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Become An Adjunct Lecturer

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Working As An Adjunct Lecturer

  • Training and Teaching Others
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Make Decisions

  • $73,045

    Average Salary

What Does An Adjunct Lecturer Do

An Adjunct Lecturer is responsible for teaching college classes. They prepare course guides, teach content that matches courses standards, and assist students with inquiries outside of class.

How To Become An Adjunct Lecturer

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 Lecturer jobs

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Real Adjunct Lecturer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Adjunct Lecturer New York University New York, NY Jan 23, 2012 $237,918
Adjunct Lecturer Indiana University Bloomington, IN Oct 23, 2009 $231,309
Adjunct Lecturer Idaho State University Pocatello, ID Jun 01, 2014 $225,396
Adjunct Lecturer Idaho State University Pocatello, ID Aug 17, 2015 $192,004
Adjunct Lecturer of African Studies The Johns Hopkins University Washington, DC Aug 31, 2015 $184,783
Adjunct Lecturer The University of Arizona Tucson, AZ Mar 23, 2015 $171,238
Adjunct Lecturer Hunter College of The City University of New York New York, NY Jan 27, 2014 $168,421
Visual Resources Archivist/Adjunct Lecturer The City University of New York (City College) New York, NY Oct 01, 2011 $168,421
Adjunct Lecturer Indiana University Bloomington, IN Jan 08, 2016 $164,414
Adjunct Lecturer Indiana University Bloomington, IN Aug 01, 2014 $164,414
Adjunct Lecturer Indiana University Bloomington, IN Aug 01, 2015 $164,414
Adjunct Lecturer Queens College of The City University of New York NY Aug 25, 2009 $131,377
Adjunct Lecturer Queens College of The City University of New York NY Feb 15, 2010 $131,377
Adjunct Lecturer College of Staten Island New York, NY Aug 28, 2009 $131,377
Adjunct Lecturer of Japanese Language Pace University New York, NY Feb 22, 2010 $126,702
Adjunct Lecturer Queens College of The City University of New York NY Aug 25, 2011 $114,451
Adjunct Lecturer The University of Iowa Iowa City, IA Feb 01, 2015 $111,801
Adjunct Clinical Lecturer University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI Oct 31, 2012 $71,501
Adjunct Lecturer State University of New York at Binghamton Binghamton, NY Dec 29, 2016 $69,560
Adjunct Lecturer State University of New York at Binghamton Binghamton, NY Aug 25, 2016 $69,560
Adjunct Lecturer Wichita State University Wichita, KS Nov 05, 2014 $69,560
Adjunct Lecturer Babson College MA Jan 15, 2011 $68,871
Adjunct Lecturer University of Detroit Mercy Detroit, MI Feb 01, 2015 $68,412
Adjunct Lecturer State University of New York at Binghamton Binghamton, NY Aug 26, 2010 $66,888
Adjunct Lecturer Indiana University Bloomington, IN Jun 01, 2013 $66,262

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Top Skills for An Adjunct Lecturer


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Top Adjunct Lecturer Skills

  1. Undergraduate Courses
  2. Course Curriculum
  3. Classroom Instruction
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Presented undergraduate courses in curriculum development and teaching methodologies.
  • Developed course curriculum, lectured and facilitated discussion in classes, developed and graded all assignments and exams
  • Provided classroom instruction in the areas of research practices, content development, structure, organization, and citation systems.
  • Used instructional technology to deliver online course materials.
  • Tutored and provided resources for Ancient and New Testament Greek Language.

Top Adjunct Lecturer Employers

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