Graduate salary

Graduate salaries in 2022

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According to the High Fliers report, "The Graduate Market in 2019", the median starting salary for UK graduates in 2022 is expected to be £30,000 for the fifth consecutive year. However, graduate-jobs.com estimated that the average starting salary for graduates (based on the salary details of jobs posted to the site during the same period) was £21,000 - £25,000.

So why the difference? A problem with the majority of research conducted into graduate starting salaries is it usually focuses on the "Top 100" employers who compete with each other (inc. salary) to attract the "top" graduate talent. Therefore most graduate salary research is not a true reflection of the whole graduate recruitment market across.

Skewed salary figures can lead to unrealistic salary expectations amongst graduates. If you aren't starting your graduate job on a £30,000 salary don't conclude that it isn't a reflection of your value or potential value in the market.

We have created a definitive list of the realistic starting salaries based on the whole market using actual salary data from the past 10 years.

£20,000

£22,000

£24,000

£26,000

£28,000

£30,000

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

2022

average salary

■ average salary

average graduate starting salary2013 - 2022

Average graduate salary by year
Year Salary(GBP)
2013 20,346
2014 21,329
2015 21,344
2016 21,898
2017 22,115
2018 23,499
2019 24,126
2020 24,435
2021 25,450
2022 26,118
Average graduate salary by sector, 2022
Sector Salary(GBP)
Accounting 25,791
Advertising & PR 24,888
Architecture & Construction 23,844
Arts & Design 22,444
Banking 27,561
Buying & Merchandising 26,559
Charities 25,204
Computing & IT 27,769
Consultancy 26,298
Customer Service 24,806
Distribution & Logistics 25,905
Education & Teaching 23,075
Energy & Utilities 23,715
Engineering 24,671
Environmental 25,870
Finance 26,493
Food & Drink & Catering 27,092
Health 25,436
Human Resources 24,954
Insurance 26,821
Internet & Digital Media 28,298
Languages 28,553
Legal & Law 26,790
Management 27,850
Manufacturing & Production 25,425
Marketing 27,683
Media 25,232
Military & Defence 26,602
Property 24,313
Public Sector 23,674
Recruitment 26,103
Research & Analysis 27,485
Retail 25,025
Sales 26,795
Science & Technology 26,609
Secretarial & Business Admin 23,428
Sports & Recreation 22,428
Telecommunications 27,612
Training 24,661
Travel & Hospitality 19,935

Example: Your graduate starting salary

You are offered a starting salary of £18,000 per annum - here's what you can do

  • Research whether this is in line with the industry standard for this position. There are a range of online resources to help you understand the industry average and what can be considered fair.
  • If you don't think the salary is fair, you can negotiate, but remember how competitive the graduate job market is.
  • Factor in the location, any perks that accompany the salary and any bonus structures also offered.
  • Remember graduate salaries often increase rapidly during the early years of your career. You can expect to see you salary increase after a probation period and when you start to make a valuable contribution to their company.
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