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Become An Adjunct Associate Professor

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Working As An Adjunct Associate Professor

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

  • $101,426

    Average Salary

What Does An Adjunct Associate 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 Associate 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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Average Length of Employment
College Professor 4.7 years
Professor 3.7 years
Adjunct Faculty 3.5 years
Adjunct Professor 3.2 years
Visiting Professor 2.2 years
Top Careers Before Adjunct Associate Professor
Instructor 7.1%
Consultant 5.0%
Director 4.7%
Lecturer 4.6%
Faculty 3.8%
Teacher 3.7%
Fellow 3.7%
Top Careers After Adjunct Associate Professor
Director 8.4%
Consultant 6.0%
Faculty 5.6%
Professor 5.3%
Lecturer 4.7%
Instructor 3.7%
President 3.7%
Principal 2.8%

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Adjunct Associate Professor Demographics

Gender

Male

54.5%

Female

42.0%

Unknown

3.5%
Ethnicity

White

57.2%

Hispanic or Latino

15.2%

Black or African American

11.9%

Asian

10.8%

Unknown

4.9%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

36.2%

French

17.0%

Chinese

6.4%

German

6.4%

Japanese

6.4%

Portuguese

4.3%

Arabic

4.3%

Russian

2.1%

Irish

2.1%

Norwegian

2.1%

Dutch

2.1%

Welsh

2.1%

Cayuga

2.1%

Hebrew

2.1%

Mandarin

2.1%

Italian

2.1%
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Adjunct Associate Professor Education

Schools

University of Texas at Austin

10.1%

New York University

7.8%

University of Phoenix

7.8%

Walden University

7.0%

Columbia University

6.2%

Syracuse University

4.7%

University of Maryland - University College

4.7%

State University of New York Buffalo

4.7%

Capella University

4.7%

George Mason University

4.7%

West Virginia University

4.7%

Ohio State University

3.9%

The Academy

3.9%

Case Western Reserve University

3.9%

Texas A&M University

3.9%

University of Cincinnati

3.9%

University of Georgia

3.9%

University of Maryland - College Park

3.9%

Howard University

3.1%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

3.1%
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Majors

Business

15.1%

Nursing

8.2%

Educational Leadership

6.0%

Psychology

6.0%

Education

5.7%

Pharmacy

5.4%

English

5.0%

Chemistry

4.4%

Medicine

4.4%

Clinical Psychology

4.4%

Biochemistry, Biophysics, Molecular Biology

4.1%

Counseling Psychology

4.1%

Law

4.1%

Computer Science

3.8%

History

3.8%

Physiology And Anatomy

3.2%

Microbiology

3.2%

Fine Arts

3.2%

Biology

3.2%

Management

2.8%
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Degrees

Doctorate

39.8%

Masters

33.2%

Other

14.7%

Bachelors

7.0%

Certificate

3.0%

Associate

1.8%

Diploma

0.3%

License

0.1%
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Adjunct Associate Professor Videos

When do you call your college professor, Professor?

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Real Adjunct Associate Professor Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Adjunct Associate Medical Professor (Basic Science The City College of New York New York, NY Feb 24, 2014 $396,154
Associate Professor Adjunct of Architecture The Cooper Union for The Advancement of Science An New York, NY Mar 08, 2014 $277,195
Associate Professor Adjunct of Architecture The Cooper Union for The Advancement of Science An New York, NY Sep 03, 2013 $277,195
Associate Professor Adjunct of Architecture The Cooper Union for The Advancement of Science An New York, NY Mar 12, 2014 $277,195
Adjunct Associate Professor University of Minnesota Minneapolis, MN Oct 22, 2013 $203,357
Adjunct Associate Professor University of Minnesota Minneapolis, MN Oct 25, 2010 $203,357
Adjunct Associate Professor Columbia University New York, NY Sep 01, 2011 $179,148
Associate Adjunct Professor University of California, San Francisco San Francisco, CA Apr 18, 2011 $147,264
Adjunct Associate Professor Columbia University New York, NY Sep 01, 2010 $144,003
Adjunct Associate Professor Columbia University New York, NY Sep 16, 2009 $137,742
Adjunct Associate Professor Columbia University New York, NY Sep 10, 2009 $137,742
Adjunct Associate Professor Columbia University New York, NY Jan 01, 2011 $122,757
Adjunct Associate Professor Temple University--A Commonwealth University Philadelphia, PA Nov 14, 2011 $118,437
Associate Professor Adjunct of Architecture The Cooper Union for The Advancement of Science An New York, NY Sep 02, 2013 $110,872
Adjunct Associate Professor (Research) Brown University Providence, RI Apr 15, 2016 $105,000
Associate Adjunct Professor University of California, San Diego San Diego, CA Jan 01, 2012 $100,000
Adjunct Associate Professor The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Cente Dallas, TX May 01, 2010 $100,000
Adjunct Professor/Research Associate George Mason University Fairfax, VA Jan 16, 2012 $97,567
Adjunct Professor/Research Associate George Mason University Fairfax, VA Jan 02, 2012 $97,567
Associate Professor/Adjunct Yale University New Haven, CT May 01, 2011 $96,900
Adjunct Associate Professor Cornell University Ithaca, NY Jan 01, 2016 $94,554
Adjunct Associate Professor Columbia University New York, NY Jan 01, 2011 $85,943
Adjunct Associate Professor Columbia University New York, NY Sep 01, 2011 $85,567
Adjunct Associate Professor Cornell University Ithaca, NY Jan 01, 2013 $80,000
Adjunct Associate Professor Columbia University New York, NY Jan 18, 2012 $77,219
Adjunct Associate Professor Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago, IL Dec 01, 2011 $76,259
Adjunct Associate Professor Trustees of The University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA Mar 17, 2014 $75,000
Adjunct Associate Professor The University of Texas at Austin Austin, TX Jan 16, 2016 $72,500

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Top Skills for An Adjunct Associate Professor

  1. Classroom Setting
  2. Undergraduate
  3. Online Courses
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Awarded NSF/ACM SIGGRAPH Undergraduate Faculty Enhancement Workshops in Scientific Visualization and Computer Graphics.
  • Teach courses in advanced hardware and software applications, face-to-face and online courses, using online course management system tools.
  • Mentored newly hired adjunct instructors.
  • Developed lessons and units, instructed and facilitated adult community college students in an ever changing real estate curriculum.
  • Promoted high standards in research papers, writing to American Psychology Association standards, and sound quantitative and qualitative methods.

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Top 10 Best States for Adjunct Associate Professors

  1. New York
  2. New Jersey
  3. Maryland
  4. Wisconsin
  5. Michigan
  6. Iowa
  7. Alaska
  8. Texas
  9. California
  10. Massachusetts
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