Earnings for college faculty vary according to rank and type of institution, geographic area, and field. According to a 2004–2005 survey by the American Association of University Professors, salaries for full-time faculty averaged $68,505. By rank, the average was $91,548 for professors, $65,113 for associate professors, $54,571 for assistant professors, $39,899 for instructors, and $45,647 for lecturers. Faculty in four-year institutions earn higher salaries, on average, than do those in two-year schools.
In 2004–2005, faculty salaries averaged $79,342 in private independent institutions, $66,851 in public institutions, and $61,103 in religiously affiliated private colleges and universities. In fields with high-paying nonacademic alternatives, such as medicine, law, engineering, and business, among others, earnings exceed these averages. In others fields, such as the humanities and education, they are lower.
Many faculty members have significant earnings in addition to the base salary, whether from consulting, teaching additional courses, working on research projects, writing for publication, or taking other employment. In addition, many enjoy some unique benefits, including access to campus facilities, tuition waivers for dependents, housing and travel allowances, and paid sabbatical leaves. Part-time faculty usually have fewer benefits than full-time faculty.