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A professor is usually the official and professional title or the academic title of the holder of a professorship. Unlike the doctoral degree , for example , it is not an academic degree .

Professorship (from the Latin profiteri , 'confess' , meaning “to publicly identify oneself as a teacher”) primarily describes a function in the teaching staff of a university in the German-speaking world .

In Germany , Austria and Switzerland , the title of professor can, under certain circumstances, also be awarded as an honorary title to people who do not hold a professorship - for example to artists. In the federal state of Baden-Württemberg , as in Austria, the designation of professor can be awarded to deserving citizens as a non-academic honorary title (see Professor (honorary title in Baden-Württemberg) ). In Austria, professor is also a professional and official title for appointed teachers in higher schools.

The main task of professors at universities is ideally the independent implementation of scientific research and teaching (in the sense of the Humboldt ideal of education ). Professorship and chair are not necessarily linked - every chair holder is a professor, but not the other way around.


As in the German Reich until 1918 and beyond in Baden and Bavaria, in some European countries (e.g. in Austria , France , Italy , Poland , Slovakia , Slovenia , Spain and the Czech Republic ) there is also an appointed teacher at a higher school (Austrian " middle school ") usually incorrectly referred to as professor . That is why in Austria the designation university professor (Univ.-Prof.) Or professor at a university of applied sciences (FH-Prof.), Formerly also university professor, is used in contrast to this . In Austria, the Federal President can award the title of professor to people without a degree who have made a name for themselves in the field of art or science . In Germany, too, individual federal states sometimes award this honorary title. Austria and Germany have other forms of titles that make transparency more difficult, such as those of associate professor (see below), junior professor and adjunct professor. In addition, since the renaming of the Austrian art colleges to art universities by the University Act 2002 , the former art college professors now also bear the designation "university professors". In Austria, titular professor is a title awarded with no entitlement to employment; in Switzerland, it is also not associated with a claim to a chair.

Professorships in Germany

Professor or Professor in Germany is the official title or the academic title of a person who holds a professorship is. It does not represent an academic degree .

Permanent professors are assigned to the higher service . A special feature of the appointment is the appointment procedure instead of the otherwise usual career tests .

In individual federal states, the term “professor” can be used as an academic dignity or as a title even after leaving the university after several years of service.

In 2016 there were 46,835 professors at the 433 universities in Germany (35,880 male equals 77%, 10,955 females equals 23%), of which 24,256 at universities, 19,306 at technical colleges, 2,308 at art colleges, 448 at administrative colleges, 360 at universities of teacher education and 157 at theological colleges Colleges. In addition, there were 3,399 lecturers and assistants, 182,129 academic and artistic staff, 10,035 teaching staff for special tasks, 1,825 visiting professors and emeriti, 99,097 lecturers and 43,432 research assistants in 2016. However, less than 10% of all scientists at universities are professors and only 7.8% have a permanent position with a full number of hours (as of 2015).

The total number of professors increased from 37,965 in 2003 to 46,835 in 2016 and thus by around 23% in 13 years:

2003 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 2013 2015 2016
37,965 38,443 37,694 38,654 41,462 43,862 45.013 46,344 46,835

Professors (Prof.) without additional designation

This is an official designation of various colleges such as universities, technical colleges, art and music colleges or academies. Since 2005 at the latest (the introduction of the salary order W took place at different times in the federal states), professors have been classified in salary groups W 2 and W 3. The salary group does not allow any conclusions to be drawn about the type of university. However, while most university professors are paid according to W 2, there are significantly more W3 than W2 professors at universities.

The grade W 1 is awarded to junior professors and is normally intended for temporary employment. Before the introduction of the salary order W, professors were given grades C 3 and C 4 and very rarely also grade C 2, at universities of applied sciences in grades C 2 and C 3, and at other universities in C 2, C 3 and C 4 classified. Professors who were appointed to the C salary when they were appointed (before 2005) usually remain in it, but can change to the W salary upon request. However, if they change jobs, they will only be classified in the W salary; this can only be deviated from when changing within a federal state.

Normally, W2 and W3 professorships are open-ended and linked to civil servant status for life, but there are also temporary and salaried professorships, the latter for example at private universities or if there are no requirements for civil service at state universities. For first appointments, i. This means that if the candidate has not previously held a professorship, a probationary period of several years is also customary at some universities before the position is formally "extended". The title of professor alone is therefore not a sure indicator of permanent employment. The salary differs between the federal states and the federal government. The same salary group does not necessarily lead to the same pay depending on the employer.

Professors at an artistic college usually lead a master class .

University professors

University professor (Univ.-Prof.) Is an official title for permanent university lecturers at universities in several federal states . They have been classified in salary groups W 2 or W 3 since 2005 . In some countries this term is no longer used for newly hired professors. In Baden-Württemberg, for example, this designation can only be used on application by those professors who had it before the year 2000. Professors recruited before 2004/2005 (the introduction of the W salary order took place at different times in the federal states) were classified in grades C 3 and C 4, and in some exceptional cases also C 2. A professor in salary group W 3 or C 4 (in older language usage and in Bavaria still today referred to as a full professor ) is usually a professor . Such a W3 professor has one or more positions in the budget for academic staff, a higher salary and a larger budget.

In most federal states, civil university professors without a chair or working group usually belong to salary group W 2 or C 3 (in older language usage and in Bavaria still today in the law referred to as extraordinary professors or extraordinary (ao) professors ). These W2 professors have fewer employees or no employees at all and also have lower regular budget funds in other ways. As they therefore have less personal responsibility, they receive a lower basic salary than the chair holders despite having equivalent qualifications. W2 professorships are nonetheless full-fledged, regular and mostly permanent positions in the budget; With regard to recruitment requirements and appointment procedures, W2 professors do not differ from chair holders, but are university lecturers with all rights and obligations. They must therefore not be confused with professors who are not scheduled to participate (see below). Just like W3 professors, they can receive performance-based bonuses on top of their basic salary. Since an amendment to the law in 2013, the salary differences between W2 and W3 professors have also been smaller than at the beginning, and many universities have also started to provide at least one employee position for W2 professors. In some German states (such as Baden-Württemberg), most professors without a professorship are also paid according to W 3 (“without management function”).

Both W3 and W2 professors are selected through an appointment process (application, assessment, trial presentation), which differs from subject to subject and from university to university. The basic principle is that of co-optation by scientists already working at the respective institution, who therefore have the right to choose their future colleagues themselves.

Prior to the amendment of the Higher Education Act in 1976 was called a professor professor or full professor. This was associated with the right to work as an emeritus with certain privileges and a separate budget after retirement . Professors who were first appointed to such positions before 1976 can therefore still be emeriti; Later appointed professors are retired professors with no choice. In Baden-Württemberg, professors at universities who were classified in salary group C 4 before the 2005 University Act was repealed can still officially hold the title of full professor . However, special rights are no longer associated with this.

