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Become A College Instructor

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Working As A College Instructor

  • Training and Teaching Others
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
  • Coaching and Developing Others
  • Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • $62,000

    Average Salary

What Does A College Instructor Do

Career and technical education teachers instruct students in various technical and vocational subjects, such as auto repair, healthcare, and culinary arts. They teach academic and technical content to provide students with the skills and knowledge necessary to enter an occupation.

Duties

Career and technical education teachers typically do the following:

  • Create lesson plans and assignments
  • Instruct students on how to develop certain skills
  • Show how to apply classroom knowledge through hands-on activities
  • Demonstrate and supervise the safe and proper use of tools and equipment
  • Monitor students’ progress, assign tasks, and grade assignments
  • Discuss students’ progress with parents, students, and counselors
  • Develop and enforce classroom rules and safety procedures

Career and technical education teachers help students explore and prepare to enter a specific occupation, in fields such as healthcare or information technology. They use a variety of teaching techniques to help students learn and develop skills related to a specific career or field of study. They demonstrate tasks, techniques, and tools used in an occupation. They may assign hands-on tasks, such as replacing brakes on cars, taking blood pressure, or recording vital signs. Teachers typically oversee these tasks in workshops and laboratories in the school.

Some teachers establish relationships with local businesses and nonprofit organizations to provide practical work experience for students. They also serve as advisers to students participating in career and technical student organizations.

The specific duties of career and technical education teachers vary by the grade and subject they teach. In middle schools and high schools, they teach general concepts in a classroom and through practical exercises in workshops and laboratories.

In postsecondary schools, they teach specific career skills that help students earn a certificate, diploma, or an associate’s degree, and prepare them for a specific job. For example, welding instructors teach students various welding techniques and essential safety practices. They also monitor the use of tools and equipment, and have students practice procedures until they meet the specific standards required by the trade.

In most states, teachers in middle and high schools instruct one subject within the 16 major career fields, also known as Career Clusters. For example, the career cluster known as architecture and construction includes instruction in designing, planning, managing, building, and maintaining structures.

Teachers instructing courses in agricultural, food, and natural resources teach topics such as agricultural production; agriculture-related business; veterinary science; and plant, animal, and food systems. For example, they may have students plant and care for crops and tend to animals so that students can apply what they have learned in the classroom.

Career and technical education teachers in hospitality and tourism teach students in subjects such as nutrition, culinary arts, or hotel lodging. For example, teachers may instruct and supervise students in creating menus and preparing food.

Some teach the skills necessary to work as technicians and assistants, such as nursing and dental assistants in health-science occupations.

For information on all 16 major Career Clusters and programs in all other states, visit National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium.

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How To Become A College Instructor

Career and technical education teachers must have a bachelor’s degree. They also need work experience in the subject they teach. Some teachers, particularly those in public schools, also may be required to have a state-issued certification or license. Requirements for certification vary by state.

Education

Career and technical education teachers in public schools generally need a bachelor’s degree in the field they teach, such as agriculture, engineering, or computer science.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Many career and technical education teachers need work experience in the field they teach. For example, automotive mechanics, chefs, and nurses typically spend years in their career before moving into teaching.

Training

Some states require prospective career and technical education teachers to complete a period of fieldwork, commonly referred to as student teaching. In some states, this program is a prerequisite for a license to teach in public schools. During student teaching, prospective teachers gain experience in preparing lessons and teaching students under the supervision and guidance of a mentor teacher. The amount of time required for these programs varies by state, but may last from 1 to 2 years.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

States may require career and technical education teachers in public schools to be licensed or certified. Requirements for certification vary by state. Most states require teachers to pass a background check.

Certification typically requires completing a student teaching program and a bachelor’s degree. States usually require candidates to pass a general teaching certification test.

Teachers may be required to complete annual professional development courses to maintain their license. For certification requirements in your state, visit Teach.org.

Some states offer an alternative route to certification for prospective teachers who have a bachelor’s degree or work experience in their field, but lack the education courses required for certification. Alternative programs typically cover teaching methods, development of lesson plans, and classroom management.

In addition to teaching certification, career and technical education teachers who prepare students for an occupation that requires a license or certification may need to have and maintain the same credential. For example, career and technical education teachers who instruct welding may need to have certification in welding.

Advancement

Experienced teachers can advance to become mentors and lead teachers, helping less experienced teachers to improve their teaching skills.

Teachers may become school counselors, instructional coordinators, or principals. These positions generally require additional education, an advanced degree, or certification. An advanced degree in education administration or leadership may be helpful.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Career and technical education teachers must be able to explain technical concepts in terms that students can understand.

Organizational skills. Career and technical education teachers have many students in different classes throughout the day. They must be able to organize their time and teaching materials.

Patience. Working with students of different abilities and backgrounds can be difficult. Teachers must be patient with each student in their classroom and develop a positive learning environment.

