The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) recently released a report which describes the number and diversity of workers employed by postsecondary educational institutions in the United States. The report also highlights the percentage of faculty who have earned tenure status at their institution and the average salary of different faculty ranks ranging from instructors to professors.

Participation in the study is a requirement for all postsecondary schools that receive and administer federal financial aid for students. NCES found that over 3.63 million individuals are employed by the 6,706 institutions that were surveyed. “Staff whose primary responsibility is instruction, research, and/or public service” numbered nearly 1.41 million with the majority (63 percent) being employed by public rather than private institutions. Nearly half (48.5 percent) of these staff were part-time workers. Of the 1.32 million people who were classified as “full-time professional staff”, 47.5 percent were reported to have faculty status and 52.5 percent did not have faculty status. Among those classified as faculty, only 45.3 percent have tenure at their institution, 19.3 percent were on the tenure track, and the remainder either were not on tenure track (21.8 percent) or did not have a tenure system at their institution (13.6 percent).

Of the more than 700 thousand full-time faculty in the United States, most work at public 4-year institutions (50.4 percent) while private 4-year and public 2-year employ 32.1 and 16.1 percent, respectively. The majority of full-time faculty members are male (58.2 percent) and white, non-Hispanic (76.8 percent). The diversity among faculty with tenure is even lower, with 66.1 percent being male (33.9 percent female) and 82.9 percent classified as white, non-Hispanic. The second most prevalent racial group among all faculty and those with tenure are Asian/Pacific Islanders at 7.6 percent and 7.0 percent, respectively. Black, non-Hispanics make up only 5.4 percent of all faculty and 4.6 percent of those with tenure, while Hispanics account for 3.6 percent of all faculty and 3.3 percent of those with tenure.

The NCES reports that the average salary of full-time instructional faculty is $69,698. Salaries were reported as an adjusted 9-month average. The average salary among ranks of faculty is as follows: Professor ($98,020), Associate Professor ($70,744), Assistant Professor ($59,283), Instructor ($51,633), and Lecturer ($51,552). Men were reported as having a higher average salary than women across all faculty ranks at both 4-year and 2-year public institutions.

The full NCES report, entitled, “Employees in Postsecondary Institutions, Fall 2007, and Salaries of Full-Time Instructional Faculty, 2007-2008,” is available online at:


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