Extraordinary professors

The title "Extraordinary Professor" (apl. Prof., apl. Professor ) was created between 1933 and 1935. Previously, these university professors were “non-civil servant extraordinary professors”, or “nb ao. Professors ”or“ nbao. Professors "called. The term Apl. professor can from universities Promotions - and habilitation degrees are awarded to individuals who have doctorates, mostly because of acquired teaching qualification (Habilitation) the teaching license ( venia legendi ) outstanding possess and also in research and teaching, according to their faculty services have provided. The general prerequisite is that they must have qualified through several years of successful teaching activity, although the duration of this teaching activity varies from country to country (two to six years of teaching). In contrast to W2 and W3 professorships, an appointment procedure does not take place because it is not about filling a position, but only about awarding a title: There are usually no additional rights and obligations associated with the appointment as an adjunct professor. The extent of the compulsory teaching varies between one and two semester hours per week (Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria) and corresponds to that of a private lecturer . This obligation to “title teaching”, which may also be free of charge, ends at the age of 62 (in Bavaria) or 65 (for example in Bremen). A withdrawal of the title “apl. Prof. ”takes place if one has not offered the title teaching for a predetermined period of time (two years in Saxony-Anhalt, two consecutive semesters in Berlin and Hesse); This usually has to be done at the home university, after a successful re-habilitation at another university it can also be done there.

The award of the designation is regulated by the higher education laws of the federal states and in some cases further by the statutes of the individual universities. The designation is not an official or service title and is not necessarily linked to an employment or service relationship at a university. In some federal states, persons should not be appointed as apl. Professors at a university if they are also working full-time there; in others, however, full-time or civil servant habilitated members of the mid-level faculty are often appointed as apl. professors. They do not have the authority to use the academic designation “professor” without any additional addition in every federal state, but they are often indistinguishable from W2 and W3 professors for outsiders and students. In some federal states, the continuation of the designation after the adoption and termination of the activity is tied to a permit from the competent state authority.

After several years (in Baden-Württemberg at least two years, in Bavaria six years, in Berlin four years, in North Rhine-Westphalia five years) in research and teaching, private lecturers can be entitled to use the title “apl. Prof. “by the university with the consent of the ministries or senate administrations responsible for universities. In some faculties, the award of the title is no longer linked to a certain period of time, but rather the fulfillment of certain scientific criteria (in particular the number of high-quality scientific publications after obtaining the habilitation).

It is a designation that is particularly often given to private lecturers working in human medicine. With the award of this prestigious title, senior physicians can more easily advance to senior physician and deputy director in the university clinics. Often these are senior physicians (directing physicians, senior physicians in charge or chief physicians) in non-university hospitals or resident physicians who, as part-time, only corporate professors at universities or in academic teaching hospitals, have to offer a small amount of title teaching. However, they can also be used to a reasonable extent for other tasks by university lecturers.

Endowed professors

Endowed professors are appointed to a chair that is not or not exclusively financed from the basic budget of a university , but is initially borne in whole or in part by a third-party provider . Such professorships can be endowed by foundations , institutions (e.g. churches or trade unions) or companies .

In 2016 there were 806 endowed professorships in Germany. Of these, 488 professorships were funded by business and 318 by foundations. As a rule, the financing must be taken over by the respective university after five years at the latest. This also applies to the Heisenberg professors sponsored by the DFG .

The proposed federal professorship would be a special form of externally funded professorship, which would not be financed by the federal states or non-governmental bodies, but by the federal government and would be awarded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) to specific people instead of specific universities.

Junior professors

Junior professor (Jun.-Prof.) Is a service designation for young scientists who qualify for appointment to a permanent professorship. The basic role model for the new qualification position is the American assistant professor with a high degree of independence in the acquisition of research funds and great independence in teaching. At least de iure , they are full university professors. In Germany, however, there is a statutory fixed-term regulation, although in many cases the so-called tenure track is still missing, which (after a successful evaluation) should basically make it possible for the scientist to continue to work. Quite a few junior professors are therefore still striving for a habilitation in order to improve their prospects.

Junior professorships were introduced in 2002 through a change in the University Framework Act and then implemented in all state university laws. They include a six-year fixed-term position as a civil servant (W1), rarely also as an employee. It is not uniformly regulated nationwide which title a junior professor should hold ( junior professor or professor ) and whether he is granted the right to confer doctorates. They are exempt from the ban on domestic appointments .

In Hesse, the new appointment of the junior professorship was given up on December 10, 2015 in favor of a modified version and designation, the qualification professorship (§ 64 HHG). The title is not specified in the law.

Senior professors

Senior professorships ( English (distinguished) senior professorships ) are increasingly being awarded in Germany and are designed somewhat differently depending on the state. The focus can either be primarily on honoring and promoting research, or holding courses and exams in an interim phase until the successor is appointed, or events and (residual) candidate support in a subject area for which there is no longer any direct successor professorship is. Depending on the state or university, entry into a senior professorship may take place before the regular pension limit is reached, but most often when the regular pension limit is reached; however, it can still take place afterwards under certain circumstances.

In general, however, access to professorships should not be blocked or delayed for young researchers. Therefore, the senior professor does not receive a regular salary, but the part-time income intended for this is based on full commitment (e.g. for a senior professorship with an 8-hour teaching commitment) approximately according to the difference between the pension amount and the previous regular income and is accordingly in the case of a lower commitment lower (model at the University of Frankfurt am Main). The extent to which research is still possible in the case of these senior professorships, which are primarily responsible for teaching, can be determined with the respective institution (if space and equipment is required). Senior professorships can be assigned to previous professorships at your own university (which is the most common case) or to those from outside. Typically, depending on the state and university or special funding program, they are given to one and the same person for one to five years.

The first senior professorships in Germany were probably awarded at universities in Bavaria. B. 2006 at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich . With this model implemented in Bavaria, an appointment is possible in the last few years before the start of statutory retirement, so that senior professors can devote themselves exclusively to research. Younger successors who may be appointed prematurely will then take on all tasks associated with the office (teaching, university self-administration, etc.).

In 2008, the German state of Lower Saxony established the Lower Saxony Professorship 65+ together with the Volkswagen Foundation in order to be able to continue to employ excellent researchers after they have reached retirement age . The teaching obligation here is only up to 2 hours per semester week. The professorship is limited to up to three years, an extension of up to five years is possible. The funding amounts to a total of up to 0.4 million euros, up to 80,000 euros per year. By including the Volkswagen Foundation, the characteristics of an endowed professorship are also fulfilled.

Honorary professors

Honorary professors (Hon.-Prof.) Are part-time university professors who have been appointed as a lecturer due to several years of independent teaching activity or due to special scientific or artistic achievements outside the university and are therefore particularly connected to the university in question. Honorary professors in Germany are allowed to use the title "Professor" (Prof.) without any additional information. In Switzerland the designation titular professor is common.

The services in the respective subject area must meet the requirements that are placed on full-time university lecturers. They hold less compulsory lectures, but mainly continue to work in their profession outside of the university. In principle, they do not receive a salary. In the event of approval, the academic designation “professor” may continue to be used if approval is available or if the relevant legal framework conditions are available in the individual countries. The aim of the honorary professorship is to attract people from professional practice to teaching. Honorary professorships are becoming increasingly attractive among managers in business and politics. These titles are also common in medicine.

