Who Earns More: Professor or Fry Cook?

Roundup: Historians' Take
tags: pay, academic life



Alberto A. Martínez is an associate professor of history at the University of Texas at Austin.

The high cost of college makes people think that most faculty are overpaid. Let me debunk this myth. Nearly all funds from recent tuition hikes, state-allocation increments, and record-breaking fund raising do not go to most educators.

I’m a tenured professor of history of science and mathematics at the University of Texas at Austin. I finished high school 25 years ago. What if instead of attending college I had worked at McDonald’s?

The company brags about opportunities for promotion. Many managers started as cashiers. So suppose I worked five years as a cashier, five as shift manager, 10 as assistant manager, and, after a total of 20 years, became a manager....

Total: $581,450, before deductions for Social Security, Medicare, income taxes, and so on....

My total gross: $621,652. That’s it -- 25 years in universities, including nine part-time jobs. Annual average gross income: $24,866....




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