Theology professors typically teach Christian theology and biblical studies at colleges and universities. They also tend to teach other types of world religion courses and even philosophy in some instances. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 21,250 individuals employed as religion and philosophy professors in 2010. The average salary of these professors varied based on the type of school they taught at and geographic location.
The average salary of theology professors was $69,150 as of May 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The median salary of these professors was $62,330, according to the Bureau. An examination of the pay scale of theology and religion professors reveals that the majority of them received somewhere between $46,110 and $84,040 in annual compensation. The best-paid professors made over $114,380 per year, according to the Bureau.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics divides the salaries of religion and theology professors by the type of institution at which they teach. According to the Bureau, 65 percent of theology professors taught at four-year institutions in 2010 and made an average annual salary of $69,460. Two-year institutions, or junior colleges, paid an average annual salary of $67,600 to theology professors. The Bureau also notes that some theology professors worked for religious organizations and made salaries averaging $55,630 per year.
The part of the country the theology professor works in can also play a significant role in determining his expected annual income. The Bureau of Labor Statistics divides salaries by state and by metropolitan area. The top-paying state to work in, from a theology professor's standpoint, is Rhode Island. Theology and religion professors there earned an average salary of $95,720 per year, with New York and Massachusetts following closely behind at $89,150 and $88,110 per year, respectively. The top-paying metro areas in which to teach this subject were Austin, Texas, and Round Rock, New York. Professors there made average annual salaries of $105,210 and $103,990 per year, respectively, as of May 2010.
The job outlook for college professors is expected to be good from 2008 to 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number of new jobs for professors, in general, is expected to grow by 15 percent during that time. Those who obtain a Ph.D. in theology, religion or philosophy will best be able to position themselves for open theology professor positions. Competition for jobs tends to be fierce, so applicants who are able to create their own research niche are more likely to get the attention of hiring committees.