How Much Do Community College Professors Make

Last Updated on January 1, 2023 by Omoyeni Adeniyi

The salaries of community college professors vary according to the professor’s rank, experience, education, and location. According to Education Portal, professors at two-year colleges typically make less than those at four-year institutions. Community college professors do not have an assistantship or instructor position. Get more information related how much do professors make, community college professor salary part time, how much do community college professors make in North Carolina and so much more right here on Collegelearners.

Most community colleges require their instructors to have at least a master’s degree in the field that they will be teaching and also prefer people with previous teaching experience. Salaries of community college professors vary depending on the degree attained by the instructor, location and academic specialty. Earnings will grow as the professor accumulates years of experience and receives tenure. Professors at community colleges focus more on teaching students and less on research and writing than their counterparts at four-year universities. Instructors do not have to publish extensively to receive tenure, which can often be received after just a few years of teaching.

Do you want to learn about the latest findings community college professor salary 2019? Get ready! Find out all the information you need right here on so you don’t have to go looking again. Find all the specifics you need, such as community college professor requirements to community college professor salary with PhD.

Welcome to How Much Do Community College Professors Make!

In this course, we’ll explore the average salary of community college professors at different points in their careers, as well as career options and expectations. We’ll also take a look at some key skills and tools that you can develop in order to maximize your salary. So if you’re interested in becoming a community college professor or furthering your career, you’ve come to the right place!

So who am I? My name is [name], and I’m a professor and academic administrator with over 20 years’ experience in higher education, including a stint as a provost and vice president of academic affairs at a private university. I’ve taught thousands of students, and I’ve trained hundreds of other professors.

I love teaching—I think it’s one of the most rewarding things you can do with your life—and it’s one of my great joys to be able to share my knowledge with you. So I hope you’re ready for an exciting journey into what it takes to become (and stay) a community college professor!

What is the Average College Professor Salary? | Bradley University Online

2020 Community College Students

Student AttributePercentages
part-time students64%
full-time students36%
under 2254%
over 409%
first in family to go to college29%
single parents15%
not U.S. citizens9%
Students with disabilities20%
Full-time students, Full-time work21%
Full time students, Part-time work41%
Part-time students, Full-time work38%
Part-time students, Part-time work34%
White ethnicity45%
Hispanic ethnicity26%
African-American ethnicity13%
Asian ethnicity6%
receive financial aid59%

From “2020 Fast Facts” published by the American Association of Community Colleges

How Much Do Community College Professors Make

How to Find Pay Rates at Different Schools

Knowing the average salary is a starting point in deciding whether or not you would like to train for or apply for a job. However, if you are actually planning to apply for a job, you might want to know:

  • What schools are available to work for in your area or state?
  • What are the salaries at those 2-year colleges?

To find this information out will take some digging. Luckily, since they are usually public schools, employees are often state employees and the colleges have to follow all the state rules for releasing information. In addition, many have unionized faculty, so you can often find out information on the website of the school. Here are some places to check.

  1. Start by looking up the” Human Resources” or “Jobs Available” listings where you want to work. You can often find the salary listings for that school on a web page if you look around.
  2. Look for other job opportunities on the Community College Finder map, located on the website of the American Association of Community Colleges.
  3. Another source for salary information is looking up the State Community College Unions website. Here is a list of websites for local contacts at unions for California Community Colleges.
  4. Some 2-year colleges actually will give you the salary information when you apply or when you ask for the information.

Facts About Community Colleges

Number of 2-year colleges in U.S1,050
Average yearly decrease in enrollment 2010-20202
Average full-time tuition and fees (2019-20200$3,730
Associate degrees awarded (2017-18)852,504
Revenue sources (2017-180State 33%, Local 20%, Federal 11%, Tuition 27%, Other 7%
Where are these schools?rural areas 37%, urban areas 39%, suburban areas 29%
Average hours of teaching for faculty (2004)18.1 hours a week
Average contact hours (hours taught times number of students)431
Largest college system in the worldCalifornia Community Colleges with 2.5 million students and 109 colleges
Job satisfaction of Instructors at Community Colleges73% found work very satisfying and meaningful

Data from surveys taken by American Association of Community Colleges, MLA 2006 Committee on Community Colleges, and 2004 National Study of Post-secondary Faculty Reports Community College and 2020 Fact Sheet from American Association of Community Co

How to Become a Community College Teacher | Resilient Educator

Community College vs. University Job

Community College professors often come from graduate schools at Universities and may have planned a tenure track University career. In fact, 20% of all members of the Modern Language Association teach at community colleges. Some chose that route, and others fell into it after they could not find a job at a 4-year college.

