College Instructor Job Description

College Instructor Job Description, Skills, and Salary

Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of a college instructor. You can use our job description template in this article to produce your own. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as a college instructor.


Who is a College Instructor?

College Instructors lecture or teach students about a course at colleges or universities. They achieve this by developing and delivering lectures, formulating syllabi, and grading students’ examinations and assignments. They also schedule a specific time to meet up with students in small groups to interact with them. College instructors also carry out different research in their field and publish these findings in journals for future reference. To qualify for this position, you must possess a Master’s degree or higher expertise to qualify. College instructors teach applied arts, technical, academic, and vocational subjects to students and communities. They are also saddled with the responsibility of developing courses or delivering training for private companies, language schools, and community and government agencies.


Differences between a College Instructor and a Professor

A Professor is an individual that is typically hired by colleges or universities to instruct graduate and undergraduate-level courses in their area of specialization. They achieve this by formulating and delivering lectures, initiating group discussions, and promoting learning in the class.

The responsibilities of a college instructor and professor are a bit similar but there are differences and the is in the number of students they teach. A professor teaches an entire number of students in a college or university as an educationist. They groom students through mentorship and counsel them on both educational and professional matters. College instructors on the other hand teach just a class that is one class with a group of students for the semester. They can also groom and mentor students if the program they take permits such.


College Instructor Job Description

Below are the college instructor job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.

The following are the duties and responsibilities of a College Instructor:

  • Educate and oversee students using lectures, demonstrations, group discussions, laboratory sessions, seminars, case studies, field assignments, and independent or group projects.
  • Formulate curriculum and prepare teaching materials and course outlines
  • Formulate, administer and mark tests and papers to evaluate student’s progress
  • Give consultation service to government, business, or other organizations
  • Give individual tutorials or remedial instruction to students who require it
  • Oversee independent or group projects, field placements, laboratory work, or hands-on training
  • Conduct teaching assistants
  • Perform research, fieldwork, and investigations and write up reports
  • Publish research, attend conferences, provide presentations, and network with others in the field
  • Travel to other universities or academic settings to partake in learning opportunities and gain experience
  • Partake in committee departmental, and faculty meetings
  • Give training and mentoring to teaching assistants and junior lecturers
  • Survey methods and teaching materials and make recommendations for improvement
  • Help with student recruitment, interviews, and academic counseling sessions
  • Participate in the creation of an environment that promotes growth, equality, and freedom of speech.



  • A Master’s degree in a relevant field
  • 2-5 years of experience teaching in an academic setting
  • Published articles and verified experience as an academic
  • Powerful teaching and mentoring skills
  • Terrific presentation, and written and verbal communications skills
  • Sound knowledge of passion for the subject matter
  • Eagerness to work for extended hours and ability to travel frequently
  • A growth mindset and extraordinary networking abilities
  • Comprehensive knowledge in your field of expertise
  • Awareness of current learning theories
  • Proficiency to prepare, and planning course outlines, including learning objectives and evaluation criteria
  • Ability to utilize word processing, database, spreadsheet, presentation internet, and email software
  • Ability to utilize software such as Blackboard or WebCT to post lecture notes, assignments, and supplementary material for students.


Essential Skills

  1. Excellent Communication and Language Skills: college instructors need to possess excellent communication skills to convey information to their students. These communication skills can also be employed to build interpersonal relationships with other academic staff in the field. They also need to possess excellent writing skills to draft reports at the end of the school academic calendar. This communication skill also them to provide mentorship services to students or counsel students in a particular subject area.

They also need to possess language skills to communicate in person, by phone, writing with students and also other coworkers. They usually formulate both writing and oral learning materials to instruct and advise students. You need to interact with colleagues such as other college instructors, administrative staff, and supervisors.

  1. Customer Service Skills: College Instructors need to possess excellent customer service skills to answer questions and inquiries that may come from students. After each teaching session, students may need the college instructor to explain difficult concepts for them to have more understanding of the topic. They should be able to answer questions professionally.
  2. Research Skills: College Instructors need to possess research skills to keep abreast with current trends in their field of expertise. They should be able to conduct research and come up with findings that can be consulted for further studies. They also need to draft their findings and publish them in academic journals. College instructors may need to conduct in-depth research just like professors but they also need to have extensive knowledge that they can share with their students. Most research is done while enrolling for an advanced degree; college instructors can enroll for an advanced degree and in the course of their degree they can conduct research that will bring about development not just to the field of academics but the whole of For instance, a college instructor whose field of specialty is pharmaceutical science can conduct research in that area to come up with a remedy for a particular sickness or disease.
  3. Organization: this skill is highly paramount both to college instructors and professors because they keep a record of students’ information. A college professor must be able to keep a record of a student’s progress, plan lessons and also grade students’ examinations and assignments Organizational skills will also help a college professor not to make mistake or error while grading students and it also help them to keep track of students’ performance that is if there is an improvement or not.
  4. Technological Skills: the new trend in learning or teaching students adopt the use use of technology. There is software such as learning management systems whereby college instructors can use to lecture students. College instructors must possess computer skills as they can grade students’ assignments online and distribute the score immediately. They can also utilize technology to refer students to online learning resources they can consult for further studies. There is also a software called presentation software that college professors can adopt to have an exceptional learning session with students.


