What are some useful sources for investigating common salary ranges for academics? This would be especially useful if it can be broken down by region, school type, position, and/ or institution.

This information is invaluable for going into an interview or negotiation process being (at least somewhat) informed.

I know some websites across the internet that attempt to generally provide this information, but many do not cover academic jobs effectively (or typically at all).

See here for a discussion of this topic for UK schools.

And here or here are two of many SE questions discussing How to handle salary negotiations.

  • I'm particularly interested in American academic salaries, but I welcome any information/sources others are aware of! Dec 10, 2015 at 3:48
  • Union contracts for institutions that have them, public records requests for public institutions. AIP has some survey data for physics only. Dec 10, 2015 at 4:23

3 Answers 3


The broadest survey that I'm aware of across many disciplines in the US is the CUPA-HR (College and University Professional Association for Human Resources) survey. Some summary data is available for free from their web site. However, you'd have to pay for access to the full survey results. Colleges frequently make use of this survey in setting salary targets.

The Chronicle of Higher Education also hosts a database that has salary data for faculty at many individual institutions in the US- I'm not sure of the sources of this data.

Many individual disciplines have salary surveys that are done by professional societies. For example, in mathematics, the American Mathematical Society has an annual survey of salaries of mathematics faculty in the US with extensive results that is freely available on the web. The survey breaks down positions by type of institution (bachelor's granting, master's granting, and three classes of PhD granting institutions.) It also has data for new assistant professors, all assistant professors, associate professors, and full professors.

At many public institutions in the US the salaries of faculty are a matter of public record and can be obtained by doing a simple web search. In negotiating an offer you might find this data useful. However, it's quite common under these circumstances that the institution simply won't negotiate much with respect to salary to avoid upsetting the faculty that already work in a department- they're generally aware of what their coworkers make.

At private universities in the US, the salaries of individual faculty are generally kept secret, except in cases where faculty members are among the most highly paid employees of the institution whose salaries must be reported as part of the annual report to the IRS (typically the five highest salaries go to football and basketball coaches and top administrators, but you sometime find medical school profs listed in these reports.)

  • Great answer. Thanks! It's the private schools that have given me trouble in the past. Though The chronicle of higher Ed and Glassdoor both seem to provide some information for private schools (even small, unranked schools)! Dec 10, 2015 at 4:27

This topic seems to be already popularly discussed a little more broadly in another question: In which countries are academic salaries published?.

That discussion seems to focus less on online resources, but nevertheless provides a few good examples:

An additional good online resource that I've found = GlassDoor.com

Know any others??


I think the best source of information are current department chairs. They need to know the market in order to make reasonable offers. They will know salary and startup information about the last few offers they have made as well as the "best" counter offer those candidates have had. They will likely have talked to the Dean and other department chairs within their university and possibly other universities.

  • 1
    Though you're right, asking the person your generally negotiating with for a suggestion of how much you should negotiate for is typically a less than ideal approach to long-term financial satisfaction :p. Dec 10, 2015 at 5:59
  • @theforestecologist in academics you typically do not negotiate with your current chair since you need to change jobs to get a raise. Further, in the searches I have seen, generally, your are negotiating with the Dean through the chair.
    – StrongBad
    Dec 10, 2015 at 13:38

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