While my husband and I work at a large private University and enjoy our jobs, I often think my brother, who works at a California community college, has a better job. In fact, I advise my own children, and the students I teach, to seriously consider choosing a career as a 2-year college professor. Why? Here are the advantages:

  • Very high job satisfaction rate (74%) according to the National Survey of Community College Professors.
  • Few or no research and publishing requirements in order to get tenure and keep your job.
  • Challenging teaching environment with students of all ages from a variety of backgrounds and with unique and varied work and life experiences (see chart).
  • Good support for teaching innovation and using technology in the classroom.
  • Easy and quick tenure process. Often tenure is granted after just a couple of years.
  • Connection with Community. Community College professors are often seen as resources in the community on the topics they teach and may be asked to give lectures or connect with the feeder K-12 schools for their school.

Trends in Community Colleges

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the employment prospects for community college instructors will continue to grow through 2026, which is a higher growth rate than many professions. The reason for the change is that people often need more training and education to keep up with changes in the job market. While a community college salary can sometimes be less than salary in industry, the rewards and job stability can make this a rewarding profession.

The California Community College system is a network that involves over 112 universities and is the largest education network in the world. To make the system work it employs over 70,000 administrators, educators and clerical workers. Over one half of these employees are instructors and their pay varies by experience and subject taught.


The Chancellor’s Office of the California Community College System reported in January 2010 that the average annual salary for tenure track professors was $84,758 and the average hourly wage was $71.58. The bottom 10 percent made between $40,000 and $60,000 and the top 10 percent made in excess of $90,000. Instructors hired on a temporary basis had an average hourly wage of $62.20.


The majority of instructors in the California Community College System are part-time instructors. In 2010, there were 18,200 tenure track professors in the system, compared to 45,000 temporary instructors. The largest share of employees were employed in the humanities, fine arts and interdisciplinary studies, accounting for approximately 35 percent of the university head count. However, instructors in these areas only account for 28 percent of tenure track professors. Professors in the areas of math, engineering and biology had the highest concentration of tenure track jobs relative to their department size.

Other Departments

The majority of employees in the California Community College system are instructors. According to the Chancellor’s report, instructors made up 67 percent of the total workforce. They’re also some of the best paid employees. The only category of employees who had a higher salary than tenure-track professors were university administrators who were paid an average of $126,000. They made almost twice as much as clerical professionals, whose average salary was $47,000.

9 Reasons Why Being An Adjunct Faculty Member Is Terrible | HuffPost  Communities


California community college professors are also paid well compared to the rest of the nation, particularly on the low end. In May 2010, the Bureau of Labor statistics reported that the median annual salary of post-secondary teachers in America was $58,000. The lowest 10 percent of post secondary teachers made an average of $28,000. In California, there were only 34 out of 18,200 professors that made less than this amount.

how to become a community college professor

Teaching is teaching, right? As a teacher, you know there’s nothing further from the truth. There’s a significant difference in teaching elementary school students versus middle school students. The same goes for teaching middle school students versus high school students. And, as you might expect, teaching students in a community college setting is — in many ways — different than teaching in high school. But what do these differences look like? Here are a few to consider:

