Tanya Harris, LLD Professorship


How to Become a Professor







Steps into International Development

Five Steps to Becoming a Professor

Step 1 Earn an undergraduate degree:

The path to becoming a professor begins with a bachelor’s degree. It is a prerequisite to entering graduate school. A student may know the subject they want to specialize in from their first day of college, or may discover it later on.

Step 2 Choose a subject to specialize in:

People who want to become a professor must choose a subject to teach and begin gaining expertise in that area, usually by studying the subject while pursuing their undergraduate degree but not always. In addition to taking coursework in a specific subject matter area, participating in an internship program in their undergraduate years can also help future professors develop their knowledge and skills.

Step 3 Earn a graduate degree:

Hopeful professors must continue their education with a graduate degree. Generally, those who want to work as professors at community colleges are required to earn a master’s degree, while those who want to teach at four-year colleges and universities should earn a doctorate. However, when there are a lot of job candidates to choose from, community colleges may also favor those who have earned a doctoral degree.

Step 4 Participate in an assistantship:

During their graduate years, students who want to become professors should participate in an assistantship program at their school, which is a kind of financial aid that allows students to get full or partial tuition remission and a stipend as they gain work experience under the supervision of a professor. In some cases, students may also be able to earn graduate credit hours toward their degree when they participate in an assistantship.

There are different kinds of assistantships available, depending on the students’ academic department. Research assistantships allow students to perform certain duties, such as collecting, documenting, and analyzing research data. Those in teaching assistantships participate in instructional activities that may include grading tests and assignments, meeting with students during office hours, and giving class lectures. Those in an administrative assistantship work with the staff of an academic department and perform duties such as providing academic advising and career counseling to students, giving presentations, and evaluating programs in the department.

No matter what kind of assistantship students participate in, they will be expected to work a certain number of hours each week and maintain a minimum GPA.

Step 5 Get post-doctoral experience:

In order to successfully compete for professor positions, people should obtain post-doctoral experience. This allows those who completed their Ph.D. to conduct original research and begin to amass a catalog of studies published in academic journals.

Post-doctoral jobs are generally positions at a college or university that last two or three years. Those who want to teach in scientific disciplines, such as biological science, chemistry, and physics, may be expected to have this type of experience in order to land a position.

FAQ on Becoming a Professor

Professor Salary & Job Growth

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in May 2017 the median salary for professors was $76,000 a year, with the bottom ten percent earning around $39,000 and the top ten percent earning $170,160. There are several factors that go into how much professors earn, including the type of institution they work for. For example, professors at private colleges and universities earn a median income of $77,170 and those at state schools earn $79,340. In addition, professors who work for local junior colleges make a median income of $76,890 and educators at state junior colleges make $56,030.

Also, the agency reports that the subject professors teach can influence their earning potential. The following are some examples of the median annual income of educators in different disciplines.

Alabama Mean wage annual: $29,640

Alaska Mean wage annual: $79,300

Arizona Mean wage annual: $74,210

Arkansas Mean wage annual: $56,410

California Mean wage annual: N/A

Colorado Mean wage annual: $63,650

Connecticut Mean wage annual: N/A

Delaware Mean wage annual: $66,000

Florida Mean wage annual: $60,300

Georgia Mean wage annual: $80,260

CHOOSE A PROGRAM         Select a Degree                    Associate’s                    Bachelor’s                    Master’s                    Doctorate                    Certificate / Diploma                    Graduate Certificates                         Select a Category                    Art & Design                    Business & Management                    Computers & Technology                    Criminal Justice & Legal                    Education & Teaching                    Liberal Arts & Humanities                    Nursing & Healthcare                    Psychology & Counseling                    Science & Engineering                    Trades & Careers                         Select a Subject                                                Adult Education/Learning                            Assessment & Measurement                            Child Development                            Coaching                            Curriculum & Instruction                            Early Childhood Education                            Education                            Educational Administration                            Educational Counseling                            Educational Leadership                            Educational Technology                            Elementary Education                            English Language Learning                            Higher Education                            K-12 Education                            Library Science                            Math Education                            Montessori Education                            Music Education                            Online Teaching                            Reading & Literacy                            Science Education                            Secondary Education                            Social Studies                            Special Education                            Teacher Licensure                                        GOSPONSORED SCHOOLS


The job outlook for professors is bright. Projections from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics state that the growth for professors will be 15 percent between 2016 and 2026, which is faster growth than the average of all other occupations. The reason for this boom in professor jobs can be attributed to the expected increase in students who will be seeking higher education in the coming years.

These projections come with a few caveats, however. It’s important to consider that many of these positions will be for part-time instructors, rather than full-time tenured professors. In addition, available jobs at public colleges and universities will be closely tied to state budgets. Also, different academic disciplines will see different rates of growth.

