The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Sample of reported job titles:
Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Astronomy Professor, Atmospheric Sciences Professor, Geology Professor, Instructor, Meteorology Professor, Oceanography Professor, Professor, Research Professor
Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Maintain student attendance records, grades, and other required records.
- Prepare and deliver lectures to undergraduate or graduate students on topics such as structural geology, micrometeorology, and atmospheric thermodynamics.
- Evaluate and grade students’ class work, assignments, and papers.
- Compile, administer, and grade examinations, or assign this work to others.
- Supervise laboratory work and field work.
- Plan, evaluate, and revise curricula, course content, and course materials and methods of instruction.
- Prepare course materials, such as syllabi, homework assignments, and handouts.
- Initiate, facilitate, and moderate classroom discussions.
- Keep abreast of developments in the field by reading current literature, talking with colleagues, and participating in professional conferences.
- Maintain regularly scheduled office hours to advise and assist students.
- Advise students on academic and vocational curricula and on career issues.
- Collaborate with colleagues to address teaching and research issues.
- Select and obtain materials and supplies, such as textbooks and laboratory equipment.
- Serve on academic or administrative committees that deal with institutional policies, departmental matters, and academic issues.
- Conduct research in a particular field of knowledge and publish findings in professional journals, books, or electronic media.
- Supervise undergraduate or graduate teaching, internship, and research work.
- Write grant proposals to procure external research funding.
- Perform administrative duties, such as serving as department head.
- Purchase and maintain equipment to support research projects.
- Participate in student recruitment, registration, and placement activities.
- Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Physics — Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub-atomic structures and processes.
- Chemistry — Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
- Biology — Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Geography — Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
- Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
- Science — Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
- Time Management — Managing one’s own time and the time of others.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
- Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- Memorization — The ability to remember information such as words, numbers, pictures, and procedures.
- Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Providing Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
- Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
- Communicating with People Outside the Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
Detailed Work Activities
- Maintain student records.
- Teach physical science or mathematics courses at the college level.
- Evaluate student work.
- Administer tests to assess educational needs or progress.
- Prepare tests.
- Supervise student research or internship work.
- Supervise laboratory work.
- Develop instructional materials.
- Develop instructional objectives.
- Evaluate effectiveness of educational programs.
- Guide class discussions.
- Attend training sessions or professional meetings to develop or maintain professional knowledge.
- Stay informed about current developments in field of specialization.
- Research topics in area of expertise.
- Write articles, books or other original materials in area of expertise.
- Advise students on academic or career matters.
- Order instructional or library materials or equipment.
- Select educational materials or equipment.
- Write grant proposals.
- Serve on institutional or departmental committees.
- Direct department activities.
- Maintain inventories of materials, equipment, or products.
- Perform student enrollment or registration activities.
- Promote educational institutions or programs.
- Compile specialized bibliographies or lists of materials.
- Plan community programs or activities for the general public.
- Evaluate scholarly materials.
- Provide information to the general public.
- Advise educators on curricula, instructional methods, or policies.
- Electronic Mail — 98% responded “Every day.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 86% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 77% responded “Every day.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 72% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 68% responded “Every day.”
- Contact With Others — 58% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 76% responded “More than 40 hours.”
- Public Speaking — 49% responded “Every day.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 38% responded “Very important.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 39% responded “Very important.”
- Letters and Memos — 32% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Time Pressure — 44% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 35% responded “Important results.”
- Telephone — 49% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 27% responded “Important.”
- Physical Proximity — 34% responded “Moderately close (at arm’s length).”
- Spend Time Sitting — 43% responded “About half the time.”
- Deal With External Customers — 28% responded “Extremely important.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 36% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 35% responded “High responsibility.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 38% responded “Very important.”
- Level of Competition — 54% responded “Moderately competitive.”
- Responsible for Others’ Health and Safety — 25% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
|Title||Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master’s degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).|
|Related Experience||Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.|
|Job Training||Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations often involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organizational skills are required. Examples include pharmacists, lawyers, astronomers, biologists, clergy, neurologists, and veterinarians.|
|SVP Range||(8.0 and above)|
Interest code: SI
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- Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
- Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
- Artistic — Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Independence — Job requires developing one’s own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
- Recognition — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2020)||$94,520 annual|
|Employment (2020)||13,600 employees|
|Projected growth (2020-2030)||
Average (5% to 10%)
|Projected job openings (2020-2030)||1,400|
|Top industries (2020)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data
and 2020-2030 employment projections
“Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Sources of Additional Information
Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries.
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