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Physics Teachers, Postsecondary Career

Career Description

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.

What Job Titles Physics Teachers, Postsecondary Might Have

  • Instructor
  • Physics Instructor
  • Physics Professor
  • Professor

What Physics Teachers, Postsecondary Do

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

What Physics Teachers, Postsecondary Should Be Good At

  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • 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.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Mathematical Reasoning - The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.

What Physics Teachers, Postsecondary Should Be Interested In

  • Social - Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
  • Investigative - 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.

What Physics Teachers, Postsecondary Need to Learn

  • 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.
  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
Sun iconThis career has a bright outlook.
Diploma iconThis career requires a graduate degree.
Median Salary: $84,570

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.