What’s the expected salary for your degree?
While it can be easy to be swept up in the late nights and excitement of University, we can’t forget that the point of a University education is to get a job worthy of a Graduate.
With the number of graduates increasing and the number of jobs decreasing, it can be a tough time getting a job, but what happens when you get it? Here, I attempt to present a basic guide to your starting salary, dependent on your degree.
Expected salary for Humanities
I’ll start of with my own discipline. A Humanities degree is generally considered to be one of the most difficult disciplines to get a job from. If you don’t want to be a teacher, you probably want to get into media and those lucky enough to get a job in this industry can expect to earn anywhere from £7 an hour, to £22,000 a year.
In Publishing, Graduates usually begin as Editorial Assistants and can expect to earn in the range of £14,000 to £20,000. In house Copy Editors start on a similar salary of £18,000.
In Film and Television, most graduates will be forced to start at the very bottom of the Media food chain as a Runner. The average starting salary (if you are actually getting paid) is approximately £7-£8 per hour with no reason for it to increase since competition for these positions are fierce.
Once you get past the position of a Runner, the entry level position of a Researcher offers a salary of around £22,000 in London, or £18,500 anywhere else. If you want to become a Journalist, expect to earn anywhere between £15,000 and £22,000 in your first year.
Expected salary for Art
Like Humanities, the graduate job market for Art graduates isn’t great at the moment. For those wanting to get into creative arts (which include crafts, cultural heritage, design, music, performing and visual arts) expect a salary of less than £20,000 for your time.
However, many Artists choose to start their own businesses or work freelance, presenting a variable income which often needs additional support from a part time job. This can drop salaries to around £10,000.
For becoming an Art Teacher, see below.
Expected salary for Education
Primary school Teachers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland start on the main salary scale of £21,102, rising each year to £30,842. The lucky ones in Scotland begin on a salary of £21,438, which can rise to £34,200.
In Secondary schools, teachers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland start on £21,588, while in Scotland the wage is almost £2,000 less at £19,997. If you want to earn more, Distant Learning Allowances of £1,782 and Remote Schools Allowance of £1,074 to £2,010 are granted to those teaching in the Highlands and Islands.
Those who stick it out in education to become Lecturers will be rewarded for their hard work with an impressive salary of between £30,500 and £40,000+.
Expected salary for Engineering
If you get the right grades at school, an engineering degree often leads to a well-paid job at the end of University.
A Chemical Engineer can earn £25,136 in their first jobs, while Civil Engineers generally earn around £22,000.
Expected salary for Life Sciences
I’m not exactly sure what Life Sciences really are but if you want to be a Research Scientist, expect a starting salary between £16,500 and £22,000 at a Technician level which rises to up to £27,500 for Research Assistants.
Similarly, the starting salary for a Clinical Scientist in the NHS is around £25,000 at a Band 6 level, while Biomedical Scientists start at Band 5 and earn from £20,710 – £26,839. Remember, in the NHS, it is always possible to go up Band levels as your skills and experience increases.
Expected salary for Maths (Accountancy)
Salaries for Accountancy vary considerably depending on location, size of company and specialisation. The national average starting salaries range from £26,000 – £29,000.
Graduates who enter Banking can earn an average salary of £27,500, with students entering investment banks expected to earn an average salary of £38,000.
Expected salary for Medicine
Graduates with a degree in Adult Nursing start their career as a Band 5 on the NHS pay scale, granting them a starting salary of £21,176.
Junior doctors who go into General Practice (GP) are paid a supplement based on the intensity of work and the hours worked which may amount to an average salary of £33,000 in the first year.
The wage of Hospital Doctors is worked out in the same way. Junior doctors in their first year of the postgraduate foundation training earn a minimum of £22,190.
Expected salary for Law
Law is generally considered to be a degree which offers a high income job after University. However, starting salaries are generally the same as other professions.
Trainee solicitors in England and Wales earn a minimum salary of £18,590 in central London and £16,650 elsewhere. In Scotland, The Law Society recommends that trainee solicitors earn £15,500 in the first year, rising to £18,550 in the second. In Northern Ireland, apprentices earn between £10,600 and £18,000, depending on the stage of their training.
Pupil barristers in England and Wales earn at least £10,000 a year, which can rise to £40,000, depending on who you work for. In Scotland, intending advocates are unpaid during their ten-month training period, so you might want to start saving before Graduation.
Compare the expected starting salary from your degree
If you want you can search for your subject in the table. If it is not included then give us a shout in the comments below and we can find out and add it in.
Just be aware that these are only starting salaries and the average salary may change over time. It also depends a lot on what career path you take so make the most of your degree.
Starting salary for each degree
|Degree Subject||Expected Graduate Salary (£)|
|Accounting & Finance||21,551|
|Art & Design||17,300|
|Classics & Ancient History||20,869|
*This data was correct as of March 2012 and is only an average based on statistics from the Graduate recruitment bureau.
It’s important to remember that…
Although these incomes vary completely between degree disciplines, it’s important to remember that there is no point earning £40,000 a year as a barrister if you dont enjoy doing it. Pick your job according to your passion and if you work hard enough at it, you will end up with a healthy salary!
Also, remember that anything is possible. You choose your job and you can choose to learn other disciplines. If you strive to be the best within any sector that you choose to work in then you could earn well above these averages. Good luck!
A good place to start on looking for a graduate job is our graduate scheme deadlines list. Also, if you are worried about not reaching the grades or don’t know what a graduate scheme involved then see our graduate schemes 2012 article for the low down.
UK Graduate Careers Survey, High Fliers Research, 2010
Creative and Cultural Skills, Impact and Footprint