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How Much Does It Cost to Hire a College Professor

When it comes to higher education, one of the most important resources a college or university can invest in is their faculty. College professors play a crucial role in shaping the minds of the next generation, and as such, the cost of hiring and retaining top talent in academia is a significant consideration for institutions. But just how much does it cost to hire a college professor? In this article, we will explore the various factors that contribute to the cost of hiring a college professor and provide an overview of the expenses involved.

Salary and Benefits

One of the most significant expenses associated with hiring a college professor is their salary and benefits. The amount a college professor is paid can vary widely depending on factors such as their level of experience, academic credentials, field of expertise, and the location and prestige of the institution. According to the American Association of University Professors, the average salary for a full-time faculty member in the United States is around $79,540, with variations across different disciplines and types of institutions. In addition to salary, colleges and universities typically offer a range of benefits to their faculty, including health insurance, retirement contributions, and other perks.

Start-Up Costs

When hiring a new college professor, institutions may also incur start-up costs related to setting up their office, laboratory, or research space. These costs can include purchasing necessary equipment, technology, and supplies, as well as providing initial funding for research projects or other academic endeavors. Start-up costs can vary depending on the needs of the professor and the nature of their work, and may be negotiated as part of the overall compensation package.

Professional Development and Continuing Education

Colleges and universities often invest in the professional development and continuing education of their faculty members. This can include funding for conference attendance, research trips, sabbaticals, and other opportunities for growth and learning. Supporting the ongoing professional development of college professors is not only a benefit to the individual faculty member, but it also enhances the institution’s academic reputation and contributes to the overall quality of education offered.

Other Considerations

In addition to salary, benefits, start-up costs, and professional development, there are other considerations that contribute to the overall cost of hiring a college professor. These may include recruitment expenses, such as advertising and travel costs for candidate interviews, as well as administrative overhead associated with onboarding and ongoing management of faculty members. Institutions may also factor in the cost of faculty support staff, such as teaching assistants or research assistants, when considering the overall expense of hiring a college professor.


In conclusion, the cost of hiring a college professor can vary widely depending on a range of factors. From salary and benefits to start-up costs, professional development, and other considerations, colleges and universities invest significant resources in their faculty members. While hiring a college professor may be a substantial financial commitment, the value that experienced and dedicated faculty bring to an institution cannot be overstated. By investing in their faculty, colleges and universities are investing in the future of education and the success of their students.