How much do PhD professors make? (Updated 2024)

I am sure you know a PhD is the highest academic qualification. However, do you know how much PhD professors make? Of course not. As a student, we never think about that. But when we want to be one of them, it is the first thing we look at. When my cousin became a professor, I randomly asked her about the salary. To my surprise, it was quite higher than one of my friends. As both of them teach the same subject, I was really confused as to why there is so much difference. This was when I realized the power of completing a PhD.

My cousin had done her PhD, and after that applied for the job. On the other hand, my friend became a professor just after completing their master’s. Of course, this means you will get a higher salary if you are a PhD professor. Thus, if you are also doing a PhD, you must want to know the salary. Let’s dive in together and see how much you can earn being a PhD professor.

How much do PhD professors make?

Who is a PhD professor?

A Ph.D. professor is enrolled in a doctoral degree. It means a PhD professor has completed the highest academic degree in a particular field. Remember, you must take this degree in a particular branch of the subject. Suppose you are an economics student, you can think of completing a PhD in macroeconomics or microeconomics. Having this degree shows that you have a vast knowledge of the subject and have done deep research in your field of study. 

How much do PhD professors make?

A professor with a Ph.D. generally has a salary higher than professors with a master’s degree. The average salary you get as a PhD professor is around $119,503. However, remember, how much salary you will get as a Ph.D. professor will depend upon where you live and what type of institution you are applying to. Also, it will depend upon what type of subject you are teaching and how much experience you have. It depends on various factors to determine the salary, you get as a PhD professor. Therefore, further, we have discussed some common factors that will affect your salary.

What are the factors affecting the salary of the professor?

Now that you know how much salary you will get, it is important to know the factors affecting it. Following are the factors that affect the salary of the professor-

1. Location and the size of the institution 

The first thing that affects the salary of the professors is the location of living. Also, the size of the institution you are applying to will affect your salary. If you are a PhD professor at a big university like Harvard, you will have high pay compared to other institutions. Also, suppose you are living in Hawaii, you may get a high salary when compared to other regions like Alaska or Arizona. 

2. Experience

The salary you get also depends upon the experience you have gained. Undoubtedly, you will get a high salary as a Ph.D. professor but having more experience help you get an even higher salary. Even if you are a fresher and have just completed your PhD, having some experience will give you a good salary compared to other Ph.D. professors. It also depends on your teaching style and how much research you have done so far. Also if you are a full-time professor you will be earning higher salaries.

How much do PhD professors make?

3. Publications

As a Ph.D. professor, you must be involved in research projects and publications. Once you have a great publication, you will land a job with a high salary. Having more publications means showing your skills in the research to the institution you are applying to. When you have great publications it will help you to get a higher salary when compared to other PhD professors. Therefore, you must try to work on different research and publications.

4. Type of institution

You must remember that the type of institution will also determine the salary. Suppose you are applying to a private institution, you will get a higher salary. Whereas, if you apply to a public institution, you will get a lower salary. Suppose you are an assistant professor, the average salary that you will get at a private institution is $100,610 whereas in a public institution, is around $87,287.

5. The subject you are teaching

How much do PhD professors make?

The subject you will teach also determines your salary as a PhD professor. If we talk about a PhD professor in English they may have a lower salary when compared to PhD professors in Maths. The subject having a high demand will generally land you at a higher salary than the other. If you teach two subjects simultaneously, you may get a higher salary.

How long is a PhD to be a Professor?

Becoming a professor is not an easy task you will need to give a lot of time to it. You will be given 4 years for your undergraduate degree and then you will need to spend 2 years on your master’s degree. After that, you will have to complete your PhD degree which will take 2-3 years depending on the subject taken. Thus, it may take up to 10 years to become a professor.

Does having a PhD make you a professor?

When you complete your Ph. D., you get a title doctor before your name. Having a PhD does not make you a professor until and unless you teach in a particular institution. It means that you must teach at a college or a university to call yourself a professor. In short, we can say that having a PhD only gives you the title of Doctor but does not make you a professor.


A Ph.D. professor has completed their doctoral degree. The average salary as a PhD professor is around $119,503. However, different factors that affect your salary are location, size of the class, type of institution, etc. Suppose you are working in a private institution, it will give you a higher salary than the professor working in a public institution. You must also know that only earning a Ph.D. degree is not enough, you must get a teaching job to become a professor.


What type of Professor gets paid the most?

The salary you will get depends on the level of professorship you are at. Generally, if you are a lecturer, having a master’s degree, you will get a lower salary when compared to a professor who has a PhD degree. Also if you are an adjunct assistant professor you will be earning less than the full-time professor. 

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