Who Earns More: Professor or Fry Cook?

The high cost of college makes people think that most faculty are overpaid. Let me debunk this myth. Nearly all funds from recent tuition hikes, state-allocation increments, and record-breaking fund raising do not go to most educators.

I’m a tenured professor of history of science and mathematics at the University of Texas at Austin. I finished high school 25 years ago. What if instead of attending college I had worked at McDonald’s?

The company brags about opportunities for promotion. Many managers started as cashiers. So suppose I worked five years as a cashier, five as shift manager, 10 as assistant manager, and, after a total of 20 years, became a manager.

In 1988 a cashier earning federal minimum wage, $3.35, working 40-hour weeks, earned $6,968—just above the poverty level. Suppose I got a raise of 10 cents hourly each year, except when minimum wage increased. I’d earn just $39,936 in five years as a cashier. <Read more.>

Via Alberto A. Martinez, The Chronicle of Higher Education. 

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