How To Become an Adjunct Professor

Although the term ‘adjunct professor’ is commonly used, many people are still unsure of its definition. An adjunct professor is one who teaches at the college level, but does not work full-time for the college; i.e. he works for a university or an institution of higher learning on a part-time basis - teaching one or multiple courses during a single semester and may/may not be assured of teaching future semesters. Adjunct professors do not receive benefits such as life, health, employer contributions for retirement or disability insurance.

College-level courses, with increasing frequency, are being taught by part-time professors than full-time faculty members, as it is easier for the university to hire a part-time professor to teach. Full-time faculty serve on committees, do research, advice students and hence they provide more support to the institution apart from teaching. With faculty positions vacant or being cancelled or full-time professors quitting, more and more adjunct professors are being hired to complete college courses. Adjunct professors have the choice of choosing several courses for one or numerous institutions, in real-time and online, with the advantage of earning more money in comparison to full-time faculty members!

Getting started

  • Earn yourself a degree since most colleges or institutions are looking for professors with at least a Master’s degree. But some career and community colleges have openings for adjunct professors who possess a Bachelor’s degree.
  • Maintain a folder to keep all your educational and professional documents such as your CV, reference letters, transcripts, etc. for easier access. Also, scan important documents necessary to apply for online teaching positions.
  • Browse through neighboring colleges to check on job postings as most places have a community or career college who are looking to hire adjunct professors.
  • Create a professional CV with all necessary education and experience details. Upload your CV to employers online and keep print-outs handy.
  • Prepare well for an interview. While facing an interview panel at any institute or college ensure you know your areas of expertise well and make a good convincing presentation.


  • The average salary package for adjunct faculty for job postings nationwide is 23% lesser than average salaries for all other job postings nationwide. As of Jan 2010, the average salary for adjunct professors is about $50,000.


  • Most institutions tend to ignore incomplete job applications, hence ensure you have filled in all requested details and attached all necessary documents.


Share this article!

Follow us!

Find more helpful articles: