Professor, Postsecondary / Higher Education Salary

Close to four-fifths of Professors in the United States have been in the field for more than 10 years. Pay can fall anywhere from $50K to $158K per year, but median earnings come to around $89K per year. The most influential factor affecting pay for this group is the specific employer, though the particular city and experience level have a (lesser) impact as well. Almost all enjoy medical while a fair number get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to just over a half. Men account for the majority of Professors who responded to the questionnaire — 64 percent to be exact. The majority of Professors claim high levels of job satisfaction. The numbers in this rundown were provided by PayScale's salary survey participants.

$50,416 - $155,909
(Median)
$50K
$89K
$160K
MEDIAN: $89,005
10%
50%
90%

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$16.42 - $87.43
(Median)
$16
$34
$87
MEDIAN: $33.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$60K$120K$180K
Salary
$50,416 - $155,909  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $12,408  
Profit Sharing
$0.00 - $15,205  
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).
)
$50,219 - $158,271  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 3,505
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$50$100$150
Hourly Rate
$16.42 - $87.43  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.03  
Overtime
$0.00 - $132.77  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$100K$200K$300K
Bonus
$0.00 - $12,408  
   
Profit Sharing
$0.00 - $15,205  
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).
)
$50,219 - $158,271  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 84
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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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At the upper end, Professors who move into a Chairman role can end up with a hefty increase in pay. The average income for Chairmans is a much higher $148K per year. Professors go on to become College Department Chairs more often than anything even though median pay for the role is $77K. 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


University of Minnesota, University of Washington (UW), Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), University of California, San Diego (UCSD), and University of Southern California (USC) are all popular places to work. University of Southern California (USC) does shell out the biggest paychecks — the median in that office is $156K — but the company pay scale is greatly mixed, meaning that workers on the low end may earn only $109K while workers on the upper end may rake in up to $325K. Other big spenders include Arizona State University (ASU), Emory University, and University of California, San Diego (UCSD), top-paying firms where Professors see paychecks nearing $141K, $140K, or $139K.

Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) reports the lowest median salary in the area by far — it's only $77K, less than half of the top paying employer's rate. Workers also receive paychecks lighter than average at Indiana University (IU), Bloomington ($90K), San Diego State University (SDSU) ($95K), and New York University (NYU) ($99K).

Popular Skills for Professor, Postsecondary / Higher Education


Survey results imply that Professors deploy a deep pool of skills on the job. Most notably, facility with Engineering Design, People Management, and Molecular Biology are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 36 percent, 33 percent, and 27 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. Most people who know Research Analysis also know 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.


For many Professors, more experience generally translates to higher pay. Workers with less than five years' experience earn around $59K on average, and those who have five to 10 years under their belts see a higher median salary of $70K. Professors with one to two decades of relevant experience report an average salary of approximately $88K. People who have worked for more than 20 years report a median income of $101K, which is barely higher than the median for folks with 10 to 20 years of experience.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $88,976

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

With a pay rate for Professors that is 35 percent greater than the national average, Los Angeles offers a comfortable salary for those in this profession. Professors will also find cushy salaries in Seattle (+25 percent), Columbus (+25 percent), Boston (+21 percent), and Philadelphia (+19 percent). One of the biggest compensable factors for Professors is geography, with workers in Dallas earning a whopping 22 percent below the national average. A couple other locations with smaller-than-average paychecks include Miami (5 percent lower) and Houston (1 percent lower).

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Experience Affects Professor, Postsecondary / Higher Education Salaries


National Average
$89,000




Skills That Affect Professor, Postsecondary / Higher Education Salaries

Engineering Design
up arrow 36%

People Management
up arrow 33%



Statistical Analysis
up arrow 18%



Research
up arrow 8%

National Average
$89,000

Teaching
up arrow 3%




Public Speaking
up arrow 16%

Online Education
up arrow 17%

Mathematica
up arrow 31%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 703 votes.

Gender

Female
36 %
Male
64 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
2%
1-4 years
10%
5-9 years
8%
10-19 years
30%
20 years or more
50%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 93%
dental benefits
Dental: 71%
medical benefits
Vision: 54%
dental benefits
None: 5%
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