Professor Salaries: By Academic Rank, Major, and State

A lot of students say that university professors are overpaid.

But what are the facts?

It’s true that some college professors earn up to $200,000 a year. However, there is a significant discrepancy between the highest and the lowest earners!

So let’s break it down by the most critical factors: academic rank, major, and states.

Salaries by academic rank

Academic rank is by far the most important factor.

The following table ranks the different types of professors and gives average salary estimates for each position.

RankAcademic RankSalary Per HourSalary Per Year
7Teaching Assistant$16$24,000 
6Visiting Professor$33$37,500 
5Assistant Professor$45$77,493
4Associate Professor$46$87,761
3Full Professor$59 $96,820
2Endowed Professor$253,755
1Distinguished Professor$226,270
RetiredProfessor Emeritus$44$46,366

Salaries by major

Some fields of study pay better than others!

Here’s a table of salaries of associate professors arranged from lowest to highest.

MajorSalary per hourSalary per year
Communication$34.19$71,121
English$34.49$71,736
Music$34.50$71,761
History$35.79$74,448
Chemistry$36.43$75,774
Mathematics$37.50$77,994
Architecture$41.60$86,534
Accounting$51.51$107,145
Dentistry$52.97$110,182
Law$61.69$128,308

Salaries by states

Professor salaries also depend on location.

The following table provides salary estimates of associate professors by state (click on the links for more information).

State (A to K)State (L to N)State (O to Z)
Alabama$40,659Louisiana$94,054Ohio$95,900
Alaska$110,058Maine$65,902Oklahoma$89,565
Arizona$153,561Maryland$103,293Oregon$80,615
Arkansas$92,393Massachusetts$70,280Pennsylvania$166,518
California$175,811Michigan$98,257Rhode Island$103,500
Colorado$99,881Minnesota$100,500South Carolina$93,770
Connecticut$106,229Mississippi$85,500South Dakota$84,040
Delaware$103,100Missouri$93,564Tennessee$89,195
Florida$93,269Montana$66,117Texas$125,823
Georgia$59,821Nebraska$55,165Utah$126,993
Hawaii$103,008Nevada$158,792Vermont$89,089
Idaho$92,700New Hampshire$93,530Virginia$99,580
Illinois$65,721New Jersey$54,003Washington$55,684
Indiana$96,000New Mexico$89,735West Virginia$86,986
Iowa$95,873New York$76,060Wisconsin$65,573
Kansas$95,072North Carolina$56,654Wyoming$69,925
Kentucky$92,400North Dakota$68,970Washington DC$102,817

Learn more

If you have questions about professor rankings, check out these articles:

Read all my articles about professors on this page.

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