Professors Have the Highest Pay, Highest Wage Growth, New Study Reveals

It pays to be a professor these days!

In the monthly Glassdoor Local Pay Reports, we examine pay growth trends for 60 different jobs across 10 major metros and the United States. We took our research one step to examine which jobs are both high growth (looking at year-over-year pay growth) and high paying (according to median base pay). And while software engineers and registered nurses were in the so called “Sweet spot,” professors beat out all the other occupations as having the highest growth and the highest salary.

That’s right! In April, professors saw a year-over-year pay increase of $4,934 (5.8% growth from last year) and an average salary of $90,007. When it comes to having high growth and high pay, professors followed by customer service managers ($3,733, $54,177), attorneys ($3,426, $98,594) and programmer analysts ($3,360, $69,233).

Like many of today’s employment trends, experts say professors are experiencing high growth and high pay because of increased demand. “The source of high salaries and rapid growth of professor pay is rooted in competition,” says Glassdoor chief economist Dr. Andrew Chamberlain. “Universities must compete with major corporations for talent in the fields of machine learning, artificial intelligence, and all STEM fields. Therefore, in order to attract and retain talent, universities in many cases are making attractive counter offers, and that’s likely driving the rapid rise we’re seeing in pay for professors nationwide.”

Sounds a lot like those college lessons on supply and demand, right?

Overall, our research found that there’s a slight negative relationship between pay and growth. Higher paying jobs on average are correlated with lower pay growth. And lower paying jobs are correlated with higher growth rates.

For example, data scientist is among the highest-paying jobs in the U.S. today, with a median base pay of $94,944 per year. However, data scientist pay is only growing at 1.1 percent from a year ago, well below the national average of 2.7 percent. On the contrary, cashiers earn a median base pay of $27,582 per year, but are experiencing rapid pay growth of 5.0 percent year-over-year.

But it’s important to note that not every job follows this pattern. Some jobs have both high pay and high wage growth, while others have both low pay and low growth. Interested in the data? The figure below is divided into four quadrants to illustrate both these general trends and the outlier jobs.

Dig in, then find a job that fits your life on Glassdoor!

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Source: Glassdoor Local Pay Reports, April 2017. Figures show U.S. estimated median annual base pay for full-time employees.

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