  1. Playing the roles of teacher and friend vs. teacher and parent. Anyone who’s ever taught high school is familiar with the challenges of dealing with students who are navigating the tenuous journey of moving from childhood to adulthood. While it can be rewarding, it’s certainly not easy. You often move between the roles of parent and teacher multiple times throughout the day. But, as a community college professor, you’ll be working with adult learners — some of whom might even be older than you. While they might need some hand-holding along the way, they don’t require it in the same way younger students do. And, instead of playing a parental role, you can often be both a teacher and friend or mentor.
  2. Breaking away from a rigid schedule. In his article, “Why Don’t You Just Teach High School?”, Josh Boldt provided a peek into his world as a substitute high school teacher. He substituted to supplement his income as a college adjunct instructor. One of the differences he noted was the “structured workdays or the bureaucratic hoops that public school teachers must jump through.” As a high school teacher, you have specific times to do everything — from teaching to eating to taking a bathroom break. As a community college professor, schedules are typically much less rigid. For example, you might have an hour or more between classes that you’re teaching. And you might not teach every day of the week. This leaves more time to do the things you need to do for you and that you want to do for your students.
  3. Teaching students who want to be there. Football practice. Rehearsal for the spring musical. Service club activities. Hanging out with friends. These — and other extracurricular activities — are what many high school students are thinking about in the classroom. They have to go to class but they want to do things that are “fun.” This makes teaching them and engaging with them challenging, to say the least. However, most students in community colleges are there because they want to be. Whether they’re getting the training they need to change careers or saving money by taking required courses before transferring to a four-year school or simply enjoying the rewards of life-long learning, these students are there for a reason. What does that mean for you as a community college professor? According to, “People in the community generally are very motivated to be there and learn so as a teacher that makes your job a bit easier.”

What It Takes to Become a Community College Professor

In California, there are minimum qualifications that must be met in order to become a community college professor. These qualifications vary from discipline to discipline. So, be sure to find out which are required for the types of classes you’re interested in teaching. Here are two examples:

  • If you want to teach courses about the classics of literature, you either need to have a master’s degree in classics OR a bachelor’s degree in classics WITH a master’s (or equivalent) in history, English literature, comparative literature or classical archaeology.
  • If you want to teach courses about interior design, a master’s degree isn’t required. However, you must have EITHER a bachelor’s degree (or higher) in any discipline and two years of professional experience in the field of interior design OR any associate degree and six years of professional experience in the field.

You might already have many or most of the requirements needed for your area of study. For those you don’t, there are many opportunities at National University to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees online in a variety of disciplines, including education. These online programs are designed for those who are working full-time and who also have additional responsibilities — including families, military duties, service organizations, and other priorities.

A Profession Poised for Growth

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national job outlook for postsecondary teachers — which includes those who teach at community colleges — is projected to be 11% growth between 2018-2028. This is much faster than growth in other industries. Regarding mean annual salaries for postsecondary instructors, California is among the top-paying states. In May 2018, it was $84,160. Of course, salary levels will vary by school and by position.

In addition to the growth of the profession, becoming a community college professor is also an opportunity to grow as a teacher — expanding your skillset and providing opportunities to experience teaching in a new, dynamic and rewarding environment.

how much do professors make

Generally, the three main ranks for college professors are assistant, associate, and full. Usually in the beginning phases of their tenure track, assistant professors are full-time, introductory professors who have earned a terminal degree. Associate professors are mid-level, tenured professors, while full professors are at the senior level.

Outside these three traditional ranks, there are also adjunct faculty and full-time, non-tenured faculty with titles such as lecturer or instructor.

Beyond professors’ job ranks, the type of university they teach at — public, private or independent, or religiously affiliated — and the education level of the students they instruct can affect their annual pay.

Associate Professor$95,828$93,991$108,195$88,460
Assistant Professor$83,362$82,136$93,999$75,500
No Rank$73,625$68,368$73,164$99,801

The average salary for a full professor at private, doctoral institutions was the highest among all total salaries, at $202,199. Meanwhile, instructors at religiously affiliated universities had the lowest average salary at $51,444.

At baccalaureate institutions, full professors make an average of $99,616 at public universities and $125,420 at private universities. This 23% difference illustrates how much more professors can make in the private sector.

Professor Pay Stays the Same Even as Costs Rise

Over the last decade, shifts in the average college professor salary in the U.S. have been minimal. Between the 2019-20 and 2020-21 academic years, the increase in average professor salaries was just 1% for all professor ranks at all institution types.

When adjusted for inflation, however, this shift actually represented a decrease — the first such dip in professors’ salaries since recovering from the Great Recession. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, salaries had risen in the 3% range year over year for the past 10 years.

