Sunday, July 5, 2009

Faculty Salaries Database

I think that almost all graduate students in physics and astronomy at some point dream of one day becoming a university professors. This is very different than most professional aspirations for several reasons, but if we put aside the years of schooling and the whole post-doc thing, one of the biggest differences is that there are a very limited number of places to work. In fact, the state of Oregon has 12 colleges or universities that employ physicists. In contrast, there are thousands of places that an engineer could get a job in Oregon.

But there is a advantage to having a small number of potential employers, which is simply that it becomes much easier to survey potential employers. This is demonstrated by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) Faculty Salaries Database, shown here:
The data, which is based on self-reported salaries by the members of a AAUP, gives average salaries broken down by university, gender, and professorial rank. This data is far from complete. Some schools (like BYU) are not associated with the AAUP and since the data is self-reported, so there may be some self-selection effects, but overall I think the data provide a nice idea of what the average faculty member earns at a given institution.

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