College Professor Salary

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College Professor Salary

The earning potential of a college professor is competent with various other jobs, and anybody willing to make a career in this field has the opportunity to earn well.

“Dr. Johnson, one of my close friend’s maternal uncle holds a BS degree, 3 master’s degrees, a Ph.D. and has some excellent work experience of 20 years. He has been the head of the Department of Economics for two consecutive times and now works as a visiting faculty in many colleges. The salary that he earns now is competent with most of the traditional jobs. As a new venture to get involved with students and earn better income, he has started to take online classes. Although, the annual pay nears USD 51,000 on an average, Dr. Johnson has been able to maintain sufficient income levels for the last 5 to 10 years.”

The story of Dr. Johnson highlights the various ways a professor can increase his earning potential. While job satisfaction, job security, and flexible working hours are some of the benefits they enjoy, their salaries are a matter of concern for all those who wish to make a career in this profession.

Pay Range

Like any other job, the salary depends on certain dominant factors. We have discussed some of them here.


The cost of living varies drastically between cities. Depending on which city you are working in, the pay will vary. For instance, as per data of 2010, the pay scale of those working in New York is around USD 75,000 to USD 125,000 per year, while those working in Houston can earn anywhere between USD 50,000 to USD 115,000 annually.

Educational Qualifications

Academic jobs demand the highest levels of education and in-depth knowledge of a particular subject. Salary negotiations in the initial years could be based on your educational qualifications. The higher level of expertise that you have, the more opportunities you will get to earn better pay packages. A postgraduate degree or a Ph.D. in a field of study is a must to increase the scope of career opportunities. Research institutions hire college professors after some years of work experience, if they have an interest in that field.

Work Experience

The more number of years that you spend in teaching, better would be the chances of earning a higher pay. This is because colleges look out for candidates who have some work experience so that they don’t have to explain them the various intricacies of managing the students. So, if you are a freshman, ensure that your credentials are good to get you employed somewhere and after you have worked for some years, you too can switch your job for better growth opportunities, or can negotiate a higher compensation.

The pay range for those who have a work experience of less than a year is between USD 40,000 to USD 70,000 per annum. For those who have worked for 5 – 10 years, the average salary ranges between USD 48,000 to USD 80,000 per annum. And it can go as high as USD 125,000 for those who have been in this profession for 15 – 20 years.

As per the Bureau of Labor Statistics data, employment of professors is projected to grow by 19% from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations.

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