Which professors earn the most?

Public tenure-track faculty median base salaries up 2.1%

The overall median base salary for tenured and tenure-track faculty at U.S. colleges and universities grew by 2% last year, down a tenth of a percent from 2013, according to an annual survey from the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources.

The survey is based on the salaries of 177,125 tenured and tenure-track faculty at 756 private and public higher education institutions, including professors, associate professors, assistant professors, new assistant professors, and instructors.

For the second consecutive year, professors at public schools saw a slightly higher (2.1%) increase than did professors in the private sector (2%).

Median increase by rank was also higher at public than at private institutions, with the exception of for assistant professor, which was the same rate.

Conversely, from 2009-2012, the opposite was true. In that period, increases in salary at public institutions were larger than at private institutions just once—for instructors.

Previously, the group found a similar trend in salaries for senior administrators at public colleges and universities, which grew faster than those at private institutions for the second consecutive year as well. 

Within Carnegie Classifications, median increases were:

  • 2.7% for public baccalaureate institutions;
  • 2.3% for public doctoral institutions; and
  • 2% for all types of private institutions.

Who makes the most?

Among professors, those who make the most teach: 

1. Law
2. Business
3. Engineering
4. Computer and information sciences
5. Architecture

Professors who earn the least teach:

28. Fitness, leisure, recreation, and parks studies
29. English language and literature
30. Library science
31. Visual, performing arts
32. Theology and religion (College and University Professional Association for Human Resources release, 3/16; Chronicle of Higher Education, 3/16).

The takeaway: A survey from the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources found overall median base salary for tenured and tenure track faculty at American higher education institutions grew by 2% last year, down a tenth of a percent from 2013.


Next in Today's Briefing

Not every team that makes it to March Madness makes money

Next Briefing

  • Manage Your Events
  • Saved webpages and searches
  • Manage your subscriptions
  • Update personal information
  • Invite a colleague