Last Updated:
September 19, 2023

Job Description Overview

A professor is an educator with specialized knowledge in a particular field who works in a higher education institution like a university or college. Their main job is to teach students, conduct research and publish their findings, and provide academic advice and support to their students.

As part of their role, professors prepare and deliver lectures, grade assignments and exams, offer office hours for students who need additional support, and provide feedback to help students grow.

In addition to their teaching responsibilities, professors produce research papers and academic articles, attend conferences to share their findings and extend their professional network, and work with colleagues on curriculum development and other academic projects.

To become a professor, individuals typically must hold a graduate degree in their field and have experience in research and/or teaching. The ability to communicate complex concepts in a clear and accessible manner is essential for success in this role.

If you're interested in pursuing a career as a professor, this Professor job description provides an overview of the key responsibilities and skills needed to excel in the position.

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Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Teach students about different subjects or topics
  • Prepare lesson plans and class materials
  • Grade student assignments, exams, and papers
  • Provide feedback to students on their progress and performance
  • Offer guidance and support to students, including academic advising and mentoring
  • Publish research papers and contribute to academic journals or conferences
  • Attend faculty meetings, committees, and other events related to teaching and research
  • Participate in faculty development programs and training sessions
  • Collaborate with other professors and educators to improve teaching practices and curriculum design
  • Serve as a role model and leader in the academic community.

Experience and Education Requirements

To become a professor in the education industry, you need to meet specific requirements. Generally, you should have at least a Master's degree in your field of expertise. However, many universities and colleges require a Ph.D. or even post-doctoral experience. You will also need to have teaching experience in that field or have research experience. Many institutions will look for individuals who have published research articles, studies, or books related to their area of study. In addition to academic qualifications, other skills such as communication, the ability to mentor and guide students, and leadership skills may also be necessary. These skills will be evaluated in the hiring process.

Salary Range

Professors are highly educated individuals who teach and conduct research at universities and colleges. Their salaries vary depending on their experience and the institution they work for. In the United States, the median salary for professors is around $72,000 per year, with a range from $43,000 to $147,000. However, salaries may be higher for professors in more prestigious institutions and those with more experience.

In other countries, salaries for professors may differ greatly. For instance, professors in the United Kingdom may earn between £35,000 and £100,000 per year, depending on their experience and institution. Similarly, professors in Australia may earn between AUD $92,000 and $250,000 per year.

Overall, salaries for professors can vary widely depending on location, institution, and experience. It's important to research and compare salaries when considering a career in academia.


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Career Outlook

Being a professor in the education industry can be a fulfilling and challenging career. Currently, the career outlook for a professor is stable, with a slight growth rate of 2.8% expected over the next five years. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, colleges, universities, and professional schools are projected to add an average of 8,000 jobs per year between 2019 to 2029.

However, the demand may vary depending on the subject in which an individual is specialized. For example, there will be a higher demand for science and mathematics instructors than for those in humanities subjects such as literature, philosophy, or history.

Overall, being a professor can be a stable and rewarding career choice, especially if one has a passion for teaching and research.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What is a professor?

A: A professor is a senior teacher at a college or university who teaches and conducts research in their field of expertise.

Q: What are the qualifications to become a professor?

A: A Ph.D. or terminal degree in their respective field, published research, and teaching experience are typically required to become a professor.

Q: What subjects can a professor teach?

A: Professors can teach a wide variety of subjects, depending on their area of expertise. Examples include English, math, science, history, and philosophy.

Q: What is the average salary of a professor?

A: The average salary of a professor varies depending on their experience, level of education, and field of expertise. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for a college or university professor in the United States is $79,540.

Q: What is the job outlook for professors?

A: The job outlook for professors is expected to be positive, with prospects varying by field. A growth rate of 9% is projected between 2019 and 2029 for postsecondary education positions. However, competition for tenure-track positions can be intense.

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