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In 2008, 29 percent of post-secondary teachers worked part-time, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They are known as adjunct professors. Adjunct professors typically earn less than full-time professors as they teach on a per-course basis. Working as an adjunct can be a good part-time job if you have at least a master's degree and some spare time.
Adjuncts are considered part-time and are typically paid on a per course or hourly basis. They are expendable, meaning that they do not have a guarantee of being able to work the next semester or the one after that. They also typically earn less than full-time instructors. In a December 2007 report by the New Mexico Higher Education Department found that full-time instructors -- not including full-time, tenure track professors -- at four year colleges in New Mexico earned about $1,896 per credit hour, while part-time instructors earned $1,010 per credit hour.
Depending on the subject they teach, their ranks, education and experience levels, geographical locations and colleges they work for, adjuncts earn between about $40 to $100 per hour. Lab adjuncts typically earn less per hour, typically between about $20 and $40 per hour.
Owens Community College
Owens Community College in Perrysburg, Ohio pays adjunct faculty that are dentists with an MD or DDS degree $39 per hour to teach lectures if he has been teaching between one and four semesters, as of spring 2010. A dentist with a DDS that does clinicals is paid an hourly rate of $34.34 per hour with the same amount of experience. After teaching 13 or more semesters, the clinical dentist can earn $43.67 per hour, and the lecture dentist earns $48.35 per hour. Lab and clinical instructors at the college earn $20.85 per contact hour with students if they have taught between one and four semesters. With 13 or more semesters of experience, the rate increases to $25.15 per hour.
City University of New York
The Professional Staff Congress, the union for the staff and faculty for the City of University New York, reports that the hourly rate for a first step lecturer is $64.84, as of October 2009. (Five steps are used to gauge salary for adjuncts based on experience, except for adjunct assistant professors, who have four steps.) An adjunct assistant professor on step two earns $76.48 per hour. An adjunct associate professor on the third step earns an hourly rate of $85.78. The hourly rate of an adjunct professor on step five is $107.04. Some adjuncts at CUNY are eligible for some benefits, depending on how much they work and teach.
Gavilan College in Gilroy, California, pays lecture adjuncts between $53.84 and $68.22 per hour in their first five semesters of teaching. With eight to nine terms of experience, the salary increases to between $58.53 and $73.03 per hour. After 12 or more terms, the salary range is between $63.22 and $77.84 per hour. Lab adjuncts with zero to five terms of experience earn $46.71 per hour, and after 12 terms of teaching labs, they earn $54.06 per hour. Adjuncts teaching non-credit classes earn between $39.74 and $46.54 with a master's degree or doctorate, depending on their levels of experience.
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- Washington Post; Professor of Desperation; Eric L. Wee; July 2002
- Bureau of Labor Statistics; Postsecondary Teachers; Dec. 2009
- Education Resources Info. Center: The Report on Part-Time Faculty Compensation and Salary; Dec. 2007
- Owens Community College: Adjunct Faculty and Part-Time Instruction Salary Schedule
- City University New York: CUNY Adjuncts -- Your Rights, Your Benefits
- Gavilan College: Adjunct Faculty Salary Schedule
Leyla Norman has been a writer since 2008 and is a certified English as a second language teacher. She also has a master's degree in development studies and a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology.