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Become A History Instructor

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Working As A History Instructor

  • Training and Teaching Others
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others
  • Getting Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Make Decisions

  • $53,000

    Average Salary

What Does A History 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 History 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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History Instructor Career Paths

History Instructor
English Instructor Instructor Consultant
Principal
11 Yearsyrs
English Instructor Instructor Lead Teacher
Center Director
7 Yearsyrs
English Instructor Instructor Adjunct Professor
Assistant Principal
10 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Professor Principal Director
Education Director
7 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Professor Assistant Principal
Elementary School Principal
12 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Instructor Assistant Professor Chairperson
Board Member
5 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Instructor Owner Director
Founder And Director
6 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Instructor Faculty Chairperson
Department Chairperson
7 Yearsyrs
Assistant Professor Consultant Principal
Athletic Director
5 Yearsyrs
Assistant Professor Department Chairperson Assistant Principal
Vice Principal
8 Yearsyrs
Language Instructor ESL Instructor Lecturer
Senior Lecturer
7 Yearsyrs
Language Instructor Lecturer Trainer
Vocational Training Instructor
5 Yearsyrs
Language Instructor Program Coordinator Lead Teacher
School Director
6 Yearsyrs
Consultant Case Manager Director Of Admissions
Campus Director
7 Yearsyrs
Art Instructor Lead Teacher Assistant Principal
Director Of Special Education
11 Yearsyrs
Art Instructor Adjunct Faculty Instructional Designer
Senior Instructional Designer
9 Yearsyrs
Art Instructor Adjunct Faculty Professor
Associate Dean
11 Yearsyrs
Researcher Research Fellow Senior Scientist
Study Director
7 Yearsyrs
Researcher Program Coordinator Education Consultant
Student Dean
7 Yearsyrs
Researcher Professor Department Chairperson
Academic Director
7 Yearsyrs
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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
History Professor 4.8 years
English Professor 3.4 years
German Instructor 3.2 years
Biology Instructor 3.1 years
History Instructor 3.0 years
English Instructor 2.8 years
Writing Instructor 2.5 years
Top Careers Before History Instructor
Instructor 14.1%
Teacher 8.7%
Internship 6.8%
Tutor 4.4%
Lecturer 2.4%
Consultant 2.2%
Director 2.1%
Volunteer 2.1%
Assistant 2.1%
Top Careers After History Instructor
Instructor 15.9%
Teacher 9.4%
Lecturer 3.6%
Tutor 3.3%
Consultant 3.1%
Owner 2.9%

Do you work as a History Instructor?

Average Yearly Salary
$53,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$33,000
Min 10%
$53,000
Median 50%
$53,000
Median 50%
$53,000
Median 50%
$53,000
Median 50%
$53,000
Median 50%
$53,000
Median 50%
$53,000
Median 50%
$87,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Oakland University
Highest Paying City
Fresno, CA
Highest Paying State
California
Avg Experience Level
3.3 years
How much does a History Instructor make at top companies?
The national average salary for a History Instructor in the United States is $53,980 per year or $26 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $33,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $87,000.

Real History Instructor Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Instructor of History Quinnipiac University Hamden, CT Aug 12, 2013 $60,000
Instructor of East Asian History The College of Wooseter Wooster, OH Aug 19, 2013 $58,000
Instructor of History Western Illinois University Macomb, IL Aug 21, 2014 $56,718
Instructor In History Oakland University Rochester, MI Aug 15, 2015 $56,513
Upper School History Instructor Gill St. Bernard's School Peapack and Gladstone, NJ Sep 01, 2015 $56,500
Instructor of History Dowling College Oakdale, NY Feb 01, 2011 $53,873
Instructor of History Dowling College Oakdale, NY Oct 01, 2014 $53,793 -
$56,171
Visiting Instructor-History Union College Schenectady, NY Sep 01, 2011 $53,000
Visiting Instructor-History Union College Schenectady, NY Jul 09, 2012 $53,000
Instructor In History Oakland University Rochester, MI Aug 15, 2012 $51,200
Instructor of History and Global Studies Alfred University Alfred, NY Aug 01, 2014 $50,750
Instructor In History Dickinson College Carlisle, PA Sep 14, 2012 $50,300 -
$55,000
Instructor of History and Global Studies Alfred University Alfred, NY Aug 01, 2011 $50,000

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Top Skills for A History Instructor

  1. Curriculum Development
  2. Classroom Management
  3. World History
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Maintain good classroom management through setting and maintaining age-appropriate expectations and modifying when necessary to maximize student learning.
  • Worked with faculty to develop inclusive World History core curricula to assist department in meeting Department of Defense directives.
  • Developed lesson plans designed to improve reading and critical thinking skills by using differentiated instructional strategies and methods.
  • Teach varied art history courses at the Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester.
  • Negotiated and communicated with parents to improve student learning.

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Top 10 Best States for History Instructors

  1. District of Columbia
  2. Pennsylvania
  3. California
  4. Idaho
  5. Iowa
  6. Michigan
  7. Oregon
  8. Rhode Island
  9. Texas
  10. New Hampshire
  • (33 jobs)
  • (194 jobs)
  • (473 jobs)
  • (11 jobs)
  • (57 jobs)
  • (133 jobs)
  • (107 jobs)
  • (5 jobs)
  • (377 jobs)
  • (5 jobs)

History Instructor Demographics

Gender

Male

53.5%

Female

34.2%

Unknown

12.3%
Ethnicity

White

63.0%

Hispanic or Latino

14.8%

Black or African American

11.9%

Asian

6.4%

Unknown

3.9%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

27.3%

French

19.3%

German

11.4%

Greek

5.7%

Italian

5.7%

Chinese

5.7%

Russian

3.4%

Vietnamese

2.3%

Korean

2.3%

Turkish

2.3%

Czech

2.3%

Hebrew

2.3%

Arabic

2.3%

Swahili

1.1%

Romanian

1.1%

Dutch

1.1%

Mandarin

1.1%

Danish

1.1%

Hungarian

1.1%

Norwegian

1.1%
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History Instructor Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

9.8%

American University

8.1%

New York University

6.5%

West Virginia University

6.5%

Florida State University

6.5%

Syracuse University

5.7%

Eastern Michigan University

4.9%

University of Florida

4.9%

University of Pittsburgh -

4.9%

East Carolina University

4.1%

Michigan State University

4.1%

Arizona State University

4.1%

Ohio State University

4.1%

Kent State University

4.1%

University of Central Florida

4.1%

University of California - Santa Barbara

4.1%

University of Kansas

4.1%

University of Alabama

3.3%

University of North Dakota

3.3%

Brandeis University

3.3%
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Majors

History

40.2%

Education

7.4%

Educational Leadership

7.4%

Fine Arts

7.2%

Elementary Education

4.9%

Business

3.5%

General Education, Specific Areas

3.5%

Political Science

3.1%

Liberal Arts

2.6%

Secondary Education And Teaching

2.5%

English

2.1%

Law

2.1%

Music

2.0%

Curriculum And Instruction

1.8%

Area Studies

1.8%

Social Sciences

1.8%

Communication

1.6%

School Counseling

1.5%

Psychology

1.5%

Anthropology

1.3%
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Degrees

Masters

50.2%

Doctorate

18.1%

Bachelors

15.6%

Other

10.7%

Certificate

3.7%

Associate

1.4%

Diploma

0.2%
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