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Professor, Postsecondary / Higher Education Salary

Four in five of Professors in the United States are seasoned employees who have more than 10 years of experience in the field. Pay ranges from $49K to $155K per year, and the average comes out to $87K annually. The most important factor affecting compensation for this group is the specific employer, followed by geography and experience level. Most Professors report high levels of job satisfaction. Medical benefits are awarded to nearly all, and the larger part earn dental coverage. Most people who answered the questionnaire are men; 65 percent of Professors are male. This snapshot results from replies to PayScale's salary survey.

$49,179 - $153,618
(Median)
$49K
$87K
$150K
MEDIAN: $87,335
10%
50%
90%

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$16.21 - $73.97
(Median)
$16
$33
$74
MEDIAN: $32.00
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
$49,179 - $153,618  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $12,533  
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).
)
$49,130 - $155,480  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 1 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 3,310
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
$16.21 - $73.97  
   
Overtime
$0.00 - $104.56  
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 - $12,533  
   
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).
)
$49,130 - $155,480  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 1 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 71

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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 who go on to become Chairmans may see their salaries climb quite a bit. Median pay for Chairmans is $146K annually. Going from Professor to Dean of Graduate Studies is the transition that occurs most often in this field, where the paychecks are $107K. Many others choose to work as College Department Chairs, where pay is typically $76K.

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 all popular places to work. Employees of University of Southern California (USC) can expect to make the most, with the company offering a median salary of $156K; however, pay is widely dispersed from bottom to top, ranging from $109K to $325K. Other employers shelling out big bucks include University of Washington (UW), Arizona State University (ASU), and Emory University, where Professors typically earn around $141K, $141K, or $140K, respectively.

The smallest paychecks in the field are found at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), where the median salary is a mere $77K, less than half of the top paying company's rate. Florida Agricultural and Mechanical (A&M) University (famu), San Diego State University (SDSU), and New York University (NYU) are a few other employers known for handing out relatively lightweight salaries ($90K, $95K, and $99K respectively).

Popular Skills for Professor, Postsecondary / Higher Education


Professors report using 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 38 percent, 36 percent, and 24 percent, respectively. Those listing Mathematica as a skill should be prepared for drastically lower pay. Counseling and Online Education also typically command lower compensation. A tool kit that includes Research Analysis also typically contains Administration and Writing Procedures & Documentation. It is often found that people who know Oral / Verbal Communication are also skilled in 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 who reported more years of relevant experience also reported higher earnings. Workers with less than five years' experience earn around $57K on average, and those who have five to 10 years under their belts see a higher median salary of $68K. Professors claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $87K. Professors who surpass 20 years on the job report pay that isn't as high as one would expect; the median compensation for this crowd sits around $101K.

Pay Difference by Location


Professors will find that Los Angeles offers an impressive pay rate, one which exceeds the national average by 38 percent. Professors can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Seattle (+27 percent), Philadelphia (+24 percent), Boston (+24 percent), and San Diego (+20 percent). With compensation 16 percent below the national average, Savannah is not known for hefty paychecks and actually represents the lowest-paying market. A couple other locations with smaller-than-average paychecks include Miami and Houston (8 percent lower).

Related Job Salaries

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Experience Affects Professor, Postsecondary / Higher Education Salaries



National Average
$87,000



Skills That Affect Professor, Postsecondary / Higher Education Salaries

Engineering Design
up arrow 38%





Statistical Analysis
up arrow 14%

National Average
$87,000

Oral / Verbal Communication
up arrow 2%

Curriculum Planning
up arrow 2%

Writing Procedures & Documentation
up arrow 2%

Research
up arrow 2%

Teaching
up arrow 11%

Online Education
up arrow 15%

Public Speaking
up arrow 15%

Mathematica
up arrow 30%

Counseling
up arrow 30%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 810 votes.

Gender

Female
35 %
Male
65 %

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: 51% employee benefits None: 6%