What does an Adjunct Professor do?

Professors instruct students in various academic and vocational subjects above the high school level. They conduct research and publish scholarly papers and books from it and work in public and private colleges and universities, professional schools, junior or community colleges, and within career and vocational schools. They teach a wide variety of subjects, from science to math.

Professors develop a curriculum that meets both college and department standards, and they plan lessons and assignments. They assess students' progress through grading papers and tests and advise students about which classes to take to achieve their goals. They conduct research and experiments to advance knowledge in the field where they are employed and supervise graduate students working for a doctorate degree. They serve on academic and administrative committees that review and recommend policies, make budget decisions, and advise on hiring and promotion within their department. Professors need a minimum master's degree; a doctoral degree is typically required for work as a full-time, tenure-track university professor.

What responsibilities are common for Adjunct Professor jobs?
  • Support classroom and online efforts to promote student success.
  • Facilitate a safe and productive learning environment for students.
  • Make expectations and objectives of the clinical assignments clear.
  • Distribute and submit syllabi for all assigned sections in accordance with department and college policies.
  • Serve on and lead college or system committees, as assigned.
  • Serve as consultant on the development of curricular materials as needed.
  • Serve as a resource person and facilitator in the learning process.
  • Keep accurate and appropriate records in accordance with departmental policies.
  • Provide service including student mentoring, ongoing course development, and assessment.
What are the typical qualifications for Adjunct Professor jobs?
  • Demonstrated leadership experience and skills.
  • Excellent written and interpersonal communication skills.
  • Skilled in critical thinking, problem solving and collaboration.
  • Research, writing, and presentation skills.
EducationGraduate Degree
Work/Life Balance
3.5 ★
Total Pay--
Career Opportunity
3.4 ★
Avg. Experience2-4 years

How much does an Adjunct Professor make near United States?

$125,425 /yr
Total Pay

Base Pay


Additional Pay


 / yr
Most Likely Range
Possible Range
See More Insights

Adjunct Professor Career Path

Learn how to become an Adjunct Professor, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

Associate Professor
Adjunct Professor
Adjunct Professor

Years of Experience Distribution

0 - 1
2 - 4
5 - 7
Not including years spent in education and/or training

Adjunct Professor Insights

Read what Adjunct Professor professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Falmouth UniversityFalmouth University
Faculty Member
Jun 4, 2021

“Some creative thinkers and problem solvers who are great to work with have worked here.”

Kruti Institute of Technology & EngineeringKruti Institute of Technology & Engineering
Assistant Professor
Jul 5, 2022

“Good and friendly environment to work.You will be given responsibilities and freedom to accomplish it your way.”

SSN Institutions Chennai IndiaSSN Institutions Chennai India
Assistant Professor
Nov 19, 2021

“Academic freedom is higher which encourages faculty to explore new things and teach students in a better way”

Babu Banarasi Das
Assistant Professor
Aug 9, 2021

“I couldn't find any cons here but the salary according to the word load/pressure is quite low.”

Sinhgad Institutes
Assistant Professor
Oct 8, 2021

“Lots of work and load and worst thing is that faculties dont have any good resources.”

Aug 12, 2021

“What I don’t like is there is subject and class overload but no pay increase.”

Chandigarh UniversityChandigarh University
Assistant Professor
Mar 21, 2023

“The teacher training and research department at Chandigarh University is an excellent place to teach.”

Columbus State Community CollegeColumbus State Community College
Associate Professor
Jun 6, 2022

“I have the best colleagues who care deeply about higher education and student support and success.”

See More

Adjunct Professor Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of professors

Professors work for universities as lecturers and researchers. A typical day for a professor includes teaching classes to graduate and undergraduate students. They're expected to publish academic papers in peer-reviewed journals. Professors hold office hours to assist students who have difficulties with their courses. Occasionally, they give lectures at conferences.

Being a professor is a good career once you have tenure. One of the advantages when you become a professor is enjoying extensive university privileges and eventual tenure. Most importantly, tenure represents permanent job stability. Teaching can also be a very rewarding experience. Professors are in the unique position of influencing the next generation. Also, they often participate in groundbreaking research.

Professors' salaries are quite high. The average annual salary for a professor approaches $125,425 per year. Tenured professors are granted university housing, a transportation allowance, and many other financial benefits that increase the standard base salary. Professors receive higher salaries when they increase their course load.

Working as a professor isn't just about academic prowess. A difficult aspect of being a professor is handling the campus political environment, which can be volatile, so learn to navigate it while staying true to your ethics and values. It can also be challenging to balance your off-campus activities, research, and course instruction.

Related Careers

Professor Of Biology
13% skills overlap
Visiting Professor
No skills overlap
25% skills overlap
Faculty Member
13% skills overlap

Adjunct Professor Jobs