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It's easy for me to find out salaries for tech-jobs but it seems Professor salaries are quite hush-hush. I really love to teach and would be more than willing to join academia. However, I may choose to work for a few years in the industry before doing so. But even for information sake it's really really hard to figure out a tenure and tenure track professor's salary. It's rude to just ask my professors/colleagues directly :P

I'm interested in knowing an 'expected' range for the following countries - preferably both state and private universities (Computer Science). I'm not sure if there is a difference between the MS/PhD faculty and BS/B.Tech/BE though, but it'd be great to highlight the same.

  • United States
  • Europe (Switzerland, Germany more preferable)
  • Australia/New Zealand
  • India/China

Intent of information - awareness to take a better decision on the 'money dimension'. Please don't get me wrong, I am not intending to take a job with the most money but if a faculty position pays USD $50,000 per annum after 5 years of intensive effort, I'd like to hold off for a while. If "it depends" then on what does it depend and after I satisfy those dependencies, what can/should I expect?

UPDATE: Just for clarification, I am on the verge of completing my PhD thus piquing my curiosity about the remuneration since it's difficult to ask your advisor or other faculty members. I have and mostly been asked to wait for infinity for the response, hence the question :) I just wanted to know so that I can take an informed decision when I'm at the crossroads of applying for academia vs industry. Please don't get me wrong. I DO NOT wish to undermine the value of a PhD. I'm genuinely curious and I personally enjoy every bit of my work and it's NOT ABOUT THE MONEY :)

1 Answer 1

There are many factors that go into figuring out the answer.

  • location - different countries/systems have different ways of paying
  • area: salaries vary HUGELY across areas. You didn't mention your area, but you can expect that salaries in the humanities are less than those in engineering which might in turn be less than those in law/business/medicine
  • private/public: in the US salaries of profs at public universities are public knowledge - if you look up the university of Utah you can get my salary and that of all my colleagues. Public universities usually have public scales - private universities are - well - private.
  • level: I assume you're starting at the lowest level, but based on experience/demand things can vary a lot.

To get information, best to lookup surveys that are usually run by professional organizations in your area - they'll give you good ballpark estimates.

Ultimately you have to remember that a faculty salary, like any other salary, is a market-driven quantity with value set by the market. So it's very important to understand the local economy that drives the numbers - the above factors are some of the main drivers.