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How Much Do Community College Professors Get Paid in California?

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The California Community College system is a network that involves over 112 universities and is the largest education network in the world. To make the system work it employs over 70,000 administrators, educators and clerical workers. Over one half of these employees are instructors and their pay varies by experience and subject taught.


The Chancellor's Office of the California Community College System reported in 2020 that the average annual salary for tenure track professors was $105,033. The bottom 10 percent made between $50,000 and $80,000 and the top 10 percent made in excess of $100,000. Instructors hired on a temporary basis had an average hourly wage of $76.57.


The majority of instructors in the California Community College System are part-time instructors. In 2020, there were 17,962 tenure track professors in the system, compared to 42,252 temporary instructors. The largest share of employees were employed in the humanities, fine arts and interdisciplinary studies, accounting for approximately 35 percent of the university head count. However, instructors in these areas only account for 28 percent of tenure track professors. Professors in the areas of math, engineering and biology had the highest concentration of tenure track jobs relative to their department size.

Other Departments

The majority of employees in the California Community College system are instructors. According to the Chancellor's report, instructors made up 67 percent of the total workforce. They're also some of the best paid employees. The only category of employees who had a higher salary than tenure-track professors were university administrators who were paid an average of $126,000. They made almost twice as much as clerical professionals, whose average salary was $47,000.


California community college professors are also paid well compared to the rest of the nation, particularly on the low end. In May 2020, the Bureau of Labor statistics reported that the median annual salary of post-secondary teachers in America was $80,560. The lowest 10 percent of post secondary teachers made an average of $40,830. In California, there were only 140 out of 18,200 professors that comprised the lowest 10 percent national salary average.


Jonathan Bechtel is a former banker and start-up founder who has written since 2008 on the topics of banking, finance and business strategy. His advice and tips have been featured on Fox Business, Yahoo! Finance and AOL money. Jonathan holds a Bachelor of Science in nutrition from the Ohio State University.

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