What They Do: Postsecondary teachers instruct students in a wide variety of academic and technical subjects beyond the high school level.
Work Environment: Most postsecondary teachers work in public and private colleges and universities, professional schools, and junior or community colleges. Outside of class time, their schedules are generally flexible, and they may spend that time in administrative duties, advising students, and conducting research.
How to Become One: Educational requirements vary by subject and the type of educational institution. Typically, postsecondary teachers must have a Ph.D. However, a master's degree may be enough for some postsecondary teachers at community colleges, and others may need work experience in their field of expertise.
Salary: The median annual wage for postsecondary teachers is $80,790.
Job Outlook: Overall employment of postsecondary teachers is projected to grow 9 percent over the next ten years, much faster than the average for all occupations. Projected employment growth varies by academic field.
Related Careers: Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of postsecondary teachers with similar occupations.
Following is everything you need to know about a career as a postsecondary teacher with lots of details. As a first step, take a look at some of the following jobs, which are real jobs with real employers. You will be able to see the very real job career requirements for employers who are actively hiring. The link will open in a new tab so that you can come back to this page to continue reading about the career:
The abve mentined Plicies f UNISA can be accessed n the web using a search engine. Invlvement in, r apprach t, teaching at either undergraduate r pstgraduate…
The abve mentined Plicies f UNISA can be accessed n the web using a search engine. Invlvement in, r apprach t, teaching at either undergraduate r pstgraduate…
The abve-mentined Plicies f UNISA can be accessed n the web using a search engine. Invlvement in, r apprach t, teaching at either undergraduate r pstgraduate…
Postsecondary teachers instruct students in a wide variety of academic and career and technical subjects beyond the high school level. They may also conduct research and publish scholarly papers and books.
Postsecondary teachers typically do the following:
Postsecondary teachers, often referred to as professors or faculty, specialize in a variety of subjects and fields. At colleges and universities, professors are organized into departments that specialize in a degree field, 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, publishing original research, 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 read scholarly articles, talk with colleagues, and participate in professional conferences to keep up with developments in their field. A tenured professor must do original research, document their analyses or critical reviews, and publish their findings.
Some postsecondary teachers work for online universities or teach online classes. They use the Internet to present lessons and information, to assign and accept students' work, and to participate in course discussions. Online professors use email, phone, and video chat apps to communicate with students, and might never meet their students in person.
Postsecondary teachers hold about 1.3 million jobs. Employment in the detailed occupations that make up postsecondary teachers is distributed as follows:
|Health specialties teachers, postsecondary||254,800|
|Art, drama, and music teachers, postsecondary||116,300|
|Business teachers, postsecondary||105,100|
|English language and literature teachers, postsecondary||81,300|
|Education teachers, postsecondary||77,300|
|Nursing instructors and teachers, postsecondary||72,900|
|Biological science teachers, postsecondary||64,700|
|Mathematical science teachers, postsecondary||60,100|
|Psychology teachers, postsecondary||46,800|
|Engineering teachers, postsecondary||44,600|
|Computer science teachers, postsecondary||38,500|
|Communications teachers, postsecondary||35,600|
|Philosophy and religion teachers, postsecondary||30,900|
|Foreign language and literature teachers, postsecondary||30,600|
|Chemistry teachers, postsecondary||26,400|
|History teachers, postsecondary||26,000|
|Law teachers, postsecondary||21,300|
|Political science teachers, postsecondary||19,800|
|Social sciences teachers, postsecondary, all other||19,300|
|Social work teachers, postsecondary||17,300|
|Physics teachers, postsecondary||17,100|
|Sociology teachers, postsecondary||17,000|
|Criminal justice and law enforcement teachers, postsecondary||16,800|
|Economics teachers, postsecondary||16,800|
|Area, ethnic, and cultural studies teachers, postsecondary||13,400|
|Atmospheric, earth, marine, and space sciences teachers, postsecondary||13,100|
|Agricultural sciences teachers, postsecondary||11,400|
|Architecture teachers, postsecondary||8,500|
|Environmental science teachers, postsecondary||7,600|
|Anthropology and archeology teachers, postsecondary||7,200|
|Library science teachers, postsecondary||5,400|
|Geography teachers, postsecondary||4,800|
|Forestry and conservation science teachers, postsecondary||2,100|
The largest employers of postsecondary teachers are as follows:
|Colleges, universities, and professional schools; private||40%|
|Colleges, universities, and professional schools; state||37%|
|Junior colleges; local||11%|
|Junior colleges; state||6%|
Many postsecondary teachers find their jobs rewarding because they are surrounded by others who enjoy the subject they teach. The opportunity to share their expertise with others is appealing to many.
