Psychology teachers introduce students to all aspects of psychological study. Introductory courses cover basic concepts, while higher-level courses cover specific areas, such as abnormal psychology and developmental psychology.
The level of education required to teach psychology varies depending on the level of instruction. For high school coursework, teachers may only need a bachelor’s degree, but to teach college courses a PhD is generally required. Be sure to specify the level of education required for your position in your psychology teacher job description.
Teaching psychology requires a deep knowledge of the subject matter and the capacity to share that knowledge in an understandable way. Even accomplished researchers may not have the skills to teach, so it’s a good idea to emphasize the requirements of lecturing, meeting with students and evaluating student work. Review the example below for more ideas of what to include in a strong psychology teacher job description.
Psychology Teacher Job Summary
As a psychology teacher for City University, you’ll be introducing some of the brightest students in the state to the world of psychology, teaching courses from introductory to graduate levels. We strive to assign our instructors to courses in their particular areas of specialization so students in the major can get a taste of the different research areas in the field and so teachers can share the areas of study they’re most passionate about. In all levels of coursework, instructors have the freedom to design their own syllabi, choose their preferred textbooks and reading materials and create unique assignments that help students learn the tenets of this expansive field.
- Teach four courses per semester, usually including one to two sections of Introduction to Psychology
- Hold six office hours per week when you’ll be available to meet with students and discuss any questions or concerns about coursework
- Write syllabi for each course taught and submit class plan to the department head
- Serve on at least one committee per semester in the area of your choosing, depending on the needs of the department
- Assign and evaluate coursework, including at least two 5,000-word papers per course.
- For Introduction to Psychology courses, participate in the department-wide assessment by preparing your students for the final in-class essay and taking part in blind evaluations of all essays
- Mentor students in the major, serving as academic adviser to students in your specialization and assisting them in writing their graduate theses
- Report all incidents of plagiarism and other academic misbehavior to the department for academic integrity, and enforce the department’s decisions regarding penalization
Job Skills & Qualifications
- PhD in Psychology from an accredited university
- Experience teaching in the discipline at the college level
- Publication in peer-reviewed journals
- Commitment to active engagement with students
- At least one book-length publication in the discipline
- Experience using Blackboard course organization software
- Specialization in developmental psychology
Psychology Teacher Job Responsibilities
You don’t need reverse psychology or other mental tricks to attract top-quality candidates for your psychology teacher position. It’s a simple one-to-one principle: Write a great psychology teacher job description, and attract the best jobseekers for the role.
The job responsibilities section should be the most substantial part of the description, so how do you write the best one possible possible? For starters, get familiar with the concept of action-oriented language. This replaces passive voice with active voice and centers around engaging verbs that describe each duty in your psychology teacher job description with energy and momentum. Every sentence in the description should begin with one of these verbs and continue with a strong summary statement covering a key aspect of the role.
The next step is to trim things down. As mentioned before, each statement should be a brief summary rather than exhaustive paragraphs of excessive detail. Keep your job description to no more than eight of these statements to create a great foundation for attracting quality candidates.
Here’s our example psychology teacher job responsibilities:
- Prepare 101 and 201 level undergraduate curriculum for psychology major and elective courses
- Ensure all lesson plans align with core university standards and state education requirements
- Present timely, relevant lesson materials in 50-minute class periods
- Monitor student performance and attendance
- Report grades and attendance to university administration
Psychology Teacher Job Specifications
If you want a psychology teacher with a combination of practical experience and academic qualifications, you need to detail that experience and qualifications in your psychology teacher job description. Supplement the summary of responsibilities with a short description of the academic, practical and skill-based job qualifications combined with the experience base you’d prefer to see in your ideal candidate.
Consult with other faculty and staff to compile a list of essentials for the job qualifications and skills section. These employees can provide valuable insight into the abilities and background necessary to best complement their team dynamic. They can also tell you what you don’t want and any pitfalls to avoid. Use this feedback to narrow the list of requirements down to no more than five or six bullets. This valuable addition to your psychology teacher job description can effectively screen out a large number of unqualified applicants. For an example, try our psychology teacher job specifications:
- Doctorate-level degree in psychology; master’s level degree in education a plus
- At least 5 years of experience in either private practice or hospital facility practice
- Published candidates with work in peer-reviewed journals preferred
- Alternate teaching certifications from accredited bodies possible
- Able to support university goals by creating engaging lessons with high student retention
- Available for weekly office hours