecondary teaching job at a career or technical school.Other Experience
Some institutions may prefer to hire those with teaching or other work experience, but this is not a requirement for all fields or for all employers.
In health specialties, art, or education fields, hands-on work experience in the industry can be important. Postsecondary teachers in these fields often gain experience by working in an occupation related to their field of expertise.
In fields such as biological science, physics, and chemistry, some postsecondary teachers have postdoctoral research experience. These short-term jobs, sometimes called “post-docs,” usually involve working for 2 to 3 years as a research associate or in a similar position, often at a college or university.
Some postsecondary teachers gain teaching experience by working as graduate teaching assistants—students who are enrolled in a graduate program and teach classes in the institution in which they are enrolled.
Some postsecondary teachers, especially adjunct professors, have another job in addition to teaching.Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
Postsecondary teachers who prepare students for an occupation that requires a license, certification, or registration, may need to have—or they may benefit from having—the same credential. For example, a postsecondary nursing teacher might need a nursing license or a postsecondary education teacher might need a teaching license.Advancement
A major goal for postsecondary teachers with a doctoral degree is attaining a tenure—a guarantee that a professor cannot be fired without just cause. It can take up to 7 years of moving up the ranks in tenure-track positions. The ranks are assistant professor, associate professor, and professor. Tenure is granted through a review of the candidate’s research, contribution to the institution, and teaching.
Tenure and tenure track positions are declining as institutions are relying more heavily on part-time faculty.
Some tenured professors advance to administrative positions, such as dean or president. For information on deans and other administrative positions, see the profile on postsecondary education administrators. For more information about college and university presidents, see the profile on top executives.Important Qualities
Critical-thinking skills. To challenge established theories and beliefs, conduct original research, and design experiments, postsecondary teachers need good critical-thinking skills.
Interpersonal skills. Most postsecondary teachers need to be able to work well with others and must have good communication skills to serve on committees and give lectures.
Resourcefulness. Postsecondary teachers need to be able to present information in a way that students will understand. They need to adapt to the different learning styles of their students and teach students who have little or no experience with the subject.
Speaking skills. Postsecondary teachers need good communication skills to give lectures.
Writing skills. Most postsecondary teachers need to be skilled writers to publish original research and analysis.
Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Assistant Professor Of Biology
Top Careers After Assistant Professor Of Biology
Hispanic or Latino7.4%
Black or African American2.4%
Assistant Professor Of Biology
Unfortunately we don’t have enough data for this section.
University of California - Berkeley7.7%
Texas A&M University7.7%
University of Florida5.8%
University of Alabama5.8%
University of Maryland - College Park5.8%
University of Oklahoma5.8%
Kutztown University of Pennsylvania3.8%
University of Massachusetts - Boston3.8%
Arizona State University3.8%
State University of New York Albany3.8%
Youngstown State University3.8%
Wake Forest University3.8%
Indiana University Bloomington3.8%
Ohio State University3.8%
University of Illinois at Chicago3.8%
Assistant Professor Of Biology
Unfortunately we don’t have enough data for this section.
|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Assistant Professor of Biology||California Institute of Technology||Pasadena, CA||Oct 26, 2015||$138,000|
|Assistant Professor of Biological Engineering||University of Idaho||Moscow, ID||Aug 14, 2016||$91,500|
|Assistant Professor-Cell Biology||University of The Pacific||San Francisco, CA||Jan 06, 2016||$85,000|
|Assistant Professor of Biology||Saint Louis University||Saint Louis, MO||Aug 15, 2016||$82,500|
|Assistant Professor, Biology||Fordham University||New York, NY||Oct 01, 2015||$82,173|
|Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences||The George Washington University||Washington, DC||Jan 01, 2016||$81,000|
|Assistant Professor of Biology||Texas Christian University||Fort Worth, TX||Mar 09, 2015||$80,000|
|Assistant Professor of Biology||Williams College||Williamstown, MA||Jan 07, 2016||$79,600|
|Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology||St. Lawrence University||Canton, NY||Aug 17, 2015||$77,004|
|Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences||University of New Hampshire||Durham, NH||Oct 31, 2016||$75,850|
|Assistant Professor of Biology||Montgomery College||Rockville, MD||Jan 15, 2016||$75,062|
|Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences||University of Southern California||Los Angeles, CA||Jul 27, 2015||$75,000 -
|Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences||Clemson University||Clemson, SC||Aug 15, 2015||$75,000|
|Assistant Professor of Biology||Colgate University||Hamilton, NY||Jul 20, 2016||$74,500|
|Assistant Professor of Biology||The University of Tulsa||Tulsa, OK||Aug 15, 2015||$69,203|
|Assistant Professor of Biological Science||The University of Tulsa||Tulsa, OK||Aug 15, 2015||$69,203|
|Assistant Professor Chemical and Biological Engineering||Colorado School of Mines||Golden, CO||Aug 15, 2016||$69,177 -
|Assistant Professor of Muscle Biology||Mississippi State University||Mississippi State, MS||Jul 31, 2015||$68,400|
|Assistant Professor of Biology and Animal Behavior||Bucknell University||Lewisburg, PA||Sep 03, 2015||$68,250|
|Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences||California State University, East Bay||Hayward, CA||Jan 02, 2016||$68,028 -
|Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences||California State University, East Bay||Hayward, CA||Jan 02, 2016||$68,020 -
|Assistant Professor, Evolutionary Biology||University of Idaho||Moscow, ID||Dec 15, 2016||$68,000|
|Assistant Professor of Biology||Liberty University||Lynchburg, VA||Nov 20, 2015||$60,337|
|Assistant Professor of Biology/Microbiology-Tenure Track||Western Kentucky University||Bowling Green, KY||Apr 04, 2016||$60,000|
|Assistant Professor, Dept. of Biology||Saint Michael's College||Colchester, VT||Aug 17, 2015||$60,000|
|Assistant Professor of Biology||Salisbury University||Salisbury, MD||Jul 30, 2015||$60,000|
|Assistant Professor-Forensic Biology||Western Carolina University||Cullowhee, NC||Sep 01, 2015||$60,000|
|Assistant Professor of Biology||Kutztown University of Pennsylvania||Kutztown, PA||Aug 22, 2015||$59,487|
|Assistant Professor of Biology (Plant Pathology)||Kutztown University||Kutztown, PA||Sep 06, 2016||$59,487|
|Assistant Professor of Biology||Concordia University||Portland, OR||Jan 07, 2016||$59,000|
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