Do College Professors Get Paid Well (Updated)

Do College Professors Get Paid Well? (Updated)

Everyone from their childhood has thought about becoming something in their lives. Some want to become a doctor and others may want to become a pilot. You may have thought of becoming a professor and have always wondered if it is the right choice. If you are interested in becoming a college professor here we will help you to know if the college professors get paid well or not. Also, we will discuss what are the factors that affect the salaries of the professors and if it is really a good profession for you or not.

Quick Takeaways

  • On average, the salary of a college professor is around $129,000 for a public institution and for a private institution is around $137,000.
  • According to some of the areas the highest salary that you get as a professor is in the state of Hawaii.
  • If you are an adjunct professor you will be earning too low as you will be working on a contractual basis or part time. The salary for an adjunct professor is less than $25000 annually.
  • According to research around an 11% increase in employment opportunities can be seen in the next decade.
  • Most of the professors earn a salary that is even below the poverty line for a family of 4 members. 
  • In some exceptional cases, some of the professors have earned around $1 million in a single year.
  • Some of the jobs that are related to the college professors are research assistant, teacher, associate professor, etc.

However, you must read till the end so that you do not miss any important facts related to the salaries of the college professors.

Do College Professors Get Paid Well? (Updated)

Do college professors get paid well?

If you are interested in knowing how much a professor gets paid depends upon the institution and the area. On average the annual salary of the professor for a 4-year public institution is around $129,000 and for a private institution is around $137,000. It will also vary with whether you are teaching at the university or in the college. Further how much will you get will also depend upon which level you are at and whether the institution is public or private. Therefore we we have given a table below to show how much will you be earning depending upon the level you are at

LEVELPUBLIC INSTITUTIONSPRIVATE INSTITUTIONRELIGIOUS INSTITUTION
Professor$140,426$188,375$131,600
Associate Professor $101,941$115,557$93,337
Assistant Professor $87,287$100,610$79,388
Instructor$62,538$76,925$69,745
Lecturer$68,781$90,251$63,913
No rank$68,480$72,438$68,742
Combined$103,043$132,225$97,397
Do College Professors Get Paid Well? (Updated)

What is the salary you will be getting as a professor for different states?

Another factor that will affect your salary as a professor is the state you are living in. Thus, the following chart shows the salary of the professor based on some of the different states-

STATESALARY (per tera)
Alaska$71,412
Arizona$53,825
California $73,483
Delaware$46,384
Florida$48,694
Georgia$45,153
Hawaii$109,872
Ohio$68,208
Texas$59,294
Virginia$88,641
Do College Professors Get Paid Well? (Updated)

Does professor’s pay stay the same even when the cost goes higher?

There may be some increase in the pay of the professor but it is very minimum. According to research, there is not much increment in the salary of the professors each year. Only 4-5% is increases in the salary of the professors each year. However if we consider before 2020, the rise in the salaries of the professors each year was just around 3%. Thus we can say that there is not much increase in the salaries of the professors. 

How much you can earn as an adjunct professor?

An adjunct professor is one who is appointed on a contractual basis or is a part-time professor. It means that you will be teaching for some particular semesters. Different studies suggest that more than 80 per cent of colleges have adjunct professors. So what is the salary of the adjunct professors? Usually, the salary of adjunct professors is less than that of full-time professors.

According to the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), research was done among the adjunct professors of both 2-year and 4-year universities. It concluded that a quarter of the professors earned even less than $25000 annually. This shows that they are even below the poverty line for a family of four. It also shows that 3 out of 5 faculty members are adjunct professors. 

Do College Professors Get Paid Well? (Updated)

Can a professor earn around $1 million?

As discussed above most of the professors earn around $25000 per year, you may think that earning $1 million is a big problem. However, this is not true, as there are many tutors who have earned around $1 million or more. The most common examples of the professor who earned more than 1 million are from 2019 and 2020. In 2019, Zev Rosenwaks earned around $8.8 million with the position of clinical professor at Cornell University. There are many other professors from Cornell University who have earned more than $1 million. In 2020, Professor V. Kasturi Rangan of Harvard University earned more than $1.9 million with the position of marketing professor.

What is the job outlook for college professors?

According to some research, it is expected that around 11% will increase in the employment of college professors by 2028. It means that around 159400 new job roles will be open by the next decade. Presently there are 130,377 college professors who are employed in the US. 

Is being a professor a good profession?

Do College Professors Get Paid Well? (Updated)

The professor is a highly rewarding job in the US. Being a professor will give you full freedom to choose the lesson to teach. You will also be getting the freedom to do the research. Further, you will also meet students from different regions which will help you to get to know about different cultures.  In addition to that being a professor is a reputable profession and you also get time to spend with your family. As a professor, you will also be able to get a flexible schedule which will help you to complete all your responsibilities according to your time.

Some universities and colleges also send their best professors to other institutions and thus you may also get a lot of travelling opportunities. However, being a professor also has some drawbacks like competition. Today every profession has a lot of competition due to which you may not get a great opportunity to work. It may further make you work as an adjunct professor.  Further, there is a great job insecurity when it comes to being a professor. This is because most of universities or educational institutions look for professors on a contractual basis. 

An important point that you must remember is that even if you are a permanent staff of the institution you may have to deal with job insecurity. The reason behind this is that most of the institutions hire professors based on the students in a particular batch. So if there are very less students for the subject you are teaching,  you may lose your job. 

