Average College Professor Salary: How Much Do They Make?

54% of Professors in the United States have an opinion that the salaries they receive are enough for the cost of living in their area. The college professors are paid more than the teachers and the other educational staff. So, how much do college professors earn, and what’s the average college professor salary?

In the following article, I have stated details about the average salary earned by college professors in different fields and sectors. I have also included details like the average salary earned by the professors in different states, cities, institutes, and companies.

How Much Do College Professors Earn?

On average,  indeed.com reported that college professors earned $97,050 annually. It is summed up to $38.48 per hour. (July 2023)

The college professors in law colleges reported that they receive the highest salary as compared to other fields of study. The average salary received by them is $183,581. (salary.com)

Furthermore, the highest salary is received by college professors in the city of California, and the lowest average salary received is in the state of Hawaii.

Some Important Stats Related to College Professors

College Professor Salary - Overview
  1. In the year 2022-2023, it was reported that the salary of full-time professors in the US was calculated to be an average of. $6,871 per month. 
  2. According to Zippa.com, the entry-level salary is noted at around $47,339 yearly.
  3. This number varies. According to Jobted, the average college professor’s salary in the US is around $93,892/year. (2022)
  4. The highest salary that is noted is around $198,965 per year. (Indeed 2023)

Let’s have a look at the average highest and lowest salaries of college professors.

(Source: Indeed 2023)

Lowest salary$47,339
Average Salary$97,050
Highest salary$198,965
  1. The entry-level salary of the professors was reported to be $38.48 per hour.
  2. The top professors, with years of experience and expertise, earned an average salary of $280,000.
  1. According to Zippa.com, the highest-paying company is Oregon Health and Science University.
  1. According to recent data, the average salary of public university professors is $113,738.
  2. Similarly, a professor at a private university had an average salary of $102,553.
  3. The average salary noted for a professor at a public university is around $90,235.
  1. The highest average salary is earned by the professor in the state of California.  The average salary there is reported to be $269,749. 

The following table includes the details about the states that provide the highest salary to college professors:

StateAverage Salary
New York$179,258
District of Columbia$170,189
  1. The college professors in Hawaii reported that they received an annual salary of $106,075. 

In the following table, I have listed the states that pay the lowest salary to college professors. 

StateAverage Salary
  1. The colleges that are religiously affiliated pay an average salary of $126,289 to their professors. 
  2. However, the associate professor earned an average of $92,222 in the year 2021-2022. 
  3. The assistant professors in the year 2021-2022 were reported to have an average salary of $79,398.

    The below statistics suggest the average professor’s salary by Academic rank. (2022)

    Academic RankAverage Salary
    Overall Faculty $93,892
    Professor $130,262
    Associate Professor $92,222
    Assistant Professor$79,398
    Instructor $72,503
    No Rank$64,825

    Let’s have a look at the professor’s salary over the years.

    (Source: Indeed. com, NCES)

    YearAverage Yearly Salary
    1. The professors who received the 90th percentile during their college years reported getting an annual pay of $280,000. 

    The following table indicates the effect of the percentile on the salary of college professors:

    PercentileHourly earningAnnual Salary
    90th Percentile $135$280,000
    75th percentile $102$213,000
    25th percentile$56$116,000
    10th percentile$42$88,000

    Average Professor Salary by Type of Institution

    17. The average professor salary for a public four-year college professor is around $90,235 per year.

    Let’s have a look at the average professor’s salary by the type of institution. (2022)

    Type of InstitutionAverage Professor Salary 
    Public Institutions$90,235
    Public 4-year institutions$94,354
    Public 2-year institutions$74,902
    Private institutions$102,553
    Private 4-year institutions$102,685
    Private 2-year institutions$58,574

    Average college professor salary by degree level

    18. The doctoral degree holder professors in the US earn the highest salary. 

    The below data suggests the average college professor’s salary by degree level.

    Degree levelPublic institutionsPrivate institutions
    Doctoral degree$137,798$166,471
    Master’s degree$98,471$94,871
    Other (including bachelor’s)$79,030$101,804
    Two-year schools$84,087$77,190

    College Professor Salary According to the Subjects

    According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, the highest salary is earned by college professors in the law field. Annually, they earn an average of $183,581. They are followed by professors in the health and humanities field and economics field. 

    The following table includes the data issued by Salary.com regarding the fields in which college professors earn the highest. 

    Field Average salary of the college professorsHourly Rate
    English$99,090 /Year$47.64
    History $107,277/Year$51.58

    Why do professors receive the same salary in spite of the rise in leaving expenses? 

    Over the last decade, it was observed that there was a minor increase in the average salary of the professors, in spite of the rise in the cost of lifestyle and other necessities. 

    There was only a 2% growth during this time period, and it made it difficult for the professors to sustain and purchase basic needs. 

    On the other hand, college tuition has tremendously risen by more than 46%. This has surely enraged the professors and teachers working in the education industry in the US. 

    As a consequence, there was a rise in the salaries of college professors in the year 2022-2023. Here, the question arises, “Will the average salaries of college professors decline again due to the expected recession in the upcoming years? ”

    How much do college professors earn in different states? 

    Let us take a look at the average salary earned by college professors in different states of the US. 