However, some postsecondary teachers must find a balance between teaching students and doing research and publishing their findings. This can be stressful, especially for beginning teachers seeking advancement in 4-year research universities. At the community college level, professors focus mainly on teaching students and administrative duties.
Classes are generally held during the day, although some are offered in the evenings and weekends to accommodate students who have jobs or family obligations.
Although some postsecondary teachers teach summer courses, many use that time to conduct research, involve themselves in professional development, or to travel.
Many postsecondary teachers teach part time, and may teach courses at several colleges or universities. Some may have a full-time job in their field of expertise in addition to a part-time teaching position. For example, an active lawyer or judge might teach a law school class during the evening.
Postsecondary teachers' schedules generally are flexible. Full-time teachers need to be on campus to teach classes and have office hours. Otherwise, they are free to set their schedule to prepare for classes and grade assignments. They may also spend time carrying out administrative responsibilities, such as serving on committees.
Get the education you need: Find schools for Postsecondary Teachers near you!
Educational requirements vary with the subject taught and the type of educational institution. Typically postsecondary teachers must have a Ph.D. However, a master's degree may be enough for some postsecondary teachers at community colleges. Other postsecondary teachers may need work experience in their field of expertise.
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 to complete, and students must already possess a bachelor's or master's degree before enrolling in a doctoral program. Doctoral students spend time 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, some fields have 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.
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, law, 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.
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.
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 professors.
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.
Critical-thinking skills. To challenge established theories and beliefs, conduct original research, and design experiments, postsecondary teachers need to apply analyses and logic to arrive at sound conclusions.
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 verbal skills to give lectures.
Writing skills. Postsecondary teachers need to be skilled writers to publish original research and analysis.
The median annual wage for postsecondary teachers is $80,790. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $40,960, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $180,360.
Median annual wages for postsecondary teachers are as follows:
|Law teachers, postsecondary||$116,430|
|Economics teachers, postsecondary||$107,260|
|Engineering teachers, postsecondary||$103,600|
|Health specialties teachers, postsecondary||$99,090|
|Atmospheric, earth, marine, and space sciences teachers, postsecondary||$94,520|
|Architecture teachers, postsecondary||$90,880|
|Physics teachers, postsecondary||$90,400|
|Agricultural sciences teachers, postsecondary||$90,340|
|Anthropology and archeology teachers, postsecondary||$89,220|
|Business teachers, postsecondary||$88,010|
|Forestry and conservation science teachers, postsecondary||$87,400|
|Political science teachers, postsecondary||$85,760|
|Biological science teachers, postsecondary||$85,600|
|Computer science teachers, postsecondary||$85,540|
|Environmental science teachers, postsecondary||$84,740|
|Geography teachers, postsecondary||$82,330|
|Chemistry teachers, postsecondary||$80,400|
|Area, ethnic, and cultural studies teachers, postsecondary||$78,840|
|Psychology teachers, postsecondary||$78,180|
|History teachers, postsecondary||$76,890|
|Philosophy and religion teachers, postsecondary||$76,160|
|Sociology teachers, postsecondary||$75,610|
|Nursing instructors and teachers, postsecondary||$75,470|
|Mathematical science teachers, postsecondary||$73,650|
|Library science teachers, postsecondary||$71,580|
|Social work teachers, postsecondary||$71,570|
|Communications teachers, postsecondary||$71,030|
|Foreign language and literature teachers, postsecondary||$69,920|
|Art, drama, and music teachers, postsecondary||$69,690|
|Social sciences teachers, postsecondary, all other||$69,340|
|English language and literature teachers, postsecondary||$69,000|
|Education teachers, postsecondary||$65,440|
|Criminal justice and law enforcement teachers, postsecondary||$63,560|
Wages vary by institution type. Postsecondary teachers typically have higher wages in colleges, universities, and professional schools than they do in community colleges or other types of schools.
Most postsecondary teachers work full time, although part-time work is common. Postsecondary teachers who work part time may offer instruction at several colleges or universities. Some have a full-time job in their field of expertise in addition to a part-time teaching position. For example, an active lawyer or judge might teach an evening course at a law school.
College and university courses are generally during the day, although some are offered in the evenings or on weekends to accommodate students who have jobs or other obligations.
