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Average Professor Salary -

2023 average professor salary by state.

  • Rhode Island has the highest Professor salary of $123,318 and Kansas has the lowest Professor salary of $69,107.
  • For public schools, California has the highest Professor salary of $140,351 and Kentucky has the lowest Professor salary of $70,177.
  • For private schools, Rhode Island has the highest Professor salary of $127,511 and New Mexico has the lowest Professor salary of $43,256.
  • For national universities, New Hampshire has the highest Professor salary of $183,583 and Mississippi has the lowest Professor salary of $89,482.
  • For liberal arts colleges, Colorado has the highest Professor salary of $142,287 and Idaho has the lowest Professor salary of $41,379.
  • For community colleges, Hawaii has the highest Professor salary of $103,412 and North Carolina has the lowest Professor salary of $52,974.

Comparison of 2023 Professor Salary by State

Average Professor Salary
StateAll CollegesPublic SchoolsPrivate SchoolsNational UniversitiesLiberal Arts CollegesCommunity Colleges
$86,724
1.33%
$106,773
3.27%
$69,181
2.84%
$125,006
3.15%
$52,552
15.70%
-
$92,321
0.11%
$98,734
0.04%
$73,081
0.72%
$105,207
0.70%
--
$88,319
4.36%
$110,591
0.62%
$74,146
6.11%
$129,724
0.63%
-$76,154
2.94%
$70,470
2.15%
$74,741
2.03%
$62,703
2.40%
$96,582
1.73%
$68,948
1.48%
$57,751
0.73%
$110,675
5.60%
$140,351
6.43%
$100,783
4.55%
$150,803
6.39%
$124,685
7.90%
$97,680
3.32%
$89,647
1.40%
$92,996
1.59%
$83,560
1.03%
$123,811
0.02%
$142,287
4.25%
$65,489
8.90%
$105,765
2.92%
$100,340
4.21%
$111,509
1.72%
$143,338
6.63%
$136,347
0.90%
$93,423
7.84%
$101,339
7.20%
$126,682
1.23%
$84,445
13.91%
$136,679
14.20%
--
$115,222
2.87%
$100,172
13.51%
$116,297
4.08%
$160,794
6.07%
--
$79,134
2.47%
$92,158
1.38%
$72,157
3.79%
$119,118
3.88%
$87,801
4.58%
$72,841
2.57%
$80,483
1.67%
$88,934
8.60%
$74,088
3.68%
$117,556
4.28%
$77,523
0.38%
$88,863
0.34%
$107,437
2.25%
$110,274
2.60%
$97,982
0.99%
$131,462
3.08%
-$103,412
2.21%
$75,994
3.66%
$84,509
3.75%
$61,094
3.45%
$103,785
3.10%
$41,379
7.13%
$67,284
4.02%
$93,779
1.75%
$96,739
0.81%
$91,821
3.46%
$128,619
1.73%
$81,973
1.23%
$90,680
1.84%
$83,695
3.68%
$92,454
1.81%
$79,941
4.47%
$111,480
5.03%
$84,400
5.93%
$66,089
4.16%
$79,433
3.76%
$87,234
3.16%
$76,752
4.00%
$108,730
7.02%
$88,357
3.06%
$71,998
2.91%
$69,107
2.02%
$78,667
2.74%
$61,458
1.30%
$104,508
3.80%
-$62,763
0.39%
$70,855
2.84%
$70,177
0.38%
$71,481
5.95%
$93,773
5.24%
$90,149
29.27%
$58,604
3.68%
$82,706
6.10%
$81,912
6.03%
$84,478
6.09%
$108,043
3.29%
$80,686
7.19%
$64,529
6.82%
$99,035
6.84%
$95,654
7.05%
$101,186
6.48%
$107,225
5.54%
$134,193
3.92%
$76,493
13.28%
$94,361
4.86%
$99,090
6.57%
$84,904
1.60%
$134,780
4.61%
$92,980
6.35%
$81,163
5.33%
$108,299
3.88%
$95,244
2.96%
$114,145
4.30%
$153,723
4.01%
$123,928
4.95%
$72,449
0.52%
$89,474
2.35%
$105,914
3.03%
$76,322
2.11%
$123,239
3.00%
$82,062
0.78%
$89,969
3.06%
$88,005
1.87%
$105,513
3.87%
$80,501
0.38%
$99,720
4.23%
$99,420
2.86%
-
$75,716
1.56%
$87,934
3.43%
$63,498
0.93%
$89,482
1.12%
$60,491
4.86%
-
$77,488
2.57%
$84,126
1.85%
$74,643
2.92%
$118,539
1.42%
$67,236
4.85%
$71,094
3.47%
$77,496
7.37%
$81,280
0.63%
$68,667
20.20%
$95,732
2.37%
-$57,158
12.31%
$81,488
0.84%
$102,924
2.40%
$70,771
0.26%
$120,388
2.95%
--
$97,527
3.48%
$99,388
2.23%
$93,186
6.74%
$135,527
2.18%
--
$94,084
3.92%
$91,930
3.44%
$97,314
4.62%
$183,583
8.25%
$88,884
1.50%
$70,087
3.71%
$105,293
1.36%
$110,172
3.29%
$99,194
1.05%
$163,994
4.38%
$91,741
7.08%
$87,089
1.90%
$79,743
8.49%
$81,567
8.65%
$43,256
0.92%
$117,559
7.55%
-$73,237
10.38%
$101,907
1.59%
$102,353
1.56%
$101,599
1.61%
$145,407
2.33%
$121,924
2.55%
$89,266
1.58%
$81,534
4.08%
$103,682
6.47%
$72,977
2.81%
$117,484
4.99%
$84,177
2.38%
$52,974
4.20%
$77,855
2.05%
$80,267
1.30%
$69,010
5.40%
$105,146
1.36%
-$69,040
0.90%
$86,040
3.78%
$95,363
3.20%
$77,681
4.20%
$116,082
3.47%
$99,353
4.62%
$78,701
3.05%
$72,052
1.03%
$73,171
1.07%
$69,813
1.27%
$114,824
2.27%
$49,852
18.29%
$55,655
3.40%
$95,008
5.82%
$112,658
4.08%
$83,976
6.40%
$115,352
3.44%
$110,350
7.81%
$83,438
3.12%
$95,937
3.31%
$103,767
4.48%
$91,533
1.24%
$124,156
1.33%
$104,586
0.50%
$76,320
1.40%
$123,318
2.13%
$109,343
2.97%
$127,511
1.92%
$167,409
6.38%
-$81,617
1.31%
$80,818
3.07%
$94,469
3.98%
$70,728
2.81%
$115,201
6.66%
$91,319
3.77%
$73,932
4.16%
$87,093
7.88%
$100,418
4.80%
$71,547
13.32%
$108,958
5.36%
--
$78,397
1.54%
$87,710
4.20%
$72,516
0.24%
$107,924
4.64%
$83,837
8.43%
$73,154
4.23%
$90,944
3.73%
$94,680
2.58%
$85,504
5.25%
$120,455
2.39%
$102,376
1.78%
$68,358
3.88%
$102,196
10.34%
$102,512
4.58%
$101,566
20.95%
$139,992
4.51%
-$83,443
5.44%
$89,025
2.57%
$88,497
1.51%
$89,288
3.13%
$126,090
0.31%
$121,805
5.37%
-
$87,653
2.70%
$95,542
4.81%
$79,557
0.02%
$110,942
1.31%
$92,232
3.48%
$76,708
5.46%
$94,884
2.77%
$123,607
2.09%
$82,118
3.23%
$117,549
1.38%
$113,749
1.20%
-
$71,032
1.13%
$74,931
0.61%
$63,233
4.59%
$95,520
1.94%
$58,413
2.05%
$68,200
1.00%
$83,677
2.75%
$91,014
3.85%
$79,862
2.11%
$104,096
5.65%
$91,649
5.82%
-
$80,869
8.79%
$80,869
8.79%
-$120,914
3.72%
-$70,858
11.11%
Average$90,674
3.09%
$96,226
3.41%
$86,409
2.71%
$125,424
3.45%
$98,627
2.81%
$77,283
2.58%

