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Career profile Psychology Professor

Also known as Adjunct Instructor, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Clinical Psychology Professor, Faculty Member, Instructor, Lecturer, Professor, Psychology Instructor, Psychology Professor

Psychology Professor

Also known as Adjunct Instructor, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor

Interests Profile
  • Social
  • Investigative
  • Artistic
Pay Range
$41,480 - $155,800 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Learning Strategies
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Speaking
Knowledge Areas
  • Psychology
  • Education and Training
  • Sociology and Anthropology
Core tasks
  • Prepare and deliver lectures to undergraduate or graduate students on topics such as anatomy, therapeutic recreation, and conditioning theory.
  • Initiate, facilitate, and moderate classroom discussions.
  • Evaluate and grade students' class work, laboratory work, projects, assignments, and papers.
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What does a Psychology Professor do?

Psychology Professors teach courses in psychology, such as child, clinical, and developmental psychology, and psychological counseling.

In addition, Psychology Professors includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

What kind of tasks does a Psychology Professor perform regularly?

Psychology Professors are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Prepare and deliver lectures to undergraduate or graduate students on topics such as anatomy, therapeutic recreation, and conditioning theory.
  • Initiate, facilitate, and moderate classroom discussions.
  • Evaluate and grade students' class work, laboratory work, projects, assignments, and papers.
  • Keep abreast of developments in the field by reading current literature, talking with colleagues, giving presentations at conferences, and serving on committees in professional associations.
  • Prepare course materials, such as syllabi, homework assignments, or handouts.
  • Compile, administer, and grade examinations or assign this work to others.
  • Supervise undergraduate or graduate teaching, internship, and research work.
  • Recruit and hire new faculty.
  • Plan, evaluate, and revise curricula, course content, course materials, and methods of instruction.
  • Conduct research in a particular field of knowledge and publish findings in scholarly journals, books, or electronic media.
  • Develop and use multimedia course materials and other current technology, such as online courses.
  • Maintain regularly scheduled office hours to advise and assist students.
  • Perform administrative duties, such as serving as department heads.
  • Collaborate with colleagues to address teaching and research issues.
  • Advise students on academic and vocational curricula, and on career issues.
  • Write grant proposals to procure external research funding and review others' grant proposals.
  • Maintain student attendance records, grades, and other required records.
  • Write letters of recommendation for students.
  • 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 performance pieces.

The above responsibilities are specific to Psychology Professors. More generally, Psychology Professors are involved in several broader types of activities:

Training and Teaching Others
Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others
Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Working with Computers
Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

What is a Psychology Professor salary?

The median salary for a Psychology Professor is $78,180, and the average salary is $89,960. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Psychology Professor salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Psychology Professors earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Psychology Professors earn less than $41,480 per year, 25% earn less than $57,200, 75% earn less than $108,920, and 90% earn less than $155,800.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Psychology Professors is expected to change by 10.2%, and there should be roughly 4,700 open positions for Psychology Professors every year.

Median annual salary
$78,180
Typical salary range
$41,480 - $155,800
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
10.2%

What personality traits are common among Psychology Professors?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Psychology Professor are usually higher in their Social, Investigative, and Artistic interests.

Psychology Professors typically have very strong Social interests. Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Also, Psychology Professors typically have very strong Investigative interests. Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Lastly, Psychology Professors typically have moderate Artistic interests. Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Psychology Professor tend to value Achievement, Independence, and Relationships.

Most importantly, Psychology Professors strongly value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

Second, Psychology Professors strongly value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Lastly, Psychology Professors strongly value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Psychology Professors must consistently demonstrate qualities such as independence, achievement/effort, and dependability.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Psychology Professors, ranked by importance:

Independence
Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Achievement/Effort
Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Persistence
Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Initiative
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.

What education and training do Psychology Professors need?

Many Psychology Professors have earned a graduate degree. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a doctoral degree, such as a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D..

Psychology Professors may need some on-the-job training, but most candidates will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.

Educational degrees among Psychology Professors

  • 0.6% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 1.4% completed high school or secondary school
  • 2.0% completed some college coursework
  • 1.8% earned a Associate's degree
  • 14.6% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 32.1% earned a Master's degree
  • 47.4% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Psychology Professors

Psychology Professors may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as psychology, education and training, or sociology and anthropology knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Psychology Professors might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Psychology
Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
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.
Sociology and Anthropology
Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures, and their history and origins.
Mathematics
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Therapy and Counseling
Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.

Important Abilities needed by Psychology Professors

Psychology Professors must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Psychology Professors need abilities such as oral expression, written comprehension, and written expression in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Psychology Professors, ranked by their relative importance.

Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Written Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
Speech Clarity
The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

Critical Skills needed by Psychology Professors

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Psychology Professors frequently use skills like learning strategies, reading comprehension, and speaking to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Psychology Professors, ranked by their relative importance.

Learning Strategies
Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Instructing
Teaching others how to do something.
Writing
Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.