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Professor, Lecturer, or Research Associate at a College or University


Post-secondary educators have generally flexible schedules and can work varying hours. Full-time educators often teach 3-4 classes while part-time educators teach 1 or 2. Beyond actual class time, post-secondary educators often conduct their own research in their field, especially if they are part-time educators; you may even be required by your institution to conduct independent work. You’ll spend time creating a syllabus and  preparing materials for your classes, assigning and grading student work, and responding to student concerns or questions. Most institutions use a tenure system for hiring.


PhD required. Some programs and two-year institutions may only require a Master’s degree.


The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment to grow at a rate of 11% from 2018 through 2028, which is faster than average. PhD holders willing to work part-time have the best prospects. As of May 2018, median income for post-secondary educators is $78,470 per year. 

Texas, Pennsylvania, New York, California, and Massechusets (respectively) have the highest employment levels in the U.S. for a professor of engineering. Rhode Island, Massechusets, California, New York, and New Hampshire (respectively) are the top paying states in the U.S. for a professor of engineering. 

You can find prospect information about professors in other areas of study here.

Important Qualities

It will help you in this occupation to have good critical thinking skills, interpersonal skills, and communication skills.