PhD, Professor, and Postdoc Salaries in the United States

The United States is home to several of the world’s best universities making it a top destination for international researchers. Here’s a breakdown of the most common American job titles and their associated average annual salaries. All salary statistics in this article are in American Dollars (USD) and are pre-tax.

PhD Student

A Master’s degree is not always required to do a PhD in the US. Several top universities offer direct entry PhD programs. An American PhD begins with two to three years of coursework in order to pass qualifying exams. During this time doctoral students are able to develop their research interests and hone in on their thesis topic. They will then write a thesis proposal which must be approved before they can start their dissertation. Most programs require PhD students to gain two to three years of teaching experience as well, either by leading their own class or as teaching assistants for a professor. It takes an average of six years to earn a PhD in the US.

Unlike some European countries, there is no mandated minimum salary or national salary scale for PhD students in the US. PhD students ear n between $ 15,000 and $30,000 a year depending on their institution, field of study, and location. This stipend can be tax-free (if it is a fellowship award) or taxable (if it is a salary e.g from a teaching position). American PhD students are usually only paid for nine months of the year but many programs offer summer funding opportunities. A PhD funding package will also include a full or partial tuition waiver.

After earning a PhD, many researchers go on to a postdoc. A postdoc is a continuation of the researcher’s training that allows them to further specialize in a particular field and learn new techniques. Postdoc positions are usually two to three years and it is not unusual to do more than one postdoc. There is no limit on the number of years you can be a postdoc in the US. The average salary (2023 ) for postdocs in the US is $61,143 per year.

