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Become A Clinical Instructor

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Working As A Clinical Instructor

  • Training and Teaching Others
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Make Decisions

  • $111,883

    Average Salary

What Does A Clinical 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 Clinical 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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Clinical Instructor Jobs

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Clinical Instructor Career Paths

Clinical Instructor
Physical Therapist Clinical Director
Administrative Director, Behavioral Health Services
11 Yearsyrs
Family Nurse Practitioner Nurse Practitioner Staff Nurse
Assistant Director Of Nursing
7 Yearsyrs
Assistant Professor Executive Officer Flight Commander
Chief Of Service
8 Yearsyrs
Nurse Manager Case Manager Registered Nurse Case Manager
Clinical Care Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Dentist General Dentist
Dental Services Director
9 Yearsyrs
Instructor Specialist Case Manager
Director Of Case Management
11 Yearsyrs
Educator Therapist Respiratory Therapist
Director Of Clinical Education
11 Yearsyrs
Nurse Manager Nursing Director
Director Of Health Services
10 Yearsyrs
Assistant Athletic Trainer
Director Of Sports Medicine
6 Yearsyrs
Physical Therapist Outpatient Physical Therapist Clinician
Health Care Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Nursing Director Director Of Health Services
Home Service Director
8 Yearsyrs
CT Technologist Staff Technologist Radiologic Technician
Imaging Services Director
10 Yearsyrs
PRN Patient Care Technician Radiologic Technician
Manager Of Imaging
9 Yearsyrs
Instructor Case Manager
Medical Case Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Assistant Professor Clinical Pharmacist Medical Science Liaison
Medical Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Nurse Practitioner Staff Nurse
Nurse Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Family Nurse Practitioner Staff Nurse
Patient Care Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Nurse Practitioner Nurse Manager
Patient Relations Director
10 Yearsyrs
Case Manager Therapist Respiratory Therapist
Respiratory Care Program Director
8 Yearsyrs
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Clinical Instructor Demographics

Gender

Female

72.0%

Male

26.2%

Unknown

1.8%
Ethnicity

White

61.1%

Hispanic or Latino

14.7%

Black or African American

10.9%

Asian

9.0%

Unknown

4.3%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

53.4%

French

9.5%

Italian

4.8%

German

3.7%

Arabic

3.7%

Hindi

2.6%

Mandarin

2.6%

Russian

2.6%

Chinese

2.6%

Polish

2.6%

Portuguese

2.1%

Malayalam

1.6%

Vietnamese

1.1%

Korean

1.1%

Filipino

1.1%

Albanian

1.1%

Cantonese

1.1%

Croatian

1.1%

Japanese

1.1%

Swedish

0.5%
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Clinical Instructor Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

