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Thread: How much does a professor make?

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    Seeker Of A Clever Title. zxcvbnm's Avatar
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    Default How much does a professor make?

    How much on average does a sax professor at a university make on average? I'm asking because I am considering being a music major in college, and maybe as a professor later on. I don't want to sound like I am bragging or anything, but I could probably get into a really good school and be a scientist or lawyer or something, but that doesn't appeal to me at all. It just seems kind of boring, and I'd much rather play sax. Any help? Thanks.

    On second thought, this should probably be in the high school/college section.
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    SOTW Administrator hakukani's Avatar
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    Default Re: How much does a professor make?

    Quote Originally Posted by zxcvbnm View Post
    How much on average does a sax professor at a university make on average? I'm asking because I am considering being a music major in college, and maybe as a professor later on. I don't want to sound like I am bragging or anything, but I could probably get into a really good school and be a scientist or lawyer or something, but that doesn't appeal to me at all. It just seems kind of boring, and I'd much rather play sax. Any help? Thanks.

    On second thought, this should probably be in the high school/college section.
    It depends on the school, the school's location, what rank you are hiring in at, and how clever you are at bargaining with the dean when you're hired.

    Ranked from the bottom up (and some universities call them by different names):

    Grad assistant
    guest lecturer
    lecturer
    associate instructor
    instructor
    adjunct professor
    assistant professor
    associate professor
    Professor

    Only the top three ranks are tenure track. If you don't get a doctorate, don't publish, and don't recruit, you won't probably get tenure. If you go up for tenure, and don't get it you get a year to 'clear out your desk'.

    Pay scales go from meager to manageable.
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    Default Re: How much does a professor make?

    Starting salary = $30,000 - $40,000. Masters is the minimum degree and it's very difficult to be competitive without a doctorate or at least everything completed but the disertation.

    Unless you are a killer player with impressive experience it is unlikely that your first job will only be to teach the sax studio. Theory, music ed, assistant band, teaching other instruments, etc. will likely be part (majority) of a first job.

    Check the job listings in The Chronicle of Higher Education (online and free) to get a sense of what is available, resposibilities, qualifications, and salary. Not to be discouraging, but the reality is: COMPETITIVE!
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    Default Re: How much does a professor make?

    Years ago - when I first started teaching High School - I hooked up with a young College Proff from my Alma matter for a drink. During the discussion he couldnt believe that I was making more than him with a Bachelors in Public school than he was with a doctorate in a College.
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    Distinguished SOTW Member Martinman's Avatar
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    Default Re: How much does a professor make?

    A lot (most if not all?) of college professors give lessons to high school students on the side as a good way of earning extra cash. I have paid college profs anwhere from $30-$50 an hour. I hear Rousseau charges $200, but that could be total bull.
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    Default Re: How much does a professor make?

    Quote Originally Posted by hakukani View Post
    It depends on the school, the school's location, what rank you are hiring in at, and how clever you are at bargaining with the dean when you're hired.

    Ranked from the bottom up (and some universities call them by different names):

    Grad assistant
    guest lecturer
    lecturer
    associate instructor
    instructor
    adjunct professor
    assistant professor
    associate professor
    Professor

    Only the top three ranks are tenure track. If you don't get a doctorate, don't publish, and don't recruit, you won't probably get tenure. If you go up for tenure, and don't get it you get a year to 'clear out your desk'.

    Pay scales go from meager to manageable.
    "Assistant Professor" isn't always tenure track...I'd also say that adjunct faculty is usually the opening step, rather than guest lecturer, but as you said the nomenclature varies.

    More importantly, there is also half-time, three quarter time, and full-time. At smaller schools, they may hire a half-time prof (which is never a tenure track position) to fill a specific need, such as theory...or a small saxophone program. It's better than adjunct work, because you are a contracted employee with benefits, etc. but not as good as being a full-time professor. (Because you can't get tenure until the position is made full-time.) You are paid less, but still have to do service, publishing, etc. but your class load is less as well.

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    Default Re: How much does a professor make?

    Quote Originally Posted by hakukani View Post
    Ranked from the bottom up (and some universities call them by different names):

    Grad assistant
    guest lecturer
    lecturer
    associate instructor
    instructor
    adjunct professor
    assistant professor
    associate professor
    Professor
    Wow, this is new for me. It's like military rankings!

  8. #8

    Default Re: How much does a professor make?

    Quote Originally Posted by Martinman View Post
    I hear Rousseau charges $200, but that could be total bull.
    I'm pretty sure it is. He's too nice to charge that much anyways.

  9. #9
    SOTW Administrator hakukani's Avatar
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    Default Re: How much does a professor make?

    Quote Originally Posted by J.Max View Post
    "Assistant Professor" isn't always tenure track...I'd also say that adjunct faculty is usually the opening step, rather than guest lecturer, but as you said the nomenclature varies.

    More importantly, there is also half-time, three quarter time, and full-time. At smaller schools, they may hire a half-time prof (which is never a tenure track position) to fill a specific need, such as theory...or a small saxophone program. It's better than adjunct work, because you are a contracted employee with benefits, etc. but not as good as being a full-time professor. (Because you can't get tenure until the position is made full-time.) You are paid less, but still have to do service, publishing, etc. but your class load is less as well.
    Yeah, most of my info is based on other disciplines besides music. In other than music, no one in their right mind would take that job without it being tenure track--then again, no one without a PhD has a chance in hell of getting an assistant prof gig in most disciplines.