A lecturer is a non-tenure-track teaching position. They often have a higher teaching load than tenure track-faculty and no research obligations. These positions are more common in the humanities or as foreign language instructors. Lecturers hold advanced degrees, though not always PhDs. The average salary for a full time lecturer in 2021-2022 according to the American Association of University Professors was $69,499.

Assistant Professor

This is the start of the tenure track. An assistant professor is responsible for teaching, research, and service to the institution (committee membership). Assistant professors typically teach two to four courses per semester while also supervising graduate students. They are also expected to be active researchers and publish books, monographs, papers, and journal articles to meet their tenure requirements. The average salary for assistant professors in 2021-2022 was $85,063 according to the American Association of University Professors . 

Associate Professor

An assistant professor who has been granted tenure is then promoted to an associate professor. An associate professor often has a national reputation and is involved in service activities beyond their university. The average salary for associate professors in 2021-2022 was $97,734 according to the American Association of University Professors . 

This is the final destination of the tenure track. Five to seven years after receiving tenure, associate professors go through another review. If they are successful, they are promoted to the rank of professor (sometimes called full professor). Professors usually have a record of accomplishment that has established them as an international or national leader in their field. The average salary for professors in 2021-2022 according to the American Association of University Professors was $143,823. 

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2020-21 faculty compensation survey results.

Data collection for the AAUP’s 2020–21 Faculty Compensation Survey concluded in March, with 929 US colleges and universities providing employment data for nearly 380,000 full-time faculty members as well as senior administrators at nearly 600 institutions. In addition to full-time faculty employment data, institutions reported data for over 100,000 part-time faculty members who were employed in the prior academic year (2019–20). Data on part-time faculty were collected for the prior academic year, 2019–20, to ensure that institutions could provide complete data records.

The survey found that real wages for full-time faculty decreased for the first time since the Great Recession, and average wage growth for all ranks of full-time faculty was the lowest since the AAUP began tracking annual wage growth in 1972. After adjusting for inflation, real wages decreased at over two-thirds of colleges and universities. The number of full-time faculty decreased at over half of institutions.

To understand the ways in which institutions responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, the AAUP also asked participating institutions to identify how many faculty members–both tenure-line and non-tenure-track–were impacted by actions taken by institutions. US colleges and universities have taken a wide range of actions in response to financial difficulties stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. At a time when many institutions were already struggling to balance their budgets, many lowered their expenditures by implementing hiring freezes, salary cuts, fringe benefit cuts, furloughs, and layoffs. The results of the AAUP’s 2020–21 Faculty Compensation Survey highlight the prevalence of such actions and how they have affected faculty members.

Key Findings on Full-time Faculty Salary Data

  • Average salaries increased 1.0 percent. This is the smallest increase on record since the AAUP began tracking this measure in 1972.
  • After adjusting for inflation, real average salaries decreased 0.4 percent. After adjusting for inflation (the Consumer Price Index, or CPI, increased 1.4 percent in 2020), real wages decreased for the first time since the 2011–12 academic year.
  • For doctoral institutions, average salaries increased 0.6 percent. After adjusting for inflation, real wages decreased 0.8 percent at doctoral institutions.
  • For master’s and baccalaureate institutions, average salaries increased 0.8 percent and 0.1 percent, respectively. After adjusting for inflation, real wages decreased 0.6 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively.
  • For associate’s institutions with faculty ranking systems, average salaries increased 1.7 percent, an increase of 0.3 percent in real terms. For associate’s institutions without faculty ranking systems, average salaries decreased 2.7 percent, a decrease of 4.1 percent after adjusting for inflation.
  • Average salaries decreased at 42 percent of colleges and universities surveyed. Real wages decreased at 68 percent of colleges and universities after adjusting for inflation.
  • Average salary growth varied by institutional control and religious affiliation. Average salaries increased 1.1 percent among public and private religiously affiliated colleges and universities, while average salaries among private independent institutions increased 0.2 percent.

Key Findings on Institutions' Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic

  • Nearly 60 percent implemented salary freezes or reductions.
  • About 30 percent eliminated or reduced some form of fringe benefits.
  • Over 5 percent did not reappoint or terminated contracts for at least some tenure-line faculty.
  • Over 20 percent did not renew contracts or terminated contracts for at least some non-tenure-track faculty.
  • Almost 10 percent implemented furloughs for at least some faculty.
  • Over 50 percent took some other action for tenure-line faculty. The most common action described was some type of early retirement program.
  • Almost 30 percent took some other action for non-tenure-line faculty.
  • Almost 50 percent implemented tenure-clock modifications for at least some tenure-track faculty.

