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Become An Assistant Professor Of Physics

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Working As An Assistant Professor Of Physics

  • Training and Teaching Others
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Processing Information
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • $82,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Assistant Professor Of Physics Do

Postsecondary teachers instruct students in a wide variety of academic and career and technical subjects beyond the high school level. They also conduct research and publish scholarly papers and books.

Duties

Postsecondary teachers typically do the following:

  • Teach courses in their subject area
  • Work with students who are taking classes to improve their knowledge or career skills
  • Develop an instructional plan (known as a course outline or syllabus) for the course(s) they teach and ensure that it meets college and department standards
  • Plan lessons and assignments
  • Work with colleagues to develop or modify the curriculum for a degree or certificate program involving a series of courses
  • Assess students’ progress by grading assignments, papers, exams, and other work
  • Advise students about which classes to take and how to achieve their goals
  • Stay informed about changes and innovations in their field
  • Conduct research and experiments to advance knowledge in their field
  • Supervise graduate students who are working toward doctoral degrees
  • Publish original research and analysis in books and academic journals
  • Serve on academic and administrative committees that review and recommend policies, make budget decisions, or advise on hiring and promotions within their department

Postsecondary teachers, often referred to as professors or faculty, specialize in a variety of subjects and fields. Some teach academic subjects, such as English or philosophy. Others focus on career-related subjects, such as law, nursing, or culinary arts.

At colleges and universities, professors are organized into departments that specialize in a subject, such as history, science, business, or music. A professor may teach one or more courses within that department. For example, a mathematics professor may teach calculus, statistics, and a graduate seminar in a very specific area of mathematics.

Postsecondary teachers’ duties vary with their positions in a university or college. In large colleges or universities, they may spend their time teaching, conducting research or experiments, applying for grants to fund their research, or supervising graduate teaching assistants who are teaching classes.

Postsecondary teachers who work in small colleges and universities or in community colleges often spend more time teaching classes and working with students. They may spend some time conducting research, but they do not have as much time to devote to it.

Full-time professors, particularly those who have tenure (a professor who cannot be fired without just cause), often are expected to spend more time on their research. They also may be expected to serve on more college and university committees.

Part-time professors, often known as adjunct professors, spend most of their time teaching students.

Professors may teach large classes of several hundred students (often with the help of graduate teaching assistants), smaller classes of about 40 to 50 students, seminars with just a few students, or laboratories where students practice the subject matter. They work with an increasingly varied student population as more part-time, older, and culturally diverse students are going to postsecondary schools.

Professors need to keep up with developments in their field by reading scholarly articles, talking with colleagues, and participating in professional conferences. A tenured professor must do original research, such as experiments, document analysis, or critical reviews, and publish their findings.

Some postsecondary teachers work for online universities or teach online classes. They use websites to present lessons and information, to assign and accept students’ work, and to participate in course discussions. Online professors communicate with students by email and by phone and might never meet their students in person.

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How To Become An Assistant Professor Of Physics

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.

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Assistant Professor Of Physics Demographics

Gender

Male

54.3%

Female

33.0%

Unknown

12.8%
Ethnicity

White

58.7%

Asian

13.8%

Hispanic or Latino

13.0%

Black or African American

9.6%

Unknown

5.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

French

25.0%

Spanish

20.0%

German

10.0%

Russian

10.0%

Hungarian

5.0%

Vietnamese

5.0%

Georgian

5.0%

Dutch

5.0%

Urdu

5.0%

Hindi

5.0%

Italian

5.0%
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Assistant Professor Of Physics Education

