College Professors

Professor Speaks with Student

College professors instruct undergraduate and graduate students in specific subjects at colleges and universities. They lecture classes, lead small seminar groups, and create and grade examinations. They also may conduct research, write for publication, and aid in administration. Approximately 1.3 million postsecondary teachers are employed in the United States.

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Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) Assistant Professors, Associate Professors, Department Chairs, Junior College Instructors, Professors
Duties Teach classes at junior colleges or at four-year colleges and universities; lecture students; administer exams; grade papers; lead class discussions
Salary Range $25,000 to $100,000+
Work Environment Primarily Indoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Best opportunities are available in urban areas, although jobs can be found throughout the country
Minimum Education Level
  • Master's Degree
  • Doctorate
School Subjects
  • English
  • History
  • Speech
Experience Student teaching
Personality Traits
  • Helpful
  • Organized
  • Outgoing
  • Public Speaking
  • Research
  • Teaching
Certification or Licensing None
Special Requirements None
Employment Prospects Good
Advancement Prospects Fair
Outlook Faster than the Average
Career Ladder
  • Department Chair
  • Professor
  • Associate Professor
  • Assistant Professor
  • Instructor