Complete analyses and discussion of the impact of the COVID–19 pandemic on faculty members and other results from this year's survey will be presented in the upcoming Annual Report on the Economic Status of the Profession, to be released in May. Although part-time faculty have surely been disproportionally impacted by the COVID–19 pandemic, data on part-time faculty were collected for the prior academic year, 2019–20, thus precluding in-depth analysis of how part-time faculty have been impacted this year. In general, institutions cannot provide employment data on part-time faculty until the end of the academic year.

Key Findings on the Number of Full-time Faculty Members

The number of full-time faculty members did not change significantly from last year. However, there was considerable variation with each institution type.

  • The number of full-time faculty members decreased at 62 percent of institutions overall.
  • At 26 percent of institutions, the number of full-time faculty members decreased at least 5 percent.
  • The number of full-time faculty members decreased 0.3 percent overall.
  • There was a small increase in full-time faculty members at doctoral institutions, and more substantial decreases at all other institution types.  The number of full-time faculty members increased 0.8 percent at doctoral institutions, decreased 2.2 percent at master’s institutions, decreased 1.6 percent at baccalaureate institutions, and decreased 3.1 percent at associate’s institutions.
  • The number of full-time faculty increased very slightly at public institutions and dropped at other institution types.  The number of full-time faculty members increased 0.1 percent at public institutions, decreased 0.6 percent at private independent institutions, and decreased 2.4 percent at private religiously affiliated institutions.

The AAUP 2020–21 Faculty Compensation Survey results include two tables presenting annual full-time faculty salary growth by rank in both nominal and real terms from 1972 to the present, eighteen summary tables that allow for comparisons among different categories of colleges and universities, and three institution-specific appendices that provide average pay and benefits data for each participating institution.

Data Components Now Available:

  • Salary differences by institutional category, control, affiliation, and region. [Survey Report Tables 1, 2, 4, and 5]
  • Gender differences. [Survey Report Tables 3, 6, and 7]
  • Retirement benefits. [Survey Report Table 8]
  • Medical benefits. [Survey Report Table 9]
  • Dependent tuition benefits. [Survey Report Table 10]
  • Administrator salaries. [Survey Report Tables 11, 12, 13, and 14]
  • Part-time faculty pay (2019–20). [Survey Report Table 15]
  • Part-time faculty benefits (2019–20). [Survey Report Table 16]

Download the survey tables .

Download the appendices . (Note: appendices include corrections made following the initial data release.)

Important: The appendices are designed to be viewed as two-page spreads. In order to view the appendices as a spread, please download the PDF and reopen it after saving.

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How much does a College Professor make in the United States?

