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How Do I Become a Physics Lecturer?

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  • Written By: Daniel Liden
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 07 November 2016
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To become a physics lecturer, one must spend many years studying and often conducting research in a variety of areas in the field of physics. A physics lecturer is typically an individual who delivers lessons and discourses, though the precise definition of the term varies based on the academic culture of a given area. In some cases, "lecturer" is purely a functional term for an individual who delivers lectures, but in other cases, such as in academia in the United Kingdom, "lecturer" is an actual academic rank held by those who only recently started their academic careers. The steps one must take to become a physics lecturer in such cases vary somewhat.

The path one must take to become a physics lecturer often begins as early as secondary school. A student is more likely to have later success in physics if he does well in all secondary school classes, particularly mathematics, physics, and chemistry. Success in secondary school can give a student the opportunity to get into a good university and may also provide opportunities for scholarships.

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The next step one should take to become a physics lecturer is studying physics at a university. Doing so provides one with in-depth knowledge of the subject as well as an opportunity to observe the work of physics lecturers. During this time, it is a good idea to look for research or teacher's assistant positions in physics, as doing so can provide a good start to a professional resume and can expand a student's knowledge in the field.

After one's time as an undergraduate at a university, one should look at further education in physics. This generally means attending graduate school or an equivalent research-based postgraduate program based on one's location, with the aim of getting a Ph.D. During this time, one will be conducting research and will also have the opportunity to work as a teacher's assistant in undergraduate physics classes. Taking advantage of these opportunities will help one to become a physics lecturer, as it will give the chance to work with students. It is also important to build as many professional connections as possible during this time because such connections may be instrumental in securing later work.

Completing one's time in graduate school does not guarantee a position as a physics lecturer. Professional positions in academia are difficult to secure, as there are generally far more qualified candidates than there are positions to fill. Some universities have placement programs that help their students to secure work, so that may be a good place to start. In other cases, further research with the aim of publishing papers and improving one's resume may be necessary before an opportunity presents itself.

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