College Professor’s Salary

A college professor’s salary can range from less than $30,720 per year to more than $130,510, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

A college professor’s salary as well as  other post-secondary instructor’s salaries depend on a wide range of factors, including the amount of time spent in a particular teaching position, work experience, location of the college and the size of its endowment. Some private post-secondary institutions offer a higher annual salary than most public universities and colleges.

Education Requirements

Educational background can play a large role in a college professor’s salary. A community college professor with a master degree would understandably earn less than an Ivy League professor with a doctorate from a prestigious university.

College professors and post-secondary instructors usually need to earn a doctorate in their specialty. Post-secondary teachers at community colleges usually hold master’s degrees, while technical and trade schools rely more heavily on people who have considerable work experience in a particular subject.

Career Options: What You Can Do as a College Professor

Educators with a doctorate or other professional degree often teach in universities, public and private colleges, and professional schools. Many college professors also work in career and vocational schools. In addition to teaching a wide range of academic and vocational subjects, college professors may also conduct research and publish scholarly reports.

Additionally, professors serve on university committees that do everything from interviewing applicants for administrative jobs, to mentoring doctoral candidates.

Research plays a big part of a college professor’s life as well as a college professor’s salary. To gain tenure, (a guarantee that a professor cannot be fired without just cause), they must do research, such as experiments, document analysis, or critical reviews, and publish their findings. Professors keep up with developments in their field by reading scholarly articles, talking with colleagues, and participating in professional conferences.

College professors also speak before groups ranging from the local Rotary Club to industry groups. Often college professors serve as consultants to business, government agencies and other organizations outside of the university community. Financial compensation for consulting jobs can be very lucrative.

College professors can play many roles in one day. A college professor shifts from being a teacher, an administrator, an entrepreneur, an employer, an entertainer, an ambassador, and  a scholar. The college professor’s world is filled with classes, committees, office hours, deadlines, budgets, advising.

What to Consider if You Pursue a Career as a College Professor

College professors salary averaged a  median of $62,050 in 2010, according the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Many college professors also receive tenure after spending a number of years on a tenure track. The BLS says jobs for post-secondary teachers should increase by 17 percent between 2010 and 2020, especially as student enrollments in colleges and universities continue to increase.

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