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Become A Biology Instructor

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Working As A Biology Instructor

  • Training and Teaching Others
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others
  • Getting Information
  • Deal with People

  • Make Decisions

  • $59,880

    Average Salary

What Does A Biology Instructor 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 A Biology Instructor

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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Do you work as a Biology Instructor?

Biology Instructor Jobs

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Biology Instructor Demographics

Gender

Female

54.4%

Male

42.4%

Unknown

3.2%
Ethnicity

White

79.3%

Hispanic or Latino

8.6%

Asian

8.0%

Unknown

2.8%

Black or African American

1.3%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

43.9%

French

17.1%

Russian

9.8%

Arabic

4.9%

Portuguese

2.4%

Chinese

2.4%

German

2.4%

Hebrew

2.4%

Armenian

2.4%

Cherokee

2.4%

Bengali

2.4%

Urdu

2.4%

Italian

2.4%

Hindi

2.4%
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Biology Instructor Education

Schools

University of Alabama

7.0%

University of Colorado at Boulder

7.0%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

7.0%

Clemson University

6.0%

University of Utah

6.0%

Purdue University

6.0%

Oregon State University

5.0%

University of Alabama at Birmingham

5.0%

Nova Southeastern University

5.0%

University of Southern Mississippi

5.0%

University of Pennsylvania

5.0%

University of Florida

4.0%

Georgia Southern University

4.0%

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

4.0%

University of Nebraska - Lincoln

4.0%

University of California - Berkeley

4.0%

University of Georgia

4.0%

Texas A&M University

4.0%

Walden University

4.0%

Jackson State University

4.0%
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Majors

Biology

42.1%

Ecology, Population Biology, And Epidemiology

6.2%

Biochemistry, Biophysics, Molecular Biology

5.5%

Education

5.5%

General Education, Specific Areas

4.4%

Zoology

4.0%

Elementary Education

3.5%

Educational Leadership

3.3%

Cell Biology And Anatomical Science

3.1%

Business

2.6%

Nursing

2.4%

Biomedical Sciences

2.2%

Secondary Education And Teaching

2.2%

Physiology And Anatomy

2.0%

Microbiology

2.0%

Environmental Science

2.0%

Medicine

2.0%

Botany

2.0%

Public Health

1.5%

Chemistry

1.5%
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Degrees

Masters

41.6%

Doctorate

26.8%

Bachelors

13.6%

Other

12.8%

Certificate

3.5%

Associate

1.1%

Diploma

0.5%

License

0.2%
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Real Biology Instructor Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Molecular Biology Instructor Yeshiva University New York, NY Sep 15, 2010 $166,960
Instructor of Molecular Biology Yeshiva University New York, NY Sep 27, 2011 $166,960
Biology Instructor Saint Paul College Saint Paul, MN Feb 01, 2011 $77,803
Visiting Instructor of Biology University of Pittsburgh Bradford, PA Sep 01, 2012 $70,500
Biology Instructor BRD of Rgnts, Nv Sys of Higher Edu, Great Basin College Pahrump, NV Sep 29, 2014 $70,323
Instructor I, Biology Lamar University Beaumont, TX May 16, 2016 $64,229
Assis.Professor/Instructor of Biology Liberty University, Inc. Lynchburg, VA Nov 21, 2012 $59,737
Biology Instructor Minnesota State Colleges & Universities White Bear Lake, MN Aug 22, 2015 $59,676
Biology Instructor Faulkner University Montgomery, AL Aug 11, 2014 $58,913
Biology Instructor Faulkner University Montgomery, AL Aug 21, 2014 $58,913
Biology Instructor The Victoria College Victoria, TX Apr 14, 2014 $55,453
Instructor I, Biology Lamar University Beaumont, TX May 16, 2016 $53,524
Biology Instructor Board of Regents Nevada System of Higher Education Pahrump, NV Jul 27, 2016 $52,863
Biology Instructor East Central College Union, MO Oct 01, 2014 $51,351
Biology Instructor Minnesota State Colleges & Universities White Bear Lake, MN Aug 22, 2012 $51,000
Biology Instructor Saint Paul College Saint Paul, MN Feb 01, 2011 $51,000
Visiting Instructor of Biology Hollins University Roanoke, VA Jul 16, 2016 $50,450
Biology Instructor East Central College Union, MO Sep 30, 2011 $50,344
Instructor-Biochemistry and Molecular Biology East Tennessee State University Johnson City, TN May 01, 2012 $48,256
Instructor of Biology James Madison University Harrisonburg, VA Aug 25, 2011 $48,000
Instructor of Biology Clarion University of Pennsylvania Clarion, PA Aug 20, 2016 $46,610
Instructor of Biology The Hotchkiss School Lakeville, CT Sep 13, 2013 $46,110
Instructor of Biology The Hotchkiss School Lakeville, CT Aug 01, 2013 $46,110
Biology Instructor Coastal Bend College Beeville, TX Sep 15, 2016 $45,000
Instructor In Biology/Physiology University of Central Missouri Warrensburg, MO Oct 08, 2016 $45,000
Biology Instructor Hesston College Hesston, KS Sep 04, 2015 $44,870
Instructor of Biology The Hotchkiss School Lakeville, CT Aug 01, 2012 $44,600
Biology Instructor North Iowa Area Community College Mason City, IA Aug 13, 2012 $44,000

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How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Biology Instructor?

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Top Skills for A Biology Instructor

LabExperimentsAnatomy/PhysiologyClassroomInstructionCurriculumDevelopmentMolecularBiologyTechniquesChemistryLessonPlansOnlineNon-ScienceMajorsGeneticsCellularBiologyIntroductoryBiologyEcologyGeneralBiologyCoursesPrinciplesCoursesTaughtScientificMethodAcademicAdvisorTopics

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  1. Lab Experiments
  2. Anatomy/Physiology
  3. Classroom Instruction
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Used variety of teaching techniques to encourage student critical thinking and discussion in Biology, Anatomy/Physiology, Cell Biology and Microbiology.
  • Provided classroom instruction in accordance with approved course outlines.
  • Participate in curriculum development and serve on institution committees as necessary to maintain and improve the instructional program.
  • Managed the Pediatric Neurology Molecular Biology Laboratory work single-handed for three years.
  • Employed diverse techniques to promote active learning in geometry and biology for developmentally delayed students.

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Top Biology Instructor Employers

Biology Instructor Videos

High School Teacher Career Information : How to Become a High School Teacher

High School Science Teacher, Career Video from drkit.org

CAREERS IN BIOLOGY SCIENCE – B.Sc,M.Sc,Science technician, Research,Job Opportunities,Salary Package