The stagnant nature of professor pay is surprising when compared with the rising tuition costs and increased pay for top executives at universities. In the last decade, college tuition has increased by approximately 46%, while presidential salaries have risen beyond most experts’ ability to track their rise.

how much do community college professors make in texas

While ZipRecruiter is seeing salaries as high as $90,819 and as low as $12,848, the majority of Community College Professor salaries currently range between $21,708 (25th percentile) to $49,175 (75th percentile) with top earners (90th percentile) making $73,541 annually in Texas.

community college professor salary part time

While ZipRecruiter is seeing annual salaries as high as $78,000 and as low as $17,500, the majority of Part Time College Professor salaries currently range between $25,000 (25th percentile) to $43,500 (75th percentile) with top earners (90th percentile) making $61,000 annually across the United States.

how much do community college professors make in florida

Community College Professor Salary in Florida

Annual SalaryMonthly Pay
Top Earners$70,119$5,843
75th Percentile$46,887$3,907
25th Percentile$20,697$1,724

how much do community college professors make in north carolina

The average salary for a Professor is $114,111 per year in United States, which is 8% lower than the average North Carolina State University salary of $125,212 per year for this job.

how much do professors make

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean salary for an instructor at a community college is $70,080. This salary is for all local government-owned, state government-owned and private junior colleges. Of this group, local government-owned colleges pay the most with an annual mean wage of $77,750. State government-owned colleges pay the least with a mean wage of $53,070.

Community College Professor Salary by Location

Generally, the highest community college professor salary is with those junior colleges located on the east and west coasts of the U.S. The southeastern and mid-western states offer lower instructor salaries. The following list is a sampling of a community college teacher salary for several of these regions:

  • New Mexico Military Institute: Roswell, New Mexico – $79,497
  • Santa Barbara Community College: Santa Barbara, California – $84,668
  • Kingsborough Community College: Brooklyn, New York – $101,214
  • Genesee Community College: Batavia, New York – $70,236
  • Fulton-Montgomery Community College: Johnstown, New York – $88,902
  • Rend Lake College: Ina, Illinois – $64,818
  • Berkshire Community College: Pittsfield, Massachusetts – $69,372
  • Massachusetts Bay Community College: Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts – $71,370
  • Cumberland County College: Vineland, New Jersey- $67,308
  • Gloucester County College: Sewell, New Jersey- $85,185
  • Georgia Military College: Milledgeville, Georgia- $39,456
  • Victoria College: Victoria, Texas- $65,952

Highest Paying Fields for Community College Professors

While community colleges offer a wide variety of courses, the following specialties pay the highest average salaries to the professors:

  • Engineering: $91,130
  • Social Sciences: $94,410
  • Anthropology: $89,800
  • Physics: $87,390
  • Law: $86,980
  • Geography: $86,830
  • Political Science: $85,050
How Much Do College Professors Make? | BestColleges


The BLS projects the employment for community college professors to grow 15 percent from 2016 through 2026. This growth rate is higher than the average rate of growth projected for all occupations.

As job availability shifts in different sectors of the economy, more people will seek training and education in those regions and specialties with the highest demand for employment. This will improve the demand for additional professors in these areas.

Professors in community colleges report a more rewarding experience because of their close contacts with students and more focus on education rather than doing research and publishing articles and books. While a community college professor salary may be more modest than a comparable teacher salary at a four-year university, the tenure track is typically shorter at a two-year college.

Starting Community College Salaries

The starting salary for a tenure-track position is between $40,000 and $60,000. If you have a doctorate, teaching experience, industry experience or teach in the STEM (science, technology, engineering or math) areas, you may get a bit more. Of course, where you live and the cost of living affects salary too.

Community College teachers often teach more classes but don't need to do research and can get tenure more easily.
Community College teachers often teach more classes but don’t need to do research and can get tenure more easily. | Source

Average Salaries at 2-Year Colleges

As the map below shows, some average salaries for tenured faculty can be as high as $100,000. However, that is not the norm. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an instructor at a community college has a mean salary of $70,080. Local, government-owned college pay the most, $77,750, while state government-owned pay the lease, $53,070. Of course, where you work makes a big difference in the salary you earn. Faculty members teaching in colleges on the coasts make more, while those in the south and midwest tend to make less.

