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Professor Salaries By Discipline Set—What's the Trend?

January 2013

By Jessica Brown, Senior Manager, Knowledge Services, AACSB International

Faculty salaries are an integral part of the education toolbox at any school. In addition to providing the best classes and environment for your students, you also want to provide access to the best faculty available. This can be a tough project at times, especially with shrinking budgets and issues such as salary inversion, which can make hiring decisions even more difficult.

As part of AACSB International's mission to provide data that will help schools meet the challenges they face, a global salary survey is conducted each year and sent to all AACSB member schools. This survey was previously limited to AACSB members in the U.S., but in recent years it has been opened to the full membership. Since then, global participation has been increasing each year. In September 2012, AACSB invited more than 1,200 member business schools and academic units to participate in this year's survey. Reflecting the high value placed on the reports created using the survey data, member participation was significant among accredited institutions at 92% (U.S.) and 76% for all participants with overall participation equating to 78% (U.S.) and 47% for all participants.

Taking a look at the average salaries paid to professors in different discipline sets during multiple years is a good way to get a feel for the current salary trends. While data is collected by each of the 28 disciplines and the 'other' category, the table below combines these disciplines into the larger topic groups used in the survey's executive summary. Due to the fact that survey participation is growing worldwide but earlier data was not as robust internationally, this table focuses on U.S. participants. Separate reports are available at no charge to the primary contact for participating schools for the categories of U.S. Only, All Participants—Excluding U.S., All Participants, and Canada.

Average Salaries for Select Discipline Sets: Professors—U.S. Salary Survey Participants in Each Year

Field/Discipline

2006

2008

2010

2012

Accounting/Taxation

123.8

137.8

140.6

147.9

CIS/MIS

119.5

131.0

133.7

138.9

Economics/Managerial Economics

113.4

125.0

126.4

131.6

Finance/Banking/Real Estate/Insurance

134.0

156.4

161.4

171.7

Management/Behavioral Science/International Business/Strategic Management

123.8

134.6

138.5

146.8

Marketing

125.1

138.5

142.9

150.4

Production/Operations Management

124.6

133.6

139.8

145.2

Quantitative Methods/Operations Research/Statistics

119.5

131.6

137.2

145.8

As you can see from this table, in most discipline sets, there has been small, but consistent growth in the average salary for professors. Growth was faster in the 2006–2007 to 2008–2009 time frame (% increase range: 7.2–16.7%), but has slowed in the years that followed (% increase range across 2008–2009, 2010–2011, 2012–2013: 1.1–6.4%). On average, the salaries of all discipline sets listed have increased since 2006–2007.

From the table above, the following chart displays a graphical representation of the average salaries reported for the most commonly requested discipline sets. Data by specific reported disciplines and other discipline sets also is available through the 2012–2013 Salary Survey Overview Reports or through custom data requests.


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