As of 2012, there were 1,267,700 post-secondary teachers in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. These teachers made a median wage of $68,970 annually in that same year. But not all of these teachers are university professors. Professors teaching at universities generally have even higher wages. According to a study by the American Association of University Professors, in 2014, university professors made an average annual salary of $119,282. Of course this will vary based on your education level and the type of institution where you teach.
The average salary of doctoral professors in the United States was $138,472 per year as of 2014, according the AAUP survey. Those in public universities earned the least, with an average salary of $126,981. Religiously affiliated universities paid their doctoral professors $139,512 on average, while private, independent university professors made $173,890.
Masters of Their Domain
Professors with master's degrees typically earn less than those with doctorates. The AAUP reports that professors with a master's earned $93,933 on average as of 2014. At public institutions the average salary was $90,517. At religiously affiliated and private, independent universities, the average salaries were $94,618 and $107,082 respectively.
Those With Bachelor's Degrees
The AAUP found that university professors with just a bachelor's degree earned $94,145 per year on average in 2014. For those working at public universities, the salary was $87,262 on average. Private and religiously affiliated universities paid $106,641 and $80,810 respectively.
Associate Degree Holders
Some universities employ professors with only an associate's degree. The AAUP survey found that their average salary was $77,455 per year as of 2014. At public universities the average salary was $77,671. There was not enough data from private and religious universities to generate separate figures in this category.
Before reaching the rank of professor you may have to settle for a lower wage. According to the AAUP, the average associate professor earned $81,980 per year in 2014. Assistant professors earned even less at $69,848 annually. Instructors made $49,963 per year and lecturers made $55,890.
2016 Salary Information for Postsecondary Teachers
Postsecondary teachers earned a median annual salary of $78,050 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, postsecondary teachers earned a 25th percentile salary of $54,710, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $114,710, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 1,314,500 people were employed in the U.S. as postsecondary teachers.