    StateHourlyAverage Salary
    1. Alabama$77.97$162,175
    2. Alaska$71.26$148,230
    3. Arizona$70.93$147,541
    4. Arkansas$73.27$152,406
    5. California$88.81$184,725
    6. Colorado$73.81$153,528
    7. Connecticut$84.18$175,104
    8. Delaware$63.04$131,133
    9. District of Columbia$81.82$170,189
    10. Florida$60.18$125,167
    11. Georgia$65.77$136,806
    12. Hawaii$51.00$106,075
    13. Idaho$63.66$132,414
    14. Illinois$59.56$123,891
    15. Indiana$73.07$151,984
    16. Iowa$66.19$137,685
    17. Kansas$66.49$138,292
    18. Kentucky$67.24$139,849
    19. Louisiana$71.54$148,799
    20. Maine$75.38$156,784
    21. Maryland$68.42$142,323
    22. Massachusetts$81.30$169,102
    23. Michigan$77.54$161,286
    24. Minnesota$75.95$157,978
    25. Mississippi$76.01$158,105
    26. Missouri$65.01$135,213
    27. Montana$67.76$140,936
    28. Nebraska$69.33$144,196
    29. Nevada$74.46$154,883
    30. New Hampshire$62.54$130,081
    31. New Jersey$67.57$140,543
    32. New Mexico$75.60$157,242
    33. New York$86.18$179,258
    34. North Carolina$74.62$155,201
    35. North Dakota$79.93$166,261
    36. Ohio$65.46$136,153
    37. Oklahoma$77.35$160,897
    38. Oregon$76.68$159,500
    39. Pennsylvania$71.90$149,559
    40. Rhode Island$66.75$138,841
    41. South Carolina$63.81$132,732
    42. South Dakota$64.36$133,861
    43. Tennessee$61.23$127,349
    44. Texas$76.39$158,884
    45. Utah$86.44$179,789
    46. Vermont$58.49$121,660
    47. Virginia$63.95$133,009
    48. Washington$76.22$158,541
    49. West Virginia$65.52$136,285
    50. Wisconsin$55.41$115,257
    51. Wyoming.$66.65$138,639

    Which are the highest-paying cities for professors near the United States?

    The highest salary earned by the professors was recorded in the city of San Francisco. The recorded average salary of college professors was $216,671. 

    Let us take a look at the cities in the United States that pay the highest to college professors. 

    CityHourly rateAverage salary
    San Francisco$104.17$216,671
    New York$98.01$203,866
    New Haven$94.06$195,643
    Ann Arbor$83.78$174,263
    Chapel Hill$80.59$167,622

    Which are the top companies for professors in the United States? 

    Aiming to pursue your career in the field of education? 

     You surely might be interested to know the details about the companies that offer the highest salary to college professors. 

    The following table comprises the details of the companies in the United States that offer the highest salary to college professors. 

    Company NameHourly rateAverage salary
    Oregon Health & Science University$123.21$256,269
    Stanford University$122.63$255,075
    Baylor College of Medicine$118.73$246,950
    University of Washington$118.44$246,346
    Northwell Health$116.98$243,309
    University of Massachusetts Medical School$115.44$240,105
    University of California$113.66$236,419
    Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai$110.42$229,664
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology$110.10$229,013

    Which University offers the highest salary to college professors? 

    The college professors at the University of Pennsylvania reported that they were paid the highest. They received a payment of $222,186 annually. 

    The following table includes the top average salary offered at the top universities in the year 2023.

    (Source: indeed.com)

    University NameAverage salary of the college professors. 
    University of Pennsylvania$ 222,186 per year
    University of Maryland University College$ 174,820 per year
    University of California Los Angeles$ 167,810 per year
    University of Southern California$163,945 per year
    University of Pittsburgh$157,896per year
    The Ohio State University$154,131per year
    Northeastern University$132,271 per year
    Drexel University$120,535 per year
    The University of Michigan$118,209 per year
    Penn State University$112,612per year

    The College professors working at the University of California, Los Angeles, received the highest salary among all the public universities. The amount received by them was approximately equal to $225,000 per year. 

    The following table indicates the salary earned by the top Public universities in the United States. 

    University NameAverage salary of the college professors. 
    The University of California, Davis$182,600
    the University of Texas at Austin$183,800
    University of Virginia$185,100
    New Jersey Institute of Technology$187,300
    University of California, Irvine$189,200
    University of California, San Diego$191,500
    Rutgers University at Newark$192,200
    University of California, Santa Barbara$200,200
    University of California, Berkeley$213,100
    University of California, Los Angeles$225,000

    Related Read:

    Wrapping Up: Average College Professor Salary (2023)

    That’s all about the Salary earned by the college professor. 

    The salary earned by college professors varies according to the field that they have opted for, the city, the state, and the amount of experience they have. Besides, there are many other factors that can highly impact the monthly and annual salary.

    I hope that the above article has helped you to get the required details about college professors’ salaries across the US. By now, you might have got a basic idea about which state you would like to start your career in and in which institution. 


    Do college professors make a lot of money?

    The average salary earned by the professors ranges between $64,000 to $123,000. It is indeed better than the salary earned by the other faculties in the teaching field. In the academic year 2022-2023, the average salary of the college professors recorded was $157,570. 

    Do you need to have a PHD to be a professor?

    In order to become a professor at the college, you generally need to have a master’s degree. However, if you wish to teach students on higher levels, you will need to have a doctorate degree. Having a PhD makes you eligible to teach at a four-year college or at universities. 

    How much do PHD professors make in California?

    The full-time professors in California reported that they earned an average of $121,085 to $184,725 annually. While some reports state that they may earn more than the average amount. 

    Is it hard to become a professor?

    With the growing competition and the hard work that students put into fulfilling their career goals, it has become difficult to become a professor. You need to have at least a complete master’s degree. If you need to teach students at a four-year college or at higher educational levels, you need to complete your PhD. 

    Ryan Harris

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