Liberal Arts Professor

Last Updated:
July 19, 2023

Job Description Overview

As a Liberal Arts Professor, your job is to teach a broad range of academic subjects, such as history, literature, philosophy, and languages. You'll be responsible for creating lesson plans, teaching engaging classes, and grading student work.

Your main focus will be to help your students develop critical thinking, analytical, and communication skills. Your ultimate goal is to prepare them for future careers and a lifetime of learning.

To succeed in this role, you need to have excellent communication and interpersonal skills, as well as a deep knowledge of your field. You'll also need to keep up-to-date with the latest educational technologies and teaching methods.

As a Liberal Arts Professor, you'll work in colleges and universities, teaching students at different levels from undergraduate to graduate. You'll also need to attend faculty meetings, participate in academic research, and publish articles and books in your field.

In summary, a Liberal Arts Professor job description involves teaching a broad range of subjects, helping students develop fundamental skills, keeping up with advances in pedagogy, and conducting academic research.

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Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Teach college-level courses in humanities, social sciences, and/or fine arts
  • Develop lesson plans and create instructional materials
  • Provide guidance and support to students outside of class time
  • Grade assignments and assessments, and provide feedback to students
  • Stay current in their field of study by conducting research and publishing academic materials
  • Attend conferences and participate in professional development opportunities
  • Serve on departmental committees and contribute to institutional initiatives
  • Collaborate with other faculty members to design interdisciplinary courses and programs
  • Keep organized records of student grades and attendance for administrative purposes

Experience and Education Requirements

To become a Liberal Arts Professor, you will typically need a few things: a combination of education and experience. Education-wise, you usually need a doctoral degree in a field of study that is relevant to the courses you will teach. This is the highest level of education, and it usually takes several years to complete. Experience is also important. You will need to have a background in teaching, usually at the college level, before you can become a full professor. This means you will need to work as a teaching assistant or even teach some courses on your own. Other relevant experience might include writing books, publishing articles, or participating in academic conferences.

Salary Range

Liberal Arts Professor salary range varies by location and academic institution. In the United States, the expected salary range for a Liberal Arts Professor in the Education industry is between $60,000 and $140,000 annually, depending on experience, education level, and location. However, some institutions offer salaries in excess of $200,000 for senior professors. In the United Kingdom, Liberal Arts Professors can earn an average salary of £37,000 to £59,000 per annum.


  • Chronicle of Higher Education

Career Outlook

The career outlook for a liberal arts professor in the education industry over the next 5 years is somewhat challenging, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number of available jobs is projected to grow at a rate of only 2% from 2019 to 2029, which is slower than average. This slow growth is partly due to budget restrictions in educational institutions and the increased use of online teaching methods that may reduce the need for traditional classroom instruction.

Several steps can be taken to increase one's employability as a liberal arts professor. These may include obtaining a doctoral degree, gaining experience in educational research or curriculum development, and being flexible with one's geographic location. Additionally, professors can pursue tenure-track positions at colleges or universities, which offer greater job security and may lead to career advancement.

Overall, individuals with a passion for teaching and a commitment to ongoing professional development can still pursue a fulfilling career as a liberal arts professor in the education industry, despite the slow growth rate.


Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Chronicle of Higher Education:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What does a Liberal Arts Professor do?

A: A Liberal Arts Professor teaches a wide range of subjects such as literature, history, philosophy, and social sciences.

Q: What are the educational requirements to become a Liberal Arts Professor?

A: A doctoral degree in a Liberal Arts subject like history, literature, cultural studies, or philosophy is generally required.

Q: Is being a Liberal Arts Professor a lucrative career?

A: While it may not be the highest paying career, it is a respectable and rewarding job that pays a decent salary, especially for those with tenure.

Q: What are the responsibilities of a Liberal Arts Professor?

A: Responsibilities include preparing lectures and lesson plans, grading papers and exams, conducting research and publishing scholarly articles, and mentoring students.

Q: What skills should a Liberal Arts Professor possess?

A: Strong communication, research, and critical thinking skills, as well as a passion for teaching, are important for success as a Liberal Arts Professor.

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