History Salary Growth Lags Behind other Disciplines

The College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR) recently released the latest salary figures for faculty members. Overall, college and university professors saw their median salaries rise 3.8% in the 2006-07 academic year, compared to 3.4% last year and 3.2% in the year prior. Median salaries rose higher for public institution faculty (3.9%) than they did for faculty at private institutions (3.7%).

And what of history? The CUPA-HR report breaks down faculty salaries by discipline, rank, and by type of institution (private or public). This shows how history salaries stack up against other disciplines and where growth is occurring within the history field. Starting this year, CUPA-HR is also reporting unweighted rather than weighted salary data, because it “more precisely reflects what institutions are paying, in that the average or median salary for a position is included only once for each participant school. Weighted data, in contrast, is more an indicator of what incumbents are earning, in that the average or median salary is included once for each incumbent, thereby giving more weight to salaries paid by institutions with large numbers of incumbents.” (CUPA-HR report executive summary).

Growth in history salaries at each rank lagged behind the average of all disciplines at each rank. The unweighted average starting salary for an instructor of history in 2006-07 was $39,048 compared to $38,578 last year, for an increase of only 1.2% (compared to 3.7% for instructors in all disciplines). The unweighted average starting salary for a beginning assistant professor of history was $47,145 compared to $45,528 last year, for an increase of 3.55% (compared to 3.6% in all disciplines). The starting salary for an assistant professor was $48,219 (an increase of 2.91%, versus 3.8% in all disciplines); for an associate professor, $58,206 (an increase of 2.99%, versus 3.9% in all disciplines); and for a full professor, $76,049 (an increase of 3.0%, versus 4% in all disciplines).

Good thing historians aren’t in it for the money.

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