State or honorary professors

The title "Professor" was since the 19th century in most German states in recognition of special achievements of scientists and artists in the public service, free scientist and freelance artists honorary be awarded. It was not necessary for the honoree to have ever been a university professor. One example of this is Adolph Menzel . In 1937, as head of state , Adolf Hitler acquired the right of appointment, which resulted in National Socialist cultural workers like Veit Harlan winning the title. After 1945 the right fell to the prime ministers, first or governing mayors of the individual federal states, and in the GDR , too , the honorary title was awarded to the popular Berlin zoo director Heinrich Dathe , for example . Today it still exists in Baden-Württemberg , which honored inventors, industry managers and politicians such as Artur Fischer , Jürgen Schrempp and Wolfgang Schuster , in Berlin , where Billy Wilder received the title, and in Hamburg , Schleswig-Holstein , Hesse and Saarland .

Visiting professors

Visiting professors are usually professors who work at a university other than their home university. This usually takes place in an academic exchange over guest semesters or within research projects. Visiting professors can, however, also be private lecturers who take on a professorship at a university for a limited period, in particular as a substitute for a chair. There are also permanent visiting professors who hold a teaching position at another university for a longer period of time.

Substitute professors

Substitute professors are scientists or artists who, in a transitional period, take on the administration of a professorship for a semester by means of a temporary appointment, regardless of the usual application process. During the period of representation - depending on the federal state - the title of professor may be used. There is no basic entitlement to permanent employment. Legal duties related to the professorship are part of the obligations associated with the substitute professorship. The substitute professorship is awarded if a professorship is temporarily vacant due to retirement or the departure of the holder. It is awarded as an employee to a doctorate, usually already habilitated scientist. He or she can either gain experience that will be useful to him in the later application phase for other professorships (substitution sine spe ), or he can represent with the prospect of being transferred to this professorship as a regular professor (substitution cum spe ).

Administrative professorships

Administrative professorships are a form of substitute professorship in which the scientist is commissioned to temporarily secure teaching. The professorship holder does not have to be a professor, he is only responsible for managing the professorship. This also includes taking on all other tasks associated with the professorship. In addition to teaching, there is also research, examination and academic self-administration.

Professor hc

Professor h. c. (Latin honoris causa "honorary") was originally an academic award for a scholar of international standing who had significantly advanced the research knowledge of his field through his scientific work. Historically, honorary professors were also appointed with the title of professor honorarius until the end of the 19th century .

Nowadays, the title is - rarely - also awarded for special scientific, artistic or political merits (especially in Austria, see the article “ Professional title ”), regardless of a usual academic career. A professor h. c. has no teaching obligation. Another common form of writing used by Professor h. c. in the German-speaking area is also “Professor E. h. (Honorary) ".

According to German doctoral law, an honorary doctorate (Dr. h. C.) Is usually reserved for academic universities , while the "appointment" to professor h. c., just like an appointment as a full professor, is made by the Ministry of Education or Culture of the respective federal state.

Jointly appointed professors / sectoral professorships

In addition to their position at the university, jointly appointed professors also hold a management position at an external institution. Your teaching load is usually significantly reduced. The salary is usually paid by the external institution, but the later pension is often paid by the state. In Berlin, the designation sectoral professorship (S professorship) is also common.

Professors as heads of federal agencies and museums

The heads of some federal authorities and museums have the official titles of “director and professor”, “president and professor” or “museum director and professor”. See director and professor . Usually one of the professors mentioned above is associated with it.

Employment requirements

The requirement for appointment as a professor at a scientific university in Germany, d. In other words, the "recruitment requirements for professors" (in the wording of the higher education laws of the federal states) are currently, in addition to a completed university degree, pedagogical aptitude and special aptitude for scientific work, which is usually proven by a doctorate , "additional scientific Achievements "that are proven by means of a habilitation , as part of a junior professorship or equivalent academic work. The same applies to artistic and technical colleges (see the current higher education laws of the federal states).

Until 2003 or 2005, a prerequisite for appointment as a professor at a university or college of education was usually a habilitation or an equivalent outstanding academic achievement, which was achieved through a doctorate and a professional activity or research. Since 2005, the junior professorship has been a prerequisite instead of the habilitation. However, the opportunity to achieve academic achievements through professional experience still existed. Since 2007, both options have been equivalent access to professorships at universities and universities of equal status. However, this varies considerably depending on the subject and the individual calling faculty. In engineering , as in universities of applied sciences, practical experience in industry can have a higher priority than the habilitation.

For appointments to universities of applied sciences , on the other hand, a doctorate and at least five years of professional experience (including three years outside a university) as well as special achievements in the application or development of scientific knowledge and methods are expected. In most cases, experience in teaching is also required. Private (technical) universities also require practical experience in business in order to start teaching. Here, non-doctoral students can also use the title of professor.

At art schools can be appointed who holds a particularly outstanding artistic skill and can also boast an important artistic life's work. At universities of teacher education, in addition to a doctorate, proof of qualification for the relevant teaching post must be provided through the successfully completed legal clerkship.

In Germany, the prerequisites for employment as well as the legal obligations of professors are regulated in the University Framework Act (HRG) and in the state university laws. In Bavaria also has its own university staff law.

In Germany - despite some easing in some federal states - there is a general ban on internal appointments : Anyone applying for a W 2 or W 3 professorship may not have a permanent position at the university to which they are applying. This is intended to make preferences and nepotism (nepotism) more difficult. In contrast, private lecturers who only offer their (unpaid) title teaching at a university do not fall under the ban on domestic professions. It is controversial whether the ban on domestic appointments is possibly in conflict with the Basic Law.

Appeal process

Most professorships are filled through a complicated and lengthy appointment procedure , which is regulated in the higher education laws of the federal states and which often extends over several years (therefore substitute professorships), in which a commission first makes a pre-selection among the applicants, then some (usually the 3rd –7) Lets candidates hold trial presentations, among them again making a selection and at the same time obtaining expert opinions from outside the university and finally creating a list of suggestions, usually consisting of three people. As a rule, the first place is then given the "call" for the position. The final decision lies with the responsible minister or university president, depending on the federal state. However, if those placed on the list are rejected, the process can be delayed or even re-advertised. In some federal states, a veto by the responsible minister in the state government can also cause a significant delay.

There are several studies from the field of gender studies (Färber and Spangenberg, 2008; Junghans 2012) that deal with the influence of gender on this special form of the personnel selection process on appointment procedures and the resulting recruitment of young academics.

Outside of gender studies, there are only a few studies that are historical in nature (e.g. Schmeiser, 1994; Brezinka, 2000). What is certain is that the academic career with the aim of being appointed to a professorship remains to a large extent a risk for young scientists in German-speaking countries - as Max Weber emphasized in his 1917 lecture Science as a Profession . Schmeiser aptly speaks of a "risk passage" that cannot be planned. What role individual components play in an appointment - such as professional competence, publications / citation , happiness / form of the day, composition of the appointment committee and competence / ambition of the members, integration of the candidate in existing networks in the scientific environment, presence at relevant conferences - is not empirical explores and so remains the subject of speculation.

Emeritus and retirement

When they reach the age limit for professional activity, professors are now generally retired and no longer emeritus , which, in contrast to retirement, only meant exemption from teaching duties. The salary of a professor emeritus was only slightly reduced. These professors were designated as emeritus professors or emeriti (singular: emeritus or as the feminine form emerita ) and often remained closely connected to their university (for example through further research and teaching activities). In fact, retirement is no longer possible today, as in most federal states it is only permitted by law if an initial appointment took place before 1975. However, there are only a few office holders who meet this requirement. Senior professorships are a new approach to maintaining the competence of outstanding scientists at universities. They usually continue to work in the form of a teaching assignment negotiated with their university in the institute or faculty.

