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Types of Positions

The university employs more than 13,000 people on campus, throughout the state, and around the world in a variety of position types.

Faculty positions

Faculty employment falls under the purview of the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors, which is responsible for establishing faculty employment policies. The search and screen process for faculty positions is decentralized and is the responsibility of the hiring department.

Although departments may advertise vacant positions in a variety of locations, all advertised positions are also posted online.

Teaching and research (T&R) faculty are typical teaching faculty members with substantial responsibilities for undergraduate and graduate instruction, research, and outreach. Research and extension specialist positions are also T&R faculty, although they may have a relatively small instructional component. These positions may be tenure-track (about 1,300 university wide) with the ranks of assistant, associate, or full professor; typically these positions require a terminal degree in the field. They can also be non-tenure-track, such as the instructor or clinical faculty ranks. These positions may be either restricted or regular and typically require at least a master’s degree in the field.

Administrative faculty, often senior administrators, perform work directly related to management of the institution, college, or an administrative department. Administrative and professional (A/P) faculty serve as deans, vice presidents, and directors.

Professional and managerial positions include jobs in finance, public relations, human resources, and information technology. Other positions include librarians, counselors, extension agents, coaches, physicians, academic and student affairs professionals, development officers, professionals in outreach and continuing education, and others. There are approximately 2,300 A/P positions, with about one tenth serving as extension agents employed in locations throughout the state. A/P positions typically require a minimum of a master’s degree; some require a doctorate.

Research faculty members are typically employed on sponsored grants and contracts and carry out research (or outreach projects) as part of the university’s research and outreach missions.

Research faculty ranks are research associate, senior research associate, research scientist, senior research scientist, postdoctoral associate, project associate, senior project associate, project director, research assistant professor, research associate professor, and research professor. These positions are usually on soft (grant) funds and are restricted (see below for an explanation of employment terms). Research faculty positions typically require a minimum of a doctorate; however,  project associate and research associate ranks require a minimum of a master’s degree.

Individuals interested in pursuing postdoc positions should contact the relevant department or faculty members directly. In some cases research faculty can be hired through a search exemption. More information about the hiring process of research faculty is available. The open position must be posted for a minimum of 10 business days for competitive searches.

The minimum initial appointment for all research faculty is one year. Since research employment can be opportunistic, potential applicants are strongly encouraged to seek referrals and to make connections with relevant departments and research centers to explore what possibilities might exist. A listing of research (and other) centers is available.

Virginia Tech also supports the professional development of dual career hires through unpaid appointments as affiliated research faculty. These appointments allow spouses or partners with appropriate academic credentials to affiliate with a relevant academic department or research center for the purpose of pursuing sponsored grants or contracts to support their own salaries and research programs. For more information, review section 6.2: Research Faculty Appointments in the Faculty Handbook.

Part-time, temporary teaching positions also exist at the university. Such positions may, or may not be advertised. To pursue such opportunities, applicants should approach the relevant department head directly.

Staff positions

The Division of Human Resources is responsible for all aspects of staff employment, including oversight for the advertising and screening of applicants for various positions.

Virginia Tech has more than 3,500 staff employees in a wide array of positions including housekeepers, food service workers, administrative assistants, lab technicians, trade workers, and entry-level professionals such as human resources generalists, registered nurses, business managers, IT professionals, graphic designers and many more. Most staff jobs are in pay bands 1-4. General information about staff career groups is available online. Staff positions are salaried and eligible for certain benefits.  

Employees who began state employment prior to July 1, 2006 when the Restructured Higher Education Finance and Administrative Operations Act became effective are covered by the Virginia Personnel Act and State of Virginia Human Resource policies (administered by the Virginia Department of Human Resource Management).

Employees hired on or after July 1, 2006 are considered university staff and are covered by university policies.

Wage positions

These positions are considered part-time and are currently not eligible for benefits. An hourly rate is paid for hours worked and total hours worked, from May 1-Apr. 30, is limited to 1,500 hours. Employees may be required to work 40 hours per week for 37 weeks, 28 hours per week for 52 weeks, or some other combination not to exceed 1,500 hours from May 1-Apr. 30.

These jobs are usually short-term or project in focus, but may continue for several years. Total hours worked from May 1-Apr. 30 is limited to 1,500 hours. Like staff and faculty positions, these positions are advertised through the Division of Human Resources.

These positions are considered part-time and usually do not offer benefits. Vacant positions are advertised and filled at the department level. Positions may be advertised online through the department's web page or other means of advertising. Some student wage positions are advertised in the student section of To qualify for student wage positions, the applicant must be currently enrolled as a Virginia Tech student, be available to work the required work schedule, be qualified to do the work, and possess the necessary permits to work in the United States. Working over 20 hours per week may require approval from the student's program of study.

These positions are hourly wage, do not offer benefits, and are temporary or seasonal with a time limit not to exceed 130 days. Advertising and hiring is done at the department level and no search process is required. For more information on emergency hire positions, applicants should contact the department they want to work in to see if an emergency hire position is available.

Employees in this category work occasionally or sporadically on a part-time basis, typically for 10 hours or less per week. Employees work solely at their option in a different capacity from their regular employment. Assignments must be infrequent, irregular, or occurring in scattered instances (e.g., assignment may not be every week or every other week). Employees are not eligible for benefits. Advertising and hiring is done at the department level and no search process is required.

Employment terms

Salaried positions that are eligible for certain benefits. Usually 40 hours per week.

Some part-time positions are salaried and are less than 40 hours per week, but more than or equal to 20 hours per week. Certain benefits are available for salaried, part-time positions.  Other part-time positions are considered wage positions with an hourly rate of pay and do not offer benefits. Wage positions are considered part-time even if the person works 40 hours per week for the 37 weeks employed because of the 1,500 hour per fiscal year limit.

Positions with regular funding are usually state funded positions and have greater stability.

Positions with restricted funding are normally contract or grant funded. They have an end date or the continuation of the position is based on the availability of funds.

These positions usually work 9 months, 10 months, or 11 months during the academic year, from Aug. 10 through May 10, June 10, or July 10.

These positions work 12 months during the year.