At least in North America, professors are usually first hired at the rank of assistant professor. Your salary is poor and you have little job security. Once you get tenure, you become associate professor.Â However, if you can convince a set of your peersâ€”including professors from other universitiesâ€”that you have done an exceptional job as a professor, you may get promoted to the rank of full professor. The salary is better. As you grow older, the salary difference becomes large.
As of yesterday, my promotion to the rank of full professor has been officially approved.Â
As my students will tell you, I am not always good at explaining strange concepts. Some weeks ago, I called my mother:
- (me) I am promoted!
- (my mother) to what?
- (me) … as a professor
- (my mother) <silence>
- (me) I am promoted to the rank of full professor.
- (my mother)Â <silence>
- (me) Ok. I will keep the same job, I will just make a lot more money.
- (my mother) Ah! Ok. Good.