What Is the Average Salary of a College Instructor?
Would you like to work as a professor and immerse yourself in an intellectual environment? If you're planning on becoming a college instructor, there are a variety of factors to consider when estimating your possible salary. Where do you plan on teaching? What subject are you interested in? Keep reading to learn more about college instructor salaries. Schools offering Adult Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
Salary Statistics for College Instructors
Salary Based on Subject
Many schools offer different salaries to instructors based on the subject that they teach. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that your average salary as a postsecondary instructor can vary by as much as $50,000, depending on the field of study that you choose (www.bls.gov). The graphs below can give you a working perspective of the highest- and lowest-paying fields for college instructors, based on May 2010 estimates:
High-Paying Fields of Study for College Instructors
|Subject||Average Yearly Salary|
Lower-Paying Fields of Study for College Instructors
|Subject||Average Yearly Salary|
|Recreation and Fitness||$63,760|
Salary Based on Job Type
Your average salary as a college instructor is also affected by your employer. The BLS reported that instructors teaching at 4-year universities earned greater average wages than college teachers employed at 2-year schools and community colleges. Citing a 2008-2009 survey by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), the BLS also reported that private independent universities offered higher salaries to college instructors than public universities.
Your specific job title also heavily influences your salary as a college instructor, since tenured faculty usually earn more than part-time visiting professors. The AAUP survey showed that as of 2008-2009, professors made over twice as much as lecturers on average. The wide salary variance based on college instructor rank is shown below:
|Rank of Instructor||Average Annual Salary|
Salary Based on City
The location that you choose to work as a college instructor can further influence your average salary. PayScale.com reported that as of August 2011, the following urban cities offered a very wide range of potential salaries for postsecondary teachers:
|City||10th-90th Percentile Salary Range|
|New York, NY||$49,596-$154,922|
|Los Angeles, CA||$37,095-$183,637|
If you intend to teach at a 4-year college or university, you'll typically need to earn a doctorate, according to the BLS. Some schools may hire instructors for art programs with nothing more than a master's degree, but these instances are the exception rather than the rule. If you have a master's degree, you might instead consider teaching at a 2-year institution.
If you're looking for a tenured teaching position at a university, you can expect a certain level of competition, but non-tenure-track and part-time positions can enable you to gain valuable teaching experience in a college setting. Students who are working on their doctoral degrees may find either part-time or temporary jobs as teaching assistants, but these jobs aren't generally tenure-track positions.
To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below: