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What Is a Physics Professor and How to Become One

What Does a Physics Professor Do?

A physics professor offers instruction in physical science at a community college, four-year college, or university. As a professor, you can teach both undergraduate and graduate-level courses, depending on your qualifications. An associate professor (adjunct professor) works on a contract basis, while a faculty member with tenure has a career position at the university. Your duties in all physics teaching jobs include planning a syllabus for each class. You lecture, use exams to assess students’ knowledge, and oversee hands-on courses in a lab. At a university, your responsibilities include performing research and writing academic articles.

How to Become a Physics Professor

To work in a university, a physics professor needs to acquire a Ph.D. in physics. Since their duties include providing education to students of the university, this job usually requires teaching skills as well as expertise in science. Qualifications are similar for all people pursuing this career, but a physics professor may choose to earn their Ph.D. after gaining teaching experience at a post-secondary level or performing physics research.