Adjunct vs Assistant Professor (Which One is Better in 2024)
Being a professor is not as easy as you think. There are a lot of different levels of professorship. You may also get confused among different levels. In addition to full-time professors, there are a lot of part-time professors’ jobs. These part-time professors are also known as Adjunct professors. As it can be hard for you to know the difference between them, here we will give you a complete understanding of Adjunct vs Assistant professors.
- An adjunct professor is one who is appointed on a part-time or contractual basis. Whereas an assistant professor is a full-time professor in the institution.
- The salary of an adjunct professor is much lower than that of an assistant professor.
- The responsibilities you have as an adjunct professor are much less than an assistant professor.
However, you must read till the end so that you can have a better understanding of adjunct vs Assistant professor.
Adjunct vs Assistant Professor: The difference between both of them
Following are the three main differences between the adjunct and assistant professor.
1. Type of employment
Both professors have different types of employment. If you are appointed as an adjunct professor you will be working on a contractual or part-time basis. However, if you are an assistant professor you will be working on a full-time basis. Both professors will be working for different types of periods. As an assistant professor, you may need to work for a period of 10-12 years. On the other hand as an adjunct professor, you may have a contract of 2 or 3 years depending upon the institution.
As discussed above adjunct professor is one who works on part part-time basis. If this means that the salaries you will be getting as an adjunct professor are lower. Whereas, if we talk about assistant officers they will be earning higher salaries. It is because being a full-time professor means that you have more responsibilities. The average salary that you get as an adjunct professor is about $1,32,790. But if we talk about the average salary of an assistant professor it is around $1,50,000.
Being a full-time professor means having a great responsibility. On the other hand, if you are a part-time professor you will have fewer responsibilities. You may have to attend the meetings associated with the development of the department you are working in as an Assistant professor. If you are an adjunct professor you may not have to attend such meetings. Further the teaching responsibilities of both the professors are the same. You will need to give notes, evaluate students, respond to emails, etc in both of the professions.
One of the differences that you will be facing in both types of professors is the number of classes you will need to teach in a day. As an assistant professor, you will be taking 6 classes a day. If you are an adjunct professor you will have to take 5 classes in a day.
4. Office hours
As an assistant professor, you will be having office hours in which the students can meet you on campus and you can help them with their doubts. Whereas if you are an adjunct professor you will not be having such hours. You will also need to meet the students and clear their doubts in the classroom or on virtual platforms like Zoom or Webex only. The only reason why you will not be having an office is due to the space limitation.
Do you need to have a PhD to be an adjunct professor or assistant professor?
It all depends upon the institution you are applying. Most of the institutions hire adjunct professors on the basis of having a master’s degree. But it does not mean that you will be hired as an adjunct professor with a master’s degree every time. Some institutions may also ask for a doctoral degree. This is the same case for assistant professors. Although many universities will hire an assistant professor if they have a master’s degree, most of the institutions will want to look for a doctoral degree. Further, it does not mean that having a PhD means you are a professor. You will need to get hired by the institution at that level.
Are adjunct and assistant professors tenured or non-tenured?
Having a tenure means that you can work in an institution for a long period of time. It means that if you are an adjunct professor you will not be considered as a tenured professor. But what about the assistant professor? If you want to know if a professor is tenured or not, you must look for the titles of the professor. If they are associate professors then they may be tenured professors. However, if you are an assistant professor you will be in a tenure-track position. It means that it is the path that will start your journey to become a tenured professor.
Which one is better – Adjunct professor or Assistant professor?
Being an adjunct professor means working on a part-time basis and getting a lower salary. It also means that you will be taking only 5 classes in a single day which further shows that you will have fewer responsibilities. You will not need to attend any meeting related to the department or the institution. Further, it also gives you flexibility to work on other career options.
On the other hand, being an assistant professor you will have more responsibilities. You will have to teach the students and also take part in different meetings related to both the department and the institution. Also, the biggest advantage of being an assistant professor is that you will be getting higher salaries.
Thus we can say that if you are interested in being a full-time professor and achieving the highest level of professorship, then you must try to get the assistant professor position. However, if you are still in doubt if you are really interested in teaching or not, then you must think of being an adjunct professor. Being an adjunct professor will help you to know if teaching students is actually for you or not. So if you think that teaching is not for you, you can think of taking any other career opportunity.
An adjunct professor is one who is appointed on a part-time or contractual basis. Whereas if you are an assistant professor you will be appointed as a full-time professor. The salary of the adjunct professor is much less than the full-time assistant professor. Also, you will have fewer responsibilities as an adjunct professor than the assistant professor. If you are an adjunct professor you will only have to teach 5 classes in a day. On the other hand, if you are a full-time professor, you will have to take 6 classes in a day.