The Salary of a Liberal Arts College Professor

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    Pay Scale

    • The pay scale for college professors tends to vary based on the subject they teach. Business, engineering and those teaching in the health care professions fields, for example, typically make more than those teaching subjects like history and English. The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that the average salary for college professors was $71,280 in 2010. The highest-paid professors earned salaries of $129,000 or more per year, while those at the bottom end of the pay scale made up to $30,320 annually.

    Rank

    • The rank of the liberal arts college professor provides some indication of what he can expect to make also. The American Association of University Professors indicates that the average salary for those professors who have achieved the rank of full professor was approximately $109,000 per year in 2009. Associate professors earned considerably less at an average of approximately $76,000, while assistant professor made even less at $64,000 per year.

    Institution

    • Professor salaries also differ based on the type of institution in which they teach. For instance, the American Association of University Professors indicates that the highest-paid professors were those that taught in independent private schools with no religious affiliation. Full professors earned an average of about $151,000 per year, as of 2009, working in these schools, whereas those working in private liberal arts religious institutions made $130,000 per year, on average. Public institutions paid the lowest salaries at $115,500 per year.

    Other Compensation

    • Compensation packages are another factor affecting how much the liberal arts college professor makes on a yearly basis. According to the American Association of University Professors, the average benefits package for full professors is typically worth about $26,600 per year, over and above the salary they earn. Associate professors tend to earn an additional $22,200 per year in extra compensation, while assistant professors make an extra $18,600. Compensation packages generally consist of a combination of health insurance and retirement benefits.

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