Resourcefulness. Teachers need to be able to develop different ways of presenting information and demonstrating tasks so that students can learn.

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College Instructor Demographics

Gender

Female

47.6%

Male

40.9%

Unknown

11.5%
Ethnicity

White

61.4%

Hispanic or Latino

15.8%

Black or African American

10.7%

Asian

7.7%

Unknown

4.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

44.1%

French

13.4%

Chinese

6.7%

German

6.1%

Mandarin

5.0%

Russian

3.9%

Japanese

2.8%

Arabic

2.8%

Italian

2.2%

Korean

1.7%

Filipino

1.7%

Tagalog

1.7%

Persian

1.7%

Vietnamese

1.1%

Thai

1.1%

Greek

1.1%

Carrier

1.1%

Gujarati

0.6%

Hindi

0.6%

Hebrew

0.6%
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College Instructor Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

18.3%

Walden University

9.4%

Wayne State University

8.3%

New Mexico State University

5.6%

Capella University

5.4%

Nova Southeastern University

5.1%

University of South Florida

4.3%

Grand Canyon University

4.3%

Michigan State University

4.0%

Webster University

3.8%

Liberty University

3.5%

Saint Louis University-

3.2%

Kent State University

3.2%

University of Texas at El Paso

3.2%

Purdue University

3.2%

University of Oklahoma

3.2%

New York University

3.0%

University of North Texas

3.0%

Pennsylvania State University

3.0%

American InterContinental University

3.0%
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Majors

Business

15.8%

Education

11.9%

Educational Leadership

7.1%

Elementary Education

6.8%

English

6.7%

Nursing

6.0%

Psychology

5.1%

Management

4.6%

Counseling Psychology

3.9%

School Counseling

3.6%

Mathematics

3.4%

Communication

3.3%

General Education, Specific Areas

3.3%

Criminal Justice

3.1%

Special Education

2.9%

Computer Science

2.6%

Law

2.6%

Social Work

2.5%

Fine Arts

2.2%

Educational Technology

2.2%
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Degrees

Masters

46.1%

Bachelors

22.3%

Other

11.9%

Doctorate

10.5%

Certificate

4.1%

Associate

4.1%

Diploma

0.8%

License

0.2%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$62,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$30,000
Min 10%
$62,000
Median 50%
$62,000
Median 50%
$62,000
Median 50%
$62,000
Median 50%
$62,000
Median 50%
$62,000
Median 50%
$62,000
Median 50%
$127,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Kaplan
Highest Paying City
Oakland, CA
Highest Paying State
Nevada
Avg Experience Level
3.5 years
How much does a College Instructor make at top companies?
The national average salary for a College Instructor in the United States is $62,628 per year or $30 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $30,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $128,000.

Real College Instructor Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
College Instructor (Music) Mira Costa Community College District Oceanside, CA Aug 21, 2015 $111,966
College Instructor (Music) Mira Costa Community College District Oceanside, CA Aug 20, 2012 $98,724
College Instructor Ringling College of Art and Design Sarasota, FL May 01, 2015 $59,679
College Instructor Lewis & Clark College Portland, OR Jan 01, 2011 $58,000
College Instructor Lewis & Clark College Portland, OR May 08, 2012 $58,000
College Instructor, Mathematics Pacific Islands University Oct 23, 2015 $57,810
College Instructor/Econometrics Pacific Islands University Apr 25, 2013 $57,810
College Instructor Ringling College of Art and Design Sarasota, FL May 01, 2012 $57,222
College Instructor Temple College Temple, TX Jun 01, 2010 $48,837
College Instructor of Computer Science New Mexico State University Carlsbad, NM Jan 01, 2010 $47,202
College Instructor Columbia College Fairfax, VA Nov 01, 2011 $36,689

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Top Skills for A College Instructor

  1. Classroom Management
  2. Curriculum Development
  3. Mathematics
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Work effectively on deadline and in stressful situations; possess key strategies to develop positive reinforcement in classroom management.
  • Developed expertise in curriculum development and new course design.
  • Excelled in achieving proficiency in teaching mathematics to students which is measured through tests ensuring accuracy of information taught.
  • Designed lesson plans, created, administered and evaluated assessments to military students.
  • Instruct graduate and undergraduate courses in leadership, management, ethics, organizational studies,

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Top 10 Best States for College Instructors

  1. Alaska
  2. New York
  3. California
  4. Iowa
  5. Idaho
  6. Oregon
  7. District of Columbia
  8. Michigan
  9. New Jersey
  10. Pennsylvania
  • (134 jobs)
  • (769 jobs)
  • (901 jobs)
  • (110 jobs)
  • (24 jobs)
  • (170 jobs)
  • (131 jobs)
  • (212 jobs)
  • (361 jobs)
  • (390 jobs)

Top College Instructor Employers

Jobs From Top College Instructor Employers

College Instructor Videos

When do you call your college professor, Professor?

True Life: I'm a College Professor

University Professor, Career Video from drkit.org

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