REVEALED: The UK Average Graduate Salary 2021

After years of lectures, seminars, essays and exams, graduates want to kick-start a rewarding 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.

Despite the doom and gloom in the media about falling job vacancies and employment rates due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the graduate job market is recovering well and there are still a good amount of opportunities out there. So what can you expect to be earning as a new graduate in 2021?

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 £22,900 (up from £22,200 in 2020) with offers ranging from £21,000-£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 (unchanged since 2020). This is based on the hundreds of graduate roles that they see being advertised on their site over the past year.

They’ve also created a definitive list of realistic starting salaries based on the whole market using their salary data from the past 10 years. Their results show a steady increase year-on-year.

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.

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. Remember, with the right opportunity, you’ll have a good chance at progressing and boosting your salary relatively quickly.

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 uk 2021

Average 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 and Finance – £23,818
  • Aeronautical and Manufacturing Engineering – £26,736
  • Agriculture and Forestry – £21,428
  • American Studies – £20,645
  • Anatomy and Physiology – £22,210
  • Anthropology – £21,471
  • Archaeology – £20,066
  • Architecture – £21,004
  • Art and Design – £19,746
  • Aural and Oral Sciences – £22,380
  • Biological Sciences – £21,669
  • Building – £26,304
  • Business and Management Studies – £24,437
  • Celtic Studies – £20,363
  • Chemical Engineering – £27,734
  • Chemistry – £23,427
  • Civil Engineering – £26,729
  • Classics and Ancient History – £21,863
  • Communication and Media Studies – £20,017
  • Complementary Medicine – £24,872
  • Computer Science – £25,828
  • Creative Writing – £18,456
  • Dentistry – £31,340
  • Drama, Dance and Cinematics – £20,238
  • East and South Asian Studies – £22,889
  • Economics – £28,287
  • Education – £22,002
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering – £27,659
  • English – £20,186
  • Food Science – £22,153
  • Forensic Science – £20,323
  • French – £22,782
  • General Engineering – £28,649
  • Geography and Environmental Science – £22,144
  • Geology – £22,490
  • German – £22,280
  • History – £22,404
  • History of Art, Architecture and Design – £20,329
  • Hospitality, Leisure, Recreation and Tourism – £21,012
  • Iberian Languages – £23,057
  • Italian – £21,944
  • Land and Property Management – £25,065
  • Law – £21,135
  • Librarianship and Information Management – £24,973
  • Linguistics – £21,050
  • Marketing – £21,968
  • Materials Technology – £24,458
  • Mathematics – £26,415
  • Mechanical Engineering – £26,937
  • Medical Technology – £23,080
  • Medicine – £30,636
  • Middle Eastern and African Studies – £24,195
  • Music – £19,788
  • Nursing – £23,057
  • Occupational Therapy – £22,992
  • Optometry, Ophthalmology and Orthoptics – £16,662
  • Pharmacology and Pharmacy – £20,370
  • Philosophy – £23,521
  • Physics and Astronomy – £26,731
  • Physiotherapy – £22,728
  • Politics – £23,959
  • Psychology – £20,360
  • Russian and East European Languages – £24,191
  • Social Policy – £21,137
  • Social Work – £25,111
  • Sociology – £21,869
  • Sports Science – £20,447
  • Theology and Religious Studies – £21,421
  • Town and Country Planning and Landscape Design – £23,269
  • Veterinary Medicine – £28,277

Overall Average: £23,131

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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