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Become A Visiting Assistant Professor

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Working As A Visiting Assistant Professor

  • Getting Information
  • Training and Teaching Others
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Make Decisions

  • $61,500

    Average Salary

What Does A Visiting Assistant Professor 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 Visiting Assistant Professor

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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Visiting Assistant Professor jobs

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Visiting Assistant Professor Career Paths

Visiting Assistant Professor
Associate Professor Adjunct Professor Senior Project Manager
Account Director
9 Yearsyrs
Program Director Faculty Development Coordinator
Assistant Director Of Development
5 Yearsyrs
Guide Specialist Coach
Assistant Principal
10 Yearsyrs
Professor Associate Attorney Senior Associate
Audit Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Visiting Professor Professor
Campus Dean
13 Yearsyrs
Visiting Professor Faculty Education Director
Campus Director
7 Yearsyrs
Guide Project Manager Associate Director
Career Services Director
9 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Professor Senior Project Manager Marketing Director
Chief Marketing Officer
10 Yearsyrs
Research Scientist Adjunct Faculty Assistant Principal
High School Principal
12 Yearsyrs
Associate Professor Research Scientist Senior Software Engineer
Information Technology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Assistant Professor Program Director
Marketing Director
7 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Professor Instructional Designer Program Manager
Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Faculty Assistant Professor Program Manager
Portfolio Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Assistant Professor Adjunct Professor Senior Project Manager
Project Director
8 Yearsyrs
Professor Research Associate Business Analyst
Quality Assurance Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Faculty Project Manager Engineering Manager
Quality Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Scientist Program Manager Education Director
School Director
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Scientist Adjunct Faculty Assistant Principal
School Principal
10 Yearsyrs
Research Scientist Chief Executive Officer Social Media Manager
Strategist
7 Yearsyrs
Program Director Educator Assistant Principal
Vice Principal
9 Yearsyrs
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Visiting Assistant Professor Demographics

Gender

Male

49.6%

Female

44.8%

Unknown

5.6%
Ethnicity

White

75.2%

Asian

12.1%

Hispanic or Latino

9.1%

Unknown

2.7%

Black or African American

0.9%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

33.3%

French

21.9%

German

8.3%

Italian

6.8%

Mandarin

3.6%

Portuguese

3.6%

Japanese

3.6%

Chinese

3.1%

Arabic

3.1%

Russian

2.1%

Greek

2.1%

Turkish

1.6%

Vietnamese

1.0%

Hindi

1.0%

Sanskrit

1.0%

Korean

1.0%

Czech

1.0%

Swahili

0.5%

Marathi

0.5%

Gujarati

0.5%
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Visiting Assistant Professor Education

