Physics Teachers, Postsecondary

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About the Job

Teach courses pertaining to the laws of matter and energy. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

It is also Called

  • Thermodynamics Teacher
  • Thermodynamics Professor
  • Theoretical Physics Teacher
  • Teacher
  • Science Professor
  • Science Instructor
  • Professor of Physics
  • Professor of Astronomy
  • Professor
  • Physics Professor
View All

What They Do

  • Participate in campus and community events.
  • Provide professional consulting services to government or industry.
  • Maintain and repair laboratory equipment.
  • Perform administrative duties, such as serving as department head.
  • Supervise students' laboratory work.
  • Compile bibliographies of specialized materials for outside reading assignments.
  • Act as advisers to student organizations.
  • Serve on academic or administrative committees that deal with institutional policies, departmental matters, and academic issues.
  • Participate in student recruitment, registration, and placement activities.
  • Select and obtain materials and supplies, such as textbooks and laboratory equipment.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: SI.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Social interests, but also prefer Investigative environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Achievement, but also value Working Conditions and Recognition in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Physics - Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Science - Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

Education Required

Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).

Wages

In 2016, the average annual wage in Pennsylvania was $91,050 with most people making between $44,520 and $143,630

Outlook

1.34%
avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 1,120 people in Pennsylvania. It is projected that there will be 1,270 employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 15 openings due to growth and about 25 replacement openings for approximately 40 total annual openings.

Industries that Employ this Occupation

Industry breakdown is not available for this occupation



Pennsylvania Department of Education