REVEALED: The UK Average Graduate Salary 2020

After years of lectures, seminars, essays and exams, graduates want to kick-start a successful career. You don’t want to have racked up student loans for nothing and once university is over, it’s time to look for a role that suits your personality and rewards you well.

There are plenty of graduate jobs on the market, so what can you expect to be earning as a new graduate in 2020?

What we say

As a graduate recruitment consultancy, we have the pleasure of offering jobs to graduates every week. We’ve assessed the average graduate starting salaries that we’ve seen so far this year and the average for our graduates is £22,200 (unchanged since 2019) with offers ranging from £20,000-£26,000. Naturally, the starting salary that you can expect does vary based on the type of role you apply for, the location it is based in and the experience you already have. For example, graduates who received the top end of our salary range were working in London.

We’re pleased to see that the majority of our graduates also have their salaries reviewed and increased within 6 months of starting their roles.

Search and apply for our graduate jobs here >

What the job sites say

Leading graduate job board, graduate-jobs.com, estimates the average starting salary for graduates is £21,000 – £25,000. This is based on the hundreds of graduate roles that they see being advertised on their site over the past year.

TotalJobs report higher advertised salaries, with Graduate Trainee roles on their site offering salaries anywhere between £20,000 – £37,000. They say the average graduate salary is £25,000 with the highest paying locations being London, Leeds and Birmingham.

Do bear in mind that the top-end salaries usually require you to already have relevant experience.

What the research says

High Fliers’ research suggests that the average starting salary for graduates in the UK is £30,000 and this figure has not changed since 2015. However, given their research only covers the largest graduate employers in the UK, this figure will only apply to a small minority of graduates.

Related Article: Top 100 Graduate Employers: The Real Truth

It’s important for graduates not to let their salary expectations be skewed by research figures like these. While it would be fantastic if all graduates could start on a £30K wage, this may not be realistic. If you set your salary expectations too high, you may miss out on job offers for not being very commercially aware and you may pass up on opportunities that have greater earning potential in the future.

What your subject says

What subject you studied at university can also have an impact on the salary you take home afterwards. We’ve put together this infographic so that you can see how your subject measures up.

average graduate salary 2020 ukAverage Graduate Salary UK – Full Subject List

If your higher education subject wasn’t featured in the infographic above, you should be able to find it in this comprehensive list.

  • Accounting – £22,828
  • Aerospace engineering – £27,820
  • Agriculture – £20,800
  • American Studies – £20,228
  • Anatomy, Pathology & Physiology – £23,036
  • Anthropology – £20,124
  • Archaeology – £19,448
  • Architecture – £20,956
  • Creative Arts & Design – £15,184
  • Aural & Oral Sciences – £24,076
  • Biological Sciences – £19,760
  • Building – £25,740
  • Business & Management Studies – £24,336
  • Celtic Studies – £21,788
  • Chemical Engineering – £31,824
  • Chemistry – £23,088
  • Civil Engineering – £27,716
  • Classics & Ancient History – £21,892
  • Media Studies – £18,928
  • Complementary Medicine – £25,792
  • Computer Science – £25,480
  • Creative Writing – £16,796
  • Dentistry – £34,840
  • Drama, Dance & Cinematics – £17,940
  • East & South Asian Studies – £17,472
  • Economics – £29,068
  • Education – £23,660
  • Electrical & Electronic Engineering – £26,416
  • English – £19,708
  • Food Science – £22,100
  • Forensic Science – £19,500
  • French – £21,100
  • General Engineering – £29,068
  • Geography & Environmental Science – £23,348
  • Geology – £22,284
  • German – £23,348
  • History – £20,800
  • History of Art, Architecture & Design – £20,956
  • Hospitality, Leisure, Recreation & Tourism – £19,240
  • Iberian Languages – £21,060
  • Italian – £21,684
  • Land & Property Management – £24,336
  • Law – £24,492
  • Librarianship & Information Management – £23,920
  • Linguistics – £19,552
  • Marketing – £21,788
  • Materials Technology – £26,000
  • Mathematics – £25,896
  • Mechanical Engineering – £28,236
  • Medical Technology – £25,272
  • Medicine – £25,792
  • Middle Eastern & African Studies – £21,736
  • Music – £18,044
  • Nursing – £24,700
  • Occupational Therapy – £22,204
  • Optometry, Ophthalmology & Orthoptics – £18,304
  • Pharmacology & Pharmacy – £22,724
  • Philosophy – £21,892
  • Physics & Astronomy – £26,312
  • Physiotherapy – £23,036
  • Politics – £22,568
  • Psychology – £19,032
  • Russian & East European Languages – £26,052
  • Social Policy – £20,384
  • Social Work – £22,776
  • Sociology – £19,812
  • Sports Science – £19,334
  • Theology & Religious Studies – £20,332
  • Town & Country Planning and Landscape Design – £23,608
  • Veterinary Medicine – £29,224

Don’t get hung up on your salary

Earning plenty of money is great, however, there’s no point in earning £30,000 a year if you dread going to work every day. It’s important to find the balance between what you enjoy, what you earn and the other benefits on offer.

What’s important is different for each of us, so try to make the best decision for you. If you change your mind later, you can always learn from your mistakes and look for a graduate role that is better suited to you going forward.

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