21.8%

Walden University

11.9%

Grand Canyon University

7.3%

University of Pennsylvania

4.5%

Case Western Reserve University

4.4%

University of Maryland - Baltimore

4.2%

New York University

4.1%

University of Alabama at Birmingham

4.0%

University of Alabama

3.8%

Capella University

3.8%

Indiana Wesleyan University

3.7%

Chamberlain College of Nursing

3.2%

South University

3.2%

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

3.2%

Saint Louis University-

3.1%

University of Southern California

2.9%

Yale University

2.9%

University of Washington

2.6%

Virginia Commonwealth University

2.6%

University of California - Los Angeles

2.6%
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Majors

Nursing

52.5%

Medical Technician

6.1%

Medicine

5.4%

Physical Therapy

4.5%

Business

4.4%

Education

3.2%

Health Care Administration

2.4%

Family Practice Nursing

2.3%

Advanced Dentistry And Oral Sciences

2.3%

Public Health

2.2%

Pharmacy

2.0%

Clinical Psychology

1.8%

Dental Assisting

1.8%

Management

1.7%

Psychology

1.4%

Nursing Science

1.3%

Health Sciences And Services

1.2%

Biology

1.2%

Elementary Education

1.1%

Nuclear And Industrial Radiologic Technologies

1.1%
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Degrees

Masters

38.4%

Bachelors

21.2%

Other

13.7%

Doctorate

13.4%

Associate

7.8%

Certificate

4.1%

Diploma

1.0%

License

0.3%
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Real Clinical Instructor Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Clinical Instructor In Anesthesiology & Perioperative MED. The Curators of The University of Missouri Columbia, MO Jul 01, 2015 $300,000 -
$350,000
Clinical Instructor In Anesthesiology & Perioperative MED. The Curators of The University of Missouri Columbia, MO Jan 11, 2015 $300,000 -
$350,000
Clinical Instructor--Hospitalist The University of Kansas Physicians Kansas City, KS Jan 07, 2016 $262,500 -
$275,000
Clinical Instructor-Hospitalist The University of Kansas Medical Center Kansas City, KS Jan 07, 2016 $262,500 -
$275,000
Clinical Instructor University of Wisconsin Medical Foundation Madison, WI Jan 07, 2016 $260,875
Clinical Instructor Tufts University School of Dental Medicine Boston, MA Jan 07, 2016 $242,238
Clinical Instructor University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI Aug 22, 2016 $240,000
Clinical Instructor University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI Jun 08, 2016 $240,000
Clinical Instructor University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI Aug 06, 2016 $240,000
Clinical Instructor Leland Stanford Jr, University Stanford, CA Jan 09, 2016 $225,000
Clinical Instructor The Board of Trustees of The Leland Stanford, Jr. University Stanford, CA Jun 01, 2015 $225,000
Clinical Instructor University of Wisconsin Medical Foundation Madison, WI Jul 01, 2015 $208,700 -
$271,310
Visiting Clinical Instructor University of California, San Francisco San Francisco, CA Jul 01, 2015 $151,594
Instructor, Clinical Psychiatry Dartmouth College Lebanon, NH Jul 30, 2015 $150,000 -
$250,000
Clinical Instructor In Psychiatry The Curators of The University of Missouri Columbia, MO Jul 01, 2015 $146,090 -
$260,875
Instructor of Clinical Medicine LSU Health Sciences Center Shreveport, LA Nov 01, 2015 $145,080
Clinical Instructor/Hospitalist University of Pittsburgh Physicians Pittsburgh, PA Nov 16, 2016 $141,600
Clinical Instructor UB Family Medicine, Inc. Buffalo, NY Jan 01, 2016 $140,000
Clinical Instructor (Faculty), Hospitalist Thomas Jefferson University Philadelphia, PA Nov 19, 2015 $140,000 -
$160,000
Clinical Instructor University of Connecticut Health Center Farmington, CT Oct 28, 2016 $85,820
Clinical Instructor The Board of Trustees of The Leland Stanford, Jr. University Stanford, CA Jul 01, 2015 $85,000
Clinical Instructor (Surgical Pathology Fellow) East Carolina University Greenville, NC Jan 07, 2016 $85,000
HS Clinical Instructor University of California, San Francisco San Francisco, CA Jul 01, 2015 $85,000
Clinical Instructor of Pediatrics Childrens Hospital Los Angeles Medical Group Los Angeles, CA Sep 15, 2016 $81,807
Clinical Instructor The University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA Mar 10, 2016 $81,807
HS Clinical Instructor University of California, San Francisco San Francisco, CA Jul 14, 2016 $80,407
Instructor In Clinical Medicine Columbia University New York, NY Jan 12, 2016 $80,294

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Top Skills for A Clinical Instructor

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  1. Lab
  2. Patient Care
  3. Medical Surgical
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Worked collaboratively with local organizations to provide crisis services for Louisiana victims of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Gustav.
  • Supervised baccalaureate and accelerated baccalaureate student nurses in patient care, documentation, simulation exercises, and developing critical thinking.
  • Staff Occupational Therapist 1992 to 1997 Performed Occupational Therapy evaluations and treatment to Medical Surgical and Rehabilitation unit patients.
  • Developed and implemented academic/clinical curriculum for hospital rotation.
  • Designed and implemented an original nursing curriculum and provided clinical supervision.

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Top 10 Best States for Clinical Instructors

  1. District of Columbia
  2. Michigan
  3. Virginia
  4. Pennsylvania
  5. Louisiana
  6. Georgia
  7. Alaska
  8. Arizona
  9. New Jersey
  10. Missouri
  • (101 jobs)
  • (227 jobs)
  • (450 jobs)
  • (360 jobs)
  • (104 jobs)
  • (197 jobs)
  • (16 jobs)
  • (176 jobs)
  • (196 jobs)
  • (80 jobs)

Top Clinical Instructor Employers

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Jobs From Top Clinical Instructor Employers

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