Average Faculty Salary by Sector over Time

Faculty salaries in both public and private nonprofit institutions grew more rapidly in inflation-adjusted dollars between 1984-85 and 1994-95 than over the next two decades.

Figure 2016_23B: Average Salary of Full-Time Instructional Faculty by Sector, 1984-85, 1994-95, 2004-05, and 2014-15, in 2014-15 Dollars

 Average Salary of Full-Time Instructional Faculty in 2014 Dollars, by Sector, 1984-85, 1994-95, 2004-05, and 2014-15

Notes & Sources 

Notes: Salaries are based on nine-month contracts. Data for 1984-85 and 1994-95 are for institutions of higher education, while later data are for degree-granting institutions.

Sources: NCES, Digest of Education Statistics 2016, Tables 316.10 and 316.20.

  • The average faculty salary at public four-year institutions was about the same (in 2014 dollars) in 2014-15 as it was in 2004-05. It was $2,284 (3%) lower at public two-year colleges and $3,041 (4%) higher in the private nonprofit sector than it was a decade earlier.
  • The average full-time faculty salary at public doctoral universities was 84% of the average at private nonprofit doctoral universities in 2014-15 ($87,174 versus $103,587). In contrast, average salaries were almost equal in public and private nonprofit master’s universities.