In order to work as a professor, you’ll most likely need a PhD. Professors are hired to do research in addition to teaching classes, and a PhD program often prepares graduates for both. So if you’re interested in teaching at the collegiate level, earning a PhD will improve your changes greatly of landing the career your want.

According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), professors are organized into departments based on the subject matter of their specialty, and often teach one or more courses within that department. Professors supervise graduate students, publish original research, and serve on academic and administrative committees. Other responsibilities typically include:

  • Develop an instructional plan that meets college and department standards
  • Plan lessons and assignments
  • Assess students’ progress by grading essay, tests, and other forms of assessment
  • Help students with course selection
  • Stay up-to-date on changes and innovations in your designated field

Job Outlook and Salary

According to the BLS, employment of postsecondary teachers is projected to grow “19 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations. Both part-time and full-time postsecondary teachers are included in this projection.”

The median annual wage for postsecondary teachers was $68,970 in May 2012. The starting salary varies depending on the qualification and experience. One of the many perks of working as a professor is the opportunity for tenure, which is (more or less) a guarantee of permanent employment.

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