Graduate salary

Graduate salaries in 2023

Find a job

According to the High Fliers report, "The Graduate Market in 2019", the median starting salary for UK graduates in 2023 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

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

2022

2023

average salary

■ average salary

average graduate starting salary2014 - 2023

Average graduate salary by year
Year Salary(GBP)
2014 21,329
2015 21,344
2016 21,898
2017 22,115
2018 23,499
2019 24,126
2020 24,433
2021 25,449
2022 25,919
2023 26,870
Average graduate salary by sector, 2023
Sector Salary(GBP)
Accounting 25,936
Advertising & PR 24,425
Architecture & Construction 24,872
Arts & Design 24,357
Banking 29,533
Buying & Merchandising 27,218
Charities 26,574
Computing & IT 28,159
Consultancy 27,392
Customer Service 26,171
Distribution & Logistics 26,606
Education & Teaching 21,585
Energy & Utilities 26,846
Engineering 26,909
Environmental 27,404
Finance 26,846
Food & Drink & Catering 25,862
Health 26,945
Human Resources 25,342
Insurance 26,722
Internet & Digital Media 30,080
Languages 29,737
Legal & Law 26,844
Management 29,295
Manufacturing & Production 26,352
Marketing 28,768
Media 26,059
Military & Defence 27,307
Property 24,623
Public Sector 24,051
Recruitment 26,216
Research & Analysis 27,680
Retail 26,898
Sales 27,508
Science & Technology 28,485
Secretarial & Business Admin 22,925
Sports & Recreation 21,800
Telecommunications 28,917
Training 24,819
Travel & Hospitality 21,089

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.
Next: 3 Understanding your payslip