If $51,000 is approximately the average salary, what can you expect to make during the course of your career? Each school is different, but a reasonable estimate of the salary of tenured faculty would be:

  • Starting salary: $40,000 to $50,000.
  • Mid-career salary: $50,00 to $70,000.
  • Late-career salary: $60,000 to $120,000.

Generally, the salaries will be similar to what would be given to public school teachers in the same area who had the same educational level, or perhaps a bit higher.

The New Freshmen: Adult College Students - Education Writers Association

What Determines Pay?

Since around $50,000 is the average for tenured faculty, what can make a salary lower or higher? According to the Community Colleges report, there are differences in how 2-year schools calculate pay rates, but frequently, professors will get higher amounts if they:

  1. Have education beyond a Master’s.
  2. Have a higher rank because they have worked at the school longer.
  3. Teach science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) classes, or in another field that the college has difficulty finding instructors to teach.
  4. Work during the summer teaching classes beyond the regular 9 or 10-month contract.
  5. Teach extra classes beyond the number required by the job (sometimes available).

Here are some of the specialties with the highest salaries according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • Political Science: $85,050
  • Physics: $87,390
  • Law: $86,980
  • Engineering: $91,130
  • Social Sciences: $94,410
How Much Do College Professors Make? | BestColleges

community college professor salary with PhD

Community colleges rely on professors with doctorate degrees to provide quality instruction to their students. Many of these colleges are smaller and enable professors to interact more closely with every student. Your responsibilities will include preparing lesson plans in accordance with course specifications and evaluating students’ knowledge through testing. Community college professors with doctorate degrees earned salaries averaging just over $50,000 annually.

Salary and Qualifications

The average annual salary for a community college professor with a doctorate degree was $51,000 as of 2013, according to the job site Simply Hired. To work at a community college in this capacity, you need a Ph.D. or equivalent degree in your particular field, whether it’s math, English or business. Many professors start as assistant professors and work their way up to professor after five or more years, for example. Other essential requirements for the job are leadership, instructional, communication, critical thinking and computer skills.

Regional Salaries

In 2013, average salaries for community college professors with doctorate degrees varied the most in the South region, according to Simply Hired, where they earned the lowest salaries of $40,000 in Louisiana and highest of $81,000 in Washington, D.C. Those in the Northeast made $51,000 to $62,000 per year in Maine and Massachusetts, respectively. If you were a community college professor with a doctorate degree in the West, you’d earn the most in Alaska or California and the least in Montana — $58,000 or $41,000, respectively. In the Midwest, you’d make $40,000 to $54,000 annually, with the lowest salary in South Dakota and highest in Illinois and Minnesota.

Contributing Factors

Community college professors with doctorate degrees earn more in New York and Washington, D.C., because living and housing costs are typically higher in that state and district. For example, if you earned $50,000 for this job in Atlanta, you’d have to make $117,924 in New York City to maintain the same living standard, according to CNN Money’s “Cost of Living” calculator. In Washington, D.C., you’d have to earn $75,434 to enjoy the same living standard as in Atlanta, or approximately 51 percent more. Community college professors with doctorate degrees can also earn more with experience, as most community colleges pay on gradation scales that are based on years of service.

Job Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 17 percent increase in employment for postsecondary teachers from 2010 to 2020, which is about average. Enrollment increases in colleges may increase jobs for postsecondary teachers, including community college professors with doctorate degrees. Job growth is usually contingent on the economy and local and state budgets. As the economy continues to improve, you may find more job opportunities in this field.

Pros and Cons of Being A College Professor | INOMICS

This is a great time to be a community college professor, and the numbers prove that.

The average salary for community college professors has continued to increase steadily over the past five years. In fact, the national average is nearly twice what it was in 2013. This is good news for professors across the nation, as well as their students—who can now expect their professors to have more resources available for them in the classroom (to say nothing about the financial peace of mind this gives to both parties).

While there are some differences between states, it’s clear that community college professors are becoming more respected and valued than ever before. With employers being willing to pay higher salaries for top talent in this field, prospective professors should have no trouble finding rewarding careers after graduation from any of our country’s excellent teacher education programs.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *