I am a startup entrepreneur in Chattanooga TN. A few days ago, I was approached by a representative of Chattanooga State community college to teach a community course and/or course series on 3D printing and product branding. This will be a new course, unlike any other that they have taught before, so I am sure that there will be plenty of developmental work involved.

When I asked about the compensation, the representative told me that the pay varied from instructor to instructor, and that I needed to come up with the amount. I have never taught a course like this before, so I was wondering how I should gauge this amount.

Should I base it on hours taught in class, total hours material covered, students involved, or is there another standard?

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    At the very least, if the salaries are public, you should look at what they offer their full-time folks now to gauge the range as well as how many courses those people teach. The offer will not be high. If you want to do this, you will do it because you love it and want to share with others.
    – Bill Barth
    Sep 6, 2014 at 15:36

1 Answer 1


I think you're going to find that they want to pay you their adjunct rate for teaching the course, which might be $3,000 or so. If you want to be paid more, you will probably need to negotiate a list of deliverables, which would then allow someone else to teach the course next time.

I believe there are two motivations for being an adjunct instructor. Some people make a living at it by piecing together adjunct appointments from two or more institutions. Others do it for the love of teaching; they have to have day jobs to support their teaching hobby. I got paid about $2,500 to develop and teach a course in web applications in 1997. Now I am retired from the day job I had then, have a full-time faculty appointment, an office at school, and everything!

Edited to add: I missed that it is a community education course. You might get a few bucks more for that, or extra pay for classes over a certain size. It will still be a four-figure amount.

  • Thanks for the great response. Is that per month or per course? If it's per course, then how many classes?
    – Hoytman
    Sep 10, 2014 at 12:32
  • Adjunct pay varies widely. For example, the California community college where I teach pays part-timers about $1000/unit, but a different community college with a geographically adjoining district pays $2000/unit.
    – user1482
    Feb 4, 2016 at 23:56

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