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Become An Adjunct Assistant Professor

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Working As An Adjunct Assistant Professor

  • Getting Information
  • Training and Teaching Others
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Make Decisions

  • $139,680

    Average Salary

What Does An Adjunct Assistant Professor Do

Postsecondary teachers instruct students in a wide variety of academic and career and technical subjects beyond the high school level. They also conduct research and publish scholarly papers and books.

Duties

Postsecondary teachers typically do the following:

  • Teach courses in their subject area
  • Work with students who are taking classes to improve their knowledge or career skills
  • Develop an instructional plan (known as a course outline or syllabus) for the course(s) they teach and ensure that it meets college and department standards
  • Plan lessons and assignments
  • Work with colleagues to develop or modify the curriculum for a degree or certificate program involving a series of courses
  • Assess students’ progress by grading assignments, papers, exams, and other work
  • Advise students about which classes to take and how to achieve their goals
  • Stay informed about changes and innovations in their field
  • Conduct research and experiments to advance knowledge in their field
  • Supervise graduate students who are working toward doctoral degrees
  • Publish original research and analysis in books and academic journals
  • Serve on academic and administrative committees that review and recommend policies, make budget decisions, or advise on hiring and promotions within their department

Postsecondary teachers, often referred to as professors or faculty, specialize in a variety of subjects and fields. Some teach academic subjects, such as English or philosophy. Others focus on career-related subjects, such as law, nursing, or culinary arts.

At colleges and universities, professors are organized into departments that specialize in a subject, such as history, science, business, or music. A professor may teach one or more courses within that department. For example, a mathematics professor may teach calculus, statistics, and a graduate seminar in a very specific area of mathematics.

Postsecondary teachers’ duties vary with their positions in a university or college. In large colleges or universities, they may spend their time teaching, conducting research or experiments, applying for grants to fund their research, or supervising graduate teaching assistants who are teaching classes.

Postsecondary teachers who work in small colleges and universities or in community colleges often spend more time teaching classes and working with students. They may spend some time conducting research, but they do not have as much time to devote to it.

Full-time professors, particularly those who have tenure (a professor who cannot be fired without just cause), often are expected to spend more time on their research. They also may be expected to serve on more college and university committees.

Part-time professors, often known as adjunct professors, spend most of their time teaching students.

Professors may teach large classes of several hundred students (often with the help of graduate teaching assistants), smaller classes of about 40 to 50 students, seminars with just a few students, or laboratories where students practice the subject matter. They work with an increasingly varied student population as more part-time, older, and culturally diverse students are going to postsecondary schools.

Professors need to keep up with developments in their field by reading scholarly articles, talking with colleagues, and participating in professional conferences. A tenured professor must do original research, such as experiments, document analysis, or critical reviews, and publish their findings.

Some postsecondary teachers work for online universities or teach online classes. They use websites to present lessons and information, to assign and accept students’ work, and to participate in course discussions. Online professors communicate with students by email and by phone and might never meet their students in person.

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How To Become An Adjunct Assistant Professor

Educational requirements vary with the subject taught and the type of educational institution. Most commonly, postsecondary teachers must have a Ph.D. However, a master's degree may be enough for some postsecondary teachers at community colleges. In career and technical schools, work experience may be important for getting a postsecondary teaching job.

Education

Postsecondary teachers who work for 4-year colleges and universities typically need a doctoral degree in their field. Some schools may hire those with a master’s degree or those who are doctoral degree candidates for some specialties, such as fine arts, or for some part-time positions.

Doctoral programs generally take multiple years after the completion of a bachelor’s degree program. They spend time completing a master’s degree and then writing a doctoral dissertation, which is a paper presenting original research in the student’s field of study. Candidates usually specialize in a subfield, such as organic chemistry or European history.

Community colleges or career and technical schools also may hire those with a master’s degree. However, in some fields, there are more applicants than available positions. In these situations, institutions can be more selective, and they frequently choose applicants who have a Ph.D. over those with a master’s degree.

Postsecondary teachers who teach career and technical education courses, such as culinary arts or cosmetology, may not be required to have graduate-level education. At a minimum they must hold the degree of the program in which they are teaching. For example, the teacher must hold an associate’s degree if they teach a program that is at the associate’s degree level. In addition, work experience or certification may be just as important as education for getting a postsecondary teaching job at a career or technical school.

Other Experience

Some institutions may prefer to hire those with teaching or other work experience, but this is not a requirement for all fields or for all employers.

In health specialties, art, or education fields, hands-on work experience in the industry can be important. Postsecondary teachers in these fields often gain experience by working in an occupation related to their field of expertise.

In fields such as biological science, physics, and chemistry, some postsecondary teachers have postdoctoral research experience. These short-term jobs, sometimes called “post-docs,” usually involve working for 2 to 3 years as a research associate or in a similar position, often at a college or university.

Some postsecondary teachers gain teaching experience by working as graduate teaching assistants—students who are enrolled in a graduate program and teach classes in the institution in which they are enrolled.

