Business administration professors instruct students at public and private business schools, teaching college-level courses on such topics as general business practices, personnel management, international acquisitions and strategic finance. Among other duties, they develop lesson plans, present material to students, lead classroom discussions, administer examinations, evaluate student progress and contribute their expertise to university research efforts.
How Much do Business Administration Professors Make?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the national mean annual salary for all postsecondary business teachers came in at $89,100 in 2013, which is nearly twice the national salary average of $46,440 across all occupations. The top 10 percent of postsecondary business teachers earned at least $162,840 for the same time period, while the bottom 10 percent took home $35,460 or less.
Earnings for business administration professors follow the general trend among all postsecondary educators, in that they tend to vary by experience and education level. Here's a rundown of the average professorial salary in the 2013-14 school year at each class level taught, according to a survey produced by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP):
- Doctoral: $138,472
- Master's: $93,933
- Baccalaureate: $94,415
- Associate's: $77,455
The average salary for full-time professors across all class levels was $119,282 in the survey year. Thanks to supplemental income from consulting, teaching additional courses, research, writing for publication and other employment, compensation for business administration professors may exceed the salary paid directly by the school where they work. Many also receive benefits such as access to campus facilities, waived tuition for dependents, stipends for housing and travel and paid leave for sabbaticals.
As with many careers, geographic location can also have a significant effect on business administration professors' salary expectations. According to the BLS, these regions offered the highest mean annual business administration professor salaries in 2013:
- Massachusetts: $122,360
- Connecticut: $119,410
- Washington, D.C.: $116,330
- New Hampshire: $108,640
- New Jersey: $107,810
However, the value of a business professor's salary can be dictated by where they live, as the cost of living varies widely among different states and metro areas. Mixing BLS data with the Council for Community and Economic Research's Cost of Living Index for the third quarter of 2014 reveals some surprising locations where formidable business administration professor salaries match up with significant local affordability:
- Tyler, Texas: $181,110 mean annual salary; 15th most affordable state
- Durham-Chapel Hill, North Carolina: $154,270 mean annual salary; 23rd most affordable state
- South Bend, Indiana: $126,200 mean annual salary; 3rd most affordable state
Occupational Requirements and Career Outlook
A master's degree in business is usually required for business administration professor positions that aren't expected to lead to tenure, such as those at two-year colleges. Candidates for full-time, tenure-track positions at four-year schools typically need a doctoral degree. Graduates who begin work as instructors in a university system typically spend a number of years as associate or assistant professors — reported as earning $81,980 and $69,848 respectively in the AAUP survey — before becoming fully recognized with tenure.
Tenured postsecondary teachers may also choose to work toward an administrative or managerial position, such as departmental chair, dean or president. Administrative candidates at most four — year schools are required to have a Ph.D. A doctoral degree can be helpful, although is often not required, for the same type of positions at two-year colleges.
The BLS indicates that employment of all postsecondary teachers will grow faster than the average national occupational growth rate between 2012 and 2022. Availability of all positions, tenure and non-tenure, is projected to surge 19 percent in those 10 years, leading to 236,400 new jobs for qualified candidates.
Business administration professors can look forward to a slightly lower but still robust growth rate of 15 percent during the same period, producing more than 15,000 new positions nationwide. Prospective professors who hold a doctoral degree are expected to have the best prospects, but rapid job growth among community colleges and career education institutes should mean a similarly rosy outlook for candidates with no more than a master's degree.