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How do you pay back your loans as an adjunct professor?

TheAverageJoe71TheAverageJoe71 Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
My current career goal is to become an actuary, but I have also considered becoming a professor since I think it could be fun. The only problem is that a lot of professors end up in adjunct positions that barely pay anything. Is there a way to at least make payments and not default as an adjunct professor?

Replies to: How do you pay back your loans as an adjunct professor?

  • tdy123tdy123 Registered User Posts: 297 Junior Member
    edited September 29
    @TheAverageJoe71 Depends on the level of loans, the monthly payments, if you don't mind living in a homeless shelter, or scavenging for food in dumpsters. OK, I may be exaggerating slightly, but in most parts of the country an elementary school teacher with a masters easily earns twice the income of an adjunct with a PhD.
  • MaineLonghornMaineLonghorn Super Moderator Posts: 31,002 Super Moderator
    The adjunct profs I had in engineering school all had "regular" jobs - they didn't depend on their teaching salary for their livelihood.
  • TomSrOfBostonTomSrOfBoston Registered User Posts: 11,112 Senior Member
    edited September 30
    Do you have a Ph.D. in actuarial science or applied math? Otherwise the best you could hope for is work at a community college, and that would not be guaranteed.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 24,156 Senior Member
    edited September 30
    I know folks (PhDs) teaching at multiple colleges to make ends meet. Any one school might only need you for one class per semester. Or worse, one per year. You need the credentials. The longer you do it, or special skills, you make more. But night classes in a continuing ed pgm at a 4 year paid one friend less than 2k/run. Others I know, in the main program, got maybe 4-6k per course, unless they had pull or seniority. It's not going to pay the rent.

    Get established in your field, then see what extra work you pick up.
  • AroundHereAroundHere Registered User Posts: 2,210 Senior Member
    Recent article in the Guardian about that... not sure if I'd recommend that path, though....
  • CorbettCorbett Registered User Posts: 2,595 Senior Member
    edited September 30
    Some of the useful adjuncting tips offered in the Guardian story:

    - Eliminate housing costs, by living in your car. You can even make this work with two people and a dog, if you have a tent that can be pitched near the car at night. Cups and baby wipes can substitute for a bathroom.

    - Supplement your adjunct salary by providing sexual services. These can be offered during the evenings and summers, when class is not in session.

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/sep/28/adjunct-professors-homeless-sex-work-academia-poverty
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