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Working as a Professor

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a professor. For example, did you know that they make an average of $60.93 an hour? That's $126,733 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 11% and produce 155,000 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Professor Do

There are certain skills that many professors have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed speaking skills, writing skills and critical-thinking skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a professor, we found that a lot of resumes listed 12.1% of professors included phd, while 10.5% of resumes included undergraduate courses, and 10.2% of resumes included professional development. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the professor job title. But what industry to start with? Most professors actually find jobs in the education and health care industries.

How To Become a Professor

If you're interested in becoming a professor, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 26.2% of professors have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 35.1% of professors have master's degrees. Even though most professors have a college degree, it's impossible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a professor. When we researched the most common majors for a professor, we found that they most commonly earn master's degree degrees or doctoral degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on professor resumes include bachelor's degree degrees or associate degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a professor. In fact, many professor jobs require experience in a role such as internship. Meanwhile, many professors also have previous career experience in roles such as assistant professor or associate professor.

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Average Salary$126,733
Job Growth Rate11%

Professor Jobs

Professor Career Paths

Top Careers Before Professor

Top Careers After Professor

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Average Salary for a Professor

Professors in America make an average salary of $126,733 per year or $61 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $214,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $74,000 per year.
Average Salary
$126,733

Best Paying Cities

Average Salary
Salary Range130k - 294k$196k$195,902
Salary Range113k - 236k$164k$163,846
Salary Range99k - 237k$154k$153,830
Salary Range98k - 209k$143k$143,464
Salary Range97k - 210k$143k$142,910
Salary Range93k - 204k$139k$138,594
$77k
$294k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Instructors, Professor, Advisor
Instructors, Professor, Advisor
Colo Mesa Univ Human Resources
Colo Mesa Univ Human Resources
10/31/2020
10/31/2020
$75,00010/31/2020
$75,000
Professor and Director
Professor and Director
Colorado State University
Colorado State University
10/30/2020
10/30/2020
$190,00010/30/2020
$190,000
Endowed Professorship In Librarianship
Endowed Professorship In Librarianship
American Library Association
American Library Association
10/16/2020
10/16/2020
$120,00010/16/2020
$120,000
Endowed Professorship In Librarianship, 2021
Endowed Professorship In Librarianship, 2021
University of Texas at Austin
University of Texas at Austin
10/12/2020
10/12/2020
$120,00010/12/2020
$120,000
Professor
Professor
The Board of Trustees of The Leland Stanford, Jr. University
The Board of Trustees of The Leland Stanford, Jr. University
09/23/2019
09/23/2019
$260,00009/23/2019
$260,000
See More Recent Salaries

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Professor Demographics

Gender

male

51.9%

female

40.7%

unknown

7.4%

Ethnicity

White

69.3%

Asian

11.4%

Hispanic or Latino

9.4%

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

52.0%

French

10.7%

Portuguese

5.1%
See More Demographics

Professor Education

Majors

Law
18.2%

Degrees

Masters

35.1%

Doctorate

29.8%

Bachelors

26.2%

Top Colleges for Professors

1. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL

Tuition and fees
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

2. University of Texas at Austin

Austin, TX

Tuition and fees
$10,610
Enrollment
40,329

3. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA

Tuition and fees
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

4. Duke University

Durham, NC

Tuition and fees
$55,695
Enrollment
6,596

5. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY

Tuition and fees
$55,188
Enrollment
15,105

6. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI

Tuition and fees
$15,262
Enrollment
30,079

7. Stanford University

Stanford, CA

Tuition and fees
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

8. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA

Tuition and fees
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

9. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA

Tuition and fees
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

10. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY

Tuition and fees
$59,430
Enrollment
8,216

Entry Level Jobs For Becoming A Professor

Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Professor

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 12.1% of professors listed phd on their resume, but soft skills such as speaking skills and writing skills are important as well.

  • PHD, 12.1%
  • Undergraduate Courses, 10.5%
  • Professional Development, 10.2%
  • Philosophy, 6.4%
  • Online, 4.1%
  • Other Skills, 56.7%
  • See All Professor Skills

Best States For a Professor

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a professor. The best states for people in this position are California, Nevada, Connecticut, and Utah. Professors make the most in California with an average salary of $155,062. Whereas in Nevada and Connecticut, they would average $146,575 and $145,455, respectively. While professors would only make an average of $144,661 in Utah, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Utah

Total Professor Jobs:
169
Highest 10% Earn:
$244,000
Location Quotient:
1.5
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. North Dakota

Total Professor Jobs:
48
Highest 10% Earn:
$228,000
Location Quotient:
1.46
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Arizona

Total Professor Jobs:
169
Highest 10% Earn:
$241,000
Location Quotient:
0.79
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Professor Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a professor. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

At Zippia, we went through countless professor resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Write a Professor Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless professor resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Detailed Information

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Top Professor Employers

1. University of California Press
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$48,267
Professors Hired: 
94+
2. MD Anderson Cancer Center
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$48,955
Professors Hired: 
74+
3. Columbia University
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$52,740
Professors Hired: 
73+
4. Instituto de Banca Y Comercio
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$61,968
Professors Hired: 
56+
5. New York University
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$58,034
Professors Hired: 
51+
6. Harvard University
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$52,551
Professors Hired: 
51+

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