Professional associations

All four associations offer their members a comprehensive range of services.


The salary of civil servants and assistants at state universities in Germany is based on the federal  salary regulation W or the C salary . In the case of new hires or possibly after negotiations to stay, depending on the federal state, only the salary order W has been in effect since 2005 at the latest, which comprises three groups: W 1 (junior professorship), W 2 and W 3 (salary types for all other types of professors and members of the university management) . Civil servants in grades W 2 and W 3 are hired for life if they were already professors. In the case of first-time employment, according to the relevant state laws, the employment is initially limited to up to eight years, depending on the state. As a rule, the time limit does not apply if the applicant is from abroad or if a domestic applicant for a temporary position cannot be obtained or if a junior professor is to be appointed from the own university. After the fixed term, the civil servant relationship will be converted into one for life if the professor has proven himself, otherwise he will be dismissed. Special regulations may apply to members of the university management (rector or president, their deputies and chancellor). According to state law, your positions are usually limited (different periods of time). The positions of junior professors, however, are always limited. The time limit is initially for three years; if the assessment is positive, the position will be made available for a further three years and the salary will also increase slightly. The salary does not increase in any of the three salary groups, but remains the same for the entire duration of the term of office. But there are allowances for good performance.

In the expired C salary, in which university members appointed before 2005 can voluntarily remain, the categorization will be C 1 (academic assistants), C 2 (senior assistants, university lecturers and 40 percent of professors at universities of applied sciences), and C3 (60% of university professors) and associate professors at scientific universities) and C 4 (full professors at scientific universities). C2, C3 and C4 professors are set for life (time limit for first-time employment as above). You had to assert yourself in an appeal process against competitors. The procedure is organized by the department to which the future professor belongs. At the end of the process there is a ranking list from which the responsible ministry of education usually calls the first proposal. C 2- and C 3 professors at universities of applied sciences do not differ in their rights and duties. In principle, they also have the same rights and obligations at universities and academic colleges with equal status. However, a C3 professor often has fewer employees.

In order to give employees in departments in which the junior professorship has not been introduced the opportunity to do a habilitation with similar salary conditions, the possibility has been created in 13 federal states to appoint academic councilors to temporary civil servants. This replaces the previous position as a research assistant (C 1).

The forerunner of the nationwide C salary is the country-specific H salary. In contrast to the C or H salary, the comparatively much lower W salary has an unchangeable fixed basic amount for which performance-based, often non- pensionable allowances can be paid, but often only to a small extent in view of the tight public funds. The older grades C and H, on the other hand, contain an age progression: the salary increases with seniority. Allowances are only possible in salary group C 4 for further appointments and suitable negotiations. They can be a multiple of the C 4 salary, especially to attract highly paid employees from business or from abroad to universities.

With the amendment of the Saxon Berufsakademiegesetz in 2017, salaried professors at the Berufsakademie Sachsen are hired and paid according to TV-L grades 14 and 15, depending on the field of activity. So far, they have been appointed full-time lecturers (TV-L 14/15) or part-time lecturers (paid according to teaching assignments) and can be awarded the title of professor or honorary professor after three years of special profiling in teaching and, if necessary, research .

For details of the remuneration see below .

Professorships in Austria

In Austria one differentiates:

Professorships within the university

University professorships

University professor (without addition; abbreviation: Univ.-Prof. ) Is the current designation (functional title, no official or professional title ) for professors appointed in an appointment procedure in Austria. It has replaced the designations of full university professor and extraordinary university professor (not to be confused with today's identical designation) and corresponds to the German W 2 and W 3 professorships. University professors who were (initially) appointed for a limited period after 2001 and all university professors who were appointed from 2004 are private law employees of the respective university (no longer federal civil servants).

Full university professorships

The old name of a full university professor or full professor (abbreviation: O. Univ.-Prof. Or o. Univ.-Prof. ) Corresponded to the C 4 professorship in Germany. The title has not been awarded since the late 1990s; however, it may continue to be led by those previously appointed. Ordinary professors (official title) are federal civil servants.

Extraordinary university professorships

Extraordinary university professor (abbreviation: Ao. Univ.-Prof. Or ao. Univ.-Prof. ) Refers to academics currently working at an Austrian university with civil service status (in this case the designation is an official title) or former contract employees of the federal government employed at the university who are entitled to use this designation according to Section 55a of the 1948 Contract Employee Act (in this case the designation is not an official title, but a functional designation), such as university lecturer and contract lecturer .

Since the late 1990s, the title has been awarded automatically to certain civil servant university teachers and certain (former) contract employees of the federal government as a result of their habilitation. It is therefore a matter of a promotion (appointment) based on the habilitation and not an appointment. Since the Universities Act 2002 , universities that have taken over the role of employers from the state only conclude employment contracts with their employees under private law. This means that the official title or the functional title “Ao. Univ.-Prof. ”In Austria is only awarded to certain persons whose employment or employment relationship began in 2001 at the latest.

According to the provisions of the Austrian University Act 2002, associate professors are not members of the professors' curia, but of the so-called academic mid-level staff.

University professor as a professional title

Since a regulation that came about at the endeavor of Thomas Klestil in 2002, the Federal President has the right to award university teachers (mostly associate university professors) the title of university professor as a professional title ( Federal Law Gazette II No. 261/2002 ), which is rarely used. An accumulation arises from the fact that the designation can also be used by all those who were appointed professors before the entry into force and who have reached the age of 50. Examples of holders of this professional title are the lawyer Andreas Khol , former President of the National Council ( ÖVP ) and previously ao. Univ.-Prof. at the University of Vienna, or the habilitated social historian Hubert Christian Ehalt , science advisor for the City of Vienna. The regulation is somewhat unfortunate because - in contrast to other presidential titles - there is no noticeable difference between the official title or the functional title "Univ.-Prof." (After appointment) and the identical professional title.

Assistant professors

Assistant professors (abbreviation: Ass.-Prof. ) Are certain university professors who, as a rule, have not yet qualified as professors. Since the entry into force of the “collective agreement for university employees” between the public service union and the umbrella organization of universities on October 1, 2009 (amended in 2011), this means people in post-doctoral positions who have a qualification agreement with the university (with usually a four-year term) (career position or tenure track ). If the qualification is not achieved (usually a habilitation and other achievements), the contract ends. If the conditions are met, the assistant professor becomes an associate professor and is given a permanent contract without official status. As an assistant professor, depending on the subject and university, you are entitled to take exams and supervise diploma and master's theses.

In Austria there is a second category with the same name, the title Ass.-Prof. According to the collective agreement (as above), either (KV) or (tenure track) is added in part to delimit . Academic employees with the official title of assistant professor (until 2001; with permanent employment and civil servant status) are actually university assistants with a doctorate (pursuant to Section 174 et seq Did not achieve the qualification goal actually intended for this career after completing the doctorate (habilitation). There is a vague similarity to the Academic Council in Germany; however, the position as assistant professor only implies a minimum teaching obligation of two semester hours per week. Because the title and status could only be awarded to civil servants, this form of "professorship" was no longer available to university lecturers who were newly appointed after 2001. In the 2002 basement, the designation staff scientist was provided for a similar group of users, primarily with system maintenance tasks .