Schools

South University

9.4%

Pennsylvania State University

9.4%

University of Southern Mississippi

7.5%

University of Arizona

7.5%

Johns Hopkins University

5.7%

University of Houston

5.7%

University of Illinois University Administration

5.7%

University of Florida

3.8%

Texas A&M University

3.8%

Air Force Institute of Technology

3.8%

University of the Sciences

3.8%

Ohio University -

3.8%

University of Maryland Center for Environmental Sciences

3.8%

University of Rochester

3.8%

College of the Sequoias

3.8%

Missouri University of Science and Technology

3.8%

University of Kentucky

3.8%

University of California - San Diego

3.8%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

3.8%

Wake Forest University

3.8%
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Majors

Physics

38.6%

Medical Assisting Services

17.5%

Physical Therapy

11.2%

Kinesiology

4.0%

Electrical Engineering

4.0%

Business

3.6%

Chemistry

2.4%

Education

2.4%

Health Education

2.0%

Computer Science

2.0%

Geology

1.6%

Engineering Physics

1.6%

Medicine

1.2%

Mechanical Engineering

1.2%

Elementary Education

1.2%

Environmental Science

1.2%

Ecology, Population Biology, And Epidemiology

1.2%

Biochemistry, Biophysics, Molecular Biology

1.2%

Astronomy And Astrophysics

1.2%

Management

0.8%
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Degrees

Doctorate

36.1%

Masters

21.8%

Associate

18.4%

Other

11.5%

Bachelors

9.3%

Certificate

2.2%

Diploma

0.6%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$82,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$40,000
Min 10%
$82,000
Median 50%
$82,000
Median 50%
$82,000
Median 50%
$82,000
Median 50%
$82,000
Median 50%
$82,000
Median 50%
$82,000
Median 50%
$166,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
California Institute of the Arts
Highest Paying City
Rapid City, SD
Highest Paying State
Hawaii
Avg Experience Level
2.8 years
How much does an Assistant Professor Of Physics make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Assistant Professor Of Physics in the United States is $82,568 per year or $40 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $40,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $166,000.

Real Assistant Professor Of Physics Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Assistant Professor-Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, PA Jan 11, 2015 $217,382
Assistant Professor of Physics California Institute of Technology Pasadena, CA Mar 15, 2016 $141,000
Assistant Professor of Applied Physics and Materials Science California Institute of Technology Pasadena, CA Jul 01, 2016 $138,000
Assistant Professor of Applied Physics and Materials Science California Institute of Technology Pasadena, CA Mar 22, 2016 $138,000
Assistant Professor, Department of Physical Medicine & Rehab University of Minnesota Minneapolis, MN Aug 20, 2016 $134,424
Assistant Professor of Physics University of Rochester Rochester, NY Jul 01, 2015 $93,800
Assistant Professor-Physical Therapy Midwestern University Glendale, AZ Jan 11, 2015 $92,000
Assistant Professor of Physics Brown University Providence, RI Jul 01, 2015 $90,000
Assistant Professor of Physics Brown University Providence, RI Jan 07, 2016 $90,000
Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy University of North Georgia Dahlonega, GA Jan 07, 2016 $90,000
Assistant Professor of Physics University of Virginia Charlottesville, VA Oct 08, 2016 $88,000
Assistant Professor of Physics The University of South Dakota Vermillion, SD Dec 02, 2016 $73,265
Assistant Professor of Physics The University of South Dakota Vermillion, SD Feb 29, 2016 $73,122
Assistant Professor-Physics University of South Dakota Vermillion, SD Aug 22, 2016 $72,500
Assistant Professor of Physics The Curators of The University of Missouri Rolla, MO Nov 29, 2016 $72,331
Assistant Professor of Physics Trustees of Grinnell College Grinnell, IA Aug 01, 2015 $71,400
Assistant Professor of Physics Trustees of Grinnell College Grinnell, IA Aug 22, 2016 $71,400
Assistant Professor-Physical Therapy The Sage Colleges Troy, NY Oct 08, 2016 $65,088
Assistant Professor of Physics and Engineering Physics The University of Tulsa Tulsa, OK May 16, 2016 $65,000
Assistant Professor-Soil Physics Auburn University Auburn, AL Apr 22, 2016 $65,000
Assistant Professor of Physics Gordon College Wenham, MA Jan 31, 2015 $63,500
Clinical Assistant Professor for Physical Therapy Daemen College Amherst, NY Aug 22, 2016 $62,500

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Top Skills for An Assistant Professor Of Physics

  1. Physical Therapy
  2. Crisis Intervention
  3. Gait Training
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Administered active or passive manual physical therapy exercises.
  • Assisted patients with bed mobility, transfers, gait training and the proper fitting and use of assistive devices.
  • Selected Contributions: * Supervised technicians and equipped them with information necessary to provide quality patient care.
  • Report to fellow faculty on departmental budgetary issues and curriculum development.
  • Prepared and taught undergraduate courses in physics.

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Top 10 Best States for Assistant Professors Of Physics

  1. Iowa
  2. New Jersey
  3. Indiana
  4. Michigan
  5. Arizona
  6. New York
  7. Utah
  8. New Hampshire
  9. Rhode Island
  10. Ohio
  • (81 jobs)
  • (314 jobs)
  • (88 jobs)
  • (243 jobs)
  • (121 jobs)
  • (848 jobs)
  • (105 jobs)
  • (16 jobs)
  • (3 jobs)
  • (127 jobs)

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