  • College Professor Salary The average College Professor salary in the United States is $169,884 as of May 28, 2024. The range for our most popular College Professor positions (listed below) typically falls between $80,792 and $258,976. Keep in mind that salary ranges can vary widely depending on many important factors, including position, education, certifications, additional skills, and the number of years you have spent in your profession. With more online, real-time compensation data than any other website, Salary.com helps you determine your exact pay target.
Job Title Salary Hourly Rate Location Date Updated
$101,268 United States May 28, 2024
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$112,164 United States May 28, 2024
$122,619 United States May 28, 2024
$113,363 United States May 28, 2024
$105,946 United States May 28, 2024
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$101,585 United States May 28, 2024
$129,995 United States May 28, 2024
  • Professor - English Teaches courses in the discipline area of English. Develops and designs curriculum plans to foster student learning, stimulate class discussions, and ensures student engagement. Provides tutoring and academic counseling to students, maintains classes related records, and assesses student coursework. Collaborates and supports colleagues regarding research interests and co-curricular activities. Typically reports to a department head. Requires a PhD or terminal degree appropriate to the field. Has considerable experience and is qualified to teach at undergraduate and graduate levels and initiates research and case studies in field of interest and may publish findings in trade journals or textbooks. Provides intellectual leadership and has made significant contributions to the field. May offer independent study opportunities and mentoring to students. Typically this individual is a leader in the field and has been published. View Professor - English Salary Alternate Job Titles :College Professor - English, University Professor - English, Professor - English Category : Education
  • Professor - History Teaches courses in the discipline area of history. Develops and designs curriculum plans to foster student learning, stimulate class discussions, and ensures student engagement. Provides tutoring and academic counseling to students, maintains classes related records, and assesses student coursework. Collaborates and supports colleagues regarding research interests and co-curricular activities. Typically reports to a department head. Requires a PhD or terminal degree appropriate to the field. Has considerable experience and is qualified to teach at undergraduate and graduate levels and initiates research and case studies in field of interest and may publish findings in trade journals or textbooks. Provides intellectual leadership and has made significant contributions to the field. May offer independent study opportunities and mentoring to students. Typically this individual is a leader in the field and has been published. View Professor - History Salary Alternate Job Titles :College Professor - History, University Professor - History, Professor - History Category : Education
  • Professor - Law Teaches courses in the discipline area of law. Develops and designs curriculum plans to foster student learning, stimulate class discussions, and ensures student engagement. Provides tutoring and academic counseling to students, maintains classes related records, and assesses student coursework. Collaborates and supports colleagues regarding research interests and co-curricular activities. Typically reports to a department head. Requires a PhD or terminal degree appropriate to the field. Has considerable experience and is qualified to teach at undergraduate and graduate levels and initiates research and case studies in field of interest and may publish findings in trade journals or textbooks. Provides intellectual leadership and has made significant contributions to the field. May offer independent study opportunities and mentoring to students. Typically this individual is a leader in the field and has been published. View Professor - Law Salary Alternate Job Titles :College Professor - Law, University Professor - Law, Professor - Law Category : Education
  • Professor - Mathematics Teaches courses in the discipline area of mathematics and statistics. Develops and designs curriculum plans to foster student learning, stimulate class discussions, and ensures student engagement. Provides tutoring and academic counseling to students, maintains classes related records, and assesses student coursework. Collaborates and supports colleagues regarding research interests and co-curricular activities. Typically reports to a department head. Requires a PhD or terminal degree appropriate to the field. Has considerable experience and is qualified to teach at undergraduate and graduate levels and initiates research and case studies in field of interest and may publish findings in trade journals or textbooks. Provides intellectual leadership and has made significant contributions to the field. May offer independent study opportunities and mentoring to students. Typically this individual is a leader in the field and has been published. View Professor - Mathematics Salary Alternate Job Titles :College Professor - Mathematics, University Professor - Mathematics, Professor - Mathematics Category : Education
  • Professor - Architecture Teaches courses in the discipline area of architecture. Develops and designs curriculum plans to foster student learning, stimulate class discussions, and ensures student engagement. Provides tutoring and academic counseling to students, maintains classes related records, and assesses student coursework. Collaborates and supports colleagues regarding research interests and co-curricular activities. Typically reports to a department head. Requires a PhD or terminal degree appropriate to the field. Has considerable experience and is qualified to teach at undergraduate and graduate levels and initiates research and case studies in field of interest and may publish findings in trade journals or textbooks. Provides intellectual leadership and has made significant contributions to the field. May offer independent study opportunities and mentoring to students. Typically this individual is a leader in the field and has been published. View Professor - Architecture Salary Alternate Job Titles :College Professor - Architecture, University Professor - Architecture, Professor - Architecture Category : Education
  • Professor - Chemistry Teaches courses in the discipline area of chemistry. Develops and designs curriculum plans to foster student learning, stimulate class discussions, and ensures student engagement. Provides tutoring and academic counseling to students, maintains classes related records, and assesses student coursework. Collaborates and supports colleagues regarding research interests and co-curricular activities. Typically reports to a department head. Requires a PhD or terminal degree appropriate to the field. Has considerable experience and is qualified to teach at undergraduate and graduate levels and initiates research and case studies in field of interest and may publish findings in trade journals or textbooks. Provides intellectual leadership and has made significant contributions to the field. May offer independent study opportunities and mentoring to students. Typically this individual is a leader in the field and has been published. View Professor - Chemistry Salary Alternate Job Titles :College Professor - Chemistry, University Professor - Chemistry, Professor - Chemistry Category : Education
  • Professor - Communication Teaches courses in the discipline area of communication. Develops and designs curriculum plans to foster student learning, stimulate class discussions, and ensures student engagement. Provides tutoring and academic counseling to students, maintains classes related records, and assesses student coursework. Collaborates and supports colleagues regarding research interests and co-curricular activities. Typically reports to a department head. Requires a PhD or terminal degree appropriate to the field. Has considerable experience and is qualified to teach at undergraduate and graduate levels and initiates research and case studies in field of interest and may publish findings in trade journals or textbooks. Provides intellectual leadership and has made significant contributions to the field. May offer independent study opportunities and mentoring to students. Typically this individual is a leader in the field and has been published. View Professor - Communication Salary Alternate Job Titles :College Professor - Communication, University Professor - Communication, Professor - Communication Category : Education
  • Professor - Dentistry Teaches courses in the discipline area of dentistry. Develops and designs curriculum plans to foster student learning, stimulate class discussions, and ensures student engagement. Provides tutoring and academic counseling to students, maintains classes related records, and assesses student coursework. Collaborates and supports colleagues regarding research interests and co-curricular activities. Typically reports to a department head. Requires a PhD or terminal degree appropriate to the field. Has considerable experience and is qualified to teach at undergraduate and graduate levels and initiates research and case studies in field of interest and may publish findings in trade journals or textbooks. Provides intellectual leadership and has made significant contributions to the field. May offer independent study opportunities and mentoring to students. Typically this individual is a leader in the field and has been published. View Professor - Dentistry Salary Alternate Job Titles :College Professor - Dentistry, University Professor - Dentistry, Professor - Dentistry Category : Education
  • Professor - Drama Teaches courses in the discipline area of drama and theater arts. Develops and designs curriculum plans to foster student learning, stimulate class discussions, and ensures student engagement. Provides tutoring and academic counseling to students, maintains classes related records, and assesses student coursework. Collaborates and supports colleagues regarding research interests and co-curricular activities. Typically reports to a department head. Requires a PhD or terminal degree appropriate to the field. Has considerable experience and is qualified to teach at undergraduate and graduate levels and initiates research and case studies in field of interest and may publish findings in trade journals or textbooks. Provides intellectual leadership and has made significant contributions to the field. May offer independent study opportunities and mentoring to students. Typically this individual is a leader in the field and has been published. View Professor - Drama Salary Alternate Job Titles :College Professor - Drama, University Professor - Drama, Professor - Drama Category : Education
  • Professor - Economics Teaches courses in the discipline area of economics. Develops and designs curriculum plans to foster student learning, stimulate class discussions, and ensures student engagement. Provides tutoring and academic counseling to students, maintains classes related records, and assesses student coursework. Collaborates and supports colleagues regarding research interests and co-curricular activities. Typically reports to a department head. Requires a PhD or terminal degree appropriate to the field. Has considerable experience and is qualified to teach at undergraduate and graduate levels and initiates research and case studies in field of interest and may publish findings in trade journals or textbooks. Provides intellectual leadership and has made significant contributions to the field. May offer independent study opportunities and mentoring to students. Typically this individual is a leader in the field and has been published. View Professor - Economics Salary Alternate Job Titles :College Professor - Economics, University Professor - Economics, Professor - Economics Category : Education