Assistant professors according to the collective agreement and BDG belong to the mid-level faculty.

Associated professorships

The associated professor (abbreviation: associate professor ) refers to assistant professors who have fulfilled a qualification agreement and who have therefore been accepted by the university in a permanent position without official status. The successful habilitation is usually already part of the qualification agreement, but in any case the associate professor also acquires the formal teaching authorization and thus the authorization to supervise diploma and master theses as well as dissertations when they take on the new employment relationship.

In terms of organizational law, associate professors belong either to the group of academic staff in research and teaching (mid-level faculty) or to the group of university professors, depending on whether their qualification agreement was concluded before or after October 1, 2016. In any case, they are largely on an equal footing with the latter in terms of their rights and obligations under collective agreements.

Professor without a university job

The term "professor" (without the presented "university") exists in Austria also outside the sphere of colleges and universities, on the one hand as a professional title and on the other hand, in high schools as official title for tenured teachers or use designation for non-civil servants teachers.

Professor as a professional title

The professor can also be awarded by the Austrian state as a professional title , which is one of the state awards and is considered a profession-specific honorary title . Candidates are people who have rendered outstanding services to the republic over many years in their profession. The award is made by the Federal President .

The professional title “professor” is especially given for merits in the artistic and cultural field (e.g. fine arts, entertainment, adult and further education), but can also be used to honor people who have made significant scientific achievements outside of university life have achieved. In the case of doctors, an assessment by the Medical University of Vienna is usually obtained before this professional title is awarded.

Professor in high schools

Without a formal award, teachers at higher schools in Austria are called professors. The rule goes back to a resolution published by Emperor Franz Joseph I in 1866 . Until 2006, the term “professor” was formally reserved for tenured teachers at general and vocational secondary schools in the LPH (formerly LPA) and L1 salary groups, but in fact all teaching staff was addressed in this way in everyday school life. Some L1 and LPA / LPH professors have also been assigned to universities. Since 2006, non-civil servant teachers (“contract teachers”) in pay categories L1 and LPA (since 2008 l ph) have also been entitled to use the term “professor” .

"In the new teacher service law, which only provides for contract teachers, the professor is provided as a uniform designation for all new teachers." The Young Greens petitioned the National Council for the abolition of titles in schools: "The urgency of titles in this country is based on incrustations Traditions aimed at obedience and discipline. ”However,“ democratic and solidarity relations ”and encounter at eye level are needed, according to the then federal spokeswoman Flora Petrik .

Neither the professional title “professor” nor the “professor” at a higher school has any relation to work at a university or other college. This is the reason why at Austrian universities - in contrast to Germany or Switzerland - the long title “Univ.-Prof.” (Instead of just “Prof.”) is usually used.

Professorships in Switzerland

A distinction is made between professorships at universities and colleges

  • Full professorships / full professorships,
  • Associate professorships / associate professorships,
  • associated professorships,
  • Assistant professorships comparable to funding professorships of the SNSF ,
  • Titular Professorships ,
  • Honorary professorships (regional).

A distinction must be made whether it is a "professorial position" (with the right to the title) held by the holder - or the "professor title", which is awarded on an honorary basis in recognition of achievements (which is the case for the last two Categories applies). Some universities regulate the use of the title in a regulation, u. a. the joint title management Prof. Dr., the continuation after leaving the position (possibly different in the case of leaving as reasons of age or change of job). There are cantonal differences in terms of allocation or appointment as well as rights and obligations; an overview and classification can be found at the Federal Statistical Office . Not all types are currently awarded at all universities, but these may still exist from earlier appointment procedures.

Visiting professorships for teaching and / or research are limited to one to two years - the latter for research. The aim is to temporarily recruit outstanding scientists (or outstanding public figures) from outside the university. Some visiting professorships have been endowed and are regularly filled - named after the original holder, whose tradition is to be continued, or the founder. As a rule, the person holds a professorship at another university.

At universities of applied sciences, the title of professor is usually an honorary title for university lecturers with an excellent track record. The official title is lecturer. Lecturers can be employed full-time (workload> 50%) or part-time (workload <50%). The award at the universities of applied sciences is based on cantonal legislation; there are no uniform rules throughout Switzerland. Prerequisites for an award are usually a workload of at least 50%, proof of university didactic qualifications, several years of professional experience and corresponding commitment in teaching and / or research. Exceptions are handled restrictively.

In Liechtenstein, whose state university has been part of the Swiss university system since 2011/12, the associate professor is called an associate professor .

The appointment procedures are comparable to those in other German-speaking countries. Professors at universities and federal colleges are elected by the relevant bodies. At least full and associate professors are appointed by the respective governments of the university cantons. As a rule, they are employed full-time. Their term of office can initially be limited, but in practice, like full professors, they are usually elected for life. There are differences between full and associate professors with regard to their obligations, but hardly any more with regard to their legal position.

Professorships in Anglo-American countries

Outside the United States and Canada, the title “professor” is used less often and is reserved for the most senior academics in a department. Like the readers, professors are mainly involved in research and only rarely in teaching. Instead of professors, so-called " lecturers " teach at universities in these countries . Most lecturers are permanently employed (i.e. after a few years also for life) and work in both research and teaching. The British titles “Lecturer” and “Senior Lecturer” roughly correspond to the US American “Assistant” and “Associate” professors. The term “reader” used in Great Britain corresponds to a full professorship with regard to performance in teaching and research. A “Chair” is usually awarded to a “Reader” after about two years, mostly on the basis of administrative and management functions. In the USA, professors of the highest rank are called “Regents' Professors” or “Distinguished Professors”.

The US and Canadian systems generally provide for three levels of professorships in the tenure track system:

  • Assistant Professor (corresponds to the junior professorship, possibly with tenure track and the British lecturer ): A qualified doctorate is usually required. At some community colleges, a master’s degree is sometimes sufficient.
  • Associate Professor (corresponds to the C2 university professorship or the British Senior Lecturer ): A qualification as an Assistant Professor is required .
  • Full Professor (corresponds to the German C3 or W2 professorship as well as the British reader ): The prerequisite is a qualification as an associate professor or an extraordinary academic achievement. A full professor in North America usually does not have his own budget.
  • Distinguished Professor, Regents' Professor, University Professor, endowed chair, Named Chair u. Ä. (corresponds to the German W 3 professorship, full professor or chair and the British professor ): Requirements are a qualification as a full professor and particularly outstanding academic achievements. In this way, particularly recognized professors can not only receive a salary increase, but also a permanent budget of their own to hire staff and to finance travel and research.

In addition, there are honorary professorships and professors in the USA who work exclusively in research (for example in the company's own research institutes). Lecturers and private lecturers are also called adjunct professors in the USA .