Finding a Postsecondary Teaching Program

Those preparing to become professors must enroll in strong education programs themselves. This section includes information on the programs that prepare hopeful postsecondary teachers for their career.

Choosing the right school is one of the most important decisions a future postsecondary school teacher will ever make. Students are weighing their options based on tuition cost, the length of the program, and the licenses and certifications they can earn as they complete their studies. Use the following search tool to compare programs. State Degree Level School Type Environment.

MapSatellite2,009 Results

SchoolTuition & FeesAcceptance RateStudent PopulationSchool TypePrograms
A T Still University of Health SciencesKirksville, MO3,838Both Online and Campus1
Abilene Christian UniversityAbilene, TXIn-state:$29,450
62%4,853Both Online and Campus18
Abraham Baldwin Agricultural CollegeTifton, GAIn-state:$2,392
16.18%4,005Both Online and Campus1
Academy di FirenzeJerome, ID27Campus1
Academy of Art UniversitySan Francisco, CAIn-state:$22,308
31.11%11,672Both Online and Campus2
Academy of Careers and TechnologyBeckley, WV196Campus1
Access CareersBrooklyn, NY773Campus1
Adams State UniversityAlamosa, COIn-state:$5,160
21.25%4,142Both Online and Campus4
Adelphi UniversityGarden City, NYIn-state:$30,840
63.98%9,442Both Online and Campus33
Adirondack Community CollegeQueensbury, NYIn-state:$3,870
16.4%5,315Both Online and Campus1
Adrian CollegeAdrian, MIIn-state:$31,870
Advanced CollegeSouth Gate, CA93.33%274Both Online and Campus1
Alabama A & M UniversityNormal, ALIn-state:$7,500
35.25%5,591Both Online and Campus10
Alabama State UniversityMontgomery, ALIn-state:$6,936
26.32%6,992Both Online and Campus10
Alaska Christian CollegeSoldotna, AKIn-state:$7,500
Albany State UniversityAlbany, GAIn-state:$3,792
39.62%4,782Both Online and Campus13
Albertus Magnus CollegeNew Haven, CTIn-state:$28,440
49.74%2,052Both Online and Campus2
Albion CollegeAlbion, MIIn-state:$36,872
71.75%1,337Both Online and Campus14
Albright CollegeReading, PAIn-state:$37,320
Alcorn State UniversityAlcorn State, MSIn-state:$4,923
40.35%4,356Both Online and Campus1

Higher Education Associations & Groups

Joining higher education associations and groups can help future and current professors expand their networks and get information about the latest research in the field. The following are some examples of the organizations professors can join to enhance their careers.

  • American Association of University Professors This association is dedicated to promoting high standards in higher education by developing and teaching best practices. Members of the AAUP can sharpen their skills through webinars, training programs, teaching toolkits, guidebooks, and journals. In addition, the association offers insurance and discounts on helpful resources.
  • American Association of Community Colleges Promotes the needs of community colleges through advocacy and education. Members can network at the group’s annual convention, get the latest research about the field from journals, and participate in professional development programs.
  • American College Personnel Association Since 1924, this organization has been providing help to those who work at public and private colleges around the country. The group offers professional networking opportunities, a career portal, webinars, industry publications, and leadership training.
  • Association on Higher Education And Disability Helps promote the needs of those with disabilities in higher education. Offers education about the issues people with disabilities face through publications, conferences, workshops, and webinars.
  • National Education Association This association meets the needs of teachers working in public education, from those who teach preschoolers to college graduate students. Members have access to resources such as lesson plans, classroom management tips, and pedagogical strategies.
  • Academy for Academic Leadership Organization that helps to build leadership skills among those in higher education. Provides workshops, learning programs, and consulting services.
  • American Association of Adjunct Education Provides professional development to adjunct professors and part-time faculty members. Organizes an annual conference to help members learn new skills and network with each other.

Resources for Professors

In order to be successful in an education career, professionals must have strong learning skills. The following are some resources that professors can use to get the latest information about their field.




Published by: Eaugrads

Evangelical Alumni Foundation seeks to fulfill "The Great Commandment and The Great Commission" to GOD's great economy. Each of us has great purpose as Sons of God. We are many in one body. Together, we are firmly planted by streams of water to bear fruits in all seasons. We shall not lack no good thing. Deuteronomy 1:11 God's Spiritual Billionaire's! Brief about our founder of Eaugrads: "JESUS"... "His pursuit of us is Relentless, His desire to Fight on our behalf is never ending; Despite the day to day distractions, designed to stop us from reaching our destinies, we can be sure of this... what God starts; He Finishes." Amen! Ministered By Tanya Harris, LLD

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