How to know if a professor is tenured (Updated 2023)

How to know if a professor is tenured? (Updated 2023)

Many believe that being a professor means you are either working full-time or part-time. But do you know they are also further categorised as tenured or non-tenured professors? When you become a tenured professor it means that you are getting a guarantee in the job till you are retired. However, it is important to know how to know if a professor is tenured or not. Thus here we will help you to know more about tenured professors and how you will get to know them.

Quick Takeaways

  • If a person has been an associate professor in an institution for the last 3-4 years, they may be a tenured professor. Therefore if you want to know if the professor is tenured or not you can check if they are associate professors or not.
  • To become an associate professor you will need to complete the undergraduate degree, get the graduate degree, gain the experience, and get the doctoral degree. After that, you will need to apply for the professor position and first complete your assistant professor period and then apply for the associate professor position.
  • The salary of a tenured professor is much higher when compared to non-tenured professors.
  • If you are really interested in getting a higher rank as a professor then definitely getting tenure is extremely worth it.

However, you must read till the end so that you do not miss any important facts related to finding out if a professor is tenured or not. 

How to know if a professor is tenured? (Updated 2023)

How to know if a professor is tenured?

Individuals who are known as assistant or associate professors or who are generally full-time employees are known as tenure track. If a professor is an assistant professor then they will be tenure track and if they are associate professor or a full-time professor then they are known as a tenured professor. Except for these professors, any other type of professor comes under not tenure track or tenured professors. However, it is also possible that the associate or assistant professor needs to be tenure track. The reason is there are institutions that hire professors for 2-3 years and give them hire titles. You can become a tenured professor after completing the highest degree in your field that is Ph.D.

How to become a tenured professor?

Following are the steps to become a tenured professor-

1. Undergraduate degree

The first thing to do is to complete the undergraduate degree in any chosen field. If you want to become a maths professor you must get an undergraduate in mathematics.

How to know if a professor is tenured? (Updated 2023)

2. Master’s degree

Once you have completed the undergraduate degree, you will have to get into graduate school to get a higher degree. Having a master’s degree increases your chance to become a professor at a lower level. Suppose you want to become a mathematics professor, you will need to select a specific field of mathematics. You can choose discrete maths, calculus or any other branch to Excel in it.

3. Gain some experience

Try to do some internships or do some part-time jobs that will help you to get related experience. Although it may not help you to get the tenured position but will definitely help you to become an adjunct assistant professor. Once you get the role of adjunct assistant professor, it will be easy for you to become a tenured professor.

4. Get a doctoral degree

Try to complete your PhD along with your part-time job. You will only get the tenured position once you complete the doctoral degree. It will help you to increase your knowledge in the specific field you want to teach. In addition to that you may also have to complete the research project and submit it at the end of your Ph.D.

How to know if a professor is tenured? (Updated 2023)

5. Get the tenure track position

You will have to start by being in a tenure-track position. It means that you will have to work as an assistant professor in a particular institution. You will have to teach full-time and have to mentor students. As institutions open up such positions yearly, you must apply to more than 2-3 institutions.

6. Publish your work 

As an assistant professor, you will have to work with the research team and publish your own projects. Commonly most of the associate professors have to start as assistant professors and get into some research work. 

How to know if a professor is tenured? (Updated 2023)

7. Get the tenured position

After a few years of working as an assistant professor, you will get the role of associate professor. Once you get the position you will have to work for 5-6 years without getting the tenure. Once you complete your time period as associate professor you are then eligible for a tenured position.

What is the average salary for a tenured professor?

The salary of the associate professors is higher than the assistant professor. It varies based on different institutions and other factors like the area of living. The average salary for a tenured professor is around 94,211. It means that the average wage lies between a range starting from $75,866 to $129,777.

What is the difference between the adjunct and the tenured professor?

An adjunct professor is one who is appointed on a contractual or part-time basis. They get lower salaries and have fewer responsibilities than full-time professors. Whereas if you are a tenured professor you will be working as a full-time associate professor. However to become a tenured professor you will need to complete a specific period of time as an assistant professor.

How to know if a professor is tenured? (Updated 2023)

The average annual salary earned by the tenured professor is much higher than the adjunct professor which is around $20,000 per year. Further, as an adjunct professor, you will not be getting any job security, whereas as a tenured professor, you will be having job security.

How much time it will take to get the tenure position?

The time taken for getting the tenured position is different for people depending upon the area of living. It will take you 7-8 years to become an assistant professor. After that, you will need to work for 4-5 years in that position. Once you spend some time in that position you will get the associate title. When you work as an associate for 3-4 years you will be getting the role of tenured professor. You can say that it will take around 14-15 years to become a full-time tenured associate professor. 

Conclusion

Tenured professors are the ones who have given more than 10 years of teaching and have completed their assistant professor period. Therefore if you want to know whether the professor is tenured or not you must look if they are an associate or assistant professor. If they are associate professors and have given more than 5-6 years they may have gotten the tenured pack. Other than these two positions all the other positions are non-tenured pack. On the other hand, if we talk about adjunct professors they are the ones who will be appointed on a contractual or part-time basis. 

FAQs

Is being a tenured professor worthy?

Tenured professor means having job security. It means that being a tenured professor is definitely worthy. Along with that it also offers a higher salary than the other professors. If you are a tenured professor you have the right to speak in the institutional decisions. You also will have a great impact on future recruitments and mentorships. You will also be getting a lot of international collaboration or travelling opportunities. However, it takes a lot of time and effort to get a tenured position. So if you are ready to put in your time and efforts, being a tenured professor is really worth it.

William Christie
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