Academic calendars typically include breaks, such as between terms. The availability and type of course offerings during the summer vary by institution. Although some postsecondary teachers provide instruction in summer courses, others use the time to conduct research or engage in professional development.
Postsecondary teachers’ schedules generally are flexible. Full-time teachers typically need to be on campus to teach classes and have office hours but otherwise are free to set their own schedules.
Overall employment of postsecondary teachers is projected to grow 9 percent over the next ten years, much faster than the average for all occupations. Both part-time and full-time postsecondary teachers are included in this projection.
The number of people attending postsecondary institutions is expected to grow in the next decade. Students will continue to seek higher education to gain the additional education and skills necessary to meet their career goals. As more people enter colleges and universities, more postsecondary teachers will be needed to serve these additional students. Colleges and universities are likely to hire more part-time teachers to meet this demand. In all disciplines, there is expected to be a limited number of full-time nontenure and full-time tenure positions.
However, despite expected increases in enrollment, employment growth in public colleges and universities will depend on state and local government budgets. If budgets for higher education are reduced, employment growth may be limited.
Overall employment of postsecondary teachers is projected to increase, but it will vary by field. For example, employment of health specialties teachers is projected to grow 21 percent over the next ten years, much faster than the average for all occupations. As an aging population increasingly demands healthcare services, additional postsecondary teachers are expected to be needed to help educate the workers who will provide these services.
There are expected to be more job opportunities for part-time postsecondary teachers since many institutions are filling vacancies with part-time rather than full-time teachers. There will be a limited number of full-time tenure-track positions and competition is expected to be high.
Some fields, such as health specialties and nursing, will likely experience better job prospects than others, such as those in the humanities.
|Occupational Title||Employment, 2019||Projected Employment, 2029||Change, 2019-29|
|Business teachers, postsecondary||105,100||117,700||12||12,700|
|Computer science teachers, postsecondary||38,500||39,500||3||1,000|
|Mathematical science teachers, postsecondary||60,100||60,800||1||800|
|Architecture teachers, postsecondary||8,500||9,000||5||400|
|Engineering teachers, postsecondary||44,600||48,400||9||3,800|
|Agricultural sciences teachers, postsecondary||11,400||11,700||2||200|
|Biological science teachers, postsecondary||64,700||70,700||9||6,000|
|Forestry and conservation science teachers, postsecondary||2,100||2,200||2||0|
|Atmospheric, earth, marine, and space sciences teachers, postsecondary||13,100||13,400||2||200|
|Chemistry teachers, postsecondary||26,400||27,500||4||1,100|
|Environmental science teachers, postsecondary||7,600||7,800||4||300|
|Physics teachers, postsecondary||17,100||17,800||4||800|
|Anthropology and archeology teachers, postsecondary||7,200||7,500||4||300|
|Area, ethnic, and cultural studies teachers, postsecondary||13,400||14,000||5||700|
|Economics teachers, postsecondary||16,800||17,600||5||900|
|Geography teachers, postsecondary||4,800||5,000||3||100|
|Political science teachers, postsecondary||19,800||20,800||5||1,000|
|Psychology teachers, postsecondary||46,800||51,000||9||4,100|
|Sociology teachers, postsecondary||17,000||17,600||4||600|
|Social sciences teachers, postsecondary, all other||19,300||19,200||0||-100|
|Health specialties teachers, postsecondary||254,000||306,100||21||52,100|
|Nursing instructors and teachers, postsecondary||72,900||85,700||18||12,800|
|Education teachers, postsecondary||77,300||81,000||5||3,700|
|Library science teachers, postsecondary||5,400||5,500||3||200|
|Criminal justice and law enforcement teachers, postsecondary||16,800||17,900||7||1,100|
|Law teachers, postsecondary||21,300||22,800||7||1,500|
|Social work teachers, postsecondary||17,300||18,300||6||1,000|
|Art, drama, and music teachers, postsecondary||116,300||122,800||6||6,500|
|Communications teachers, postsecondary||35,600||36,700||3||1,100|
|English language and literature teachers, postsecondary||81,300||82,900||2||1,700|
|Foreign language and literature teachers, postsecondary||30,600||32,300||6||1,700|
|History teachers, postsecondary||26,000||27,000||4||900|
|Philosophy and religion teachers, postsecondary||30,900||32,900||7||2,100|
A portion of the information on this page is used by permission of the U.S. Department of Labor.