Professor, Postsecondary / Higher Education Salary
Professors in the United States tend to have a good amount of experience under their belt — over three-fourths have more than 10 years in the field. While pay runs from $49K to $154K per year, median earnings come to $84K annually. The specific employer is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography and years of experience. Work is enjoyable for Professors, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. Medical benefits are awarded to nearly all, and a strong majority earn dental coverage. Male Professors are just a bit more common among those who completed the questionnaire than females ones, with male workers composing 58 percent of the field. The numbers in this rundown were provided by PayScale's salary survey participants.
Job Description for Professor, Postsecondary / Higher Education
The job of a professor at the postsecondary or higher education level involves not only lecturing and teaching students in the classroom, but working with them to develop research, dissertations, or thesis-based papers as well. A professor also must be able to perform research, collect and analyze data, and examine original documents, literature, and other source material.Read More...
In the classroom, a professor must be able to effectively present or guide lectures, exercises, and sometimes laboratory experiments. He/She must also grade exams and papers, as well as work well with students.
A professor typically works indoors in a classroom, lab and/or office setting at a college or university. He/She often works alone, but may also work with a teaching assistant or aide depending upon the size and difficulty of the class. The job of a professor often is not physically demanding; however, it is very mentally challenging. He/She must be have full mastery of his/her specialized subject material, as well as be able to field any questions posited by their students. In addition, a professor must keep with the newest developments in his/her field.
The education requirements are lengthy, involving both high school and college education, typically including a graduate-level degree. Professors' work mainly includes regular business hours; however, additional research, grading, and office hours often may take place during off-hours.
Professor, Postsecondary / Higher Education Tasks
- Perform research to expand knowledge by performing experiments, collecting and analyzing data, or examining original documents, literature, and other source material.
- Keep up with developments in an academic field.
- Supervise graduate students' teaching and research.
- Publish research findings.
- Prepare lectures, exercises and laboratory experiments; grade exams and papers; advise and work with students individually.
Common Career Paths for Professor, Postsecondary / Higher Education
While Professors do not often become Chairmans, the job pays $149K per year on average. Professors go on to become College Department Chairs more often than anything even though median pay for the role is $80K. Professors who move into a Dean of Graduate Studies role, another well-traveled path for those in this field, tend to find salaries of $107K.
Professor, Postsecondary / Higher Education Job Listings
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Popular Employer Salaries for Professor, Postsecondary / Higher Education
Professors flock to University of Washington (UW), Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), University of California, San Diego (UCSD), University of Southern California (USC), and Cornell University, highly regarded companies that employ a generous number of people in this profession. North Carolina State University (NCSU) leads the field in terms of pay, with a median salary of $161K. Other leaders in compensation levels are University of Southern California (USC) at $156K, Arizona State University (ASU) at $141K, and Emory University, where Professors annually earn $140K.
Less than half of the top paying company's rate, Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) offers a median salary of just $77K, consistently last on the pay scale ladder by far. Others at the bottom of the scale for this job include University of Florida (UF) at $89K, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical (A&M) University (famu) at $90K, and San Diego State University (SDSU), where $95K is the norm.
Popular Skills for Professor, Postsecondary / Higher Education
Professors report using a large range of skills on the job. Most notably, facility with Engineering Design, Clinical Research, and Research are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 44 percent, 40 percent, and 30 percent, respectively. Those listing Mathematica as a skill should be prepared for drastically lower pay. Online Education and Public Speaking also typically command lower compensation. The majority of those who know Oral / Verbal Communication also know Writing Procedures & Documentation and Administration. Those who learned Research Analysis also tend to know Administration and Writing Procedures & Documentation.
Pay by Experience Level for Professor, Postsecondary / Higher Education
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
In general, experience and pay appear to be strongly linked; those with more experience usually bring in higher incomes. People who have worked for fewer than five years earn around $60K, and folks with five to 10 years of experience see a modestly higher median of $70K. Professors see a median salary of $85K after reaching one to two decades on the job. Survey participants who have worked for more than two decades report bringing in $100K on average.
Pay Difference by Location
Surpassing the national average by 52 percent, Professors in Berkeley receive some of the highest pay in the country. Professors can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Boston (+34 percent), Los Angeles (+29 percent), Seattle (+23 percent), and Indianapolis (+22 percent). The lowest-paying market is Fort Lauderdale, which sits 20 percent below the national average, proving that location is a significant contributor to overall pay. Two other places where employers offer below-median salaries are Houston (7 percent less) and Dallas (5 percent less).
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Key Stats for Professor, Postsecondary / Higher Education
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