Graduate salary

Graduate salaries in 2019 / 2020

Find a job

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

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

average salary

■ average salary

average graduate starting salary2010 - 2019

Average graduate salary by year
Year Salary(GBP)
2010 25,764
2011 25,970
2012 22,240
2013 20,362
2014 21,338
2015 21,365
2016 21,929
2017 22,121
2018 23,502
2019 24,308
Average graduate salary by sector, 2019
Sector Salary(GBP)
Accounting 25,673
Advertising & PR 23,562
Architecture & Construction 22,921
Arts & Design 25,585
Banking 26,607
Buying & Merchandising 28,148
Charities 21,518
Computing & IT 27,456
Consultancy 26,406
Customer Service 25,152
Distribution & Logistics 24,637
Education & Teaching 24,225
Energy & Utilities 24,838
Engineering 27,551
Environmental 25,952
Finance 26,172
Food & Drink & Catering 24,889
Health 25,104
Human Resources 26,041
Insurance 25,719
Internet & Digital Media 26,887
Languages 28,103
Legal & Law 27,038
Management 26,458
Manufacturing & Production 24,206
Marketing 24,308
Media 23,728
Military & Defence 25,131
Property 23,347
Public Sector 24,567
Recruitment 25,002
Research & Analysis 27,939
Retail 25,149
Sales 25,653
Science & Technology 27,083
Secretarial & Business Admin 24,805
Sports & Recreation 20,962
Telecommunications 24,706
Training 26,594
Travel & Hospitality 25,720

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 Heartbreaking truths about your first paycheque
TPP