Doctorate (PhD) Degree

Doctorate (PhD)

Doctorate (PhD) Jobs by Salary

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Degrees in the same industry as Doctorate (PhD), ranked by salary

Avg. Salary $82k — $178k

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Avg. Salary $88k — $137k

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PhD Salaries and Lifetime Earnings

PhDs employed across job sectors show impressive earning potential:

“…[T]here is strong evidence that advanced education levels continue to be associated with higher salaries. A study by the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce showed that across the fields examined, individuals with a graduate degree earned an average of 38.3% more than those with a bachelor’s degree in the same field. The expected lifetime earnings for someone without a high school degree is $973,000; with a high school diploma, $1.3 million; with a bachelor’s degree, $2.3 million; with a master’s degree, $2.7 million; and with a doctoral degree (excluding professional degrees), $3.3 million. Other data indicate that the overall unemployment rate for individuals who hold graduate degrees is far lower than for those who hold just an undergraduate degree.” - Pathways Through Graduate School and Into Careers , Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) and Educational Testing Service (ETS), pg. 3.

Average salaries by educational level and degree (data from the US Census Bureau, American Community Survey 2009-2011, courtesy of the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce):

AGRICULTURE and NATURAL RESOURCES

52000

63000

79000

83000

9385

2174

620

571

ARCHITECTURE

63000

71000

78000

73000

3597

1470

294

68

ARTS

46000

55000

65000

67000

17693

4257

579

447

BUSINESS

62000

83000

102000

94000

137905

32908

5392

1201

COMMUNICATIONS and JOURNALISM

50000

61000

84000

72000

28938

6479

1260

473

COMPUTERS and MATHEMATICS

73000

90000

90000

104000

30666

11873

986

1557

CONSUMER SERVICES and INDUSTRIAL ARTS

63000

84000

94000

83000

4204

584

65

33

EDUCATION

42000

56000

63000

73000

39185

30819

2371

1397

ENGINEERING

79000

101000

104000

107000

44297

22903

2090

3831

HEALTH

63000

77000

103000

98000

32807

9492

4073

2051

HUMANITIES and LIBERAL ARTS

47000

59000

99000

69000

38955

19013

7414

3408

LAW AND PUBLIC POLICY

52000

65000

89000

84000

14350

3049

994

192

PSYCHOLOGY and SOCIAL WORK

43000

56000

83000

78000

23192

16036

2945

2624

RECREATION

45000

58000

75000

73000

5004

1493

310

199

SCIENCE--LIFE/PHYSICAL

54000

73000

125000

89000

28075

14646

13187

9868

SOCIAL SCIENCE

57000

75000

105000

90000

32617

14167

7566

1971

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports higher earnings and lower unemployment rates for doctoral degree holders in comparison to those with master’s and bachelor’s degrees:

According to national studies, more education translates not only to higher earnings, but also higher levels of job success and job satisfaction:

“Educational attainment – the number of years a person spends in school – strongly predicts adult earnings, and also predicts health and civic engagement. Moreover, individuals with higher levels of education appear to gain more knowledge and skills on the job than do those with lower levels of education and they are able, to some extent, to transfer what they learn across occupations.” - Education for Life and Work (2012), National Research Council of the National Academies, pg. 66.

