According to the AHA Perspectives, history prof’s salaries are lagging. That is no surprise to those of us in the field, but here’s what they are:
Growth in history salaries at each rank lagged behind the average of all disciplines at each rank. The unweighted average starting salary for an instructor of history in 2006–07 was $39,048 compared to $38,578 last year, for an increase of only 1.2 percent (compared to 3.7 percent for instructors in all disciplines). The unweighted average starting salary for a beginning assistant professor of history was $47,145 compared to $45,528 last year, for an increase of 3.55 percent (compared to 3.6 percent in all disciplines). The starting salary for an assistant professor was $48,219 (an increase of 2.91 percent , versus 3.8 percent in all disciplines); for an associate professor, $58,206 (an increase of 2.99 percent , versus 3.9 percent in all disciplines); and for a full professor, $76,049 (an increase of 3.0 percent , versus 4 percent in all disciplines).
Could salaries be low because academic historians seem to be regarded as irrelevant today? Have academic historians made themselves that way? Historians, it must be recalled are not stuck having to go into academic pursuits, after all. Just look on USAJobs’ website and search under “historian” to see what they can actually earn.