Is the Price Right?

In today’s tight economy, more people are applying for fewer positions, especially those seeking to continue their academic career or to transition to find their first academic position and start their career over.

As a candidate applying for an academic position, what can you do to make sure the position you are applying for, is a position that offers the compensation package you are willing to accept?

To start off your academic career hunt, review the school’s web site and see if they publish their salary schedule. Although many do not make this public knowledge, some maybe required to do so.

After checking this, do a search to learn if there are salary surveys available on the Internet.  These surveys are helpful guidelines if you are entering this is your first academic position or perhaps you are moving from one area to another.

A third method is to contact people working in a similar position, hopefully at the same school and learn about their salary structure. Networking through professional organizations, LinkedIn, and other social media resources can help you learn more about the school, it’s work environment and compensation package.

As you evaluate salaries, you must evaluate expected responsibilities of the position. Will this academic position require you to work from 9 – 5 or will you be assigned an early morning class, an afternoon class and an evening class all on the same day? Will you be expected to teach at multiple campuses? Does this academic position require that you work only 40 hours a week, or do you work until the job is completed?

When considering a new academic position, remember your starting salary and benefits package is the foundation of your future academic career, so make sure you understand how competitive the package  is and what the school expects from you to earn this compensation.

Rich Gerstin is the founder of The Asheforde Group and is the head of math department at Brown Mackie College, Atlanta.

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