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Professor Pay Is Flat -- Again

By  Colleen Flaherty

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college phd professor salary

Faculty members may be working harder than ever, but their pay has “barely budged” in four years, according to the American Association of University Professors’ annual Faculty Compensation Survey .

Average salaries for full-time professors increased by 2.8 percent this year over last, but consumer prices grew 2.3 percent over the same period, the AAUP notes in a preliminary report on the data: “Following the Great Recession of the late 2000s, nominal salary growth remained below consumer price growth until 2015-16 and has remained flat ever since.”

By institution type, average salaries for full-time professors at doctoral institutions this year increased 2.8 percent, before adjusting for inflation. Average salaries at master’s and associate’s institutions increased 1.2 percent and 1 percent respectively, meaning that they decreased by about 1 percent when adjusted for inflation. Salaries at baccalaureate institutions increased by 2.3 percent on average, matching the annual inflation rate.

Next year will be no better, it's all but certain: already colleges and universities have announced hiring freezes and, in some cases, pay cuts to address the financial impact of the COVID-19 disruption. But the AAUP’s data, collected before that disruption, will serve as important benchmarks when institutions look at faculty pay in reassessing their budgets.

Glenn Colby, senior research officer for the AAUP, said the association continues to study how institutions have responded to past economic crises. This time around, he said, “we may be in for a rough ride,” if some of the most dire predictions about unemployment rates become reality.

In such a scenario, “many institutions will need to make adjustments to balance their budgets,” and some discussions may be framed in terms of financial exigency, Colby said.

college phd professor salary

Some colleges and universities may respond by reducing faculty salaries, Colby added, as was common during the Great Depression. Others may terminate faculty appointments or reorganize -- “hopefully following AAUP’s recommended standards and procedures .” (Few institutions actually cut nominal salaries during the Great Recession.)

In any case, he added, “this year’s results will provide some benchmarks to help characterize how institutions respond to the changing economic conditions.”

The association's more detailed report on the data is expected in May.

Variation in Pay and Benefits

Other significant, preliminary findings include those on gender. Mirroring the national overall pay gap, average faculty salaries for women were 81.4 percent of those for men. Across all institution types, male full professors make about $146,600, while female full professors make about $127,600. Among assistant professors across institution types, men make about $86,500 and women make $78,900.

“Despite shifts in distributions between men and women in terms of faculty rank, the gender pay gap has not budged over the last ten years,” the AAUP’s report notes.

Beyond gender, full-time faculty salaries vary by rank and institutional affiliation or type. The average salary for a full professor at a private doctoral university is nearly $203,000, while the salary for a full professor at a public baccalaureate college is just over $99,000.

college phd professor salary

On benefits, the AAUP found that about 97 percent of full-time professors earn contributions toward their retirement plans from their employers or state or local governments. The average expenditure is 10.7 percent of average salary.

Some 94 percent of full-time professors receive medical benefits in the form of institutional contributions to premiums for insurance plans, according to the report. The average expenditure there is 11.9 percent of the average salary.

This year’s survey includes information from 928 institutions, from community colleges to research universities. Data pertain to nearly 380,000 full-time professors and 96,000 part-time instructors, along with many senior administrators. Collection ended in February.

The AAUP’s report has included more information about part-time professor pay in recent years. Probably unsurprisingly to any adjunct, this year’s survey found that per-course pay varies widely -- but that pay was still “appallingly low.” The average rate was $2,263 per section at public associate’s degree-granting institutions to $4,620 per section at private doctoral institutions.

Most faculty members who are paid by the course do not receive either retirement or medical benefits. Some 38 percent of reporting institutions contribute to retirement plans from some or all part-timers, according to the AAUP, and 37 percent help with premiums for medical insurance plans. Adjuncts are doctoral universities are most likely to receive benefits, with 52 percent of these reporting institutions contributing to their retirement and 60 percent to medical insurance plans.

While full-time professor pay data are from 2019-20, part-time professor pay data are from 2018-19, to ensure more accurate pay records for the latter group.

Presidential pay continues to be a thorn in the AAUP’s side, as it typically outpaces growth for faculty pay across institution types. At doctoral and master’s degree-granting institutions, presidents’ salaries increased 6 percent year over year. Presidents’ pay at baccalaureate and associate’s degree-granting institutions increased by 3 percent and 9 percent, respectively. Median presidential salaries in 2019-20 range from around $230,000 for public associate’s institutions to nearly $800,000 at private, independent doctoral universities, according to the report.

