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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.


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.


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 Faculty jobs

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Adjunct Faculty Career Paths

Adjunct Faculty
Subject Matter Expert Program Manager Education Director
Academic Dean
10 Yearsyrs
Education Director Adjunct Instructor ESL Instructor
Academic Director
8 Yearsyrs
Clinical Supervisor Program Director Coach
Assistant Principal
10 Yearsyrs
Pastor Bus Driver Coach
Athletic Director
5 Yearsyrs
Nurse Practitioner Staff Nurse Assistant Director
Center Director
7 Yearsyrs
Assistant Professor Program Director Operations Director
Chief Operating Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Chairperson Account Executive Program Manager
Chief Technology Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Professor Faculty Assistant Professor
Department Chairperson
7 Yearsyrs
Family Nurse Practitioner Staff Nurse Instructor
Director Of Instruction
6 Yearsyrs
Chief Executive Officer Specialist Program Manager
Education Director
7 Yearsyrs
Associate Professor Dean Assistant Principal
Elementary School Principal
12 Yearsyrs
Assistant Principal Middle School Principal
High School Principal
12 Yearsyrs
Chairperson Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Clinical Supervisor Program Manager Adjunct Instructor
Online Instructor
10 Yearsyrs
Assistant Professor Adjunct Professor Senior Project Manager
Project Director
8 Yearsyrs
Nurse Practitioner Assistant Professor Senior Scientist
Research And Development Director
12 Yearsyrs
Clinical Manager Assistant Director Education Director
School Director
7 Yearsyrs
Associate Dean Dean Assistant Principal
School Principal
10 Yearsyrs
Faculty Assistant Professor Program Manager
Technical Director
7 Yearsyrs
Planning Committee Member Special Education Teacher Assistant Principal
Vice Principal
9 Yearsyrs
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Adjunct Faculty Demographics


  • Female

  • Male

  • Unknown



  • White

  • Asian

  • Hispanic or Latino

  • Unknown

  • Black or African American

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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

  • French

  • German

  • Russian

  • Japanese

  • Italian

  • Chinese

  • Arabic

  • Hindi

  • Mandarin

  • Portuguese

  • Greek

  • Hebrew

  • Urdu

  • Dakota

  • Romanian

  • Korean

  • Persian

  • Polish

  • Bengali

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Adjunct Faculty

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Adjunct Faculty Education

Adjunct Faculty

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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 -
Adjunct Faculty Virginia Commonwealth University Richmond, VA Jul 01, 2010 $124,218
Adjunct Faculty Montreat College Charlotte, NC Jun 17, 2009 $120,003
Adjunct Faculty-Department of Mathematics Lansing Community College Lansing, MI Dec 14, 2010 $115,912
Adjunct Faculty Instructor Hawaii Pacific University Kaneohe, HI Dec 17, 2012 $113,303 -
Adjunct Faculty (Chemistry) College of Saint Mary Omaha, NE Aug 24, 2011 $76,530
Adjunct Faculty (Chemistry) College of Saint Mary Omaha, NE Aug 06, 2012 $76,530
Adjunct Faculty (Finance) St. Edward's University Austin, TX May 15, 2010 $76,509
Adjunct Faculty Rhode Island School of Design Providence, RI Dec 27, 2010 $75,362
Adjunct Faculty-Dance Tarrant County College Arlington, TX Jul 15, 2010 $73,045
Adjunct Faculty Texas A&M International University Laredo, TX Jun 09, 2016 $53,782
Adjunct Faculty Texas A&M International University Laredo, TX Sep 09, 2016 $53,782
Adjunct Faculty Texas A&Amp;M International University Laredo, TX Jan 20, 2016 $53,782
Adjunct Faculty Virginia Commonwealth University Richmond, VA Feb 25, 2012 $53,511
Adjunct Faculty Temple University--A Commonwealth University Philadelphia, PA Dec 19, 2010 $53,156
Adjunct Faculty, Nursing Adelphi University Garden City, NY May 23, 2011 $52,175 -
Adjunct Faculty Grand Canyon University Winter Garden, FL Aug 30, 2010 $52,175 -
Adjunct Faculty Southern New Hampshire University Manchester, NH Aug 31, 2010 $52,175

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Top Skills for An Adjunct Faculty


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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

Adjunct Faculty Videos

MICA Adjunct Faculty Moves to Unionize

Breaking the Poverty of Adjunct Faculty — Oplerno ◐ Woodblock 2015

Professors in Poverty • BRAVE NEW FILMS