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Philosophy and Religion Teachers, Postsecondary
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Description: what do they do?
Teach courses in philosophy, religion, and theology. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.
Also known as:
Religion Professor, Religious Studies Professor, Associate Professor, Professor, Assistant Professor, Theology Professor, Philosophy Professor, Philosophy Instructor, Instructor, Humanities Professor

    What does this information tell me?

    This description is a quick overview of what workers in this career might do.

    "Also known as" shows other common names for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from an O*NET database. Learn more on the Help page.

Career video
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    Transcript: It’s said that the best professors awaken greatness in students, and inspire them to reach their potential both in their careers and in life. Postsecondary teachers, often called professors or faculty, teach students at the college level, in a wide variety of subjects, and often contribute to the development of knowledge in their fields. Professors need high-level critical thinking skills, excellent speaking and writing skills, creativity, and the ability to connect with their students. They teach courses in subjects such as history, science, business, music, and many other fields. Professors at small colleges or community colleges often spend most of their time teaching classes and working with students. When employed by large colleges or universities, faculty also conduct research or experiments publish their findings, apply for research grants, and supervise graduate teaching assistants who help teach classes Part-time—or adjunct—professors often work in their field, such as a lawyer who teaches an evening law class. Some faculty teach courses online, using the Internet to present lessons, assign work to students, and participate in discussions. Faculty also keep office hours for student meetings, and may serve on committees for their institutions. Most professors teach during the day, but some teach night and weekend classes. Online teaching may offer a flexible schedule. Typically, postsecondary teachers must have a Ph.D. in a related field, though two-year colleges may require only a master's degree. In some fields, such as health specialties, art, or education, hands-on experience in the industry is an important qualification.
View transcript
Outlook: will there be jobs?
Image. Employment outlook for this occupation
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.

This occupation is:
  • Expected to grow much faster than average


    What does this information tell me?

    Outlook information can tell you whether a career is expected to be in demand in the future—that is, whether there are likely to be job openings if you choose this career. Careers can have one of three outlooks:

    • A Bright outlook means new job opportunities are very likely in the future
    • An Average outlook means that a small number of new job opportunities are likely in the future (less than an 8 percent increase)
    • A Below Average outlook means new job opportunities are less likely in the future

    You can also view local job listings in this field by clicking "Find job openings" above. This can help you see if local businesses are hiring—another way of looking at demand.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET’s Bright Outlook occupations. Note this information is only available at a national level, so even if you selected a state, you’ll only see this information for the whole country.

Projected employment
United States
31,700
2018 Employment
34,800
2028 Employment
10%
Percent change
3,100
Annual projected job openings

    What does this information tell me?

    Projected employment shows how much employment is expected to grow in this occupation over a 10-year period. This can help you decide if this career is a good choice for future job opportunities. You can look at projected employment in your state, or in other states where you might consider living.

    You can see the total number of people employed in this occupation in 2016 (for states) or 2018 (for the United States), the number expected to be employed in 2026 (for states) or 2028 (for the United States), and rate of growth over those years.

    The projections are based on assumptions of unemployment rates and labor productivity growth rates.  While the projected numbers may not be exact, they are helpful to compare one career to another, or one location to another.

    What is the source of this information?

    State-level data come from Projections Central and each state's Labor Market Information office, 2016-26.

    National-level data come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, 2018-28.

Typical wages

Annual wages for Philosophy and Religion Teachers, Postsecondary in United States
This graph displays wage data.  Find details by selecting the table view.
This chart displays wage data.  Find details by selecting the table view.
LocationUnited States
10%$38,860
25%$53,410
Median$71,890
75%$98,160
90%$135,170


    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you a range of how much most workers in this occupation earn per hour, in the location that you selected.

    You can select from three views of this data:

    • The Graph shows you wages at the 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th and 90th percentiles. Note that the lowest (10th %ile) wage shown is not necessarily a "starting wage." Instead it means that 10 percent of all workers in this career earn less that this amount, and 90 percent earn more. However, you can assume that you might earn close to the 10th or 25th %ile wages when you start out in most careers.
    • Select "Chart" to see a visual comparison between national wages and wages in the location you selected.
    • Select "Table" to see more wage data the national and local level.

