University Professor

Last Updated:
March 13, 2023

Job Description Overview

A University Professor is a highly skilled professional who conducts research and teaches students at the college or university level. Their main role is to impart knowledge in a specific area of expertise while contributing to the academic field through research and publications. University Professors must hold a doctorate degree and have a deep understanding of their subject matter, as they may be responsible for developing course content and curriculum. They often hold office hours where they provide one-on-one guidance and assistance to students. University Professors are expected to attend conferences and present their research findings to their peers, which contributes to the advancement of their field. They may also serve on committees that help the university run smoothly, such as academic committees and task forces. In short, a University Professor job description involves conducting research, teaching students, and making significant contributions to their field of study.

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Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Teach students about specific subjects, such as math, science, or literature.
  • Prepare lesson plans and lectures to ensure students learn the necessary material.
  • Grade assignments, quizzes, and exams to assess students' understanding of the material.
  • Conduct research in their field of expertise to further their knowledge and contribute to the academic community.
  • Publish articles, books, or research findings in academic journals to share their knowledge with others.
  • Advise students on academic and career paths and provide guidance on degree requirements.
  • Attend departmental meetings and engage in university governance to promote the interests of the university and its students.
  • Serve as a mentor and role model for students to encourage them to pursue academic excellence and personal growth.
  • Collaborate with other professors and university staff to achieve the academic goals of the university.
  • Stay current with advancements in their field and participate in professional development opportunities to maintain their expertise.

Experience and Education Requirements

To become a university professor, you need a lot of education and experience. This means you'll need to get a bachelor's degree, usually in the field you want to teach. After that, you'll need to go to graduate school and get a master's degree or even a PhD. Along the way, you'll need to gain experience by doing research, publishing papers, and teaching classes.

Most universities require a PhD to become a full-time professor, although some allow master's degree holders to teach part-time. Once you have the right education and experience, you can apply for teaching positions at universities. It's a tough process, but if you're passionate about teaching and have a love for your subject matter, it can be a rewarding career.

Salary Range

University Professor salary range varies depending on many factors such as geography, field of study, teaching experience and qualifications. In the United States, the average salary range for a University Professor is between $41,000 to $210,000 per year. The median annual salary is approximately $90,000, with the top 10% earning more than $170,000 per year. In Canada, the average salary range for a University Professor is between CAD$52,000 to CAD$186,000 per year.

Salary range also varies depending on the type of institution. Ivy League universities such as Harvard, Princeton, and Yale typically pay their professors more than smaller or less prestigious universities.



Career Outlook

The career outlook for University Professors in the Education industry looks positive over the next 5 years. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth for postsecondary teachers is projected to be faster than average, with a 9% increase between 2019-2029. This is due to a growing demand for higher education and an increase in retirement among current college professors. 

Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the transition to online learning, creating new opportunities for professors with expertise in technology and digital pedagogy. Universities are investing in faculty with these skills to meet the needs of students in a rapidly changing educational landscape.

Overall, the future looks bright for those pursuing a career as a University Professor in the Education industry. With the growing demand for higher education and the shift to online learning, there are plenty of opportunities for those with the right skills and experience.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What does a university professor do?

A: A university professor teaches college-level courses, conducts research in their field of expertise, and mentors students.

Q: What qualifications do you need to become a university professor?

A: To become a university professor, you typically need a doctoral degree in your field of study, as well as several years of research and teaching experience.

Q: What is the salary of a university professor?

A: The salary of a university professor can vary widely depending on their experience, field of study, and the institution they work for. The average salary for a full-time university professor is around $80,000 to $120,000 per year.

Q: How many hours does a university professor work?

A: University professors typically work long hours, teaching classes, conducting research, and grading papers outside of regular office hours. They typically work more than 40 hours per week, including weekends.

Q: What are the career prospects for a university professor?

A: The career prospects for a university professor can be promising for those who have a strong research record and a willingness to relocate. However, competition can be fierce for tenure-track positions, and job opportunities can be limited in certain fields.

Cover Letter Example

As a highly-skilled professional in the Education industry, I am excited to apply for the position of University Professor at [organization]. With [experience] years of experience in teaching and research, I believe I have the expertise necessary to make a significant contribution to [organization]. In my previous role as a professor at [previous institution], I was responsible for developing and delivering lectures related to [subject area], as well as guiding student research projects. I was proud to see many of my students achieve academic success and pursue further studies in their field.

In addition to my practical experience, I hold a [qualifications] degree in [field] from [university]. During my studies, I developed a strong understanding of [concepts related to field], which I believe will enhance my ability to teach and mentor students in [organization]. I have also conducted research on [research topic], which has been published in [professional publication]. I am excited to bring my passion for teaching and research to [organization], and I am confident that I have the skills necessary to excel in this role. Thank you for your consideration.

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