How to Become an Associate Professor

HBEU02Teaching is a passion, but for some teaching the basics in elementary school and high school is not as appealing as working at the college level. There is a strong demand for qualified associate professors, individuals who are just getting their foot in the door at this level of higher education. Nevertheless, there are plenty of reasons to invest in a career in this field. For those who wish to learn how to become an associate professor, the first step is to understand what this job title actually means.

What Is an Associate Professor?

Find Related CareersSOURCE: US Bureau of Labor Statistics
An associate professor works at a university or college of higher education. This individual’s job is no different, in most cases, than any other professor position in that he or she will teach courses, help with the development of curriculum, and participate throughout campus life. Associate is a type of ranking associated with professors based on experience and tenure. An associate professor ranks above an assistant professor. He or she is not considered a full professor, though.

How to Become an Associate Professor

As states, being an associate professor (or any professor for that matter) is one of the most stressful jobs in the educational realm. Not only does advancement and performance depend on peer reviews, but these teachers must seek out research funding for projects without much help. Nevertheless, for people who are striving to be a part of this community of educators, it is critical to know what it takes to be an associate professor. The following are some of the steps required to becoming an associate.

  • Obtain the necessary education in the field. This includes obtaining a bachelor’s degree in education. This is the same type of educational degree necessary for individuals who plan to work at any level of teaching. Some components of your bachelor’s degree may be accessible through online education, but all education must come from an accredited school.
  • Completed required student teaching to earn degree and meet state requirements. Individuals will need to teach in a classroom to accomplish this.
  • Sit for the state mandated licensing exam. This is the only way to obtain your actual teaching certificate, which gives you the ability to teach in the state.
  • Continue your education. One of the most important components to being an associate professor or higher is to have advanced education in the field. This may mean obtaining your master’s degree and your doctoral degree. This may also be possible to do, at least in part, through online educational programs.

At this point, many individuals enter the field of work in a college setting. However, you will likely need to continue to enhance your skills. Individuals will likely participate in research programs as an assistant professor for several years. Many will work as an assistant professor to another teacher at the school for five to ten years prior to being advanced to the associate professor position. This varies, though, from one person to the next.

Why Work in This Field?

There is a demand for higher level teachers in many areas of the country. According to the US Department of Labor, postsecondary teachers, including those in this field, are in demand and that demand will grow at a rate of about 17 percent over the period from 2010 through 2020. The 2010 median pay for these individuals is about $62,050 per year as well.

No matter why you want to work as an associate professor, there are plenty of reasons to get your education. Individuals often have to have very in-depth education in a field of interest so as to teach it at the college level. Enhancing that education through online education is often an ideal opportunity for most teachers already working in this field.

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