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How Much Do College Professors Make?

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Becoming a college professor opens up exciting opportunities to engage with young minds, their energy, talent, and innovative ideas. The academic environment offers intellectual stimulation, shaping the careers of students and solving real-life challenges. However, professor salaries vary significantly depending on factors such as university type, rank, and field of expertise. Let’s explore the average salaries of college professors in various disciplines.

National Average Salaries:

According to data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national mean salary for all college and university professors was approximately $73,000 annually, combining both public and private institutions. For public universities, full-tenured professors earned an average of around $114,000, associate professors around $82,000, and assistant professors around $70,000.

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Private universities paid higher salaries, with full-tenured professors earning around $121,000, associate professors around $81,000, and assistant professors around $70,000 per year.

Variation by Profession: Apart from university type and rank, professor salaries also vary significantly based on their respective fields. Here are some common fields with their average and salary range:

  1. Medical Professor:

    • Average Salary: About $154,000
    • Salary Range: $134,000 – $210,000
    • Job Description: Teaching medicine courses to aspiring doctors, requiring medical degrees like MD, MBBS, or DO.
  2. Dentistry Professor:

    • Average Salary: About $130,000
    • Salary Range: $106,000 – $169,000
    • Job Description: Teaching dentistry skills to dental students, with a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DDM) degree.
  3. Engineering Professor:

    • Average Salary: About $154,000
    • Salary Range: $134,000 – $210,000
    • Job Description: Specializing in fields like Civil or Mechanical Engineering, requiring a Ph.D. and expertise in math, science, and engineering technology.
  4. Accounting Professor:

    • Average Salary: About $121,000
    • Salary Range: $91,000 – $196,000
    • Job Description: Imparting accounting knowledge to undergraduates, often requiring a doctoral degree and CPA license for higher compensation.
  5. Business Professor:

    • Average Salary: About $117,000
    • Salary Range: $90,000 – $202,000
    • Job Description: Teaching finance, marketing, management, and other business-related subjects, with a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) degree for better career prospects.
  6. Architecture Professor:

    • Average Salary: About $107,000
    • Salary Range: $83,000 – $146,000
    • Job Description: Leading architecture courses, possessing a doctoral or terminal degree in architecture, and having extensive publications in the field.
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Conclusion:

College professors play a crucial role in shaping the future of students and contributing to the academic community through research and teaching. Salaries vary significantly across fields, universities, and ranks, reflecting market demand and budget allocation. While compensation may differ, the passion for teaching and contributing to knowledge remains a common thread among all college professors.

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