English professors are among the most highly educated professionals in
the world. They do constant research. They teach college and university students
how to analyze ancient and modern literature. They also help students develop
their grammar and composition skills.
English is a required class for almost every university student. That's
because English is more than the study of Shakespeare, Hemingway and other
literary greats. Taking English teaches you how to think critically and provides
research skills that will benefit any career.
Most college and university faculty, including English professors, are
placed in one of four academic ranks: professor, associate professor, assistant
professor and instructor or lecturer.
The difference between the four is generally in the level of education
obtained, as well as the level of responsibility. A full-fledged professor
has usually obtained a doctorate. Instructors may be doctoral students who
are still enrolled in university.
There is much more to an English professor's job than teaching. Besides
class preparation, holding office hours and marking student papers, professors
also conduct research, which often leads to published work in academic journals
Some English professors also perform administrative duties within the educational
institution. These duties include making policy, dealing with academic issues,
drafting budgets, purchasing and hiring.
Schedules for English professors are usually flexible, although the university
will set out class times. A professor might spend 12 to 16 hours a week in
the classroom and three to six hours a week in the office for student consultations.
They also attend faculty or committee meetings as necessary.
Staggered hours and night or weekend classes are fairly common, especially
for part-time professors. Generally, faculty is employed on a nine-month contract,
allowing for quite a bit of flexibility during the summer. However, most professors
must meet regular research deadlines, and they have to fit that work in around
This job involves a lot of reading and interaction with others. Those with
special vision and hearing needs may find it a more challenging field.