Schools

Texas A&M University

7.7%

Purdue University

7.4%

University of Florida

7.1%

University of Iowa

6.8%

Michigan State University

6.2%

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

5.6%

University of Georgia

5.3%

Ohio State University

5.3%

University of Maryland - College Park

4.3%

University of Connecticut

4.3%

University of Washington

4.3%

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

4.3%

Yale University

4.3%

University of Chicago

4.3%

University of Southern California

4.0%

New York University

3.7%

University of Pennsylvania

3.7%

University of Texas at Austin

3.7%

Indiana University Bloomington

3.7%

Florida State University

3.7%
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Majors

Chemistry

9.0%

History

8.8%

Mathematics

8.0%

Business

6.6%

Political Science

6.1%

English

5.6%

Fine Arts

5.5%

Physics

5.2%

Economics

5.0%

Sociology

4.9%

Anthropology

4.0%

Psychology

4.0%

Philosophy

3.9%

Communication

3.9%

Computer Science

3.4%

Statistics

3.4%

Geology

3.4%

Environmental Science

3.2%

Law

3.2%

Education

2.9%
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Degrees

Doctorate

54.1%

Masters

19.0%

Bachelors

12.5%

Other

10.6%

Certificate

2.1%

Associate

1.4%

Diploma

0.3%

License

0.1%
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Real Visiting Assistant Professor Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Visiting Assistant Professor Pratt Institute New York, NY Aug 24, 2015 $278,260
Visiting Assistant Professor University of California, Davis Sacramento, CA Feb 01, 2015 $270,600
Visiting Assistant Professor University of California, Davis Sacramento, CA Jan 02, 2016 $270,600
Visiting Assistant Professor Pratt Institute New York, NY Oct 30, 2016 $243,490
Visiting Assistant Professor Pratt Institute New York, NY Oct 31, 2016 $243,490
Visiting Assistant Professor/Physician Surgeon University of Illinois at Chicago Chicago, IL May 01, 2015 $225,000
Visiting Assistant Professor Miami University Oxford, OH Jun 29, 2015 $217,382
Visiting Assistant Professor The Ohio State University Columbus, OH Jan 09, 2016 $215,000
Visiting Assistant Professor University of California, San Francisco San Francisco, CA Oct 01, 2016 $212,300
Visiting Assistant Professor University of California, San Francisco San Francisco, CA Jan 10, 2016 $212,300
Visiting Assistant Professor University of California, San Francisco San Francisco, CA Aug 01, 2015 $202,125
Visiting Assistant Professor University of California, San Francisco San Francisco, CA Oct 01, 2015 $202,125
Visiting Assistant Professor of Economics Bucknell University Lewisburg, PA May 18, 2015 $71,650
Visiting Assistant Professor-Economics Union College Schenectady, NY Jan 07, 2016 $71,500
Visiting Assistant Professor Harvard University Cambridge, MA Jan 01, 2015 $71,400
Visiting Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering Widener University Chester, PA Sep 01, 2015 $71,000
Visiting Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering Widener University Chester, PA Jan 09, 2015 $71,000
Visiting Assistant Professor of Mathematics Lafayette College Easton, PA Jul 01, 2015 $70,500
Visiting Assistant Professor Union College Schenectady, NY Jan 10, 2016 $70,000
Visiting Assistant Professor Lamar University Beaumont, TX Aug 20, 2015 $70,000
Visiting Assistant Professor State University of New York at Binghamton Binghamton, NY Jan 01, 2016 $58,770
Visiting Assistant Professor State University of New York at Binghamton Binghamton, NY Jan 09, 2016 $58,615
Visiting Assistant Professor of Chemistry Trinity College Hartford, CT Jul 07, 2016 $58,548
Visiting Assistant Professor University of California, Davis Davis, CA Jan 07, 2016 $58,500
Visiting Assistant Professor of Physics Carleton College Northfield, MN Jan 09, 2016 $58,500
Visiting Assistant Professor Purdue University West Lafayette, IN Aug 13, 2015 $58,070

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Top Skills for A Visiting Assistant Professor

UndergraduateCoursesLabHistoryResearchMethodsCurriculumFeeCollectionCoursesTaughtLiteratureEntranceStationCampgroundAvailabilityGeneralChemistryCustomerServiceSeminarTheoryStatisticalMethodsPolicyOnlineClassroomTopicsPsychology

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Top Visiting Assistant Professor Skills

  1. Undergraduate Courses
  2. Lab
  3. History
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Research, teaching undergraduate courses (400-500 level), student advising.
  • Provided customers with general information of area businesses and directions concerning local sightseeing and concessions available.
  • Cross trained in all departments and participated with visitors in art, music, history, and early childhood literacy.
  • Teach courses in research methods, introduction to sociology, and marriage & the family.
  • Participated in the curriculum development of programming courses.

Top Visiting Assistant Professor Employers

Visiting Assistant Professor Videos

Coming to Terms With Academic Titles at US Colleges

Find insights, not lessons: Scott Ingram at TEDxUTA

Why do men remember less than women? | Azriel Grysman | TEDxHamiltonCollege

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