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Working As a French Instructor

  • Training and Teaching Others
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Coaching and Developing Others
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • $49,000

    Average Salary

What Does A French 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 French 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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French Instructor Career Paths

French Instructor
English Instructor Instructor Consultant
Principal
11 Yearsyrs
English Instructor Instructor Adjunct Professor
Assistant Principal
10 Yearsyrs
English Instructor Instructor
Vocational Training Instructor
5 Yearsyrs
Instructor Of Spanish Adjunct Professor
Department Chairperson
7 Yearsyrs
Instructor Of Spanish Adjunct Professor Principal
Education Director
7 Yearsyrs
Instructor Of Spanish Interpreter And Translator Lecturer
Senior Lecturer
7 Yearsyrs
ESL Instructor Adjunct Instructor Instructional Designer
Senior Instructional Designer
9 Yearsyrs
ESL Instructor Adjunct Faculty Instructional Designer
Lead Instructional Designer
7 Yearsyrs
ESL Instructor Adjunct Instructor Founder
Founder And Director
6 Yearsyrs
Spanish Teacher Lead Teacher Assistant Director
School Director
6 Yearsyrs
Spanish Teacher Math Teacher Adjunct Instructor
Associate Dean
11 Yearsyrs
Spanish Teacher Adjunct Faculty Assistant Professor
Assistant Dean
8 Yearsyrs
Lecturer Presenter Assistant Principal
Director Of Instruction
7 Yearsyrs
Lecturer Professor Associate Dean
Academic Dean
10 Yearsyrs
Assistant Professor Department Chairperson Assistant Principal
Instruction Dean
9 Yearsyrs
Assistant Professor Education Consultant
Student Dean
7 Yearsyrs
Private Tutor Education Coordinator Educational Programs Coordinator
Education Program Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Private Tutor Lead Teacher Department Chairperson
Academic Director
7 Yearsyrs
Private Tutor Lead Instructor Department Chairperson
Administration Dean
9 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
French Teacher 4.1 years
French Professor 3.7 years
German Instructor 3.2 years
French Instructor 3.0 years
French Lecturer 3.0 years
ESL Instructor 2.8 years
English Instructor 2.8 years
Writing Instructor 2.5 years
Top Careers Before French Instructor
Teacher 10.8%
Instructor 7.2%
Translator 5.2%
Tutor 5.1%
Internship 4.1%
Volunteer 2.5%
Top Careers After French Instructor
Instructor 8.5%
Teacher 8.4%
Tutor 3.9%
Lecturer 3.9%
Translator 3.5%
Internship 3.1%

Do you work as a French Instructor?

Average Yearly Salary
$49,000
Show Salaries
$34,000
Min 10%
$49,000
Median 50%
$49,000
Median 50%
$49,000
Median 50%
$49,000
Median 50%
$49,000
Median 50%
$49,000
Median 50%
$49,000
Median 50%
$70,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Ohio University
Highest Paying City
Bakersfield, CA
Highest Paying State
California
Avg Experience Level
3.5 years
How much does a French Instructor make at top companies?
The national average salary for a French Instructor in the United States is $49,679 per year or $24 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $34,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $70,000.

Real French Instructor Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Instructor-ESL and French Pacific University Forest Grove, OR Sep 17, 2010 $93,915
French Instructor French Institute Alliance Francaise New York, NY Sep 26, 2013 $83,188
French Instructor French Institute Alliance Francaise New York, NY Sep 05, 2015 $78,263 -
$110,611
French Instructor French Institute Alliance Francaise Montclair, NJ Sep 20, 2016 $78,263 -
$110,611
French Instructor French Institute Alliance Francaise New York, NY Oct 01, 2013 $78,263
French Instructor French Institute Alliance Francaise New York, NY Sep 26, 2010 $73,817
French Instructor French Institute Alliance Francaise New York, NY Oct 01, 2013 $68,892
French Instructor French Institute Alliance Francaise New York, NY Sep 30, 2011 $68,892
French Instructor Ramaz School New York, NY Jun 02, 2008 $67,340
French Instructor French Institute Alliance Francaise New York, NY Oct 01, 2010 $66,888
French Instructor St. George's School Middletown, RI Sep 27, 2011 $64,750
French Instructor St. George's School Middletown, RI Sep 26, 2011 $64,750
Instructor of French Franklin & Marshall College Lancaster, PA Jul 01, 2011 $61,500
Instructor of French Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory San Francisco, CA Jan 08, 2016 $60,000 -
$70,000
French Instructor Dickinson College Carlisle, PA Jul 01, 2013 $57,950 -
$63,500
French Instructor Dickinson College Carlisle, PA Jun 15, 2013 $57,950 -
$63,500
French Instructor The Hopkins School New Haven, CT Aug 16, 2010 $53,250
Middle School French and Spanish Instructor The Regis School of The Sacred Heart Houston, TX Oct 01, 2011 $43,500 -
$47,900
Middle School French and Spanish Instructor The Regis School of The Sacred Heart Houston, TX Jun 27, 2011 $43,500 -
$47,900
Visiting Instructor of French Davidson College Davidson, NC Aug 01, 2010 $42,310
Middle School French and Spanish Instructor The Regis School of The Sacred Heart Houston, TX Jun 28, 2014 $42,040 -
$53,080
French Instructor Goucher College Baltimore, MD Aug 15, 2011 $42,000
French Instructor Alabama Educational Foundation & Indian Springs Sc Indian Springs Village, AL Aug 10, 2010 $40,000
Instructor-French Horn West Texas A&M University Canyon, TX Aug 17, 2009 $40,000
Private French Curriculum Elementary Instructor French School of Detroit Bloomfield Hills, MI Jul 01, 2014 $38,000
Instructor of French and Arabic University of South Dakota Vermillion, SD Aug 22, 2010 $38,000

