What Do Postsecondary Physics Teachers Do?
Colleges and universities throughout the country are seeking knowledgeable and qualified teachers to enhance their instruction. Physics instructors teach of a variety of courses in the laws of energy and matter. Some in the position will be primarily focused on teaching concepts to a variety of students at varying levels from undergraduate to graduate. Others will complete a combination of research tasks and teaching assignments. Position openings are expected to increase moderately over coming years with an anticipated growth of 14%. There are expected to be 500 projected annual jobs available. Most of the growth in physics positions is expected to be within state universities and colleges with some significant growth at private institutions.
Postsecondary Physics Teachers Skills and Abilities
Physics teachers should possess a strong extensive knowledge of mathematical concepts and foundations along with a solid grasp of physical laws, concepts, interrelationships and the application of a variety of materials. Additionally, teachers need to be up to date on instructional methods and approaches. Instructors should have clear English language and communication skills that can effectively express and explain concepts. You should also possess necessary computer skills with relevant programs.
Postsecondary Physics Teachers Duties
Much of a postsecondary physics teacher’s position entails completing extensive and unique research and then publishing the relevant findings. In this position, you will also be expected to guide students in their own knowledge, research and findings. Additionally, you will be responsible for designer course materials including syllabi, homework assignments, lab assignments and exams. You will regular interact with a variety of students in class and during office hours and will address their questions and concerns. You will also be expected to complete the following more specific duties.
- Advise and collaborate with other instructors on curriculum
- Complete effective course plans that address course objectives
- Clearly assess student learning
- Participate in department activities including special committees
- Oversee lab work and teach safety approaches
- Write academic books and articles
- Attend relevant conferences and personal development workshops
Postsecondary Physics Teachers Tools and Technology
Today, technology is an essential component to both research activity and teaching. You will be expected to utilize a wide selection of tools in this position including lasers, microphones, parabolic mirrors, portable data input terminals and televisions. You will be expected to use classroom technology with ease. Additionally, you will need to be familiar with a variety of computer software including analytical scientific, computer aided design, computer based training, development environment and word processing computer programs. You will integrate the technology into both research and instruction.
Education and Training for Postsecondary Physics Teachers
Most commonly individuals in the field will need a Doctorate or professional degree to acquire a spot. However, there are particular positions that may only require a Masters degree. Most people in the position need a degree in a specifically physics related field including acoustics, nuclear physics, plasma physics, physics teacher education or astrophysics. While you do not need any specific experience, individuals typically complete research and teaching assignments during their graduate study.
Postsecondary Physics Teachers Salary
Teachers in physics typically make a substantial income, and the median income in the field is $80,700. However, many individuals can make more depending on where they live and how much experience they possess. For example, the top 25% of teachers make $111,600 and the top 10% earn $150,400.
Postsecondary Physics Teachers Jobs by Geography
New Hampshire and Massachusetts offer the greatest median wage with annual salaries at over $100,000. Oregon and California along with a couple other states provide median annual incomes in the $90,000 range. However, Georgia is expected to experience the largest growth with an average increase of 40.1%. Utah and Washington follow with job availability. Overall, position availability and potential wages largely depend on where you live.