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How Much Does a Professor at a University Make Per Year?

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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.

Doctoral Professors

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.

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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.

Other Positions

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.

About the Author

M. Scilly is a writer and editor who writes for various online publications, specializing in business and management. He has a fondness for travel and photography. In his free time he enjoys marathon training.

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