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There are many different types of adjunct faculty positions, but the term adjunct faculty deserves some explanation. In some schools those employed as “faculty” are permanent and full-time employees of a specific school, while anyone else is part-time, temporary, or adjunct. The trend to use faculty in this manner is clearly changing in some places, since adjunct faculty positions can now mean those part time, non-permanent jobs on a teaching staff. This teaching staff could work at many colleges, vocational schools, and at schools that are conducted either partially or wholly online.
Most of the types of adjunct faculty position are as instructor, in one or more subjects. This might mean teaching a single class or several, frequently at the college level or vocational school level. When these jobs are offered for college instructors, they usually require the instructor possess at least a master’s degree. Some jobs are only open to those who have completed doctoral level work. Most people specialize in a particular area of study such as business, math, English, or history and would be hired in that area, illustrating the main difference between types of jobs. An English adjunct instructor is probably not a math adjunct instructor unless the person possesses masters’ or doctoral degrees in both subjects.
This might change slightly at the high school level where there could be an occasional adjunct faculty position. Many people do teach more than one subject and could teach several classes in different areas. This scenario might be especially noted online where online adjunct teachers could teach in diverse subject areas.
Another place where people might acquire adjunct faculty positions is at trade or vocational schools. In these positions, credentialing or degrees can sometimes be of lesser importance. Usually what is sought is demonstrable experience in teaching or pursuing a specific thing taught. This may mean some people hired have strong vocational or trade skills without a specific degree.
Most accredited online colleges that have available adjunct faculty positions function very much like bricks and mortar institutions. They’ll expect subject expertise, computer literacy, and possibly teaching experience. The last may not always be the highest requirement, and job pay tends to reflect less emphasis on experience. This can vary, though, and online classes offered by well-known universities tend to hire adjuncts with impressive teaching experience and education.
The way an adjunct job may be constructed highly depends on the job. Adjuncts may teach one or more classes, and some teach full-time without the benefit of equitable pay, job security, or benefits. Many educational experts suggest this trend in hiring, though it may save money, doesn’t ultimately do much to benefit teachers or students. A few people who seek additional income are helped by adjunct faculty positions, particularly at online schools, but those who do this work for a full-time living make far less, tending to barely exceed poverty level income, though they are highly trained.