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Professor salaries at the best public colleges in America


  • We took a look into how much professors at the 50 best public colleges in the US earn for their work.
  • Using rankings from US News and data from the Department of Education, we found the average salary for non-medical instructional staff.
  • Top-ranked UCLA has the highest average professor salary at just over $162,000.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

College professors at the top public universities in the United States tend to do pretty well for themselves. That is to say, most of them are at least earning more money than the average K-12 public school teacher.

We took a look at the 2020 50 best public colleges and universities as ranked by US News and World Report and gathered data on the average salary for non-medical instructional staff normalized to a standard nine-month contract for the 2017-2018 school year from the Department of Education’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System survey results. Many school rankings are tied. 

We found that average salaries for professors tended to be higher at schools closer to the top of the rankings, with top-ranked UCLA also having the highest average professor salary at $162,148. 

Here are the average salaries for instructional staff at the top 50 public universities and colleges in the US, ranked in ascending order:


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