Postsecondary School Teacher Career

postsecondary-teacher-500Postsecondary teachers teach students in various academic, career and technical subjects beyond high school.

Some postsecondary teachers specialize in particular academic subjects such as mathematics or English. Others focus on technical or career-related disciplines such as nursing or computer technology.

Postsecondary teachers also typically conduct research and publish their findings in academic papers or books.

Many postsecondary teachers teach at colleges, universities or professional schools. Others teach at business, technical or career schools or hospitals.

Postsecondary School Teacher Career Snapshot

Most postsecondary teachers have flexible work schedules and usually teach during the day; however, some also teach evenings or weekends in addition to devoting time to conducting research and writing.

Further details on a career as a postsecondary school teacher are listed below (statistics from the May 2015 Bureau of Labor Statistics and Onet Online):


is the average pay for postsecondary teachers per year.


increase in employment between 2014 and 2024.


have a Doctoral degree, while 25% have a Master’s degree.

Postsecondary School Teacher Education

Most 4-year colleges and universities require their teachers to hold a Ph.D. A master’s degree might be sufficient for teaching at a community college or technical school. If you teach certain courses at a technical or career school, you may not need a degree any higher than that of the program you’re teaching.

Postsecondary School Teacher Job Duties

A postsecondary teacher’s primary duty is to instruct students in their particular area of expertise and work with those students to help them achieve their potential in academic knowledge or skills. The teacher develops a plan or syllabus for their course and makes sure the plan is in accordance with the standards set by the college and department. They must create lessons based on the course plan and grade students’ assignments and tests.

Postsecondary School Teacher Salaries

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median postsecondary teacher’s salary in May 2015 was $72,470. The bottom 10 percent made less than $38,000, and the top 10 percent earned over $154,000. If you choose to teach law, you can generally expect to earn nearly twice as much as someone who teaches criminal justice.

Postsecondary School Teacher Job Outlook

Because enrollment at postsecondary institutions is expected to increase through the mid-2020s, the demand for teachers is also expected to grow. Demand in some areas, such as health care, is expected to increase much faster than in the social sciences or humanities. There will also be a greater demand for part-time positions in public institutions due to local and state government budget restraints.

Postsecondary School Teacher Skills & Abilities

Postsecondary School Teacher Skill Set:Required Abilities:Tools Used by Postsecondary School Teachers:Typical Work Activities:
• Speaking
• Reading comprehension
• Instructing
• Active listening
• Critical thinking
• Oral expression
• Speech clarity
• Written comprehension
• Written expression
• Microphones
• Notebook computers
• Televisions
• Email software
• Word processing software
• Getting information
• Thinking creatively
• Training others
• Analyzing data

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