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Become A Faculty

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Working As A Faculty

  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Getting Information
  • Training and Teaching Others
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings
  • Deal with People

  • Make Decisions

  • $87,600

    Average Salary

What Does A Faculty 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 Faculty

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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Faculty jobs

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Faculty Career Paths

Faculty
Guest Lecturer Adjunct Instructor ESL Instructor
Academic Director
8 Yearsyrs
Associate Professor Senior Scientist Adjunct Faculty
Assistant Principal
10 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Program Manager Education Director
Campus Director
7 Yearsyrs
Associate Professor Research Scientist Program Manager
Center Director
7 Yearsyrs
Assistant Professor Program Director Operations Director
Chief Operating Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Nurse Practitioner Staff Nurse
Clinical Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Faculty Member Assistant Professor Chairperson
Dean
5 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager Adjunct Instructor
Department Chairperson
7 Yearsyrs
Coach Registered Nurse Nursing Director
Director Of Clinical Operations
13 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Information Technology Consultant Director Of Information
Director Of Information Management
10 Yearsyrs
Professor Research Associate Instructor
Director Of Instruction
6 Yearsyrs
Coach Home Health Aid Registered Nurse Supervisor
Director Of Staff Development
8 Yearsyrs
Nurse Practitioner Assistant Professor Program Manager
Education Director
7 Yearsyrs
Professor Attorney Project Manager
Product Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Assistant Professor Senior Scientist Project Manager
Program Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Chairperson Account Executive Business Analyst
Quality Assurance Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Guest Lecturer Instructor Education Director
School Director
7 Yearsyrs
Chairperson Project Manager Program Manager
Senior Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Technical Project Manager Information Technology Manager
Technical Director
7 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
College Professor 4.7 years
Faculty Member 4.1 years
Professor 3.6 years
Nursing Faculty 3.5 years
College Instructor 3.5 years
Adjunct Faculty 3.5 years
Associate Faculty 3.4 years
Faculty Dean 3.3 years
Adjunct Professor 3.2 years
Adjunct Instructor 3.1 years
Online Instructor 3.0 years
Faculty 3.0 years
Faculty Advisor 2.3 years
Visiting Professor 2.2 years
Visiting Faculty 2.0 years
Faculty Assistant 1.8 years
Top Employers Before
Instructor 10.0%
Internship 5.8%
Teacher 5.8%
Director 4.7%
Consultant 4.0%
Lecturer 3.5%
Volunteer 2.5%
Top Employers After
Instructor 8.6%
Director 5.4%
Teacher 5.0%
Consultant 4.9%
Internship 4.3%
Professor 3.6%
Lecturer 3.5%
President 2.8%

Faculty Demographics

Gender

Female

54.9%

Male

41.8%

Unknown

3.3%
Ethnicity

White

73.9%

Asian

11.8%

Hispanic or Latino

9.7%

Unknown

3.6%

Black or African American

1.0%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

39.0%

French

13.9%

German

6.6%

Italian

5.1%

Arabic

5.1%

Chinese

4.9%

Russian

3.9%

Mandarin

3.7%

Hindi

3.2%

Japanese

2.9%

Portuguese

2.0%

Korean

1.7%

Urdu

1.4%

Greek

1.2%

Hebrew

1.2%

Gujarati

0.8%

Thai

0.8%

Cantonese

0.8%

Filipino

0.8%

Vietnamese

0.7%
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Faculty Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

