What Will You Earn With A PhD?

16 Aug

Median salary of Ph.D. recipients in the U.S. in 2009

Data source: NSF

9 Responses to “What Will You Earn With A PhD?”

  1. Misha August 16, 2011 at 2:12 pm #

    Wow…postdoc salaries continue to bear no resemblance whatsoever to the Singularity Curve…

    Hi Sheril!

  2. matt August 16, 2011 at 4:39 pm #

    I looked at the NSF website and can’t figure out what is included in the Academia vs Industry listing. Is Academia everything from non-tenure track research associate (super postdoc) through full tenured faculty? Basically everything post PhD except Postdocs? If so, that number seems a bit low for life sciences atleast. As a new tenure track asst professor I am making mid $90K. So are there really that many lowly paid non tenured research associates to balance out the higher paid tenured profs?

    Either way, the pay is low compared to industry, but I get to work on what gets me excited, make my own hours, not worry about my division being cut because the stock price dropped yesterday, and do Science every day. Pretty cool job actually!

    • Sheril Kirshenbaum August 16, 2011 at 4:45 pm #

      I agree that the NSF website is a bit unclear. But with regard to salary range, you’re at a large public institution and I expect salaries may vary tremendously depending on the criteria (especially if they include research associates, adjunct professors, etc). That said, the engineering numbers look low to me across categories.

      • matt August 16, 2011 at 9:53 pm #

        you would think that Engineers would make more, especially with all the extra people riding trains since gas prices are so high! :)

      • Barbara Tomlinson August 17, 2011 at 11:00 am #

        That’s what I keep saying. Engineers working in industry don’t get PhDs. They get PE licenses. Why would they get a PhD? Look what it pays! That’s why there are so few Americans in Engineering PhD programs. It’s career suicide.

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