    Please note that wage data are not available at the city or ZIP code level. If you selected a city or ZIP code, you will see wage data for the regional area.

    Also note that in this update, 21 detailed occupations found within the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) were replaced with 10 new aggregations of those occupations; read more about these OES changes.

    You can learn more about wages for this and other occupations by clicking “See more wages” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    The wage information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics Program, 2018 data. For more detailed state wage data, please find the link to your state's wage data program in the Other Resources box.

    What does this information tell me?

    This shows you the typical level of education, work experience, and on-the-job training that most people have when they start in this career. Note that these are not requirements for entering this field, but the information can help you understand how qualified you might be.

    Interested in starting in this career? You can search for education programs in your local area by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, Education and training assignments by detailed occupation, 2018.

Typical education
How much education do most people in this career have?
Chart. Percent of workers in this field by education level attained

    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you the range of education levels that people who currently work in this field have. You can use this to see if you fit in this range. Note that this includes ALL people who work in this field and not just those getting started.

    Interested in getting qualified for this career? You can search for programs that lead to the education needed, in your local area, by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, Educational attainment for workers 25 years and older by detailed occupation, 2016–17.

Certifications: show your skills
Let employers know you have the skills to do well at this job.
Earning a certification can help you:
  • Get a job
  • Get a promotion

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find certifications" you'll see a list of national certifications that are related to this career. From there, you can learn how to achieve one of these certifications to help you enter or get ahead in this field.

    What is the source of this information?

    This collection of occupational certifications is collected and regularly updated by CareerOneStop. Learn more at Certification Finder Help.

Licenses: do you need one?
Some states require an occupational license to work in this career.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find license details in your state" you'll see the license name and contact information for the agency in your state that oversees licensing for this field. If you have not selected a location, you'll see a list of all state licenses for this occupation.

    What is the source of this information?

    Information on licensed occupations is gathered in each state by Labor Market Information units under a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. Learn more at License Finder Help.

Apprenticeships: learn on the job
Apprenticeships combine paid on-the-job-training with classroom lessons.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find apprenticeship sponsors" you'll find information that can help you locate apprenticeship opportunities in your state:

    • If there are businesses that have sponsored apprenticeships in this field in the past, you'll find their name and contact information.
    • If there are related occupations that might have apprenticeship opportunities, you'll find links to that information.
    • You'll also see contact information for state and federal agencies that oversee apprenticeship programs.

    What is the source of this information?

    Apprenticeship information comes from the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeships, and from CareerOneStop. Learn more at Apprenticeship Finder Help.

Activities: what you might do in a day
  • Evaluate student work.
  • Guide class discussions.
  • Teach humanities courses at the college level.
  • Administer tests to assess educational needs or progress.
  • Prepare tests.
  • Develop instructional materials.
  • Attend training sessions or professional meetings to develop or maintain professional knowledge.
  • Stay informed about current developments in field of specialization.
  • Maintain student records.
  • Write articles, books or other original materials in area of expertise.
  • Direct department activities.
  • Research topics in area of expertise.
  • Evaluate effectiveness of educational programs.
  • Develop instructional objectives.
  • Advise students on academic or career matters.
  • Supervise student research or internship work.
  • Order instructional or library materials or equipment.
  • Select educational materials or equipment.
  • Serve on institutional or departmental committees.
  • Perform student enrollment or registration activities.
  • Promote educational institutions or programs.
  • Compile specialized bibliographies or lists of materials.
  • Plan community programs or activities for the general public.
  • Write grant proposals.
  • Advise educators on curricula, instructional methods, or policies.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical work activities that people in this career might do on the job. You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More activities” to see more detailed examples of activities for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these activities to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET’s Detailed Work Activities.