    'Adjunct professor' was originally an honorary title given to someone that was on sabbatical from another university in order to make them eligible for office space and library privileges. They usually were not paid, nor did they have any teaching responsibilities. My how times change!

    The worst is 'visiting assistant professor'. That generally means you're toast after the first year.

    Lecturers are usually hired to teach classes that the regular prof is on sabbatical, or has a course release for a grant---like I say, this is from Ms./Dr./full Prof hakukani, who is a professor of psychology (not music), and the veteran of many searches.

    And yes, graysax, you're absolutely right, I make more than most assistant profs at the university by teaching public school with a lowly Bachelor's + a ton of professional development, (plus I have tenure)----but we public school teachers definitely earn it!
    Sound guy theory of relativity: E=mc^2 (+or- 3dB)
    Sax player theory of relativity: E=mc^2 (+or- .010" at the tip)
    "Free jazz is the vegemite of the musical world. It's an acquired taste."-J. Jacques

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    SOTW Administrator hakukani's Avatar
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    Default Re: How much does a professor make?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick View Post
    Wow, this is new for me. It's like military rankings!
    More like a pecking order.
    Sound guy theory of relativity: E=mc^2 (+or- 3dB)
    Sax player theory of relativity: E=mc^2 (+or- .010" at the tip)
    "Free jazz is the vegemite of the musical world. It's an acquired taste."-J. Jacques

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    Forum Contributor 2009 al9672's Avatar
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    Default Re: How much does a professor make?

    Don't know about music proffs but Engineering proffs here in Australia can make from 100k - 250k AUD(not USD)

    adjuncts aren't usually part of the faculty part are external visitors
    or thats how they classify them here.

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    Forum Contributor 2009 fellex's Avatar
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    Default Re: How much does a professor make?

    Quote Originally Posted by al9672 View Post
    Don't know about music proffs but Engineering proffs here in Australia can make from 100k - 250k AUD(not USD)

    adjuncts aren't usually part of the faculty part are external visitors
    or thats how they classify them here.

    monthly or annually?

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    Default Re: How much does a professor make?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick View Post
    I'm pretty sure it is. He's too nice to charge that much anyways.
    You see that, right there is where academics shoot themselves in the foot. $200 an hour would be very reasonable. Think about what some aged politicians charge for pontificating about economics and world affairs on the lecture circuit.
    "The sound of tireless voices is the price we pay for the right to hear the music of our own opinions."

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    Default Re: How much does a professor make?

    Quote Originally Posted by hakukani View Post

    The worst is 'visiting assistant professor'. That generally means you're toast after the first year.
    Tell it like it is, hak.
    "The sound of tireless voices is the price we pay for the right to hear the music of our own opinions."

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    Default Re: How much does a professor make?

    Here's the link to university vacancy listings...just type "music" in the search box.

    30k-40k appears to be the starting range for university music positions. Other disciplines (business profs, for example) start at double that amount. And I've been told that my colleagues in the business school get a
    minimum of $175 per hour for consulting work. This is one area where the free market is alive and well.
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    Default Re: How much does a professor make?

    You're going to need at least a Masters degree and it's going to be really tough to get hired without a Doctorate. When I was in school, one of the grad assistants told me he was getting frustrated because even Podunk Community College in the middle of nowhere wanted a Doctorate. Even my alma mater initially didn't want to hire one of the greatest big band jazz drummers ever because he didn't have a Masters or a Doctorate.

    It's going to be up to you to determine if paying for 5 more years of school is worth it.

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    Default Re: How much does a professor make?

    Its seems like, in the not-too-distant past, a lot of the college jazz or sax teachers, were very good players, who, for a few reasons (money, or having a family, or not liking The Road), became professors, instead of being full-time pro players.

    Now, as I've been told, the music business for most, is so bad, that alot of great pros have turned to teaching or trying to get teaching jobs at colleges, which is making it even more COMPETITIVE.

    Now you not only have to compete with the great academic players, but also alot of the smoking, pro players that have CDs out & played with all the cats, etc..

    Plus, universities have been trying to move away from full-time tenure positions & hire more & more adjuncts to do the work, because it saves $$ on health benefits & retirement, etc... (like hiring Temps or contract employees, instead of full-timers, in the private sector)

    It aint that easy, anymore.

    So, kid...do you still want to be a Music Prof????

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    Default Re: How much does a professor make?

    One of our professors here said "A masters today is just a like a high school diploma 20 years ago." With that in mind, it makes sense that you wouldn't get much money without a doctorate.

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    Default Re: How much does a professor make?

    If we are talking about classical saxophone tenure track positions, the prospects are probably just a little better than making it into the NBA. Think about it - first you need to get accepted into a good music school, then work your way through all the hurdles to earn a Ph.D. Now, where's the job opening? How many Ph.D.'s has, say, Fred Hemke graduated in his years at Northwestern - and he himself is still occupying one of the few prime gigs after all of these years. There are an awful lot of Ph.D.s in humanities and fine arts being paid a low hourly rate for burdensome teaching loads in non-tenure track positions at universities.

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    Default Re: How much does a professor make?

    10 years ago, I was up for an assist. prof. gig at a SUNY school as a music biz prof. It paid mid-$40s. It came down to me and another candidate and we each had to teach a whole day of classes. I lost out but I was happy that the SUNY school cared about hiring folks who can teach.
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