Career Advice on How to Become An Educational Teacher in the Postsecondary System

General Career Information

Not all of those who teach at the postsecondary level are full professors.  Becoming a full-time professor is not an easy task, as there is a great deal of competition in almost all disciplines.  Many who work as postsecondary teachers work in universities, colleges and vocational institutions.  

Regardless of the institution, postsecondary teachers need to construct and implement lesson plans.  In theory, postsecondary teachers are responsible for teaching classes and grading exams. However, for many professors, the reality of the situation is seriously different from the perception.  Many institutions look the other way as professors are allowed to pursue their own research rather than teach effectively.  Additionally, many professors also allocate grading of papers and exams to their teaching assistants.

Career Facts:

A large percentage of those who are working as postsecondary teachers are doing so on a part time basis.  It is estimated that about thirty percent of postsecondary teachers work only part time.  This group of part timers includes grade students and other instructors who are given the label “adjunct faculty.”  

Virtually all postsecondary teachers hold bachelor’s degrees.  Some are in the process of earning their master’s degree or PhD, such as graduate students working as teaching assistants. Others, of course, have finished their PhDs and are now teaching.  If you are planning to add educational teacher in the post secondary system to your career planning list, it is important to note that those who wish to become full-time post secondary teachers at a university or college will usually need a PhD. However, there are exceptions.


Career Opportunities and Job Outlook- Above Average:

For decades, the “Great Wave” of professor and associate professor hiring has been predicted as professors are expected to retire.  In part, this has never occurred, leaving many academics to either wait in limbo or move on to other careers.  While the outlook for new hiring amongst academics is expected to expand between 2008 and 2018, there is no guarantee that this will occur.  Expect competition for tenure track positions to remain intense.  Apparently, there are some “Nosferatu” teachers in the bunch who will never retire.  It is difficult to predict what your job search will look like.
Job Outlook is Good

A Day in The Life:

The average day for a postsecondary teacher will vary depending upon the institution and the position held.  In general, postsecondary teachers will need to present their lesson plans and classes usually will meet approximately three times a week.  Postsecondary teachers are supposed to be focused mainly on teaching, but in reality, for many of them teaching is a distant, secondary priority.

Average Salary:

The average earnings for a postsecondary teacher are about $59,000, with the average for a full-time professor coming in at roughly $109,000.  Associate professors can expect to earn about $76,000, with assistant professors earning about $45,000.  It should be noted that the lowest ten percent of postsecondary teachers can earn as little as $29,000.

$45k - $76k


Career Training and Qualifications:

Most postsecondary teachers hold master’s degree or PhDs or are in the process of earning advanced degrees.
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