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Salary for a Ph.D.-Level College Biology Teacher

by Rick Suttle, studioD

Colleges rely on Ph.D.-level biology teachers to instruct students in their established curricula. Ph.D.-level college biology teachers prepare lesson plans, instruct students on plants, animals and microorganisms, test students and maintain records of their grades. If you want to work as a Ph.D.-level biology teacher, you can expect to earn a salary averaging approximately $90,000 annually.

Salary and Qualifications

The average annual salary of a college biology teacher with a Ph.D. was $87,060 as of May 2012, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you were among the top 10 percent, you'd make more than $151,940 annually. The minimum educational requirement for this job is typically a Ph.D., unless you are an adjunct professor, which requires at least a master's degree. Some colleges prefer hiring biology teachers who have two or more years' experience, according to the BLS. Other essential requirements for this job include speaking, instructional, writing and critical-thinking skills.

Salary by State

Ph.D.-level college biology teachers earned the highest salaries of $125,800 in Alabama, according to 2012 data from the BLS. Those in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Hawaii also earned high salaries of $117,480, $110,740 and $109,700 per year, respectively. If you worked as a Ph.D.-level college biology teacher in Texas, you'd earn an average of $103,160 annually. In Pennsylvania and New York, you'd make $99,580 and $85,180, respectively.

Contributing Factors

A college biology teacher with a Ph.D. can earn more working for specific types of colleges. At four-year colleges and universities, they made $92,870 per year, according to the BLS. If you worked as a biology teacher at a two-year junior college, you'd only earn $64,980. You may also earn more as you gain experience. Bigger colleges may also pay more, because they have more financial resources to support higher salaries.

Job Outlook

The BLS forecasts a 17-percent increase in employment for postsecondary teachers through 2020 -- about average. Increases in college enrollments may boost jobs for college biology teachers with Ph.D. degrees. Jobs are contingent on local and state budgets. If colleges are facing budget constraints in your region, you'll likely find fewer job opportunities.

About the Author

Rick Suttle has been writing professionally since 2009, covering health and business for various online and print publications. He has worked in corporate marketing research and as a copywriter. Suttle holds a Bachelor of Science in marketing from Miami University and a Master of Business Administration from California Coast University. He is author of the novels "Hell Year" and "Suicide Peak."

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