How Much Do Philosophers Get Paid?


Those who work full time jobs as philosophers teach others about the study of philosophy, working in secondary educational institutes such as colleges, universities and junior colleges. Philosophy teachers generally have a Ph.D. and not only teach classes, but also publish academic writings in journals read by other teachers and students.

National Statistics

Nationwide, 19,630 philosophy and religion postsecondary teachers were employed, according to data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in May of 2009. The mean income of all philosophy teachers in the United States totaled $67,610 per year, while the fiftieth percentile earned a salary of $61,240. The bottom ten percent of philosophers earned a salary of $34,130 or less, while the twenty-fifth percentile earned $45,530. The seventy-fifth percentile brought in a salary of $81,760 and the top ten percent earned $109,300 or more yearly.

Industries Breakdown

Philosophy and religion professors only worked in three industries, according to the BLS. Those who worked for colleges, universities and professional schools totaled 16,830 and earned the highest mean salary of $68,040. A total of 2,540 philosophers worked for junior colleges and brought in a mean annual income of $65,770. The smallest employer of philosophers was what the BLS classifies as other schools and instruction, with a total of 8 employed in the industry, who earned a mean of $61,690.

Top States

Philosophers who worked in Rhode Island earned the highest mean salary of $93,050 annually. Second in the country was New York, where philosophers earned a mean income totaling $86,460. Massachusetts ranked third in the nation, with its philosophers having earned a mean salary of $83,550, while those who worked in California ranked fourth with a mean of $79,420. New Jersey ranked fifth nationally with a mean annual income of $76,570 earned by its philosophy teachers.

Top Metropolitan Areas

Rochester, New York ranked first in the nation for mean salary earned by its philosophers, which came to $99,770. The metropolitan area of Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario in California ranked second with a mean annual salary of $93,920. Philosophers who worked in the Providence-Fall River-Warwick metropolitan area in Rhode Island and Massachusetts earned the third-highest mean annual income of $93,050, while those who worked in the New York-White Plains-Wayne metropolitan area in New York and New Jersey earned a mean of $86,720. Fifth in the nation was the Boston-Cambridge-Quincy area in Massachusetts, where philosophers earned a mean of $85,820 per year.

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