Adjunct Professor Salary
The median salary for Adjunct Professors in the United States is $31K annually, and compared to other cities, Los Angeles offers the biggest paychecks at around $90K on average. Adjunct Professors can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Miami (+99 percent), Dallas (+64 percent), Houston (+62 percent), and New York (+47 percent). The figures in this overview were provided by individuals who took PayScale's salary questionnaire.
Job Description for Adjunct Professor
Adjunct professors serve as instructors and/or researchers for the institution at which they teach. Most often, adjunct professors are not full-time professors seeking a tenured position at a university. Rather, they are typically professionals working in a particular field who have part-time professor status teaching within that same field at a university; universities benefit because these professors have real-world experience working in the field and do not require the same employment benefits of full-time professors.Read More...
To be considered for the role of adjunct professor, individuals must typically hold a doctoral degree in the field in which they work and intend to teach; fields that do not require a doctorate to perform at the highest level and fields that have a licensed, sub-doctoral tier, such as counseling psychology, are exceptions. Community colleges and vocational schools often require only a master’s degree of their adjunct professors, while the doctorate is a common requirement of universities.
As with full-time professors, adjunct professors teach classes in a particular field of study. These classes might be for undergraduates or graduates. In addition, adjunct professors often conduct research and mentor students. One notable exception to these typical duties is the field of medicine. In teaching hospitals, Ph.D.s and M.D.s are routinely made adjunct professors for the associated university or medical school, regardless of whether they teach any courses. This practice allows the doctors to conduct research under the auspices of the university and to teach classes in the future, should they be required to do so.
The setting in which adjunct professors work varies widely by the field. Required skills include excellent communication and analytical skills, as well as leadership abilities. Because adjunct professors are responsible for educating students, their verbal and writing skills must be exemplary. Skills related to working in the field of study are often not sufficient to translate to good teaching abilities in the same field. Adjunct professors must be able to translate their experiences and knowledge into effective classwork and lectures.
Adjunct Professor Tasks
- Develop the syllabus and prepare and lead discussions, lectures, tests, and assignments.
- Grade assignments and provide students with timely feedback.
- Teach on a contractual basis at one or more colleges.
Common Career Paths for Adjunct Professor
Adjunct Professors who advance into the role of a College Department Chair are fairly uncommon. College Department Chairs on average earn $80K per year. When Adjunct Professors are ready for the next step in their careers, they often become Assistant Professors or Associate Professors. Those roles pay an additional $16K and $27K, respectively.
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Popular Employer Salaries for Adjunct Professor
Adjunct Professors flock to Grand Canyon University for generous paychecks, where average earnings of $43K lead the pack in compensation.
Popular Skills for Adjunct Professor
Survey results imply that Adjunct Professors deploy a substantial tool kit of skills at work. Most notably, facility with Spanish Language, Masters degree, and Curriculum Planning are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 121 percent, 67 percent, and 54 percent, respectively. Those listing Teaching as a skill should be prepared for drastically lower pay. Public Speaking and Design also typically command lower compensation. Most people experienced in English Language also know Teaching.
Pay by Experience Level for Adjunct Professor
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
For Adjunct Professors, more experience in the field does not usually mean bigger paychecks. Folks who are navigating the first five years of their careers have a median salary of approximately $41K in this position. Those who have been around for five to 10 years don't get much more, though; the median salary in that group is $41K. Adjunct Professors bring in $49K after working for 10 to 20 years. Veterans who have acquired more than 20 years report a median income of $57K, which is generally higher than the pay reported by other tenure groups.
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