Teaching at the College Level

One of the most prestigious jobs in education is that of a college or university professor. It is also the hardest level of teaching to reach. Four-year universities and colleges require that their professors hold a Doctorate degree. Only two-year colleges will allow a teacher with a master’s degree to become a professor, and even then they prefer a Doctorate.


Professors must plan the curriculum, any lab work, test, and grade college student papers, assignments, and exams. As college requires a stronger focus on excelling, professors must schedule office hours for all of their students to come in and ask questions or have issues clarified. A professor’s schedule can be shorter on certain days while longer on others. It depends on the varying course schedules and number of students arranging appointments for additional help. They may need any type of a help, as some editing, writing etc with some services like canadaessaywriter for any kind of assistance.

Professors usually must be available for between 12 and 18 hours of classroom instruction per week, plus additional time for staff meetings and student appointments. In smaller colleges, off-shift courses and weekend courses are also held, and may require the professor’s participation on evenings and weekends.

Earning Tenure

In the United States, professors often work on a path of tenure. A file is kept for all professors that includes any works they have had published, student assessments of the professor’s abilities, any awards of merit, community service, service within the university, and any other letters of recommendation.

A tenured professor holds protection against being dismissed for whatever reason. Tenured professors can voice their opinions in strong manners without fear of reprimand by the college or university dean. A tenured professor sits on the top rung of the ladder. Job growth for this position is steady, but placement depends on when a college or university’s professor/ professors are ready to retire. At this point, someone on the lower rung can move up in tenure and take over for retired professors.

Putting Your College Degree to Work

To understand how to become a professor, it is important to understand how college degrees work:

  • Two years of college equates to an Associate Degree.
  • Four years of college equates to a Bachelor’s Degree.
  • Six years of college equates to a Master’s Degree.
  • Eight to ten years of college is the typical length of college necessary to receive a Ph.D. (Doctorate Degree.)
  • Ten to twelve years of college usually equates to a Post-Doctorate degree.

These time frames will vary, as it requires dedication and constant attention to your college courses. Taking a year or two off can drastically extend the length of time it takes to achieve the next degree.

Any college or university teaching position for a four-year program requires a PhD as a minimum. The bottom rung on a career as a teacher in a higher education setting is that of an assistant professor. In rare cases, a Master’s Degree is accepted. An assistant professor earns approximately $56,000 per year and answers to a tenured professor or an associate professor. Assistant professors are usually responsible for teaching two classes per semester without planning the actual curriculum, attending at least one university committee, and ongoing research into the field in which they teach. In general, an assistant professor will be in his or her job for seven years before being promoted.

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