On some phone interviews the committee has offered the starting salary or at least a preliminary number. On other phone interviews the committee has remained silent. I haven't asked about the salary in the latter instance - I assume it isn't the appropriate time/place to discuss this. What have people done/what do you think about discussing this on the generic phone interview? Personally, salary is a big issue on whether I accept an offer or not and I realize this may not hold for everyone but if I don't know what the numbers are, I'll go on the face-to-face anyway and find out there. Realistically, because I wouldn't take an offer below x amount, the f-t-f interview could be a large waste for everyone involved. It seems it would be better for the SC to disclose this information, however, the candidate asking could be perceived negatively (in it for the $ & not the <3). Have people asked or had advice one way or the other?
Date: 30 Oct 2014 00:41
Number of posts: 10
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I personally wait to ask directly in the face-to-face interview. In about a dozen phone interviews, I've never been told salary at that point (from SLACs/R2s mostly). Usually it is provided by the Dean at the face-to-face interview. That said, you can easily figure out their ballpark starting salary by poking around either their website or other websites that report average salaries like glassdoor. Some schools report their average salaries in yearly reports, and, having compared known salaries to glassdoor and similar sites, it is usually within a few thousand dollars so you'll get a good sense of the average and whether it meets your bar.
I know what you mean. This was a problem for me last year and the reason why I rejected two TT offers. It's awkward to bring it up during on-campus interviews too. If any of the schools are public universities, you're in luck because you can find the actual salaries for each individual professor in the department online : ). Otherwise, if private schools, see below.
1) Try googling "chronicle salaries" and click on the AAUP site to look up the school and get a general salary range. Unfortunately, those numbers are inflated or misleading for R1 and bigger schools since it averages all fields.
2) I strongly suggest that you google "education news[dot]org" and [name of the specific university/college] in the same line and check out the info that education news[dot]org provides for that school. For psych TT offers, I personally found the salaries stated on educationnews to be close estimates of what I was offered. Now, I check there first and don't bother applying to certain schools if the assistant professor salary averages are too low for my needs. Not worth my time…
this has been a helpful thread. anonybunny and others who have had interviews/offers and have also poked around on these sites— what is your general idea on how much a psychology salary would differ from the mean reported, for example, through educationnews.org? i know it varies depending on what other departments the institutions have, but i am wondering if you have a ballpark or rule of thumb you use (e.g., 5k below mean… right at mean…)
I was told not to ask about salary… you'll find this information out if they give you an offer (and you can always negotiate your salary anyway). You lose nothing by not asking them about salary.
In all advice I've received (or read), the interview is not the time or place to talk salary. For one, most of the people doing the hiring probably have little idea as to what the salary will exactly be; usually a dean/provost will be the one with this knowledge. Department faculty members - including the search chair - may just not know. Also, salary information is pretty easy to find online when it comes to most schools. Anonbunny has good advice here.
I've found the Chronicle salary information to be near spot-on for psychology hires (myself and friends who started recent academic positions, for example). In general, psychology faculty tend to earn a sliver less than the numbers reported in the Chronicle, but this can vary by department and discipline. I/O and Clinical tend to pay a bit more than Developmental, for instance. From my observations, a new psychology faculty member will likely get about $1,000 to $5,000 less than what the Chronicle tends to report for an institution average for a SLAC and perhaps $3,000 to $9,000 less at an R1 - depending on the subfield. While that's my own perspective, it tends to match what broader data show - i.e., social sciences to include psych tend to be a bit lower than the averages/medians.
To determine what you should be making, you really should review the free data available from the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA) website. While you need to be a paying member to access all data, the free information does give important breakdowns about typical salary by specific discipline, institution type, and geographic region.
Finally, many states have open-access laws about state employee salaries. This means that you can access data about what faculty make at most public institutions. In some cases, you can even find out what specific faculty earn. Looking up such information then identifying what junior faculty make in the department doing the hiring can be insightful, though be aware again that there are true pay variations across subfields.
Finally, as anon (above) notes - there's no loss to wait to find out about salary if an offer comes in.
I agree with DocJ and will add the following:
1) In a school where I was the top candidate, during dinner faculty hinted to me that salaries were lower at that school but they didn't know the exact amount since the Dean makes offers. They also mentioned that "compression" was an issue that the new Dean was fighting. Schools are concerned about equity and compression b/c some brand-new new asst profs are earning more money than asst profs that have been there for several years, and it hurts morale. So even if they can afford to pay you more, the Dean will often resist b/c of concerns about the other professors. There are exceptions of course depending on what the candidate brings to the table and the type of institution. I have colleagues that had prestigious, lucrative postdocs ($90K postdoc salary) and R1s would match it regardless of what the other profs made.
2) Even if you don't have competing offers, always ask for more than the first offer. It signals that you value yourself and they can often add another $3K.
3) For SLACs and regional schools, I found the averages for asst profs on educationnews[dot]org to be $2,000-3,000 higher than the "first offer" I received.
4) Please keep in mind that cost of living is crucial and state taxes play a significant role. A $65K salary in New Jersey or Connecticut is very different from $65K in Texas or Florida. First of all, the cost of living in the South and rural places are quite lower, so you'll live a lot more comfortably on that amount. Additionally, places like Jersey, Connecticut, and NYC will tax the heck out of your paycheck while certain states don't tax state income at all (i.e. Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming). This means that if the school is in Seattle, WA, Orland, FL, Austin TX, etc you'll literally have hundreds of dollars more in your paycheck for the same $65K annual salary since those states won't tax you (you'll only pay federal taxes).
5) To get a glimpse of what your paycheck may look like in different state, try this site [adp[dot]com/tools-and-resources/calculators-and-tools/payroll-calculators/salary-paycheck-calculator.aspx]. Scroll down to the state where the school is located and specify your federal filing status (marital status). Add the salary (e.g. $65,000), and scroll down to "monthly" for "pay frequency" to see what your monthly paycheck may look like.
Best wishes to all…
It would be really nice if academic jobs were like the government and listed a likely range of salaries for a particular job. Even if it isn't exact, the range would really be nice.
Anonbunny added some excellent information that I'll briefly add to.
1. Always negotiate salary, but don't forget there's more to negotiate than salary alone (e.g. a course release for the first year or two).
2. Cost of living is huge when it comes to salaries. Use any of the free online cost of living calculators to identify differences between locations. For example, my dollar salary is about $8,000 less than what a colleague makes in the Northeast. However, when you plug our salaries in a cost of living calculator, I'd need to make about $4,000 *more* than my colleague in order to have the same salary buying power in the Northeast. Put another way, if I wanted to move to the Northeast, an equivalent salary would require a $9,000 "raise" and $4,000 more than what my colleague is making.
I just wanted to add that in some of those no income tax states you'll want to ask questions about things like services and schools. Also, excellent public schools can make a big difference. Having to pay for private schools can be quite a burden.
And, again, I think it is pretty much true of all public institutions that salaries are publicly available.