Accounting professors ensure that students attending colleges or accounting schools have adequate guidance in learning skills they need to succeed in the workforce. They teach university-level accounting courses in various specialties, such as public accounting, taxation and auditing.
Accounting Professor Salary Information
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that postsecondary teachers of business, the statistical sector that includes accounting professors, earned a 2013 mean annual salary of $89,100, but the range of potential salaries was enormous. The bottom-paid 10 percent of earners among business professors in 2013 took home just $35,460 or less, while the top-earning 10 percent made upwards of $162,840 the same year.
The level at which accounting professors teach can have a significant effect on their salary expectations, according to the BLS. Business professors at colleges, universities and professional schools earned a mean annual wage of $95,650 in 2013, for example, while those at junior and community colleges took home a more modest annual salary of $74,050. Postsecondary business teachers at trade and technical schools earned $56,550 in 2013.
Where you teach can also impact your salary, both on the earnings side and the spending side. States with higher average salaries also tend to come with higher cost of living figures, but there are some regions of the country where the numbers compare favorably. Here are a few choice states for accounting professors, according to 2013 BLS mean annual salary data and 2014 affordability rankings computed by the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC):
- Kentucky: $96,590; ranked 3rd in affordability
- Indiana: $91,840; ranked 5th in affordability
- Iowa: $85,470; ranked 9th in affordability
- Texas: $100,040; ranked 12th in affordability
The highest-paying metropolitan area for business and accounting professors in 2013 was Tyler, Texas, where the BLS reports a whopping mean annual salary of $181,110. Education and experience also exert great influence on salary expectations, with fully tenured accounting professors and those with Ph.D. degrees typically earning more than associate or assistant professors and those without doctoral credentials.
How to Become an Accounting Professor
According to the Journal of Accountancy, accounting professors are typically either academically qualified (AQ) or professionally qualified (PQ). Most full-time accounting professors are AQ, meaning they hold advanced degrees, typically doctorates, from accredited accounting schools. PQ professors may have a lower level of academic attainment, but their professional experience and certifications serve to qualify them as experts fit to instruct the next generation of accountants.
For accounting grads already working in the field who would want to advance their careers, pursuing accounting training online could be a way to bolster your educational credentials while maintaining full-time employment. Many accounting schools, online or otherwise, may offer flexible course scheduling for students with family or professional responsibilities.