Professorships in Denmark

The Danish system is more similar to the North American than the German system. The three main levels of adjunct, lecturer and professor roughly correspond to the levels of assistant professor, associate professor and full professor in the US system. The levels differ in terms of salary and teaching load. Positions as adjunct (official English term in Denmark: Assistant Professor) are usually limited to three or four years and correspond to a German junior professorship. In addition to working in research and teaching, they also include supervision of master's theses and occasionally doctoral students. As a rule, a positive evaluation of the adjunct is a prerequisite for an appointment to an editorial office. A - mostly permanent - lecturer (official English name in Denmark: Associate Professor) performs tasks in research and teaching. In addition, lecturers are voting members of the university committees, supervise doctoral and master's students and take on functions as department heads, institute heads or deans. A proofreading can therefore be compared to a German W 2 professorship. In addition, there is the professor MSO level, which is similar to that of a professor , whereby MSO (= med særlige opgaver) stands for special tasks, primarily in research, which are typically limited in time. The teaching load is significantly lower than that of lecturers and professors, and working as a professor MSO often leads to a full professorship. The title "Professor" (official English name in Denmark: Professor) is rarely awarded, mostly in recognition of many years of successful work in research and teaching. A Danish professorship is roughly comparable to a German W 3 professorship, but generally differs from this in that there are no personally assigned employees (secretariat, assistant), but rather they belong to the entire department. In addition, practitioners teach as Ekstern lecturers at Danish universities , who usually only work part-time and are not involved in research, so that their position can be compared with the German lecturer. The habilitation that is common in some European countries corresponds to the “big” doctorate in the Danish system. The associated degree Dr. phil. (not to be confused with the otherwise usual Danish research doctorate ph. d. ) is associated with the German degree Dr. habil. to compare. The habilitation to the Danish Dr. phil. However, it is not a prerequisite for appointment to a lecturer's position or a professorship and, overall, a rather rare academic dignity, which is occasionally awarded to well-deserved older university lecturers as recognition of their lifetime achievement.

Professorships in Norway

The Norwegian system is also similar to the North American system. The levels of universitetslektor, førsteamanuensis and professor , which focus on research and teaching, correspond to the levels of assistant professor, associate professor and full professor in the US system. They are also officially translated into English. An alternative research-oriented career path is the levels forsker III, forsker II / seniorforsker and forsker I / forskningsprofessor , which are officially translated into English as Researcher, Senior Researcher and Research Professor and which are equivalent to the first three levels.

Comparison between different countries

The junior professorship in Germany corresponds most closely to the Swiss (Liechtenstein) assistant professorship or SNSF funding professorship, but is stronger than this "probationary professorship", since an extended term for assistant professorships is usually possible in Switzerland, unlike in Germany ( " Tenure track ").

With the US term “assistant professor” a distinction must be made between positions with and without a “tenure track”. If it is a position without a “tenure track”, the assistant professor corresponds most closely to a doctorate university assistant in Austria or a junior professor in Germany. If it concerns a position with a "tenure track", the status is to be located slightly above the German junior professor. The assistant professor usually has his own doctoral students and staff and also has voting rights on the faculty council. Compared to the German junior professor, he also has a higher degree of independence in the acquisition of research funds and greater independence in teaching.


  • ao. Univ.-Prof .: associate professor (only in Austria and Switzerland, with different meanings depending on the country; corresponds to the associated professor in Liechtenstein )
  • apl.Prof .: Extraordinary professor (only in Germany)
  • Ass.-Prof .: Assistant professor (only in Austria and Switzerland, with different meanings depending on the country)
  • assoc. Prof .: Associate Professor (only in Austria, Switzerland and Liechtenstein)
  • Hon.-Prof .: Honorary Professor
  • Jun.-Prof .: Junior professor
  • o.ö. Prof .: full public professor (Germany, Prussia)
  • o. Univ.-Prof .: full university professor (only in Austria and Switzerland; partly outdated)
  • Prof .: Professor
  • Prof. em. (or emer. ): Professor emeritus
  • Prof. h. c .: Professor honoris causa ('honorary')
  • Prof. hon .: Professor honorarius (honorary professor; out of date)
  • Prof. i. S .: Professor in church service (only in Germany)
  • Prof. i. R .: Retired professor
  • Tit.Prof .: Associate Professor (Switzerland, Austria)
  • Univ.-Prof .: University professor

Possible careers

Typical careers for obtaining a full university professorship are listed below. The individual examples are exemplary for a specific subject area, i. In other words, they can each also be related to other subject areas.


Example 1 (completion of an undergraduate degree, doctorate, habilitation, award of the Venia Legendi combined with the designation private lecturer, non-scheduled professorship, university professorship):

  • Dipl.-Biol. Wilma Wiesel (diploma)
  • Dr. rer. nat. Wilma Wiesel (PhD)
  • Dr. rer. nat. habil. Wilma Wiesel (habilitation)
    • in some federal states also: Dr. rer. nat. Dr. habil. Wilma Wiesel
  • PD Dr. rer. nat. habil. Wilma Wiesel (Venia Legendi and the right to use the title of Privatdozentin)
  • apl. Prof. Dr. rer. nat. habil. Wilma Wiesel (adjunct professor)
  • Prof. Dr. rer. nat. habil. Wilma Wiesel (university professor / W 2 or W 3 professor)

Note: It is customary to leave out the abbreviation “habil.” When Prof. or PD are listed.


  • Werner Wessel, M. A. (Master or Magister degree)
  • Dr. phil. Werner Wessel (PhD)
  • Dr. phil. habil. Werner Wessel (habilitation)
    • in some federal states also: Dr. phil. Dr. habil. Werner Wessel
  • PD Dr. phil. habil. Werner Wessel (Venia Legendi combined with the right to use the title Privatdozent)
  • Prof. Dr. phil. habil. Werner Wessel (Univ.-Professor / W 2 or W 3 professor)

Example 2 (completion of an undergraduate degree, doctorate, junior professorship, full professorship):

  • Wilma Wiesel, M. Sc. (Master’s degree)
  • Dr. sc. agr. Wilma Wiesel (PhD)
  • Jun.-Prof. Dr. sc.agr.Wilma Wiesel (junior professor, i.e. W 1 professor)
  • Prof. Dr. sc.agr.Wilma Wiesel (university professor / W 2 or W 3 professor)

Example 3 (completion of an undergraduate degree, doctorate, professional experience, FH professorship):

  • Dipl.-Ing. Werner Wessel (Diploma)
  • Dr.-Ing. Werner Wessel (PhD)
  • Professional practice
  • Prof. Dr.-Ing. Werner Wessel (professor at a university of applied sciences, e.g. W 2 professorship at a university of applied sciences)

Anglo-American countries

Example 1 (UK, Australia, New Zealand)

  • Wendy Weasel, BA (Honors) (Bachelor's degree)
  • Wendy Weasel, BA (Hons), Ph.D. (Completion of doctoral studies)
  • Lecturer Wendy Weasel, BA (Hons), Ph.D. (corresponds to: W 1 junior professor)
  • Senior Lecturer Wendy Weasel, BA (Hons), Ph.D. (corresponds to: W 2 university lecturer)
  • Reader Wendy Weasel, BA (Hons), Ph.D. (corresponds to: W 2 university professor)
  • Prof. Wendy Weasel, BA (Hons), Ph.D. (W 3 university professor)

Note: In Great Britain (as well as Australia, New Zealand) the terms Lecturer, Senior Lecturer and Reader etc. are usually not mentioned in front of the name of the wearer, but are shown as a separate designation together with the subject. For example as “Dr. Wendy Weasel, Lecturer in English Literature ”. In Australia and New Zealand, the “Reader” has largely been replaced by “Associate Professor” (abbreviation A / Prof).

Example 2 (North America):

  • Walter Weasel, B.Sc. (Bachelor's degree)
  • Walter Weasel, B.Sc., M.Sc. (Master’s degree)
  • Walter Weasel, B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D. (Completion of doctoral studies)
  • Assistant Professor Walter Weasel, B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D. (corresponds to: W 1 junior professor)
  • Associate Professor Walter Weasel, B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D. (corresponds to: C 2 / W 2 university lecturer)
  • (Full) Prof. Walter Weasel, B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D. (corresponds to: W 2 university professor)
  • Regents' Prof. Walter Weasel, B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D. (corresponds to: W 3 Univ.-Professor)

Professorships are filled by women


Until the onset of modern times education was primarily a matter of the state and after a centuries-long process - by pressure from the women's movement and in the course of the general equality , the admission of women to universities legally established until the early 20th century - the sexes.

The main reason for this was the shortage of men during the First World War , in which practicing scientists became an important factor. By 1933, only 24 women, mostly in medicine, became professors, although more than 10,000 women received doctorates.

Proportion of female professors compared to male professors

Share of women among students and professors

Women are among the professors at the universities represented well below average German-speaking countries, although students make up for some time at most universities in German-speaking countries more than half of the students. Quota of women at universities and colleges:

Germany Austria Switzerland OECD / EU-25
Universities / technical colleges 2003 WS 2004/05 2006 2004
female students 48.4% 53% / 40%    
Doctorates / graduates 37.9% 40% / 34%   43%
Assistants   31% / -    
Professors 12.8% 14% / 22% 9.2% 15%
Total research staff in 2003 19% 21% 21% 29%
Glass ceiling universities 2004 1.9% 2.7% 1.8% 2.1%

Values ​​and sources:

  • OECD countries: Graduates ISCED 6, Academic staff Grade C / A (according to ISCED 97 ); Researchers Frascati Manual § 301
    glass ceiling : university, EU-25 2004
  • Germany: East and West Germany, female professors: all grades; Research staff
  • Austria: universities / technical colleges; Research staff
  • Switzerland: universities; Research staff

However, the quota of women varies greatly from region to region and depends heavily on the subject . In fields of study such as For example, theology , sociology , architecture and medicine, the proportion of women among university teachers in the higher ranks approaches around a quarter, while it is also higher among assistants . In the German ethnology the proportion of women in professorships is particularly high at 29% (2008).

In technical subjects it is only a few percent - and this despite funding through special programs (e.g. Hertha Firnberg and Else Richter positions in Austria and similar programs in Germany). On average across the OECD, the rate is only 5.8%.

In the meantime, at least regionally and for certain subject areas, such as political and social sciences in Berlin, there is a steady increase in the number of habilitations by women who are repeatedly appointed to professorships. In recent years, they have even provided half of the post-doctoral candidates there. How this tendency will develop in connection with the latest changes in university policy and the establishment of the Bachelor / Master system remains open.

A study of the 37 largest colleges and universities in Germany from 2018 shows that the proportion of female professors averages around 24 percent. The University of Paderborn is, according to survey Leader: 97 of 260 professors are here female, the participation ratio of 37 percent. The Technical University of Dresden brings up the rear with only 14 percent female professors. The number of female deans is even lower at German universities. Here the rate is around 17 percent.

Possible reasons for the lower quota of women

The reasons are diverse and apparently also depend on country-specific social gender models. The on average less willingness of women to unconditionally pursue lifelong full-time careers, different specialist cultures and the associated different importance of dissertation or habilitation for further career planning in specific subjects, and the difficulty of combining partnership, children and a highly qualified profession, probably play a major role . In many countries, even in the post-doc area, there are often only grants without social rights such as maternity leave .



In 2007, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research initiated the program for women professors , with the aim of creating at least 200 new positions for female post-doctoral candidates at German universities by 2013.

Many universities are Equal Opportunity Officer (previously: " Women's Representative ") and special statutory provisions for appeal process, the candidates with the same ability to give priority. At the Ruhr University Bochum z. B. a passage:

“Each appointment committee must have at least one female professor. If this is not possible, at least one scholar entitled to vote in the relevant subject must belong to the appointment committee. In subjects in which no scientist is represented, professors or research assistants are to be called in as voting members from related subject groups. "

This is to ensure that applications from women are properly considered.


The title of professor in Austria was granted in 2002 on the basis of Art. 65 Para. 2 lit. b Federal Constitutional Act ( BGBl. II No. 261/2002 ).

In the Federal Equal Treatment Act (B-GlBG), with regard to tenders from public agencies under Section 7. (3), regardless of the wording “that they affect women and men equally” (Paragraph 2), the tender must include the reference to has contained "that applications from women for jobs of a certain use (classification) or for a certain function are particularly desirable if the proportion of women within the scope of the respective service authority in such a use or position is below 50%" ( underrepresentation according to § 11 para. 2) or support measures within the meaning of the requirement to promote women (Section 11) are appropriate. A preference for women in public offices - regardless of the generally required equal treatment  - as long as the quota for women is not reached, is prescribed by the legislature.

Some well-known academic teachers

See also: Lists of well-known female scientists

Professors' remuneration


The salary of a professor is done in Germany to the W salary scale . There are three salary groups: W 1, W 2, and W 3. The professor's salary consists of a basic salary and a performance bonus . Since the federal reform, the states have had service, salary and pension rights for state officials. As a result, the basic salaries differ, and in some cases significantly. The salary of a professor in Germany is a basic annual salary for 12 months without performance payments in salary group W 2 a total of 58,752 euros per year, in salary group W 3 a total of 68,649 euros per year. The average salary including the performance remuneration of a professor at German colleges and universities is around 74,992 euros. According to the Federal Statistical Office, the average salary of a W 2 professor is 73,920 euros, that of a W 3 professor is 95,760 euros (as of 2015), although there are clear differences between the federal states. The salary in Germany is judged to be “not competitive” by the professors' representatives. A direct comparison of the German and international professorial salaries is difficult, as there are different pension regulations in other countries, different living costs arise (Switzerland) and different tax rates apply. The Hochschullehrerbund, as the professional representative of professors at the universities of applied sciences, regards the W 2 salary as not appropriate to the office compared to other remuneration in the public service. The Federal Constitutional Court approved this on February 14, 2012. With regard to a lawsuit by a Hessian professor, it decided that the basic remuneration of the Hessian salary group W 2 is "evidently inadequate" and that this is not compensated for by the structure of the bonuses, which are also not pensionable, and therefore violates the "alimentation principle of Art. 33 Para 5 GG violates and is therefore unconstitutional ”. The legislature is required to “make constitutional regulations with effect from January 1, 2013 at the latest”. The judgment is considered to be equally effective for the other federal states.


In Switzerland , the salaries of professors are regulated by the cantons, for federal universities by the federal government. According to a study commissioned by the NZZ in 2012, Swiss professors earn by far the most worldwide. A full professor CHF 17073, an associate professor CHF 14 561 and an assistant professor CHF 12 749 (average, calculated on 12 gross salaries before taxes). At the ETH, the gross annual wage is between CHF 206,166 and CHF 271,270, for the cantonal universities between CHF 139,376 (Lucerne, lowest level) and CHF 249,194 (Basel, highest level), with each university having several increases, mostly depending on the length of service can be increased. In addition, there are functional allowances.


