How to Become a


The complete career guide to be a Provost: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $102,610
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 8.7%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Don't Take Work Home
    Career Attribute

A provost functions as an institution’s chief academic officer. Some of the work done in this role involves developing and executing various academic long-term strategic goals for the university or college, and making sure that sufficient resources are allocated to support such actions.

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What is a Provost?


As a provost, you are expected to perform the following tasks effectively:

  • Collaborate with various faculty at the university to make certain the quality of curriculum, development of students, enhancement of programs and better opportunities for interdisciplinary partnerships.
  • Working with management like the deans and President, you would be the voice of the academic institution, creating good relationships with members of diverse committees, the state department of higher education, neighboring university or college systems and leaders in both federal and state government.
  • Promote values such as social equity, justice, diversity and leadership, while also addressing any issues regarding racism, injustice and other discriminatory biases.
  • Track the progress of programs and research administration, to make certain that there is visible growth in grant writing as well as sponsored programs, leading to high quality grant administration procedures.

Day In The Life

The provost takes part in various levels of institutional planning, development of policies and procedures, the implementation of a strategic vision and leadership in every type of academic program. As an individual with the best interests of the institution at heart, you would also look for potential opportunities that support the mission of the university or college. Another aspect of the role includes actively taking part in recruiting, retaining, and supporting a diverse faculty that will make valuable contributions to the institution and expand the areas of scholarship and teaching.

A big part of the job involves being comfortable working closely with leading members of senior management at a college or university, whether it is the collaborations with the president, faculty heads, dean and councils. You may also be expected to function as a chief budget officer to make sure that funds are channelled towards tenets of the academic mission, whether in teaching or research.

Work Schedule

As a provost, you will typically work full-time at standard business hours, between 30 to 40 hours per week.

Growth Of The Job

The employment of provosts is projected to increase at a faster pace than the national average for other professions, at 14% in the coming years. With a rising student population at the post-secondary level, the need for more academic experts is projected to grow at a rapid pace. There will be fierce competition for limited positions in this industry. If you have extensive experience and strong educational credentials, you will succeed on this career path. Vacancies may also be resulting from existing provosts looking to retire, transferring to other institutions or discontinuing their career for better opportunities.

Typical Employers

Provosts usually find employment at different types of academic institutions like community colleges, research institutions and universities. Your role would focus on giving strategic level guidance to institutional leadership and setting priorities for deans and chairpersons of the college, university or specific departments.

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How To Become a Provost

To compete for this role, you must at least hold a master’s degree in relevant subject areas such as education administration, higher education management, and educational leadership from an accredited institution. It is not unusual for provosts to also have doctoral degrees.

Building a solid understanding of related areas is vital to succeed as a provost – i.e. developing a familiarity with school law, research design, community relations, school law, data analysis and educational leadership. Some begin at a standard position in the field, then eventually climb their way up the career ladder through outstanding performance and promotions after gaining the right skill set. You must have an ongoing interest in keeping up to date regarding advances in the education field, and engage in continued education where possible throughout your career.

Many employers give preference to individuals who hold doctoral qualifications with distinction, along with prior experience at the rank of a full professor with tenure. The successful candidate must also demonstrate academic leadership experience at a higher academic level, such as an academic dean position, along with extensive experience in administration or planning of human or facility resources at an institution of higher learning. Last but not least, what distinguishes an individual with potential to become the provost is a personality that resonates professional integrity but is also collegial towards a campus community.

Provost Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

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High Range


National Hourly Wage

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High Range


How do Provost salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Provost's can make an average annual salary of $102,610, or $49 per hour. On the lower end, they can make $65,410 or $31 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #62 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Average Salary Nationally

Highest Education Among Provosts

  • 13.2%   Doctorate
  • 44.8%   Masters
  • 23.5%   Bachelors
  • 5%   Associates
  • 8%   College
  • 4.6%   High School
  • 0.7%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Provost job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 15,200 jobs for a total of 190,300 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 8.7% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Above Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #256 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Avg. Growth Nationally

What Companies Employ The Most Provosts

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Colleges, universities, and professional schools; private 73,600 9,900 10%
Colleges, universities, and professional schools; state 56,100 2,200 2%
Junior colleges; local 11,300 1,600 2%

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