Difference Between Adjunct and Associate Professor

For the better growth of a student, a piece of practical knowledge and good training are required. Teaching a subject to students is not as easy as it sounds.


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There are particular pieces of training on how to interact with students and a professor goes through them. They can be adjunct or associate professors but the objective is the same, which is to enlighten their respective students.

Adjunct vs Associate Professor

The difference between Adjunct and Associate professors is that an adjunct professor is mostly hired for less time and does not get paid compared to an associate professor, while an associate professor works permanently and gets all the benefits as an official employee. He works full-time in the institution.

Adjunct vs Associate Professor

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A person who’s hired to teach a certain subject for a limited time is called an adjunct professor. The appointment of an adjunct professor is based on his academic qualifications.

They are liable to perform responsibility given to them. An adjunct professor had to spend most of their time with students.

Associate professor refers to an academic title given to a person. The degree required to become an Academic professor is a doctoral degree and some other academic qualification.

The field of work handled by an associate professor is called profession. An associate professor can also be a researcher because of his educational background.

Comparison Table

Parameters Of ComparisonAdjunct ProfessorAssociate Professor
DegreeA doctoral degree is not necessary in most cases to become an adjunct professor.A doctoral degree has to be owned by a person, so he can become an associate professor.
PayThe payment received by an adjunct professor is less.The associate professor gets paid more compared to the adjunct professor.
ResponsibilityThe responsibility performed by the adjunct professor is not so much.An associate professor has many tasks to perform since they are liable for responsibilities they are trusted with.
DurationAn adjunct professor works part-time based on the condition given in the contract.An associate professor works full-time as an official employee.
BenefitsAdjunct professors do not get any benefit except for the pay.Adjunct professors have many other benefits as they have higher positions than adjunct professors.

What is Adjunct Professor?

The person hired to play the role for a certain time is known as the adjunct professor. The tenure is different from institution to institution.

It is based on the needs required by the institute. In different countries, the duration of working as an adjunct professor is different from one another.

The other words used to signify adjunct professor are adjunct lecturer, adjunct faculty, adjunct instructor, etc. The work or services provided by such professors can be denoted as academic labor.

The concept of adjunct professor comes from western countries and is similar in the USA and Canada. In some countries, especially in private universities, the word non-tenure faculty members is used for adjunct professors.

For example, in Pakistan adjunct professors are known as non-regular faculty members. These professors are hired to teach preparatory and undergraduate courses.

The maximum duration of working time of an adjunct professor can be one semester to two. To work as an adjunct professor, one requires at least a master’s degree.

Doctoral degrees aren’t necessarily needed for this job. The work experience of the person is more effective than a degree in this field since he has to teach the bigger students.

At this stage, students require practical knowledge.

What is Associate Professor?

The assistant professor can be considered as a rank that a person accomplishes after providing his service in the field of education for straight 15 years.

When a person applies or joins the university for the first time, he gets appointed as the associate professor of the respective subject. They are the official members of the faculty.

The associate professor is a title that is given to a person after completing the doctoral degree or required practice.

A person who is an associate professor should have academic knowledge, so he can provide better teaching methods to the students. In commonwealth countries, the title Professor is considered to be more similar to the word ‘reader’.

An associate professor is also known as a senior lecturer. This profession is connected to tenure. It is typically considered as the first promotion after getting into one of the faculty positions.

In the US, the term associate professor is considered to be in between the full professorship and adjunct professor.

Unlike an adjunct professor, when a person saves himself the position of assistant professor, he becomes the professor permanently and also gets benefits already laid out for his position. Assistant professors are senior to adjunct professors and have more stability in their job.

Main Differences Between Adjunct and Associate Professor

  1. The adjunct professor has a supplementary role. On the other hand, associate professors are accountable for full-time jobs and responsibilities.
  2. The agreement between the institution and adjunct professor is based on a contract while an associate professor joins an institution regularly.
  3. The adjunct professor is more beneficial to the institution whereas an associate professor is a bit expensive with the view to the expense of the institution.
  4. The adjunct professor doesn’t have to join official meetings held by institutions, while an associate professor is liable to join the meetings.
  5. One can be an adjunct professor without having a Ph.D. On the other hand, a person must have a Ph.D. to become an adjunct professor.
  1. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/teth.12508
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/j.1556-6676.1993.tb00914.x

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