College Professor


“Mathematics has an unearthly beauty and majesty…
At the University of California, Berkeley, I earned my Ph.D.. During this time I gained a deeper knowledge of modern mathematical research.”

“Why do mathematics? If you want to gain a greater ability to reason, understand science, answer hard questions, teach truth, or just appreciate a little more the wonders of the world around you, then you have your answer.”

Postsecondary teachers instruct students in a wide variety of academic and vocational subjects beyond the high school level. Postsecondary teachers include college and university faculty, postsecondary career and technical education teachers, and graduate teaching assistants.

Low End Salary:   $30,720/yr
Median Salary:   $62,050/yr
High End Salary:   $130,510/yr


The education and training required of postsecondary teachers varies widely, depending on the subject taught and educational institution employing them. Educational requirements for teachers are generally highest at research universities, where a Ph.D. is the most commonly held degree; at career and technical institutes, experience and expertise in a related occupation is the principal qualification.

Math Required:

College Algebra, Trigonometry, Calculus I, II, III, Linear Algebra, Ordinary Differential Equations, Real Analysis, Abstract Algebra, Theory of Analysis, Complex Analysis. Although faculty at junior colleges may only need the math in this list, most math professors at research universities need much more math than this.

When Math is Used:

A college professor’s time is largely spent on research, preparing class material, meeting with students, or however else he or she chooses. Math is used when the professor teaches the specific courses he or she chooses and when the professor conducts mathematical research.

Potential Employers:

Professors are hired at universities, state colleges, and technical institutes. As noted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job opportunities for postsecondary instructors are expected to grow at a faster than average rate through the decade ending in 2018 ( The best job prospects were projected for those with Ph.D.s who were willing to work part-time or on short-term contracts.


Before a professor obtains a full time faculty position at a given institution, he or she is given a temporary position for a certain amount of time. Their work is then scrutinized and reviewed by a committee. If the outcome is positive, the professor will be granted tenure, or a more secure job position, higher pay, and a lighter teaching load allowing for more research time.