Some postsecondary teachers, especially adjunct professors, have another job in addition to teaching.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Postsecondary teachers who prepare students for an occupation that requires a license, certification, or registration, may need to have—or they may benefit from having—the same credential. For example, a postsecondary nursing teacher might need a nursing license or a postsecondary education teacher might need a teaching license.

Advancement

A major goal for postsecondary teachers with a doctoral degree is attaining a tenure—a guarantee that a professor cannot be fired without just cause. It can take up to 7 years of moving up the ranks in tenure-track positions. The ranks are assistant professor, associate professor, and professor. Tenure is granted through a review of the candidate’s research, contribution to the institution, and teaching.

Tenure and tenure track positions are declining as institutions are relying more heavily on part-time faculty.

Some tenured professors advance to administrative positions, such as dean or president. For information on deans and other administrative positions, see the profile on postsecondary education administrators. For more information about college and university presidents, see the profile on top executives.

Important Qualities

Critical-thinking skills. To challenge established theories and beliefs, conduct original research, and design experiments, postsecondary teachers need good critical-thinking skills.

Interpersonal skills. Most postsecondary teachers need to be able to work well with others and must have good communication skills to serve on committees and give lectures.

Resourcefulness. Postsecondary teachers need to be able to present information in a way that students will understand. They need to adapt to the different learning styles of their students and teach students who have little or no experience with the subject.

Speaking skills. Postsecondary teachers need good communication skills to give lectures.

Writing skills. Most postsecondary teachers need to be skilled writers to publish original research and analysis.

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Adjunct Assistant Professor jobs

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Adjunct Assistant Professor Career Paths

Adjunct Assistant Professor
Faculty Nurse Practitioner Assistant Professor
Associate Dean
10 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Lecturer Lecturer Coach
Athletic Director
5 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Professor Faculty Chairperson
Chairperson, Board Of Directors
7 Yearsyrs
Professor Attorney Chief Operating Officer
Chief Knowledge Officer
12 Yearsyrs
Clinical Psychologist Clinical Supervisor Adjunct Professor
Curriculum Director
9 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Faculty Faculty Chairperson
Dean
5 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Associate Professor Associate Professor Chairperson
Department Chairperson
7 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Instructor Instructor Program Director
Development Director
9 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Lecturer Adjunct Instructor Instructor
Director Of Instruction
6 Yearsyrs
Visiting Assistant Professor Assistant Professor Program Manager
Education Director
7 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Faculty Assistant Professor Program Manager
Engagement Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Associate Professor Adjunct Professor Clinical Director
Health Director
9 Yearsyrs
Visiting Assistant Professor Associate Professor Adjunct Professor
Online Instructor
10 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Professor Senior Project Manager
Project Director
8 Yearsyrs
Faculty Project Manager Engineering Manager
Quality Assurance Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Professor Math Teacher Assistant Principal
School Principal
10 Yearsyrs
Assistant Professor Program Director General Manager
Senior Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Instructor Lecturer Research Associate
Senior Research Associate
6 Yearsyrs
Assistant Professor Adjunct Professor
Visiting Professor
11 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
College Professor 4.7 years
Faculty Member 4.1 years
Business Professor 3.7 years
Professor 3.6 years
Adjunct Faculty 3.5 years
Adjunct Professor 3.2 years
Adjunct Instructor 3.1 years
Visiting Professor 2.2 years
Top Employers Before
Instructor 9.0%
Fellow 5.3%
Consultant 4.2%
Director 4.0%
Internship 3.7%
Lecturer 3.3%
Faculty 2.7%
Top Employers After
Director 7.3%
Consultant 6.9%
Instructor 5.2%
Lecturer 4.3%
Faculty 3.2%
Fellow 2.6%
Principal 2.5%
Teacher 2.1%

Adjunct Assistant Professor Demographics

Gender

Male

51.3%

Female

42.9%

Unknown

5.8%
Ethnicity

White

72.4%

Asian

14.0%

Hispanic or Latino

9.0%

Unknown

3.4%

Black or African American

1.1%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

28.2%

French

19.1%

Chinese

6.4%

Russian

5.5%

German

5.5%

Italian

4.5%

Mandarin

3.6%

Japanese

3.6%

Arabic

3.6%

Greek

2.7%

Urdu

2.7%

Vietnamese

1.8%

Hindi

1.8%

Korean

1.8%

Ukrainian

1.8%

Dakota

1.8%

Carrier

1.8%

Polish

1.8%

Romanian

0.9%

Sanskrit

0.9%
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Adjunct Assistant Professor Education

