Arts/Humanities salaries at MIT?
October 17, 2014 10:52 PM   Subscribe

This is a long shot, but I am up for a position as an assistant professor at MIT (in an arts/humanities department), and I'm wondering if the salaries are similar to the other assistant professor salaries at MIT (average is 120K) or if they are paid much less, as at many other universities. Thanks!
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Perhaps search Glassdoor.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 12:52 AM on October 18, 2014

They'll be paid less -- that average includes starting salaries in business and science where the money is much better. Unless someone works at MIT and is willing to share their salary you won't get a firm number, but you can get a sense of what it will look like by searching your discipline's salary page at the academic job wiki:

MIT is a "Northeast R1" so the starting salary range in English looks to be around $70-71K. That would fit with my expectation that MIT salaries would be at the top of the usual salary range but not wildly out of step with it.

Good luck with your job search!
posted by gerryblog at 5:44 AM on October 18, 2014 [2 favorites]

Gerryblog has it right. Those average salaries are skewed high by higher-paid disciplines and by 'star faculty' that are brought in at a much higher rate--you'll be lucky to hit $80K as a starting salary.
posted by yellowcandy at 10:59 AM on October 18, 2014

70k sounds about right.

And the fact that you don't know this makes me wonder what you mean by "up for"? You mean you've applied? You're long-shorted? (I am following an MIT humanities search, and this would be mighty early for an actual shortlist to be formed.)

There is no entry level tenure track humanities assistant professor (aP in the trade lingo) job in the US that's going to start you above around $75k unless you are a true rock star and have multiple offers (and even then, I've never seen north of 90k for an assistant professor and I'm approaching 20 years in the business including lots of hiring and salary negotiation at an R1 equivalent to MIT). 100k is years in your future. 120k is in fact full professor most places, again unless you're a big star.

Most places, including some good ones, pay *less* than 70k as aP starting salary.

Sorry, but if you're on the market and don't know this you need better advising. You need a bracingly realistic view of the market and don't have that yet. I hope you don't have loans that you were banking on paying off with a high salary that doesn't exist.
posted by spitbull at 4:23 AM on October 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

Realize that the average humanities/arts job posting at a good school in a nice place to live is easily going to see 100-200 applications, sometimes many more, many from people earning $45k as a postdoc or already on the tenure track somewhere shitty earning 55-60k.

The institution holds the upper hand.
posted by spitbull at 4:28 AM on October 19, 2014

Mod note: From the OP:
Thanks, all. I realize I was unclear. I'm all too aware of the realities of the job market and salaries and am indeed one of those VAPs applying freely. I know the odds but have been contacted and encouraged to apply for this job, which will nonetheless be very competitive! Fingers crossed.

Two jobs for which I was a finalist (both less prestigious than MIT or my institutions) mostly equalized asst. prof salaries across the board, rather than paying STEM profs significantly more, which was a refreshing surprise. I was hoping (against hope) that this might be the case at MIT, and thought there might be a long shot that someone who taught there might know (as I know the asst prof salaries in my field at the average SLAC or R1.)

At any rate, if anyone knows, give a holler. Otherwise I will just cross that bridge if I am lucky enough to come to it.

PS I was pretty blown away that the 120K figure was not including associate/full profs, only assistant profs, which means it likely rules out any rock stars too. But who knows?
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 8:40 AM on October 20, 2014

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