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Topic: How much do ASL instructors earn per hour?
Annual pay for college instructors varies widely depending on where you live, what type of institution you teach for, how many years you've been teaching, how high of a degree you have, whether you teach extra classes, and how good you are at salary negotiation. In California, as of 2018, a typical full-time tenure track ASL teacher position at a two-year community college will have a starting range of $48,359.83 - $83,137.87 annually.
It is not unusual for a full-time ASL teacher to receive an annual salary of $50,000. This would be typical for someone who has a masters degree, has been teaching a few years at a state or private college that offers associate degrees in a location with a relatively high cost of living. That $50K amount is typically based on teaching two semesters a year at a course load of 12 units per semester (which is about twelve classroom-contact-hours per week). Typically that includes preparing, teaching, and grading from 3 to 5 classes per week, attending one or two committee meetings per week, and putting in 3 or so office hours per week. Those activities take place 32 weeks out of the year.
How much you make “per hour?”
Two teachers earning the exact same annual salary can earn vastly different sums per hour.
The more you prepare for each class, the less you make per hour.
The earlier you arrive to class and the later you stay after class—the less you earn per hour.
The more committee meetings you go to—the less you earn per hour.
The more clubs you advise—the less you earn per hour.
The more paperwork you take the time to fill out—the less you earn per hour.
The more high maintenance (or "dependent") students you have, the less you make per hour.
("Dependent" students are those that depend on you to do for them things that other students do on their own. For example, "read the syllabus". A dependent student will email you half way through the semester to ask about the makeup policy (because it is—in their mind—easier than finding and reading the syllabus). An independent student will read the syllabus on his own and see the policy for himself.)
When people learn that a college instructor only spends around 12 hours a week “in the classroom” – those people often inaccurately assume that means the instructor is only “working” 12 hours a week.
Let's plug in some typical time expenditures and get a feel for the real number of hours an instructor might work.
College-level ASL instructor time expenditure per week:
02.0 hours: Walking to, setting up, and taking down classroom
12.0 hours: Teaching
01.0 hours After class student walk-up time (4 classes per week meeting twice a week)
03.0 hours: Office hours
02.0 hours: Student advising beyond office hours (can be much higher).
04.0 hours: Grading assignments / recording grades / reporting grades
01.0 hours: Retention / Tenure / Promotion record keeping (do this or you will be out of a job later)
02.0 hours: Public relations (interactions with coworkers and administrators) (politics)
07.0 hours: Processing and responding to work email (for many this is more like 20 hours per week)
04.0 hours: Preparing lessons (depends on if you are new or have been teaching for a while)
02.0 hours: Attending committee and other meetings (varies widely)
Total: 40 hours per week
The above time amounts are actually rather conservative. Some teachers invest a lot more time each week. In general though you can figure 32 weeks times 40 hours per week--which equals 1,280 hours per year. $50,000.00 divided by 1,280 hours equals around $39 an hour (or $39.0625).
So, it would not be far-fetched to suggest that if you were to gain employment as a college ASL instructor you might find yourself putting in 40 hours a week, 32 weeks a year, at approximately $40 an hour. If you teach extra classes during summers and interim sessions or teach for two different universities at the same time (full-time for one, part-time for another) you could supplement this amount substantially. If your are involved in curriculum development, setting up a new program, advising a club, preparing a tenure review file, serving as a program coordinator, serving on multiple committees, preparing an accreditation report, or redesigning your courses to integrate with an online course management system -- your pay per hour that semester could be close to or even below minimum wage.
Remember, the actual number of hours and the rate of pay is going to vary widely from region to region and from teacher to teacher.
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