Not at all. On my salary, I can barely afford to maintain my third vacation home, I only own five Rolls Royces, and a second yacht is out of the question.
Oh, wait, that’s my fantasy salary.
As far as my real salary is concerned…I have a Ph.D. (that’s 12 years of post-secondary education), and have 20 years of experience as a college professor. If I went on the job market today, I could expect to demand a salary of…$60,000, if I really wanted to push my luck and not be passed over in favor of someone younger and willing to accept the $40,000 starting salary that is more common for faculty positions.
Top salary for professors at CUNY is around $100,000. Top-level private colleges will get you somewhat more (but still under $200,000…unless you’re a football coach), though most private colleges have comparable pay scale.
Consider how far $100,000 will take you when you work in New York City. In my case, it takes me about 2 hours away from work…because that’s where I can afford to live. Most of my colleagues do the same, except for the few who live in the city…in a studio apartment with just enough room to swing a cat.
And I’m lucky. Adjunct professors get paid on a per-class basis, typically around $3000. (Personally, I’d love to see all adjunct positions abolished…because if these people are teaching courses, they deserve a full-time post with full-time salary and benefits)
Author: , 30+ years in academia as faculty, administrator, student