Professor, Postsecondary / Higher Education Salary
With over three-fourths of Professors in the United States reporting more than 10 years of experience in the field, this area is heavily weighted toward experienced professionals. Pay ranges from $49K to $154K per year and averages out to $84K annually. The most influential factor affecting pay for this group is the particular firm, though geography and years of experience have a (lesser) impact as well. Nearly all report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a strong majority collect dental insurance. Most Professors like their work and job satisfaction is high. Women are just slightly outnumbered, with male Professors making up 57 percent of survey respondents. 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
- 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
While Professors do not often become Chairmans, the job pays $149K per year on average. Becoming a College Department Chair is, more often than not, the most common role that Professors move into when they're ready for the next step in their career. A median salary for a College Department Chair is $80K. Another frequent advance is for Professors to assume a Dean of Graduate Studies role; in this role, workers often take home $107K.
Professor, Postsecondary / Higher Education Job Listings
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Popular Employer Salaries for Professor, Postsecondary / Higher Education
Many Professors can be found at 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, firms that are at the top of the field. 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 employers shelling out big bucks include Arizona State University (ASU), Emory University, and University of California, San Diego (UCSD), where Professors typically earn around $141K, $140K, or $139K, respectively.
Known for its small paychecks, Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) actually ranks last in the field for salary, reporting a median income of $77K — less than half of the top paying company's rate. Employees at University of Florida (UF), Florida Agricultural and Mechanical (A&M) University (famu), and San Diego State University (SDSU) can also expect below-average earnings of $89K, $90K, and $95K.
Popular Skills for Professor, Postsecondary / Higher Education
Professors report using a deep pool 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, 42 percent, and 31 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. Those proficient in Research Analysis are, more often than not, also skilled in Administration and Writing Procedures & Documentation. Those educated in Oral / Verbal Communication tend to be well versed 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 with a lot of experience tend to enjoy higher earnings. Professors in the early stages of their careers take home approximately $60K on average. The average for people in the five-to-10 year group is only a little larger at $69K. After working for 10 to 20 years, Professors make a median salary of $85K. Big financial gains seem to result from working for more than two decades; veterans in this group report earning $99K on average.
Pay Difference by Location
Raleigh is home to an above-average pay rate for Professors, 41 percent higher than the national average. Professors can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Boston (+40 percent), Los Angeles (+29 percent), Seattle (+25 percent), and Philadelphia (+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. Dallas and Houston are a couple other places where companies are known to pay below the median — salaries are 8 percent lower and 5 percent lower, respectively.