Community College Teaching Jobs

Instructor: Kimberly Elliott

Kimberly teaches college humanities and has a master's degree in humanities.

A variety of teaching positions are available at the community college level. Explore the different job options available and learn about their requirements. Examine salary and job growth info and then get info on working conditions in this field and learning resources to help you get started.

Teaching Jobs Available at Community Colleges

There are several avenues for work opportunities at the community college level. Depending on one's education, work history, and job preferences, those interested in teaching positions at this level can find both tenure-track and non tenure-track options, including the following job titles:

  • Instructor
  • Lecturer
  • Adjunct Professor
  • Assistant Professor
  • Professor

Tenure-track positions in community colleges can lead to tenure upon successful completion of the probationary period, which is about three years. Non tenure-track positions can be full- or part-time, and these faculty members are not guaranteed their positions for any length of time. They are typically hired on a semester-by-semester basis, with no promise of continued employment past the current semester.

Teaching Fields and Requirements

Community college teaching jobs are available in both academic and occupational fields. There are different requirements for teaching at the community college level depending on the area or field of interest.

  • Academic areas (ex. mathematics, English, social sciences, and the sciences): In general, those who wish to teach in an academic area should have a minimum of a master's degree in the subject to be taught or a master's degree in a related subject with a minimum of 18 graduate credits in the desired teaching subject.
  • Occupational fields (ex. accounting, culinary arts, cosmetology): For those wishing to teach in an occupational field, the requirements are typically either a master's degree in the field, a bachelor's degree and three years field experience, or an associate's degree and five years field experience.

Many colleges also require a course in teaching at the community college that successful applicants must complete once hired.

Salary, Growth, and Advancement Opportunities

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median salary of full-time faculty members at all postsecondary institutions, including community colleges, in 2015 was $72,470. Additionally, teaching in postsecondary education has a growth outlook of 13% from 2012-2024. Since the majority of a community college instructor's time is spent teaching, determination of promotion and/or tenure is largely based on students' evaluations and classroom observations. It is not uncommon for full-time, tenured faculty to be promoted to administrative positions, such as deans and department heads.

Workload and Work Conditions

While it varies from school to school, and among the teaching disciplines, the average fulltime faculty workload is anywhere from 14 to 18 credit hours per semester. This is roughly translated to 14 to 18 contact hours per week, plus the time to prepare lectures and hold office hours outside of the normal class hours. Roughly speaking, a full-time faculty member can expect to work approximately 9 hours a week, per 3-credit course taught. Part-time faculty members are those who routinely work less than 30 hours per week.

Some faculty members teach 100% of their classes in a face-to-face environment, while other faculty members teach exclusively online. Others teach a mixture of both face-to-face and online classes, or hybrid classes that are both in the classroom and online.

How to Get Started

If the concept of community college teaching appeals to you in the long term, it is essential to select a field of study that will not only hold your interest, but provide the necessary curiosity to continue your education while sharing your knowledge with others. To help guide you in this decision, offers a course in Selecting a College Major, which will help you if you are just starting your journey towards being a community college teacher. If you are ready to pursue this career, or are already working in this field, you may wish to enhance your portfolio and build your credentials by enrolling in our certificate program on Educational Psychology which can help you become a better instructor.

Earning College Credit

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To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

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