What Do Chemistry Teachers Do?
A postsecondary level chemical teacher teaches courses focused on the chemical and physical properties and compositional changes of different substances. This teacher may have to instruct in the methods of quantitative and qualitative chemical analysis. This type of teacher can either primarily focus on teaching or split focus on teaching and research.Across the United States, this type of position is expected to have a 14% growth. That translates into approximately 730 new jobs per year.
Chemistry Teachers Skills and Abilities
As a teacher of chemistry related topics, you would be expected to:
- Have knowledge of chemistry, teaching methods, mathematics, physics and the English language.
- Be able to speak clearly and confidently.
- Have both written and oral communication skills.
- Listen actively.
- Think critically.
- Read and understand complex materials.
- Solve problems by using scientific methods and rules.
- Use deductive and inductive reasoning.
These skills will allow you to teach well, stay informed and conduct experiments.
Chemistry Teachers Duties
Chemistry teachers at the collegiate level have a lot of various duties including, but not limited to:
- Evaluating and grading students’ class work, assignments, papers and laboratory performance.
- Supervising students in the lab.
- Preparing course materials for the semester, such as, syllabi, handouts and homework assignments.
- Compiling, administering and grading exams.
- Establishing, teaching and monitoring students’ obedience to safety rules in the lab.
- Supervising undergraduate or graduate teaching, research work and internships.
- Maintaining important student records like grades and attendance.
- Initiating, moderating and facilitating classroom discussions.
- Conducting research and publishing findings.
- Assisting and advising students through regularly scheduled office hours.
- Keeping up to date on field through current literature, talking with colleagues and attending conferences.
- Participating in student activities and recruitment.
- Providing professional consultation for government and other industries.
- Selecting, ordering and maintaining materials and supplies or courses.
These duties are necessary to ensure that you are a knowledgeable instructor who is active on campus.
Chemistry Teachers Tools and Technology
To help you do your job in the most efficient way possible, you have to be familiar with some tools and technology:
- Laboratory Dishes
- Mass Spectrometers
- Analytical and Scientific Software
- Computer Based Training Software
- Information Retrieval Software
This is just a sampling of the tools and technology that you will have to use as a chemistry teacher at the postsecondary level.
Education and Training for Chemistry Teachers
As a postsecondary instructor of any kind, you have to have a Doctoral or professional degree. You need this higher education, so you can be well versed in all of the technical aspects and able to teach them to your students. As a chemistry teacher, you will have to take courses like:
- Analytical Chemistry
- Chemistry Teacher Education
- Chemical Physics
- Environmental Chemistry
- Inorganic Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry
- Polymer Chemistry
- Forensic Chemistry
- Materials Chemistry
- Physical Chemistry
- Theoretical Chemistry
- Science Teacher Education
These courses not only give you the technical knowhow of chemistry, but they also help you become an able instructor and lecturer.
Chemistry Teachers Salary
The salary of a postsecondary chemistry teacher will vary depending on previous experience, the institution and the location. Across the United States, the average chemistry teacher at the college level makes approximately $73,100. A chemistry teacher in the lower 10% makes about $40,800 while a teacher in the upper 10% can expect to make about $141,000.
Chemistry Teachers Jobs by Geography
Because chemistry teacher jobs do vary by location, you have to look at the different aspects of the job across the United States. For example, by population Texas, California, New York and Pennsylvania have the highest density of chemistry teachers. However, Georgia, Utah and Washington are expected to see the biggest increase in the industry. When you look at average salary, Massachusetts, California and North Dakota are well above the national average while Tennessee, Washington and Idaho are well below. When you think about getting a postsecondary chemistry teaching position, make sure to think about the institution and the location.