Are College Teachers Called Professors

A college is a citadel of higher learning dedicated to providing post-secondary education and granting degrees; a college is often part of the university. A professor is a learned authority in a particular field that is part of the teaching staff at a college or university. Are College Teachers Called Professors? The simple answer to the question is “NO.” Not all college teachers are called professors. The college system has a lot of learned individuals in the teaching role, including instructors, research associates, lab engineers, graduate assistants, adjutant professors, lab technologists, assistant lecturers, lecturers, assistant professors, readers, and professors. A professor is one of the teachers in a college, but not all college teachers are called professors.

Are College Teachers Called Professors

Steps to Become a College Teacher

  1. To become a college teacher, you will have to get a bachelor’s degree in your area of lecturing interest.
  2. Further education through a master’s degree in relevant areas is necessary to join the faculty of many universities.
  3. To be hired by a university as a full-time lecturer, a Ph.D. degree that shows your area of specialisation is likely to be one of the core requirements.

Steps to Become a College Professor

  1. Have good grades from high school
  2. Teach during holidays or spare time
  3. Pick a major of interest in college.
  4. Maintain good grades during your undergrad years in college
  5. Meet your professors (ideally, a professor in your area of interest) to serve as a guide for you in your professorial journey
  6. In college, do some research and publish articles to boost your CV as an academician.
  7. Sit for GRE and other necessary exams, then apply for graduate school.
  8. Do research work and maintain your grades in grad school.
  9. Apply for teaching assistant roles to gain some lecturing experience
  10. Write your Master’s thesis.
  11. Build strong relationships with lecturers during your Phd.
  12. Publish your research in notable journals
  13. Write your Ph.D. dissertation.
  14. Apply for a full teaching role in your desired college
  15. Rise through the ranks to become a full professor via your research work and promotions

What Does a College Teacher Do?

The basic role of a college teacher is to lecture college students. Additional responsibilities may apply depending on your position in the academic cadre. For instance, a professor is generally more involved in research work and postgraduate teaching than undergraduate teaching.

What Does a College Professor Do?

We have talked about the general roles of college teachers. Now, let’s specifically talk about the roles of college professors.

  • A college professor lectures in college classes
  • A college professor does research work.
  • A college professor can serve as a visiting professor to other colleges.
  • A college professor can hold administrative positions like Chancellor, Vice-chancellor, Deputy vice-chancellor, Dean of Faculty, Provost of College, Head of Department, Director of Studies, Librarian, Registrar, Bursar, etc. in the university or college based on appointment and professorial rank.

Academic Rank in a College

Is a professor the highest-ranked person in an academic setting? Academic ranks indicate the degree of importance and power of individuals in an institution of higher learning. The academic ranks are specific for each country; there is no universally-accepted, singular ranking system in use all over the world. Among the common ranks are professor, associate professor, associate professor, senior lecturer, and lecturer.

The use of academic rank is usually specific to colleges and universities throughout the world, although other institutions of higher learning may follow a similar system.

For example, in Nigeria, the following academic positions are employed;

  • Emeritus Professor
  • Professor
  • Associate Professor/Reader
  • Senior Lecturer
  • Lecturer I
  • Lecturer II
  • Assistant Lecturer
  • Graduate Assistant

Salary Potential for College Professors

How much is the average salary of a college professor? The answer to this question depends a lot on your field of specialisation, what country you are a professor in, and what school you end up working at. According to the 2018/19 Higher Education (HE) Single Pay Spine, the average possible salaries for college teachers in the UK are as follows:

  • Full professors: ₤90,891
  • Associate professors: ₤64,356
  • Senior lecturers: ₤51,590
  • Lecturers: ₤40,761
  • Research Fellows: ₤40,761

As you can see, there is a pretty large range in professors’ salaries, with full professors typically making an average of ₤90,891 compared to ₤64,356 for associate professors.

The HE Single Pay Spine is the single national pay spine that exercises control over the remunerations of college teachers in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Some lecturers do earn more than ₤100,000 annually in the United Kingdom for those with significant managerial responsibility, although very few individuals reach these positions.


  • All college teachers are not called professors
  • There are other teaching positions available in a college apart from that of a professor
  • A professor is usually the highest position in academia in many countries
  • A full professor earns way better than other professors. The difference in salaries is vast
  • Further education beyond the bachelor’s degree level is required to become a professor

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Can I become a college teacher with just a bachelor’s degree? 

Yes. It is possible to get a graduate assistantship role in many colleges immediately after graduation from a bachelor’s degree program.

  1. Can I become a college professor with just a bachelor’s degree? 

No. Additional education, some teaching experience, and research-laden experience are necessary to become a professor.

  1. How many years will it take me to become a college professor? 

This generally depends on your educational level, research experience, and country of employment. It generally takes an average of 10-15 years to become a full-time professor.

  1. Does every country have a pay scale system for college teachers like the United Kingdom? 

No. Other countries like the United States do not have a national pay scale system. Individual colleges in the United States have their pay scale system, which differs a great deal not only between colleges but also across states, institution types (public or private), and fields of specialisation.