Schools

New York University

11.3%

University of Florida

8.3%

Capella University

6.4%

George Washington University

5.6%

University of Pennsylvania

4.9%

Howard University

4.9%

University of Virginia

4.9%

Saint John's University - New York

4.5%

University of Southern California

4.5%

Columbia University

4.5%

City College of New York of the City University of New York

4.5%

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

4.5%

Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York

4.1%

University of Cincinnati

4.1%

University of Iowa

4.1%

University of Texas at Austin

4.1%

Teachers College of Columbia University

4.1%

Old Dominion University

3.8%

University of Illinois at Chicago

3.4%

Wayne State University

3.4%
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Majors

Pharmacy

7.6%

Business

7.3%

Nursing

6.9%

Biochemistry, Biophysics, Molecular Biology

5.9%

Clinical Psychology

5.7%

Public Health

5.6%

Chemistry

5.2%

Education

5.1%

Fine Arts

4.7%

Medicine

4.7%

Physics

4.6%

Biology

4.4%

English

4.4%

Psychology

4.4%

Counseling Psychology

4.2%

Law

4.2%

History

4.0%

Elementary Education

3.9%

Political Science

3.7%

Electrical Engineering

3.5%
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Degrees

Doctorate

47.8%

Masters

29.4%

Other

15.2%

Bachelors

3.6%

Certificate

3.1%

Associate

0.7%

Diploma

0.1%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Adjunct Assistant Professor Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Adjunct Assistant Professor New York University New York, NY Jan 20, 2016 $372,676
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Health Policy New York University New York, NY Jan 01, 2013 $372,676
Adjunct Assistant Professor University of Cincinnati Cincinnati, OH Sep 12, 2016 $313,551
Adjunct Assistant Professor New York University New York, NY Sep 01, 2013 $311,777
Assistant Professor Adjunct of Architecture The Cooper Union for The Advancement of Science and Art New York, NY Aug 31, 2015 $285,335
Adjunct Assistant Professor University of Cincinnati Cincinnati, OH Dec 09, 2013 $280,931
Adjunct Assistant Professor University of Utah Rock Springs, WY Feb 05, 2016 $275,000
Adjunct Assistant Professor University of Miami-Miller School of Medicine Miami, FL Jul 01, 2014 $267,136
Adjunct Assistant Professor New York University New York, NY Jan 15, 2016 $267,136
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Clinical Nutrition New York Chiropractic College Seneca Falls, NY Jan 01, 2014 $260,875
Adjunct Assistant Professor New York University New York, NY Sep 01, 2013 $251,484
Adjunct Assistant Professor New York University New York, NY Jun 01, 2013 $251,484
Assistant Adjunct Professor University of California, San Francisco San Francisco, CA Jan 01, 2013 $117,613
Assistant Adjunct Professor University of California, San Francisco San Francisco, CA Aug 01, 2014 $117,568
Assistant Adjunct Professor University of California, San Francisco San Francisco, CA Jan 06, 2016 $115,000
Assistant Adjunct Professor University of California, San Francisco San Francisco, CA Jan 04, 2016 $115,000
Adjunct, Assistant Professor of Marketing Trustees of The Hamline University of Minnesota Saint Paul, MN Jan 28, 2013 $114,785
Adjunct Assistant Professor University of Minnesota Minneapolis, MN Jan 08, 2015 $114,305
Adjunct Assistant Professor University of Utah Salt Lake City, UT Jun 01, 2014 $112,865
Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor University of Florida Hialeah, FL Oct 01, 2013 $110,361
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Electrical Engineerin University of Notre Dame Du Lac Notre Dame, IN Jul 01, 2014 $86,684
Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor University of Detroit Mercy Detroit, MI Jun 15, 2013 $85,024
Assistant Adjunct Professor University of California, Davis Davis, CA Dec 01, 2014 $85,000
Assistant Adjunct Professor University of California, Davis Sacramento, CA Jan 01, 2016 $85,000
Assistant Adjunct Professor University of California, Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA Mar 25, 2015 $84,941
Assistant Adjunct Professor Step 3 University of California, Berkeley Berkeley, CA Sep 05, 2016 $82,770
Assistant Adjunct Professor University of California, San Diego San Diego, CA Aug 01, 2013 $82,700
Assistant Adjunct Professor University of California, San Francisco San Francisco, CA Feb 19, 2013 $82,000

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Top Skills for An Adjunct Assistant Professor

UndergraduateCoursesClassroomManagementLabOnlineCoursesCurriculumAbnormalPsychologyMethodsHistoryCoursesTaughtChemistryPharmacyTopicsPrinciplesSeminarEthicsTheoryPhysiologyLiteratureGraduateLevelCoursesArt

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Top Adjunct Assistant Professor Skills

  1. Undergraduate Courses
  2. Classroom Management
  3. Lab
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Teach undergraduate courses in American Government and Legal Studies including Advanced Legal Research and Criminal Law.
  • Helped to train new hires on grading practices, classroom management, and other duties of adjunct instructors.
  • Detailed chronological breakout available on request.
  • Design, implement, and teach face-to-face and online courses with Blackboard and Canvas.
  • Develop course curriculum and teach beginning through advanced level dance technique courses in 5 different disciplines.

Top Adjunct Assistant Professor Employers

Adjunct Assistant Professor Videos

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Coming to Terms With Academic Titles at US Colleges

A Day in the Life - University Professor

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