Academic institutions around the world play a great role in educating the general public. There are full-time educators, or professors that help college students attain a degree. Most colleges and universities in the country also have part-time professors which are also called Adjunct Professors.
These certified professors are found in universities and colleges around the nation, and some of these adjunct professors have jobs outside the academic locale in their area of specialization. They are employed on a contractual basis, rather than being employed in a stable position or tenure.
Due to their flexibility and less expensive rates, many colleges and universities chose to hire adjunct professors instead of those conventional full-time faculty associates. For most academic institutions like colleges and universities, adjunct professors are cost effective and still provide quality education to their students.
Duties and Responsibilities
Adjunct professors are in charge of evaluating student papers, conducting research, publishing scholastic papers, and teaching classes. They also do other tasks that are naturally executed by tenured or full-time professors. Some adjunct professors lead discussion groups, present academic talks, and other scholastic pursuits. Those adjunct professors who are in a tenure-track position at times serve in administrative functions in their area and occasionally act as an advisor in local academic societies, businesses, and government bureaus.
Education and Experience
An adjunct professor’s educational background should at least be a master’s degree, and mostly have Ph.D.s in the academic field in which they teach. Acquiring experience as a graduate research assistant or teaching assistant is the common requirement for an adjunct professor. An adjunct professor who is working on permanent status and has a background in experimentation or research in a related field of study has an advantage. Experience in teaching in a specific field of study is also helpful for acquiring the job.
In addition to having an outstanding grasp of the subject matter of programs they teach, adjunct professors must also be able to efficiently converse with his students and colleagues alike. They also need to have a passion for encouraging students to achieve scholastic success. Adjunct professors need to have a high level of self-discipline in order to effectively guide a class to academic achievements.
Salary and Job Outlook
The average pay for adjunct professors in 2010 was about $49,000, however, their average salary varies per school. Due to predictable retirements in the academic field job, opportunities for adjunct professors will increase between 2008 and 2018 based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics prediction. The best opportunities will be available to those with Ph.D.s while non-tenure track professorships also present the finest job openings for job seekers due to growth in enrollments around the country.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Like their tenured counterparts, adjunct professors, usually work in an indoor university setting and share the same obligation in educating students. Fulltime adjunct professors spend extensive hours on the job, while part-time adjunct professors work limited hours teaching classes and spend the majority of their time at their other job or place of employment.