Chemistry Instuctor (Female, Age 29) in Arroyo Grande, CA

This is a REAL-LIFE job profile written by a Female aged 29 who works as a Chemistry Instuctor in Arroyo Grande, CA. This professional kindly spent a bit of their time to complete our job profile survey so that prospective job seekers like you could read their insights. Please excuse any punctuation or grammatical errors in this profile.

At a Glance

Current Job

Basic data on your current job

Job TitleChemistry Instuctor
Other Compensation None Set
Company Size(not answered)
LocationArroyo Grande, CA
Years Experience3.5 years

Career Ratings

Opinions on your CAREER overall (i.e. not just your current job)

Years in Career0
Education(not answered)
Income Rating0 / 10
Interest Rating0 / 10
Work-Life Rating0 / 10
Fulfilment Rating0 / 10

Table of Contents

Current job Q&A

Describe the type of organization you work for.
Large Community College with an enrollemnt of 15,000 students.

Describe your job role and responsibilities.
Prepare and present lectures, evaluate students through quizzes and exams, grade assignments, teach lab safety and techniques.

Please list an additional benefits (beyond compensation) that you receive.
4.5 months off per year (includes summers, a month at Christmas, and a week during each semester); full medical, dental and vision with no employee contribution, pension plan, and the opportunity for participating in a 403b (the nonprofit organization version of a 401k)

Do you feel you are under/over or well/fairly compensated at your current position?
Well compensated

Does your job entail you working with others on a daily basis? Is this something you like/dislike about your job? Please explain.
I work with both college students and other faculty on a daily basis. You do have to enjoy working with students of all types for this job.

Do you work collaboratively with supervisors/managers?

Do you work collaboratively with your co-workers?

Describe your work location (e.g., office, home, theatre, in the field) and what you like/dislike about working in it.
Typical College Campus. It’s nice to work somewhere where there’s always activities going on.

Please rate each of the following aspects of your current job on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the highest/best):
Income: 8
Benefits: 7
Hours: 4
Co-Workers: 2
Supervisors: 3
Job Title: 6
Level of Responsibility: 5
The Actual Work: 1

A day in the life of…

Please describe a typical workday for you in your current job:

5am to 6am
6am to 7am
7am to 8am7:30- Left house to drive to campus, arrived at 8am.
8am to 9am8 am- Made sure lab was set up for the day’s exeriment. Taught a general chemistry lab from 8:30-11:30. We did an experiment on solubilities. I helped students with questions they had on both lab technique and on chemical theory.
9am to 10amStill in lab.
10am to 11amStill in lab.
11am to 12pmFinished lab at 11:30, wiped down common areas and brought chemical waste to the stockroom. Went into the division and picked up mail, chatted with colleagues about how the lab went.
12pm to 1pmLunch
1pm to 2pmStarted grading the lab reports that were submitted this morning.
2pm to 3pmStill grading
3pm to 4pmCourse meeting. We discussed where we were on our syllabus. We also talked about a lab that wasn’t working. We made plans for the lab schedule for the following semester.
4pm to 5pmFinished grading labs, recorded scores. Left for home.
5pm to 6pm
6pm to 7pm
7pm to 8pm
8pm to 9pm
9pm to 10pm
10pm to 11pm
11pm to 12am

How you got your job

How did you get your current job?
I was referred by a colleague.

What was the application process?
Submitted resume, and also filled in paper application.

Did you have to interview for your current job? If yes, what did the interview process entail?
I did an interview where we discussed my prior teaching experience and my scientific training. I also gave a sample lecture so that they could evaluate my teaching skills. As a final candidate, I then had to interview with the College president, Dean, and Vice President of Student Learning.

If you can remember, what questions were you asked during the interview?
What couses had I taught, had I used computers in teaching labs, what classes was I intersted in teaching, my view on student learning outcomes and how to assess them.

Do you feel your employer properly prepared you for your job? Explain.
Yes. Although I brought in the skills needed to perform the job, I was trained on how to apply them at that particular college.

Was there training for your current position? If yes, what did it entail?
I did a training seminar that explained how the administrative end of things worked. For example, how to record grades in their online system, what the deadlines were, how to get copies made by reprographics, etc.

Do you feel your educational background prepared you for your job? Explain.
Yes. You can’t teach what you don’t know!

If applicable, do you feel your internship experience helped you prepare for your job?

If someone wanted to go about getting a job similar to yours, what would you recommend for him or her to do?
An advanced degree is required. Getting a masters degree is sufficient, but honestly, most of the faculty (including myself) have PhD’s. While working on your advanced degree, take a teaching assistant job to see if you realy do enjoy teaching.

What skills do you think a person should have if they want to pursue a position like yours?
Excellent communication skills are a must. You need to be able to convey ideas in different ways so that many students can learn effectivly. Organization is important as well…students don’t take it too kindly if you lose their assignments.

Do you feel that you need a certain level of education or training to be successful in your job?
Yes, a masters degree is required, a PhD is recommended.

What advice would you give to someone who was about to start work in your position/ line of work?
Teaching is a learning expirience for both the students AND the instructor. You have to be willing to revise lectures and learn from your students to improve your skills.

Long-term career plans

Is your current employment part of your overall career plan? Why or why not?
Yes. I wanted to teach college chemistry since I was in high school.

What are your current career goals?
Get tenured and enjoy a long career here. Should the opportunities arrise, I would consider becoming Division Chair, and/or eventually a dean.

Is there anything else you would like to share about your career?
Science is a great field to get into! Getting an advanced degree is advised so that you have the most career options. Keep in mind that in most science fields, you don’t have to pay for graduate school- they pay you to go!

Prior work history

Please list your most recent jobs prior to this current job:

Prior Job 1Postdoctoral Researcher2.5 yrs34000Bioorganic chemistry laboratory research. Designed, synthesized and evaluated anti-cancer agents.
Prior Job 2Graduate Student5.5 yrs20000Organic chemistry research, classes, teaching assistantships.

Educational background

Please list your educational background:

High School GPA:

College (Undergraduate)
or Technical/Vocational
SUNY GeneseoBS Chemistry
Graduate or Professional
(Masters or Doctorate)
OSUPhD Chemistry

Ask a Question of this Mentor

This mentor has opted to receive questions from people interested in this career or job position. Please be respectful of their time and willingness to help. Include some basic relevant background so they can intelligently answer your question.