# What is the average age at which professors receive tenure in the US?

For the United States, is there a statistic of the age professors have when they are granted tenure?

If such a statistic is not available, is there a way to (more or less reliably) estimate the mean age from other statistics? For example, is there a statistic of the average age at which persons accept their tenure-track position in the US, plus the average duration of the tenure-track process?

Background of the question: When comparing systems of higher education, the age at which professors can approximately expect to gain lifelong employment comes up. For some countries this average age has been reported (42 for Germany, from data in 2003).

(Bonus Q: Does the statistic show a difference depending on scientific field or type of institution?)

• en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Professors_in_the_United_States says "As of 2003, the average age at which scientists received tenure in the United States was 39" Jul 21 at 15:21
• Looking at only professors who actually get tenure could be misleading - a country with exactly 1 professor who gets tenure at 30 will appear much better than a country where all professors get tenure at 50, but I'd argue the interpretation should be the opposite. Evaluating only tenured professors will tell you the age at which professors who get tenure can expect to do so, but it's likely that overall, most professors don't ever get tenure - if that's the case, a non-tenured professor should not expect lifelong employment at any age, regardless of the average age of being granted tenure. Jul 21 at 15:24
• The Chronicle of Higher Education probably has some statistics. So too the US Department of Education. I'll leave the search to you. Jul 21 at 15:30
• @Buffy I mentioned countries as an example of education systems that the OP might want to compare, but nothing about my comment is specific to any country. My point is that interpreting the average age of tenure as the age at which the average professor becomes tenured is flawed - the average professor doesn't ever become tenured. This disconnect in interpretation holds true regardless of the administrative jurisdiction being studied. Jul 21 at 15:40
• Currently, in the U.S., it appears to me (without quantitative info) that getting a tenure-track job in math is a much bigger hurdle than getting tenure from a tenure-track job. And getting a post-doc prior to the tenure-track job is already a severely narrowed channel, considering the number of PhD's granted. Jul 21 at 18:36