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Become An Adjunct Faculty

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Working As An Adjunct Faculty

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

  • $79,970

    Average Salary

What Does An Adjunct Faculty Do

An Adjunct Faculty Member teaches assigned courses as specified in a schedule and course contract. They submit grades on time and provide constructive feedback and other relevant information to students.

How To Become An Adjunct Faculty

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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Real Adjunct Faculty Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Adjunct Faculty Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago, IL Feb 01, 2014 $160,532
Adjunct Faculty University of Denver Denver, CO Sep 01, 2012 $152,163
Adjunct Faculty Virginia Commonwealth University Richmond, VA Dec 16, 2012 $144,921
Adjunct Faculty-Business/International Business Southern New Hampshire University Manchester, NH Jun 14, 2010 $139,119
Adjunct Faculty Altoona Regional Health System Altoona, PA Jan 01, 2010 $131,481
Adjunct Faculty Altoona Regional Health System Williamsburg, PA Jan 01, 2010 $131,481
Adjunct Faculty Altoona Regional Health System Williamsburg, PA Jan 15, 2010 $131,481
Adjunct Faculty Instructor Hawaii Pacific University Urban Honolulu, HI Nov 01, 2010 $126,430 -
$136,657
Adjunct Faculty Virginia Commonwealth University Richmond, VA Jul 01, 2010 $124,218
Adjunct Faculty Montreat College Charlotte, NC Jun 17, 2009 $120,003
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Top Skills for An Adjunct Faculty

ClassroomInstructionOnlineCoursesCourseCurriculumUndergraduateCoursesAbnormalPsychologyMethodsCourseSyllabusMathematicsBlackboardCoursesTaughtPrinciplesBiologyLaboratoryInformationTechnologyTopicsLessonPlansCourseMaterialsEthicsConceptsTheory

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Top Adjunct Faculty Skills

  1. Classroom Instruction
  2. Online Courses
  3. Course Curriculum
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provide classroom instruction and lectures on various subjects pertaining to the Medical Assistant field.
  • Facilitate online courses to undergraduate students in a variety of different programs.
  • Incorporate textbook, campus resource materials, technology and innovative activities into course curriculum.
  • Provided quality instruction for various undergraduate courses in the Organizational Leadership Program.
  • Examined theoretical aspects of general and abnormal psychology..

Top Adjunct Faculty Employers

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What Kind Of Companies Hire an Adjunct Faculty

  1. Ivy Tech Community College
  2. University of Phoenix
  3. Ashford University
  4. Northern Virginia Community College
  5. Nebraska Methodist College
  6. ITT Technical Institute
  7. Northern Illinois University
  8. Excelsior College
  9. Everest College
  10. Calhoun Community College
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Adjunct Faculty Videos

MICA Adjunct Faculty Moves to Unionize

Breaking the Poverty of Adjunct Faculty — Oplerno ◐ Woodblock 2015

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