In Austria a distinction must be made between professors with civil servant status and professors without civil servant status (= contractually bound employees, contract professors). Univ.-Prof. in civil servant status, depending on their length of service and without various allowances, have a legally prescribed gross annual salary between EUR 47,986 and EUR 89,515 or with seniority allowance EUR 99,385, while Univ.-Prof. without civil servant status can freely negotiate a gross annual salary between 53,075 euros and 159,225 euros with their university. The salaries of associate university professors are between 42,658 euros and 80,188 euros gross per year, those of assistant professors between 29,142 euros and 65,188 euros. Since the collective agreement came into effect on October 1, 2009, the minimum annual salary for university professors subject to the collective agreement has been between 61,650 euros and 86,288 euros gross, for associate professors at least between 58,570 euros and 83,209 euros gross per year, for assistant professors 46,252 euros gross per year Year (values ​​2010).

United States

Professor salaries in the US vary dramatically between universities, with private universities typically paying far more than public universities. The salary also depends on the position and the subject. Traditionally, much less is paid in the humanities than in the natural sciences. Professors in engineering and medicine have the highest salaries. In the mid-range biosciences, an assistant professor can expect an average gross salary of USD 80,000 (women) to USD 88,000 (men), and a full professor between USD 143,000 (women) to USD 156,000 (men).

Great Britain

The salary of a professor in the UK starts at around € 70,000 (£ 60,000). Readers and senior lecturers earn between € 52,000 (£ 45,000) and € 70,000 (£ 60,000) and a lecturer up to € 52,000 (£ 45,000).

Legal protection

In Germany, the designation “professor” is protected against abuse in Section 132a, Paragraph 1, No. 1 of the Criminal Code . Anyone who uses this official title without authorization is liable to prosecution and can be punished with imprisonment for up to one year or with a fine. The regulation also explicitly protects foreign service titles.

See also


Regarding gender aspects:

  • Cheryl Bernard, Edit Schlaffer : Women's careers at the university or is there a female masochism after all? In: Luise F. Pusch (ed.): Feminism - Inspection of men's culture. edition suhrkamp 1192, Frankfurt am Main 1983, ISBN 3-518-11192-2 .
  • Rainer A. Müller : History of the University - From the Medieval Universitas to the German University. Callwey, Munich 1990, 1996, ISBN 3-7667-0959-3 .
  • Martin Schmeiser: Academic Hazard. The professional fate of the professor and the fate of the German university 1870–1920. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 1994, ISBN 3-608-91688-1 (also dissertation at the University of Tübingen 1994).
  • Wolfgang Brezinka : Education in Austria. The history of the subject at the universities from the 18th to the end of the 20th century. Volume 1. Publishing house of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna 2000, ISBN 3-7001-2908-4 .

Web links

Commons : Professors  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Professor  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: Professorship  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

On gender issues.

Individual evidence

  1. Bavarian University Personnel Act of May 23, 2006, Article 12. ( Memento of September 20, 2011 in the Internet Archive ). Rhineland-Palatinate University Law (UG) § 49, Paragraph 5 (PDF; 260 kB); Section 69 (5) SächsHSFG.
  2. a b Education and Culture. University staff. ( Memento from December 11, 2017 in the Internet Archive ). PDF.
  3. L. Seifert: The steep way up. In: The time. No. 27, p. 63, July 2, 2015.
  4. See second law to amend the university regulations of Baden-Württemberg from January 1, 2005, Article 17, § 15.
  5. Second Act to Change the University Regulations of Baden-Württemberg of January 1, 2005, Article 27, Section 15 (3). In: Retrieved July 12, 2019 .
  6. Reichs-Habilitation-Ordinance and implementation regulations of February 17, 1939, p. 19.
  7. Hubert Detmer: Springboard or Consolation Prize? The “Apl. Prof. “as a career factor. In: Research and Teaching. 2020, pp. 144-145.
  8. ↑ Endowed professorships in Germany. Retrieved February 19, 2018.
  9. Jule Specht, Christian Hof, Ulrike Endesfelder, Wolfram Pernice: We need a federal professorship! In: May 20, 2016.
    The Federal Professorship: Personal, long-term funding in the German science system. In: May 12, 2016.
  10. Birgit Hibbeler: Thomas Brandt: The first senior professor . In: Deutsches Ärzteblatt . tape 103 , no. 34-35 . Deutscher Ärzte-Verlag , August 28, 2006, p. A-2261, B-1961, C-1893 ( online [accessed April 26, 2019]).
  11. Hertie Senior Research Professorship in Neurosciences. In: Archived from the original on September 24, 2015 ; accessed on September 18, 2018 .
  12. Research 65 plus. In: Lower Saxony Ministry of Science and Culture, accessed on December 20, 2018 .
  13. ^ The Lower Saxony Professorship - Research 65 plus: The Concept. In: Lower Saxony Ministry of Science and Culture, accessed on December 20, 2018 .
  14. According to the ordinance of August 27, 1937, “for the award of the title of Professor, members of the liberal arts and sciences as well as scientists and artists in public. Service in question, who have particularly distinguished themselves in their fields ”. See keyword: Professor in Meyer's Lexicon. Eighth volume, Leipzig, 1940.
  15. Florian Heil: Conditions for the call to an administrative professorship. In: March 2019, accessed July 20, 2019.
  16. Christine Färber, Ulrike Spangenberg: How are professorships filled? Equal opportunities in appointment procedures. campus Verlag, Frankfurt / New York 2008.
  17. Lea Junghans: The appointment of professors. The gender-equitable appeal process and its judicial review. In: Gender. Journal for Gender, Culture and Society, Issue 1, 2012, pp. 141–148.
  18. ^ Membership development. In: Retrieved July 29, 2020 .
  19. Federal Salary Act in the current version of the respective announcement in the Federal Law Gazette (BGBl.) Part I; see SATORIUS Constitutional and Administrative Laws . Text collection Verlag CHBeck, with supplementary deliveries. BBesG 230, 2nd section “3. Subsection. Regulations for professors ... “, §§ 32–36.
  20. Public Service Union, umbrella organization of the universities: collective agreement for the employees of the universities 01.01.2011. (PDF; 357 kB) In: February 15, 2011, p. 18, §27 , archived from the original on April 15, 2015 ; accessed on January 17, 2020 .
  21. The award of professional titles falls under Art. 65 para. 2 lit. b B-VG into the competence of the Federal President. The submission of the decree ( notification of intimation ) takes place at a later point in time and often by other people.
  22. a b RGBl. No. 22/1866 (= p. 72).
  23. ^ Amendment to the Contract Employees Act 1948.
  24. Young Greens want to abolish “professor” in schools. In: March 20, 2017. Retrieved March 20, 2017.
  25. ^ President's guidelines on the assistant professorship system at ETH Zurich. PDF.
  26. SNSF professorships. ( Memento from December 20, 2013 in the Internet Archive ).
  27. Instructions on the use of academic titles at the University of Zurich.
  28. Staff of the universities 2010. (PDF) In: FSO, accessed on September 18, 2018 (SHIS personnel categories, Appendix p. 44).
  29. Leaflet, visiting professorships at the University of Zurich.
  30. Recommendations. Awarded the title of professor at universities of applied sciences. ( Memento of September 28, 2010 in the Internet Archive ). Rectors' Conference of the Swiss Universities of Applied Sciences , May 24, 2004.
  31. Guideline on Titular Professorships (2012). ETH Zurich .
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