How Much Do College Professors Make?

college professor salary

What is the salary of a college professor?

For someone who enjoys teaching, a career as a college professor offers a promising job outlook and a significant salary. 

It can be thrilling and satisfying to teach students in a college atmosphere while also earning more. 

In this post, we go over the average salary for college professors, the employment forecast, and state-specific compensation. 

In addition, we respond to some of the most often asked queries regarding the job of a college professor, how to raise your pay and related job titles.

Who Is A Professor?

A professor is a person who teaches students a wide range of academic or professional subjects beyond high school. 

In addition, they carry out research and write and publish academic books. 

They usually work at junior or community colleges, professional schools, career, and vocational schools, as well as public and private colleges and universities.

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What Does A College Professor Do?

A college professor guiding a student

College professors at a higher education institution create the course curriculum and instruct students in their academic field.

They regularly publish books and articles, conduct research in their area of interest, and engage in other activities to advance their academic standing.

How Do I Become A College Professor?

College professors in training should first choose a bachelor’s degree in the subject they intend to teach. 

After earning a bachelor’s degree, you should enroll in graduate school. 

Most full-time professors at colleges and universities are expected to earn a doctoral degree, with a master’s degree being the minimum requirement for college teachers. 

You might think about applying for a teaching assistantship while you are in graduate school to start gaining experience for a professor position. 

It’s normal for professors to continue to pursue their doctoral degrees while working full- or part-time jobs teaching undergraduate courses after earning their master’s degrees.

How Many Hours Do Professors Work?

A college professor working

Most professors reported working 61 hours a week on average. 

They worked 10 hours every day, Monday through Friday.

Which College Professors Are Most In Demand?

There is a huge demand for adjunct faculty in academic areas with a focus on health care, such as pre-med, science, and nursing. 

The subjects with the greatest need for adjunct lecturers include law, business, psychology, engineering, architecture, biology, economics, and criminal science.

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Do Professors Need A Teaching Degree?

Yes, some college professors need a teaching degree.

But you can receive teacher training while pursuing graduate degrees.

Do You Have To Have A PhD To Be A Professor?

A master’s degree is typically necessary for people who wish to serve as professors at community colleges, while a doctorate is typically required for those who want to teach at four-year colleges and universities.

How Long Does A Ph.D. Take?

A Ph. D. may take up to eight years to finish on average. 

The length of time it normally takes to earn a doctorate varies depending on the program’s structure, the field of study, and the university that offers it.

How Do I Become A College Professor?

You don’t actually have to follow a defined path before you become a college professor.

Sure, some things have to come before others.

For example, you need an undergraduate degree before anybody will allow you into a Ph.D. school.

Below are some of the things you need to do before you become a college professor:

1. Get a 4 years bachelor’s degree

Getting a four-year bachelor’s degree is the first step in every scenario.

You should have a college degree if you wish to teach college.

Your bachelor’s degree doesn’t have to be in the field you want to teach because becoming a professor is a long process with many different paths. 

You can also change your interests during your academic career.

But we advise you to graduate from your undergraduate program with the kind of knowledge and abilities you need to pursue additional study and research.

If becoming a professor is your long-term aim, practically any bachelor’s degree that is pertinent to your general field of interest might serve as the starting point for further study.

Find out the difference between bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

2. Earn other advanced degrees

For a very long time, college professors were expected to hold a Ph.D. or Doctor of Philosophy. 

However, many two-year institutions, like community colleges and others, might just need a master’s degree. 

Additionally, there are other fields of study, like acting and music, where a Ph.D. is not seen as necessary. 

The majority of traditional academic departments at four-year universities, however, strongly favor hiring doctoral graduates as teachers.

Make sure to acquire the necessary degrees you need for your unique path.

3. Build experience

In some subjects, academic training alone is sufficient to become a college professor. 

But most universities want to demonstrate that you have what it takes to do what you will teach.

That entails keeping a job and accumulating achievements to bolster the CV you’ll be submitting to the hiring committee.

This is especially true if you want to be a professor of journalism, medicine, engineering, or just about any other subject with applications in the real world. 

Universities and colleges actively look for teachers who are knowledgeable about the most recent developments in their profession. 

Therefore, you should look for employment opportunities that will allow you to get experience in the subjects you need for your future teaching career.

4. Get hired as a college professor

College professors don’t have a lot of work possibilities at the starting level. 

You just need to move to an area where a school will hire you. 

But you’ll have to go through a lot of interviews and submit a lot of applications to get your foot in the door.