17.7%

Walden University

10.4%

Capella University

10.2%

New York University

4.7%

Arizona State University

4.6%

Michigan State University

4.4%

Wayne State University

4.2%

Johns Hopkins University

4.0%

Harvard University

3.7%

West Virginia University

3.5%

University of Florida

3.4%

Grand Canyon University

3.4%

Georgia State University

3.4%

Texas A&M University

3.3%

Case Western Reserve University

3.3%

Temple University

3.2%

University of Pennsylvania

3.2%

Florida State University

3.1%

University of Pittsburgh -

3.1%

University of Georgia

3.0%
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Majors

Nursing

15.8%

Business

11.4%

Education

8.1%

English

5.7%

Educational Leadership

5.6%

Elementary Education

5.2%

Music

5.2%

Fine Arts

4.9%

Psychology

4.5%

General Education, Specific Areas

3.7%

Management

3.4%

Computer Science

3.2%

Communication

3.2%

Law

3.2%

Medicine

3.1%

Counseling Psychology

3.0%

Clinical Psychology

2.9%

Biology

2.9%

Writing

2.6%

Health Care Administration

2.5%
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Degrees

Masters

40.6%

Doctorate

21.9%

Bachelors

16.3%

Other

14.9%

Certificate

3.1%

Associate

2.3%

Diploma

0.9%

License

0.1%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Faculty Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Medical Faculty Adventist Health System/Sunbelt Inc. Celebration, FL Jul 09, 2016 $326,094
Medical Faculty Adventist Health System/Sunbelt Inc. Celebration, FL Sep 02, 2015 $326,094
Faculty In Anesthesiology The Curators of The University of Missouri Columbia, MO May 22, 2015 $290,000 -
$350,000
Tenure-Track Faculty University of Utah Salt Lake City, UT Nov 18, 2016 $136,000
Faculty, Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering University of Virginia Charlottesville, VA Feb 10, 2015 $120,000
Pre-Clinical Restorative Dental Faculty A. T. Still University of Health Sciences Kirksville, MO Jul 01, 2015 $110,000
Tenure Track Faculty, Department of Photography Columbia College Chicago Chicago, IL Aug 17, 2015 $110,000
Senior Faculty Center for Creative Leadership San Diego, CA Apr 15, 2016 $105,581 -
$157,000
Electrical and Computer Engineering Faculty Brigham Young University Provo, UT Jan 05, 2015 $102,660
Faculty Lincoln Memorial University Harrogate, TN Sep 01, 2015 $100,000
Non-Tenured Faculty Southern California Institute of Architecture Los Angeles, CA Jan 07, 2016 $98,667
Faculty (Graduate ART) Art Center College of Design Pasadena, CA Aug 05, 2015 $71,451
Teaching Faculty I The Florida State University Tallahassee, FL Jan 12, 2016 $70,000
Faculty In Photography and Media California Institute of The Arts Santa Clarita, CA Jan 02, 2016 $70,000
Affiliate Faculty-Engineering (Mechanical) Grand Valley State University Grand Rapids, MI Jun 07, 2016 $69,060
Affiliate Faculty-School of Engineering Grand Valley State University Grand Rapids, MI Jul 01, 2015 $68,000
Electronics Engineering Faculty ECPI University Virginia Beach, VA Aug 20, 2016 $67,420
Hip Faculty Avenues New York LLC New York, NY Dec 09, 2016 $67,400
Faculty, History of Art and Visual Culture Rhode Island School of Design Providence, RI Jul 01, 2015 $67,000

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Top Skills for A Faculty

ClassroomManagementCurriculumDevelopmentOnlineCoursesUndergraduateCoursesCourseSyllabusPsychologyHistoryMathematicsMethodsTechnicalSupportTheoryCoursesTaughtProceduresLanguageLiteratureLessonPlansLaboratoryBiologyArtTopics

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Top Faculty Skills

  1. Classroom Management
  2. Curriculum Development
  3. Online Courses
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Implemented Best Practices and Judicious Discipline for classroom management.
  • Delivered training alternatives for instruction and curriculum development career paths.
  • Teach Master's level online courses in health care management and conflict resolution for approximately 200 graduate students per year.
  • Facilitated graduate level courses in law, ethics, and dispute resolution and undergraduate courses in criminal justice.
  • Developed course syllabus, prepared class materials, graded written assignments and class presentations.

Top Faculty Employers

Faculty Videos

USC Resident Faculty: A Day in the Life of Professor Oliver Mayer

Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka. (1080p)

BYU-Idaho: Following the Lord's Counsel—Faculty Advice on Careers

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