Find The Best College Instructor Jobs For You

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Average Salary
$82,177
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
-1%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
21,898
Job Openings

College Instructor Careers

Becoming a college instructor can be a very rewarding job that enables you to instruct students in a wide variety of academic, career, and technical subjects beyond the high school level. College instructors, often referred to as professors, may also conduct research and publish papers. If you decide to become a college instructor, your main job duty will be to teach courses in your specific area of expertise.

As a college instructor, you'll be expected to develop course outlines or syllabi, design course content that meets department standards, plan lessons and assignments, and grade student assignments, papers, and exams. Depending on whether you work for a small college or large university, you could end up teaching small seminars with a few students or large lectures with hundreds of students. You may also have the opportunity to teach online courses.

If you're thinking of becoming a college instructor, educational requirements will vary depending on the subject and the educational institution where you are employed. Many colleges and universities require their instructors to have a Ph.D. in their field; however, some smaller institutions and community colleges may employ instructors with master's degrees.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a college instructor. For example, did you know that they make an average of $39.51 an hour? That's $82,177 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow -1% and produce -1,800 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a College Instructor Do

There are certain skills that many college instructors 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 communication skills, organizational skills and patience.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a college instructor, we found that a lot of resumes listed 17.9% of college instructors included classroom management, while 11.5% of resumes included student learning, and 11.3% of resumes included professional development. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the college instructor job title. But what industry to start with? Most college instructors actually find jobs in the education and non profits industries.

How To Become a College Instructor

If you're interested in becoming a college instructor, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 52.1% of college instructors have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 26.3% of college instructors have master's degrees. Even though most college instructors have a college degree, it's possible 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 a college instructor. When we researched the most common majors for a college instructor, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on college instructor resumes include associate degree degrees or doctoral degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a college instructor. In fact, many college instructor jobs require experience in a role such as teacher. Meanwhile, many college instructors also have previous career experience in roles such as instructor or internship.

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Average Salary
$82,177
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
-1%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
21,898
Job Openings

College Instructor Career Paths

Top Careers Before College Instructor

Teacher
18.1 %

Top Careers After College Instructor

Teacher
13.2 %

College Instructor Jobs You Might Like

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Average Salary for a College Instructor

College Instructors in America make an average salary of $82,177 per year or $40 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $154,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $43,000 per year.
Average Salary
$82,177
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Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
Glendora, CA
Salary Range62k - 125k$88k$88,485
New York, NY
Salary Range59k - 127k$87k$86,882
New Brunswick, NJ
Salary Range57k - 123k$84k$84,211
Ann Arbor, MI
Salary Range52k - 105k$75k$74,596
Arlington, VA
Salary Range47k - 97k$68k$68,340
Portland, OR
Salary Range48k - 89k$66k$66,095
$37k
$127k

Recently Added Salaries

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College Instructor 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 a College Instructor. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a College Instructor Resume

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

View Detailed Information

College Instructor Demographics

Gender

female

50.2 %

male

45.6 %

unknown

4.2 %

Ethnicity

White

70.9 %

Asian

9.9 %

Hispanic or Latino

9.4 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

44.1 %

French

13.4 %

Chinese

6.7 %
See More Demographics

College Instructor Education

Majors

Business
14.8 %
Education
10.0 %

Degrees

Bachelors

52.1 %

Masters

26.3 %

Associate

8.8 %

Top Colleges for College Instructors

1. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

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

2. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

3. California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$9,816
Enrollment
21,047

4. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

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

5. Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$18,454
Enrollment
40,108

6. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Private

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

7. North Carolina State University

Raleigh, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$9,101
Enrollment
23,708

8. Boston University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,948
Enrollment
17,238

9. University of Virginia

Charlottesville, VA • Private

In-State Tuition
$17,653
Enrollment
16,405

10. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,828
Enrollment
26,339
See More Education Info

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An Easy Guide to Learning the Anatomy and Physiology of the Human Body...

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College Algebra
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This College Algebra course will cover fundamental concepts of algebra required to interpret a variety of functions and equations. Topics within this course include: linear, quadratic, polynomial, rational, exponential, inverse functions and their graphs, linear inequalities, and linear systems of equations. Students who successfully complete this course will demonstrate increased ability in problem-solving and logical thinking...

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Top Skills For a College Instructor

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, 17.9% of college instructors listed classroom management on their resume, but soft skills such as communication skills and organizational skills are important as well.

Best States For a College Instructor

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a college instructor. The best states for people in this position are Hawaii, Alaska, California, and New Hampshire. College instructors make the most in Hawaii with an average salary of $107,796. Whereas in Alaska and California, they would average $91,735 and $90,339, respectively. While college instructors would only make an average of $89,645 in New Hampshire, 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. New York

Total College Instructor Jobs:
1,629
Highest 10% Earn:
$165,000
Location Quotient:
1.57
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. Alaska

Total College Instructor Jobs:
108
Highest 10% Earn:
$116,000
Location Quotient:
1.6
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. New Jersey

Total College Instructor Jobs:
869
Highest 10% Earn:
$162,000
Location Quotient:
1.36
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
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Top College Instructor Employers

1. New Mexico State University
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$68,765
College Instructors Hired: 
21+
2. Wayne State University Physician Group
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$128,026
College Instructors Hired: 
17+
3. Brown Mackie College
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$52,214
College Instructors Hired: 
16+
4. Kaplan
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$103,258
College Instructors Hired: 
15+
5. ESL Federal Credit Union
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$108,911
College Instructors Hired: 
14+
6. Ivy Tech Community College
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$53,784
College Instructors Hired: 
12+

College Instructor Videos

Updated October 2, 2020