In 1874 Rontgen became a lecturer at University of Strabburg. In 1875 he became a professor at the Academy of Agriculture at Hohenheim, Württemberg. He returned to Strabburg as a professor of physics in 1876, and in 1879, he was appointed to the chair of physics at the University of Giessen. In 1888, he obtained the physics chair at the University of Würzburg, and in 1900 at the University of Munich, by special request of the Bavarian government. Rontgen had family in Iowa in the United States and at one time planned to emigrate.
In several cities, streets were named after him, and a complete list of Prizes, Medals, honorary doctorates, honorary and corresponding memberships of learned societies in Germany as well as abroad.