“Ratios of presidents’ to full professors’ salaries range from just over three to one in public associate’s institutions to over five to one in private-independent doctoral institutions,” the AAUP notes.

college phd professor salary

Chief academic officers make about $383,000, on average, at doctoral institutions. At community colleges, they make $135,694. Pay for chief financial officers is very similar to their academic officer counterparts.

Who Earns Most, Where

In additional to its overall analysis, AAUP publishes institution-specific data each year. As usual, colleges and universities in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and West Coast make the most.

college phd professor salary

Below are lists of some of the highest-paying colleges and universities, by rank and type. All the lists look the very similar to last year's , with Columbia University offering the highest average full professor pay, the University of California system dominating the publics in terms of pay, and Barnard College being the highest-paying liberal arts college for full professors. The final list, concerning assistant professor pay, has a new No. 1, however: Babson College. Stanford University held that spot for 2018-19.

1. Columbia University

$268,400

2. Stanford University

$261,900

3. Princeton University

$255,000

4. Harvard University

$253,900

5. University of Chicago

$246,100

6. Yale University

$242,200

7. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

$240,400

8. University of Pennsylvania

$237,300

9. Duke University

$221,500

10. New York University

$221,000

1. University of California, Los Angeles

$225,000

2. University of California, Berkeley

$213,100

3. University of California, Santa Barbara

$200,200

4. Rutgers University at Newark

$192,200

5. University of California, San Diego

$191,500

6. University of California, Irvine

$189,200

7. New Jersey Institute of Technology

$187,300

8. University of Virginia

$185,100

9. University of Texas at Austin

$183,800

10. University of California, Davis

$182,600

1. Barnard College

$181,600

2. Claremont McKenna College

$177,200

3. University of Richmond

$164,200

4. Wellesley College

$162,700

5. Pomona College

$161,200

6. Wesleyan University

$160,200

7. Swarthmore College

$158,400

8. Harvey Mudd College

$157,300

9. Colgate University

$156,500

10. Williams College

$152,800

1. Babson College

$141,600

2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

$138,800

3. Stanford University

$138,800

4. Harvard University

$138,600

5. California Institute of Technology

$137,200

6. University of Pennsylvania

$136,500

7. Columbia University

$135,700

8. University of Chicago

$135,300

9. Bentley University

$128,300

10. Duke University

$123,500

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COMMENTS

  1. Average Professor Salary - Univstats

    The 2023 professor salary of U.S. colleges is increased by 3.09% from $87,957 to $90,674. At public schools, the average professor salary is $96,226, which is 3.41% higher than 2022. The private school's average salary is $86,409, a increase of 2.71%.

  2. PhD, Professor, and Postdoc Salaries in the United States

    PhD students earn between $15,000 and $30,000 a year depending on their institution, field of study, and location. This stipend can be tax-free (if it is a fellowship award) or taxable (if it is a salary e.g from a teaching position).

  3. How Much Do College Professors Make? | BestColleges

    Full college professors in the U.S. made an average of $155,056 in 2023-24. Senior-level professors at private institutions boast the highest annual earnings. Adjunct and other non-tenured faculty earn considerably less per year.

  4. How Much Do College Professors Make? - OnlineU

    The median annual salary of a college or university professor is $79,640, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, a college professor's salary will vary by geographical location, institution, the field of degree , degree level, and academic rank.

  5. 2020-21 Faculty Compensation Survey Results | AAUP

    Data collection for the AAUP’s 2020–21 Faculty Compensation Survey concluded in March, with 929 US colleges and universities providing employment data for nearly 380,000 full-time faculty members as well as senior administrators at nearly 600 institutions.

  6. College Professor Salaries by education, experience, location ...

    The average College Professor salary in the United States is $169,884 as of May 28, 2024. The range for our most popular College Professor positions (listed below) typically falls between $80,792 and $258,976.

  7. Doctorate (PhD) Salary | PayScale

    Doctorate (PhD) - Salary - Get a free salary comparison based on job title, skills, experience and education. Accurate, reliable salary and compensation comparisons for United States.

  8. PhD Salaries and Lifetime Earnings | The Graduate School

    The expected lifetime earnings for someone without a high school degree is $973,000; with a high school diploma, $1.3 million; with a bachelor’s degree, $2.3 million; with a master’s degree, $2.7 million; and with a doctoral degree (excluding professional degrees), $3.3 million.

  9. Professor pay is flat -- again - Inside Higher Ed

    The average salary for a full professor at a private doctoral university is nearly $203,000, while the salary for a full professor at a public baccalaureate college is just over $99,000.

  10. How Much Do College Professors Make? | Indeed.com

    The national average salary for college professors is $67,352 per year. In addition, the top salaries in each state are as follows: Alabama: $101,236 per year. Alaska: $71,412‬ per year. Arizona: $53,825 per year. Arkansas: $48,816 per year. California: $73,483 per year. Colorado: $77,512 per year. Connecticut: $73,104‬ per year.