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Become A Professor Of Psychology

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Working As A Professor Of Psychology

  • Training and Teaching Others
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Getting Information
  • Coaching and Developing Others
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others
  • Make Decisions

  • $90,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Professor Of Psychology 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 Professor Of Psychology

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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Professor Of Psychology Career Paths

Professor Of Psychology
Professor Consultant Project Manager
Principal
11 Yearsyrs
Professor Consultant Adjunct Professor
Assistant Principal
10 Yearsyrs
Professor Consultant Founder
Board Member
5 Yearsyrs
Clinical Psychologist Clinical Supervisor Program Director
Education Director
7 Yearsyrs
Clinical Psychologist Supervisor President
Advisory Board Member
5 Yearsyrs
Clinical Psychologist Assistant Professor Adjunct Professor
Department Chairperson
7 Yearsyrs
Psychologist Adjunct Professor Assistant Principal
Middle School Principal
11 Yearsyrs
Psychologist Case Manager Director Of Admissions
Campus Director
7 Yearsyrs
Psychologist Adjunct Instructor Assistant Professor
Senior Lecturer
7 Yearsyrs
Counselor Team Leader Chairperson
Academic Affairs Dean
12 Yearsyrs
Counselor Instructor Adjunct Instructor
Associate Dean
11 Yearsyrs
Counselor Instructor Assistant Professor
Assistant Dean
8 Yearsyrs
Psychology Instructor School Psychologist Education Consultant
Educational Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Psychology Instructor School Psychologist Assistant Principal
Director Of Instruction
7 Yearsyrs
Psychology Instructor Adjunct Faculty Education Consultant
Student Dean
7 Yearsyrs
Therapist Adjunct Instructor Associate Dean
Academic Dean
10 Yearsyrs
Therapist Faculty Associate Dean
Campus Dean
13 Yearsyrs
Therapist Faculty Department Chairperson
Academic Director
7 Yearsyrs
Psychotherapist Case Manager Director Of Admissions
College Director
6 Yearsyrs
School Counselor Education Coordinator Educational Programs Coordinator
Education Program Manager
6 Yearsyrs
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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Professor 3.9 years
Adjunct Professor 3.3 years
Top Careers Before Professor Of Psychology
Internship 9.9%
Counselor 7.2%
Professor 6.5%
Director 5.3%
Consultant 5.3%
Therapist 5.1%
Teacher 4.6%
Top Careers After Professor Of Psychology
Professor 8.5%
Counselor 7.1%
Internship 6.4%
Tutor 5.7%
Therapist 5.7%
Director 5.3%
Teacher 3.2%
Faculty 3.2%

Do you work as a Professor Of Psychology?

Highest Professor Of Psychology Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Professor of Quantitative Psychology University of South Carolina Columbia, SC Aug 16, 2015 $180,000
Graduate Psychology and Counseling Professor Andrews University Berrien Springs, MI Aug 24, 2016 $51,000
Professor of Liberal Arts-Psychology Savannah College of Art and Design, Inc. Savannah, GA Jun 01, 2013 $49,640 -
$55,536
Professor-Psychology Department Vermont State Colleges Castleton, VT Aug 26, 2013 $47,062
Assitant Professor In Psychology Saint Francis University Loretto, PA Oct 01, 2010 $46,350
Assitant Professor In Psychology Saint Francis University Loretto, PA Aug 15, 2010 $46,350

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Top Skills for A Professor Of Psychology

  1. Psychology
  2. Undergraduate Courses
  3. Online Courses
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Instructed Preventive Clinical Psychology and General Psychotherapy courses as part of Continuing Education Training
  • Initiate, facilitate, and moderate classroom discussions, to develop a personal connection to class material.
  • Participate in the Curriculum Development Meetings with other instructors as directed by Program Director (Dean) and DOE.
  • Teach the psychology basics of Human Behavior to associate degree students.
  • Prepared and delivered lectures General Psychology, Human Growth and Development, Student Life Skills, and Human Relations.

Professor Of Psychology Demographics

Gender

Female

54.7%

Male

34.5%

Unknown

10.8%
Ethnicity

White

57.4%

Hispanic or Latino

20.0%

Black or African American

10.8%

Asian

7.7%

Unknown

4.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

65.9%

French

9.1%

Portuguese

6.8%

Chinese

2.3%

Ukrainian

2.3%

German

2.3%

Igbo

2.3%

Latvian

2.3%

Russian

2.3%

Korean

2.3%

Thai

2.3%
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Professor Of Psychology Education

Schools

Capella University

15.4%

Walden University

14.5%

Carlos Albizu University

13.7%

Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico

6.8%

Chicago School of Professional Psychology

5.1%

Harvard University

4.3%

University of Phoenix

4.3%

Nova Southeastern University

4.3%

California Southern University

3.4%

New York University

3.4%

Teachers College of Columbia University

3.4%

Alliant International University

3.4%

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

2.6%

Liberty University

2.6%

University of Pittsburgh -

2.6%

Florida International University

2.6%

University of Houston

2.6%

North Carolina State University

1.7%

Eastern Washington University

1.7%

Central State University

1.7%
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Majors

Psychology

33.6%

Counseling Psychology

17.2%

Clinical Psychology

15.7%

School Counseling

5.1%

Mental Health Counseling

5.1%

Experimental Psychology

4.0%

Education

3.5%

Family Therapy

2.5%

Educational Leadership

2.0%

Sociology

1.3%

Criminal Justice

1.3%

General Education, Specific Areas

1.0%

Management

1.0%

Pastoral Counseling And Specialized Ministries

1.0%

Neuroscience

1.0%

School Psychology

1.0%

Theology

1.0%

Social Work

1.0%

Nursing

1.0%

Educational Technology

0.8%
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Degrees

Masters

37.5%

Doctorate

33.5%

Bachelors

12.2%

Other

11.3%

Certificate

3.2%

Associate

1.5%

License

0.6%

Diploma

0.2%
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