Adjunct Professor Salary
Median pay for Adjunct Professors in the United States is around $30K per year, but employers in San Francisco offer the biggest paychecks; average compensation in that city is approximately $102K. Adjunct Professors will also find cushy salaries in Los Angeles (+117 percent), Miami (+100 percent), New York (+96 percent), and Dallas (+75 percent). The data for this snapshot was collected from individuals who took PayScale's salary survey.
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
- Teach on a contractual basis at one or more colleges.
- Grade assignments and provide students with timely feedback.
- Develop the syllabus and prepare and lead discussions, lectures, tests, and assignments.
Common Career Paths for Adjunct Professor
Though it's uncommon, some Adjunct Professors move into roles as College Department Chairs, where pay is an average $80K per year. The most common next step for an Adjunct Professor is to become an Assistant Professor or an Associate Professor. The former position pays an additional $16K per year on average, and the latter position pays $27K more per year.
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Popular Employer Salaries for Adjunct Professor
Heading up the field in terms of compensation, University of Cincinnati (UC) offers the most; Adjunct Professors earn $42K on average there.
Popular Skills for Adjunct Professor
Survey results suggest that Adjunct Professors use a fairly large toolkit of professional skills. Most notably, facility with Spanish Language, Curriculum Planning, and Online Education are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 122 percent, 55 percent, and 27 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 skilled in English Language are similarly competent in Teaching.
Pay by Experience Level for Adjunct Professor
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Adjunct Professors with more experience do not necessarily bring home bigger paychecks. In fact, experience in this field tends to impact compensation minimally. People who have worked for fewer than five years earn around $40K, and folks with five to 10 years of experience see a modestly higher median of $41K. Adjunct Professors see a median salary of $49K after reaching one to two decades on the job. In the end, more experience does seem to mean larger paychecks; seasoned Adjunct Professors with more than 20 years of experience earn a predictably higher median salary of $57K.
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