Knowledge
People in this career often know a lot about:
  • Philosophy and Theology - Knowledge of different philosophical systems and religions. This includes their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and their impact on human culture.
  • 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.
  • History and Archeology - Knowledge of historical events and their causes, indicators, and effects on civilizations and cultures.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of general knowledge areas that are most commonly required for jobs in the career. Knowledge is typically gained through education and related experience.

    This list can help you learn if you are prepared for a job in this career. It can also help you decide on education or training programs that could help you prepare for the career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Knowledge descriptors.

Skills
People in this career often have these skills:
  • Reading Comprehension - Reading work-related information.
  • Speaking - Talking to others.
  • Instructing - Teaching people how to do something.
  • Active Listening - Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
  • Writing - Writing things for co-workers or customers.
  • Critical Thinking - Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
  • Learning Strategies - Using the best training or teaching strategies for learning new things.
  • Active Learning - Figuring out how to use new ideas or things.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Understanding people's reactions.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list the work-related skills most commonly required for jobs in the career.

    This list can help you understand how well your current skills fit this career. It can also help you plan your education or professional development.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Skills descriptors.

Abilities
People in this career often have talent in:
  • Written Comprehension - Reading and understanding what is written.
  • Oral Expression - Communicating by speaking.
  • Speech Clarity - Speaking clearly.
  • Written Expression - Communicating by writing.
  • Oral Comprehension - Listening and understanding what people say.
  • Inductive Reasoning - Making general rules or coming up with answers from lots of detailed information.
  • Deductive Reasoning - Using rules to solve problems.
  • Near Vision - Seeing details up close.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list of personal qualities that might influence work and are most commonly required for success in this career.

    This list can help you understand if your natural strengths and abilities are a good fit for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Abilities descriptors.

Interests
  • Social - Occupations with Social interests frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. Most involve helping or providing service to others.
  • Artistic - Occupations with Artistic interests frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and allow for developing unique approaches to conducting the work.
  • Investigative - Occupations with Investigative interests frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. They often involve research and figuring out problems mentally.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of work environment-preferences that are most commonly associated with the career. It can help you understand if your natural interests are a good fit for this career.

    Click "Take an interest assessment" for a quick 30-question assessment that can help you understand your interests and see careers that might be good matches for them.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Interest descriptors.

Typical tasks
  • Evaluate and grade students' class work, assignments, and papers.
  • Initiate, facilitate, and moderate classroom discussions.
  • Prepare and deliver lectures to undergraduate or graduate students and the community on topics such as ethics, logic, and contemporary religious thought.
  • Compile, administer, and grade examinations, or assign this work to others.
  • Prepare course materials, such as syllabi, homework assignments, and handouts.
  • Keep abreast of developments in the field by reading current literature, talking with colleagues, and participating in professional conferences.
  • Maintain student attendance records, grades, and other required records.
  • Write articles and books.
  • Perform administrative duties, such as serving as department head.
  • Conduct research in a particular field of knowledge and publish findings in professional journals, books, or electronic media.
  • Plan, evaluate, and revise curricula, course content, course materials, and methods of instruction.
  • Maintain regularly scheduled office hours to advise and assist students.
  • Advise students on academic and vocational curricula and on career issues.
  • Supervise undergraduate or graduate teaching, internship, and research work.
  • Select and obtain materials and supplies, such as textbooks.
  • Collaborate with colleagues to address teaching and research issues.
  • Serve on academic or administrative committees that deal with institutional policies, departmental matters, and academic issues.
  • Participate in student recruitment, registration, and placement activities.
  • Compile bibliographies of specialized materials for outside reading assignments.
  • Participate in campus and community events.
  • Act as advisers to student organizations.
  • Write grant proposals to procure external research funding.
  • Provide professional consulting services to government or industry.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical tasks that people in this career might do on the job.  You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More tasks” to see more detailed examples for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these tasks to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET‘s Tasks.

Other resources

    What does this information tell me?

    These are additional online resources related to this career. You may find different or more detailed information at these sources.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information is collected and maintained by CareerOneStop.