Do College Professors Get Paid Well? (Updated)

What are some of the jobs that are similar to the professor?

Following are some of the job roles that are similar to the professors-

1. Teachers

Teachers are usually the ones who teach the students at each of the education levels.  The primary duties of the teachers are to develop the educational material, supervise the class, etc.  Further, as a teacher, you will also have to evaluate the student’s performance and give them marks accordingly. The average national income for a teacher is around $19.14 per hour.

2. Research Assistant

A research assistant is a person who will have to collect the data and analyze it.  As a research assistant, you will need to conduct the experiment based on the data you collected. What will you be doing as a research assistant will depend on the field you are working in. Based on the field you are working in some of the responsibilities you will be doing are editing the paper,  reviewing the available research, checking the activities in writing the paper,  etc. The average annual salary you will be getting as a research analyst is $16.13 per hour. 

Do College Professors Get Paid Well? (Updated)

3. Kindergarten teacher

As a kindergarten teacher, you will be responsible for teaching the students in eliminatory school. You will need to plan the lessons according to the students of small classes. Further, you will also need to introduce maths and science to the kids. You must know how to be creative with the students and must have a lot of patience level. The national average salary that you can earn is around $41,021 per year.

4. Associate professor

An associate professor is the one who generally takes part in the research going on in the subject that has been chosen. They also teach the students but only those who are studying the subject in which the associate professor is trying to do their master’s. You will also be advising the students who are studying the subject you are mastering. Other roles you will be doing are teaching and mentoring the students in writing and publishing the content. The annual salary that you will be getting as an associate professor is $83,648 per hour.

5. Assistant professors

Do College Professors Get Paid Well? (Updated)

The assistant professor is the one who is just hired by the institution. You are responsible for teaching the students and helping them publish scholarly papers. The main responsibility of being an assistant professor is monitoring the research scholars and also supporting the other professors. The annual salary for an assistant professor is around $62,660.

How do you increase your college professor’s salary?

Following are the ways by which you can increase your salary as a college professor-

1. Geographic location

As discussed above, one of the crucial factors that affect the salary of the professor is the location they are living. Therefore you must check for the different open roles in different states. You can also look for the table discussed above to know where you can earn more income. 

One of the biggest ways of earning more income is by getting more and more experience.  When you have more experience, your position will be getting better and better. Having high experience and being in a good position will further help to increase your salary. You must try to get good experience and focus on more research and publishing projects. It will help you to increase your experience and get a good position.

Do College Professors Get Paid Well? (Updated)

3. Choose the correct institution

The institution which you choose will also have a major impact on your salary. There are two types of institutions that you can think of getting into including private and public institutions. Usually, the salaries of the professors of private institutions are more than those of public institutions. Further, the professional schools earn more salaries than the common schools.

4. Conducting more research

As a professor, you will have to do a lot of research based on your subject. To get different from other colleagues and increase your salary the best thing is to do a lot of research. When you do a lot of research and help in a lot of publishing the findings of the journals. When you conduct more research you can use it as a sample to get a higher position college professor. 

Following are the myths that are related to the salaries of the professors – 

  • One of the biggest myths related to the salaries of the professors is that the college professor earns a higher salary which is actually wrong. According to different studies, the salary of the professors is usually below $200,000 annually. Sometimes the salary is too low that it comes below the poverty line for the 4 members family.
  • Professors make a lot from their books is another big myth related to the salaries of professors. Many believe that the books written by the professors help them to earn more but actually, it is not true. In reality, most of the professors are not able to earn a single penny from their books.

Conclusion

Being a professor is a great choice as you get to connect with a lot of different people and students. As a professor, all you need to do is to teach the students and make them understand the concepts of the subject you are teaching. But when you are thinking of becoming a professor, you would want to know if college professors get paid well or not. According to the research usually the salary of the professors is around $129,000 for a public institution and for a private institution is around $137,000.

However, it will depend upon the state you are living in and which level you are at. Some of the similar job roles that you can take up are becoming teachers, assistant professors, associate professors, etc. The salary will also depend upon if you are a full-time professor or just an adjunct professor. If you are an adjunct professor then you will be getting less than $20,000 which is too low.

Can you make money as a college professor?

Being a professor is a good profession and thus there is no doubt that you can make good money as a college professor. The pay you will be getting will depend on different factors like area of living, level you are at, etc. It will also depend upon whether you are an adjunct professor (works contractually or part-time) or a full-time professor.

How to become a college professor?

Many believe that becoming a college professor is easy but actually, it is a difficult process. The first thing you should have is your bachelor’s degree. After getting your bachelor’s degree in a particular subject you will need to get into graduate schools and get your master’s degree. Remember that most colleges will require a master’s or sometimes even a Ph.D. Therefore you must look for the requirements of the position in the college you are applying to. 

How long does it take to become a college professor?

Becoming a college professor will take a lot of time as you will have to get a three-year bachelor’s degree first. Once you get the bachelor’s degree you will have to get into graduate school which will take another 2 years. After that, you will be taking the PhD degree and thus we can say that it will take around 7 years to become a college professor.

Do professors work 9 to 5?

One of the biggest benefits of being a professor is that there is a lot of flexibility in the schedule of how the professor will work. As a professor, you can work according to your own schedule and thus it means that you will not be generally working in a 9 to 5 set-up.

William Christie
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