How to Become a College Instructor

  • Earn a Bachelor’s Degree

The first step to becoming a college instructor is to earn a bachelor’s degree in any area you want to specialize in or become an expert as a college instructor. You can also get a double degree by studying an educational course in the course of your degree.  For instance, if you want to teach English, you can study English language or English Education at the university. Some colleges may also demand that college instructors get an advanced degree such as a master’s degree in the field but it is not mandatory. You will need to focus on subjects such as teaching theory, classroom management, and educational psychology. If you want to be promoted to the rank of a professor, you may need to enroll for a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) to qualify.

  • Get Licensed And Certified

You will have to enroll in a comprehensive to get certification and licensure as a college instructor. The scope of examination differ based on the region you find yourself in because some region may just have a little time for college instructors to write the exams and achieve a passing score. Once you have written, you are now very much qualified to apply for open job placement as a college instructor. You can start as an entry-level college instructor or an adjunct instructor. Starting with an entry-level position is highly beneficial because it gives you the advantage of learning from professionals in the field and it also helps you to build your skills so that once you kick-start your career as a college instructor, there will not be any lapses.

  • Publication of Journals or Research Articles

In the course of your undergraduate studies, it is very paramount to enroll for research and get published.  You can publish your research online on sites like academia to get recognition. This will prove to employers that you are a competent college instructor. This research can also answer difficult questions in your profession and help you to have a steady career as a college instructor. It is equally important for you to enroll in internships and apprenticeships to learn from professionals in the field. For a college instructor to carry out academic research, he or she must have extensive knowledge of the course of study and also how to conduct research in that particular field. For instance, the way a mathematics professor will conduct research may not be the same as an English professor because the research methodology differs.

  • Apply for a Job as a College Instructor

After you have completed your education and you meet up with the minimum qualification; you can start looking for open job vacancies.  You can also get in touch with the institution you graduated from to see if there are open vacancies. During the application process, you can professionally draft your resume and also write your cover letter to apply for open job placement. Highlight your skills and qualification in your resume to showcase that you are the right person for the job. You can also include your teaching approach for the employer to know where your teaching approach can perfectly fit. The job of a college instructor is a peculiar one, so the hiring manager can request references from internships or apprenticeships. Once you are invited for the interview, do your very best to beat the interview to prove that you are an eligible candidate.


Where to Work as a College Instructor

College Instructors work primarily in the educational sector and they can work at language schools, community colleges, academic institutions, community agencies, and government agencies. They work in the same environment as college professors but there are some differences. College instructors may spend time in the classroom lecturing compared to professors because they teach and mentor students on daily basis. They also have one-on-one sessions with students and they can also interact with sub-groups division of students. They can travel from one place to another attending conferences and seminars. They also attend departmental meetings and other professional development events.


College Instructor Salary Scale

The salary of a college instructor varies based on the country he or she is working and below are examples of some countries:

  • In the United States, College instructors make $50,584 per year on average or $24.32 per hour. The average annual pay for a  College Instructor in California is $44,339 a year. If in case you use a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $21.32 an hour. This is the equivalent of $852/week or $3,694/month. The average College Instructor – Education salary in New York is $60,100 as of September 26, 2022, but the range typically falls between $49,000 and $99,000.
  • In the United Kingdom, The average college instructor salary in the United Kingdom is £27,690 per year or £14.20 per hour. Entry-level positions start their career at £24,838 per year while most professional workers make up to £35,000 per year.
  • In Canada, The average college instructor salary in Canada is $60,938 per year or $31.25 per hour. Entry-level positions start their career at $43,875 per year, while most professional workers make up to $92,964 per year.
  • In Australia, The average professor’s salary in Australia is $159,511 per year or $81.80 per hour. Entry-level positions start their career at $149,217 per year, while most professional workers make up to $190,586 per year.
  • In Saudi Arabia, The average instructor salary in Saudi Arabia is 192,000 SAR per year or 98.46 SAR per hour. Entry-level positions start their career at 76,500 SAR per year, while most professional workers make up to 731,250 SAR per year.

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