The Ivy League is a set of eight private universities that form an athletic conference. They also enjoy status as some of the top academic institutions in the United States. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, professors of all types working at private institutions earned an average of $82,010 per year as of 2012. But professors at Ivy League schools tend to make considerably more.
According to a 2012-2013 survey of professors conducted by the American Association of University Professors, full professors at Columbia University in New York reported the highest average salary of any private institution in the United States, at $212,300. Full professors at Harvard ranked second, at $203,000 per year. Princeton ranked third, at $200,000. Cornell was the lowest-paying of the Ivy League institutions, at $159,800.
Associate professors earned the most at Columbia University, at $132,400 per year. Princeton University ranked second for associate professor salaries, with an average of $129,100. Associate professors at other Ivy League institutions tended to earn between $100,000 and $120,000, on average, with Brown University reporting the lowest average salary of $103,400.
On the first rung of the faculty ladder, assistant professors tend to earn less than associate and full professors. The University of Pennsylvania boasted the highest average salary for assistant professors among the Ivies and among all private institutions, at $116,200 per year. At an average of $113,400, Harvard ranked second, followed by an average of $105,800 at Columbia. Brown University paid assistant professors the lowest average salary among the Ivy League schools, $86,000 per year.
Instructors typically teach introductory classes and tend to make less than professors, on average. Among all private institutions in the United States, Columbia was the clear leader when it came to paying instructors -- an average of $112,200 per year. Princeton University paid its instructors an average of $81,500, while Cornell paid a comparable average salary of $80,800. Harvard paid instructors the least, an average of $58,800 per year.