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The other Marcus

I think it is common for the first paycheck not to come until 1 month into the contract, rather than 2 weeks in (even if you otherwise get paid every 2 weeks).

In my case, HR forgot to "activate" me in the system, so while I was supposed to get my first paycheck about a month into the contract, I didn't get it until a week or 2 after that!

Suffice to say, be prepared to have no income coming in for a bit. Hopefully you have the savings to cover rent and security deposit, etc.


There are some state school systems where the first paycheck does not come for six weeks. So If you start in Sept 1, then you get your first check in mid Oct, even though classes begin in mid- August


It can be anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks after your contract starts. I agree with the above that one month is more common. Sadly, there are various bureaucratic and technical reasons that things can be delayed. But if you have a postdoc I would just write to the finance department and ask them. If this was a TT job, then asking for summer pay in negotiation is a possibility. You can ask them if any summer teaching opportunities are available.


SSHRC allows you to request your first payment on a particular date (with some paperwork); otherwise, it defaults to Sept. 1. You're paid half your salary on the first date, the other half on the second (usually Jan. 1).

Adjunct H

I know at my university the postdocs are paid monthly, just like faculty and grad students. Even worse, our payday is the last weekday of the month and all salaried employees only get a partial check if they start after August 1, so it takes until the end of September to get a full paycheck.

Trevor Hedberg

To echo what others have said, it varies depending on the HR system. At the University of South Florida, I didn't get my first check until mid-September because my August 6th official start date was after the deadline to receive paychecks in August. At Ohio State (which pays monthly rather than every 2 weeks), I officially started on July 1st and received my paycheck on July 31st. So Amanda's estimate of 2-6 weeks past the start date seems right.

Filippo Contesi

Actually, my sense is that the question PhDsoon was asking in the original thread was mostly about the "how long does it take to find the first postdoc or substantial job" issue; i.e. the question StillAPhDstudent asked immediately afterwards

PhD Teaching Casually For Bread

I'm with Filippo: all the comments so far fail to address the question that PhDsoon was pretty clearly asking!


If the question is to be understand as Filippo and the last comment suggest, then the person asking the question in the first place is in the bets position to answer. Looking at the people who were ahead of them in the PhD program they were in, how long did it take to get a job or post-doc? Asking more generally seems uninformative. People at Harvard may generally walk into their first position, seamlessly. But I doubt that is the case for many lower ranked and unranked programs.


I did read the original question the way Filippo did. But if this is the correct read, it is a bit of an odd question. The question really shouldn't be when someone gets "paid," but when someone gets their first job. And it then depends on what you mean by first job. Many people pick up adjunct gigs after graduating. Dos that count for what the reviewer was looking for? I know there has been studies on time to first TT job, but if the author wanted to include non-TT jobs then the answer would be much different. Also, I agree with "Job" that even if we did have a general number, it varies so much by circumstance that those numbers would not be informative.

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