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Become A Visiting Professor

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Working As A Visiting Professor

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

  • $118,132

    Average Salary

What Does A Visiting 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 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 Professor jobs

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Visiting Professor Career Paths

Visiting Professor
Editor Marketing Manager
Account Director
9 Yearsyrs
Education Consultant Adjunct Faculty Chairperson
Assistant Principal
10 Yearsyrs
Faculty Project Manager Program Manager
Business Development Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Program Director General Manager Senior Manager
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Research Professor Associate Attorney Partner
Chief Technology Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Scientist Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Director Of Information
10 Yearsyrs
Reviewer Adjunct Instructor Special Educator
Director Of Special Education
12 Yearsyrs
Chief Executive Officer Human Resource Specialist Training Manager
Director, Learning And Development
12 Yearsyrs
Reviewer Adjunct Faculty Assistant Principal
High School Principal
12 Yearsyrs
Program Director Specialist Systems Administrator
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Editor Technical Writer Business Analyst
Information Technology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Chief Executive Officer Management Consultant Information Technology Project Manager
Manager, Project Management Office
12 Yearsyrs
Education Consultant Case Manager Program Manager
Portfolio Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Professor Attorney Office Manager
Program Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Dean Adjunct Professor Development Manager
Quality Assurance Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Dean Assistant Principal
School Principal
10 Yearsyrs
Faculty Assistant Professor Project Manager
Senior Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Professor Research Associate Project Manager
Senior Project Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Research Professor Attorney Assistant Vice President
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Scientist Associate Director Operations Director
Vice President, Business Development
13 Yearsyrs
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Visiting Professor Demographics

Gender

Male

57.0%

Female

37.7%

Unknown

5.3%
Ethnicity

White

74.0%

Asian

12.6%

Hispanic or Latino

8.8%

Unknown

3.5%

Black or African American

1.1%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

26.8%

French

16.2%

Russian

7.1%

Chinese

6.6%

German

6.6%

Korean

5.6%

Arabic

5.1%

Mandarin

4.0%

Portuguese

4.0%

Italian

3.5%

Japanese

3.5%

Turkish

2.5%

Ukrainian

2.0%

Polish

2.0%

Armenian

1.0%

Greek

1.0%

Czech

1.0%

Marshallese

0.5%

Estonian

0.5%

Romanian

0.5%
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Visiting Professor Education

Schools

Walden University

8.2%

University of Phoenix

8.2%

Michigan State University

6.9%

Ohio State University

6.4%

Capella University

6.0%

George Washington University

5.2%

Harvard University

4.7%

Purdue University

4.7%

University of Chicago

4.7%

Temple University

4.3%

University of Southern California

4.3%

Nova Southeastern University

4.3%

University of Iowa

4.3%

Chamberlain College of Nursing

4.3%

Johns Hopkins University

4.3%

Northwestern University

3.9%

Arizona State University

3.9%

Stanford University

3.9%

University of Utah

3.9%

University of Texas at Austin

3.9%
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Majors

Business

11.6%

Nursing

11.6%

Law

7.6%

Education

6.6%

Chemistry

6.6%

Fine Arts

6.1%

English

5.3%

Physics

5.2%

Elementary Education

3.7%

History

3.7%

Computer Science

3.5%

Economics

3.5%

Educational Leadership

3.4%

Political Science

3.3%

Mathematics

3.3%

Management

3.2%

Marketing

3.2%

Psychology

3.0%

Finance

3.0%

Linguistics

2.9%
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Degrees

Doctorate

43.4%

Masters

32.1%

Other

14.1%

Bachelors

6.2%

Certificate

3.5%

Diploma

0.4%

Associate

0.3%

License

0.1%
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Real Visiting Professor Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Visiting Professor of Economics Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Cambridge, MA Oct 01, 2014 $370,004
Visiting Professor The School of The Art Institute of Chicago Chicago, IL Sep 01, 2014 $346,442
Visiting Professor Yale University New Haven, CT Aug 28, 2014 $322,963
Visiting Professor University of California, Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA Jan 10, 2016 $300,000
Visiting Professor/Professor State University of New York at Stony Brook Stony Brook, NY Aug 15, 2013 $286,000 -
$289,026
Visiting Professor/Professor State University of New York at Stony Brook Stony Brook, NY Jul 01, 2013 $286,000 -
$289,026
Visiting Professor/Professor State University of New York at Stony Brook Stony Brook, NY Jan 01, 2014 $286,000 -
$352,581
Visiting Professor/Professor State University of New York at Stony Brook Berkeley, CA Jan 01, 2014 $286,000 -
$352,581
Visiting Professor Buck Institute for Research On Aging Novato, CA Jan 01, 2016 $280,000
Visiting Professor/Professor Harvard University Boston, MA Jan 01, 2016 $260,000
Visiting Professor Cornell University New York, NY Jan 01, 2013 $250,000
Visiting Professor Brown University Providence, RI Sep 02, 2014 $129,394
Visiting Professor Brown University Providence, RI Feb 01, 2013 $129,394
Visiting Professor University of Connecticut Storrs, CT Aug 23, 2016 $125,000
Visiting Professor University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, PA Jul 01, 2015 $124,230
Visiting Professor University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, PA Jan 07, 2016 $124,230
Distinguished Visiting Professor The Jackson Laboratory Bar Harbor, ME Feb 01, 2016 $124,010
Visiting Professor Michigan Technological University Houghton, MI Aug 15, 2016 $122,500
Distinguished Visiting Professor The Jackson Laboratory Bar Harbor, ME Sep 01, 2014 $120,420
Visiting Professor The Univ. of Ala. at Birmingham (UAB) Birmingham, AL Jan 01, 2013 $83,480
Visiting Professor University of California, Berkeley Berkeley, CA Jul 01, 2015 $80,266
Visiting Professor of Electrical Engineering The University of Tennessee Chattanooga, TN Jan 08, 2016 $80,000 -
$89,000
Goldman Visiting Israeli Professor Georgetown University Washington, DC Aug 01, 2014 $80,000
Visiting Professor Global Health Old Dominion University Norfolk, VA May 25, 2015 $80,000
Visiting Professor of Economics John Carroll University University Heights, OH Aug 26, 2013 $78,000
Visiting Professor Texas A&M International University Laredo, TX Aug 12, 2013 $76,000
Visiting Professor Texas A&M International University Laredo, TX Jun 01, 2014 $76,000

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Top Skills for A Visiting Professor

UndergraduateCoursesCurriculumDevelopmentOnlineDiscussionsClassesLabMethodsPhysicalChemistryCoursesTaughtLanguagePrinciplesHistoryPolicyTheoryTopicsEthicsPsychologySemesterArtFinancialStatistics

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Top Visiting Professor Skills

  1. Undergraduate Courses
  2. Curriculum Development
  3. Online Discussions
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Subject Matter expert for development of undergraduate courses in the engineering and computer science program.
  • Lead planning in curriculum development & assessment.
  • Plan and actively facilitate weekly online discussions to promote student learning and engagement.
  • Recommended changes and improvements to coursework including increasing reading comprehension classes and grammar structure.
  • Graded homework and laboratory assignments, exams, and class discussions.

Top Visiting Professor Employers

Visiting Professor Videos

Dan Braha, PhD Visiting Professor, MIT ESD

Visiting Hours with Professor Clemmons

Visiting Professor: Daniela Schachter

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