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Top Skills for A French Instructor

  1. Spanish Language
  2. Classroom Management
  3. Language Curriculum
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Prepared undergraduate courses curriculum in beginning, intermediate and advanced Spanish language to adult learners.
  • Developed classroom management system to reinforce positive behavior and have consequences for negative behavior.
  • Designed language curriculum to meet specific job-related needs of students.
  • Prepared daily lesson plans, including integration of technology, and submitted to Language Coordinator.
  • Elaborated curricular and taught grammar, literature and conversation to beginner, intermediate and advanced students (Adults & children).

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Top 10 Best States for French Instructors

  1. California
  2. North Dakota
  3. Alaska
  4. New Jersey
  5. Michigan
  6. Pennsylvania
  7. Utah
  8. Rhode Island
  9. Massachusetts
  10. Wyoming
  • (562 jobs)
  • (19 jobs)
  • (27 jobs)
  • (161 jobs)
  • (148 jobs)
  • (243 jobs)
  • (45 jobs)
  • (16 jobs)
  • (115 jobs)
  • (36 jobs)

French Instructor Demographics

Gender

Female

53.3%

Male

30.6%

Unknown

16.1%
Ethnicity

White

57.2%

Hispanic or Latino

14.7%

Black or African American

13.0%

Asian

9.4%

Unknown

5.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

French

49.4%

Spanish

20.9%

Italian

6.2%

Arabic

6.0%

German

4.4%

Portuguese

2.8%

Russian

1.6%

Korean

1.1%

Japanese

1.1%

Greek

0.9%

Chinese

0.9%

Mandarin

0.7%

Wolof

0.7%

Swedish

0.5%

Hindi

0.5%

Dutch

0.5%

Hebrew

0.5%

Amharic

0.5%

Hungarian

0.5%

Berber

0.5%
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French Instructor Education

Schools

New York University

10.0%

Brigham Young University

7.9%

University of South Florida

7.1%

University of Phoenix

6.4%

Middlebury College

6.4%

University of Virginia

5.7%

Bowling Green State University

5.0%

National University

4.3%

Wayne State University

4.3%

Michigan State University

4.3%

University of Maryland - College Park

4.3%

Temple University

4.3%

Pennsylvania State University

4.3%

University of Georgia

4.3%

Trinity Washington University

3.6%

University of Illinois at Chicago

3.6%

University of Akron

3.6%

Georgia State University

3.6%

Florida State University

3.6%

University of Louisiana at Lafayette

3.6%
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Majors

French Language

17.0%

Linguistics

13.3%

English

8.5%

Area Studies

7.4%

Business

6.8%

Education

6.0%

Elementary Education

5.6%

Teaching English As A Second Language

4.4%

General Education, Specific Areas

4.3%

Music

3.5%

Educational Leadership

3.3%

Psychology

2.5%

Political Science

2.5%

Criminal Justice

2.3%

Marketing

2.3%

Modern Greek Language And Literature

2.1%

Communication

2.1%

Romance Languages, Literatures, And Linguistics

2.1%

Spanish Language

1.9%

Curriculum And Instruction

1.9%
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Degrees

Masters

46.8%

Bachelors

17.2%

Other

14.4%

Doctorate

8.7%

Certificate

7.3%

Associate

3.9%

Diploma

1.8%
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