University professors and lecturers teach courses to undergraduate and graduate students at universities. Professors may also carry out research. This group includes department heads.
Watch the video below to see what a day in the life of a university professor is like.
Estimated median employment income based on 2021 Job Bank median hourly wage rate (median annual salary = hourly wage rate x 40 (hours per week) x 52.14 (weeks per year))
Note:Estimated median employment income based on 2021 Job Bank median hourly wage rate (median annual salary = hourly wage rate x 40 (hours per week) x 52.14 (weeks per year))
Source: 2021 Job Bank Wage Report
Source: B.C. Labour Market Outlook
10 year expected job openings: 2,560
N/A - Data not available
In general, university professors and lecturers:
University professors and lecturers usually teach in classrooms on campus. Depending on the course, they may teach outdoors, off campus or online. They make good use of technology to support classroom instruction and to communicate with their students and peers.
University professors and lecturers may teach courses outside of regular daytime hours. In addition to teaching time, they must make themselves available to students during regular office hours. They have considerable flexibility in terms of scheduling their time for course preparation, grading and research.
Workload depends on the number of classes they teach, their administrative duties and their research work. In general, most professors work more than 40 hours a week, including evenings and weekends. Lecturers usually have by-the-course contracts and often work less than 40-hour weeks.
Every five to seven years, full-time professors are eligible for a sabbatical. This frees them from their regular duties for up to one year, allowing them to work on projects related to their field of expertise.
Source: 2016 Census
A doctoral degree (PhD) is required to become a university professor. Other requirements may include:
For more information about programs offered specifically for this career, visit EducationPlannerBC.
Every job calls for a certain set of skills. Knowing those skills is the first step in finding a good career fit.
Here, you will find the 35 most relevant workplace skills. Some are more important to achieving success in a certain career than others. These skills may come naturally to you or you may need to gain them through education, training and experience.
See the list of work-related skills below, ranked in order of importance for this career. You’ll also find the skill strength needed, letting you know how capable you must be in that skill.
Check out the list and see if this career matches your skills—take that first step!
Greater workloads, research responsibilities and educational requirements mean that university professors earn higher average salaries than lecturers.
There is a large pool of potential applicants since candidates come from all over the world. In addition, the elimination of mandatory retirement rules has meant that fewer jobs are becoming available. There is also a trend toward more fixed-term and part-time positions rather than traditional tenure appointments.
Nevertheless, there is a continuing shortage of university professors in engineering. For those in nursing and medicine who wish to both practise their profession and teach, part-time positions are also generally available.
The demand for professors is highest in the Lower Mainland and Victoria. Kelowna and Kamloops may also offer new employment opportunities.
Entry into a career as a university professor typically requires a significant record of research and publication. A graduate usually gains this experience by working as a research fellow/associate or by doing independent research, often while working as a part-time, untenured instructor at a college or university.
Applicants in certain fields, such as the humanities, can gain the needed teaching experience by working as sessional instructors.
University professors can progress from assistant professor to associate professor and eventually to full professor. Full-time professors typically receive tenure after a probationary period of five to seven years as an assistant professor. Associate and full professors may advance to senior administrative positions such as chair, dean, vice-president or president.