Professor, Postsecondary / Higher Education Salary

The majority of Professors in the United States — four-fifths — boast more than 10 years of experience in their profession. Salaries stretch from $50K to $155K per year, and the median is $88K per year. While the particular city and tenure impact pay for this group, the specific employer is the most influential factor. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. Medical benefits are awarded to almost all, and a majority earn dental coverage. Men make up the majority of Professors (64 percent) survey respondents. This report is based on responses to the PayScale salary survey.

$49,629 - $153,648
(Median)
$50K
$88K
$150K
MEDIAN: $88,127
10%
50%
90%

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$16.94 - $72.72
(Median)
$17
$33
$73
MEDIAN: $33.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$60K$120K$180K
Salary
$49,629 - $153,648  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $13,177  
Profit Sharing
$-0.50 - $14,899  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$49,567 - $155,306  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 3,313
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50$100$150
Hourly Rate
$16.94 - $72.72  
   
Overtime
$0.00 - $110.00  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$100K$200K$300K
Bonus
$0.00 - $13,177  
   
Profit Sharing
$-0.50 - $14,899  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$49,567 - $155,306  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 73
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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.

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Professor, Postsecondary / Higher Education Tasks

  • Publish research findings.
  • Prepare lectures, exercises and laboratory experiments; grade exams and papers; advise and work with students individually.
  • Supervise graduate students' teaching and research.
  • 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.

Common Career Paths for Professor, Postsecondary / Higher Education


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Professors may progress into high-paying roles like Chairman, where median compensation is $148K annually. With an annual salary of $107K, Dean of Graduate Studies is the most common role for Professors to subsequently assume on their way up the ladder. Transitioning into a College Department Chair role — which usually pays $76K — is also typical for Professors, though less common by comparison.

Professor, Postsecondary / Higher Education Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Professor, Postsecondary / Higher Education


University of California, San Diego (UCSD), University of Minnesota, Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), University of Southern California (USC), and University of Washington (UW) are top-notch employers for Professors in this area. Although University of Southern California (USC) leads the field in pay with a median salary of $156K, employees there receive a wide spread of salaries, from $109K on the low end all the way up to $325K at the top. Other big spenders include Arizona State University (ASU), University of California, San Diego (UCSD), and University of Washington (UW), top-paying firms where Professors see paychecks nearing $146K, $141K, or $141K.

Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) employees cannot expect much in terms of compensation — the median salary amounts to only $77K, less than half of the top paying employer's rate. Workers at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical (A&M) University (famu), San Diego State University (SDSU), and New York University (NYU) also face smaller salaries than the rest of the field — average earnings for these employers come to $90K, $95K, and $99K respectively.

Popular Skills for Professor, Postsecondary / Higher Education


Professors seem to exploit a large range of skills on the job. Most notably, facility with Engineering Design, Molecular Biology, and Clinical Research are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 37 percent, 34 percent, and 23 percent, respectively. Those listing Mathematica as a skill should be prepared for drastically lower pay. Counseling and Online Education also typically command lower compensation. Most people who know Research Analysis also know Administration and Writing Procedures & Documentation. Most people experienced in Oral / Verbal Communication also know Writing Procedures & Documentation and Administration.

Pay by Experience Level for Professor, Postsecondary / Higher Education

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


Professors with a lot of experience tend to enjoy higher earnings. Average salaries for inexperienced employees average out to around $59K, but folks who have five to 10 years of experience earn a higher median of $69K. For Professors, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $87K. Individuals who have achieved more than 20 years of experience don't seem to earn much more than people who have 10 to 20 years under their belts; the more senior group reports an average income of $101K.

Pay Difference by Location


For those looking to make money, Professors in Los Angeles enjoy an exceptional pay rate, 36 percent above the national average. Professors will also find cushy salaries in Seattle (+31 percent), Philadelphia (+26 percent), Boston (+26 percent), and Columbus (+22 percent). The smallest paychecks in the market, 19 percent south of the national average, can be found in Savannah. A couple other locations with smaller-than-average paychecks include Miami (10 percent lower) and Houston (8 percent lower).

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Experience Affects Professor, Postsecondary / Higher Education Salaries


National Average
$88,000




Skills That Affect Professor, Postsecondary / Higher Education Salaries

Engineering Design
up arrow 37%



Statistical Analysis
up arrow 19%



National Average
$88,000

Oral / Verbal Communication
up arrow 4%

Writing Procedures & Documentation
up arrow 4%


Research
up arrow 5%

Teaching
up arrow 10%

Online Education
up arrow 16%

Public Speaking
up arrow 16%

Counseling
up arrow 30%

Mathematica
up arrow 31%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 728 votes.

Gender

Female
36 %
Male
64 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
2%
1-4 years
10%
5-9 years
9%
10-19 years
30%
20 years or more
49%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 92% dental benefits Dental: 69%
vision benefits Vision: 52% employee benefits None: 6%
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