The procedure and timing will differ from one field to the next. 

There are many specialty magazines where job openings are listed, such as PhilJobs.org for philosophy positions.

Your credentials and areas of expertise are crucial because schools frequently search for individuals with extremely specialized areas of expertise. 

Your educational background is also important. A degree from a well-known university will carry you further than one from a little-known state university.

When it comes to hiring, various departments within various universities have distinct priorities. 

Your record of investigation and publishing may be crucial at universities that prioritize research, and your classroom experience will be more appreciated at schools that promote teaching.

Ultimately, you should make sure you have what a school requires before applying for it.

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How Much Do College Professors Make?

We will answer this question from the national and state angle.

What Is The National Salary For A College Professor?

The national mean annual wage for all postsecondary teachers at colleges, universities, and professional institutions, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is $72,790. 

This applies to professors at both public and private universities.

The American Association of University Professors’ data also reveals the variations in pay between full, associate, and assistant professors. 

Full professors at public universities receive an annual salary of $113,738, associated professors receive $81,969, and assistant professors receive $70,246.

What Is The State Salary For A College Professor?

The highest salaries for professors are offered by universities on the east and west coasts of the United States. 

However, these places also have an average cost of living. 

For instance, in California, a professor makes an average salary of $131,025 per year.

In Massachusetts, professors made $141,251. 

Professors in New Jersey made $127,703 while those in New York got $124,080.

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How Do I Increase My Salary As A College Professor?

You need to do more to get more for your salary.

We listed a few things you can do to increase your salary as a college professor below:

1. Get more experience

There is a significant relationship between compensation and years in the position for college professors. 

You will be in a better position to negotiate a higher compensation the more experience you get.

2. Do more research

It’s a good idea for college teachers to do original research in their area of expertise if they wish to stand out from their peers and earn more money. 

Making a name for yourself as an authority by conducting research and publishing the results in publications can lead to more prospects for better-paying work.

3. Change your location

Salaries vary significantly depending on the location of the college or university

You should look out for open positions in several towns or states to raise your compensation as a professor.

4. Change your institution

Salary also varies depending on your institution. 

College professors who work in colleges, universities, and professional schools make more money compared to faculty members at community colleges or other types of institutions.

Other Jobs Similar To College Professor

You can try your hands on other jobs similar to that of a college professor.

Some of these similar jobs include:

1. Associate Professor

An associate professor is an instructor at a university or college who is building their reputation via research. 

The classes they teach typically relate to the subject matter of their advanced degree. 

In addition to teaching, associate professors frequently serve as advisors to students who are majoring in their area of expertise. 

They also publish research, represent the university at conferences, and serve on faculty committees, among other things.

2. Assistant Professor

An assistant professor is a recently hired employee at a university or college who is in charge of instructing students and obtaining publications in academic papers or journals. 

Their main duties include creating and implementing instructional strategies, supervising and mentoring research assistants, and managing teaching assistants.

3. Research Assistant

A research assistant is in charge of carrying out experiments, gathering data, and performing analyses. 

Their daily writing obligations can change based on the topic they are working on.

Some of their other responsibilities include revising papers, submitting grant applications, examining recent literature, and doing other tasks to keep research projects on schedule.

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Conclusion

Earning a good salary as a college professor is one thing, being satisfied at your job is another.

In all things, make the most out of your experience and have fun.

Frequently Asked Questions About The College Professor’s Salary

What kinds of professors get paid the most?

According to recent data from The Chronicle of Higher Education, the average law professor makes $134,162, more than any other field. 

The top five highest paying fields for professors were diverse studies, including engineering, business, and information technology.

What is the salary of a Harvard professor?

Professors at Harvard University earn $226,394 annually.

What is the salary of Ph.D. professor in the USA?

According to the American Association of University Professors, the average compensation for professors is $143,823.

Is becoming a professor worth it?

Being a professor gives you freedom in terms of research. 

When you reach a certain level of seniority, you can decide which projects and approaches you want to work on. 

This amount of intellectual independence is uncommon in other professions, making it undeniably one of the benefits of being a professor.

How hard is it to become a professor?

Overall, being a professor is really challenging. 

These days, full-time, college-level teaching roles are in great demand, but there are many more qualified candidates than there are open opportunities, making the market very competitive.

Do tenured professors get paid for life?

Most organizations don’t pay differently for tenure-track professors.
 
Instead, tenure is an earned benefit that guarantees lifetime employment.

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