How Much Should a Graduate Earn?

In light of the news that graduates believe they’re taking home less money than they think they should be, have decided to make a handy list that tells you what you can expect to earn as a newly employed graduate.

The average wage for graduates is £29,000. But this is not what graduates should measure themselves against given that it differs depending on what industry you get a job in. Therefore, we’ve compiled the average salaries graduates in each industry, but you may still earn above or below this amount – it’s an average remember!

Advertising, Marketing & PR

Graduates in the advertising, marketing and PR industry can expect to earn between £23,000 to £25,000.

Art & Design

Creative graduates in the art and design industry can expect a salary around £17,000.

Banking, Finance & Accountancy

The average salary in the banking, finance and accounting industry can vary depending on what role you have. However, graduates can expect an average salary of £30,000. Investment bankers have an average graduate salary of a whopping £45,000!

Charity, Not-for-profit & NGO

Graduates entering the charity, not-for-profit and NGO industry can expect £17,000 to £28,000, depending on the role – working in the marketing department for a charity will mean your wage could reflect the marketing average.

Construction, Architecture & Maintenance

Graduates will get paid between £18,000 to £23,000 when first entering the industry, construction, architecture and maintenance.

Culture, Music & Performing Arts

The more artistic graduates among us will earn around £22,000 in the culture, music and performing arts industry.

Energy & Utilities

Graduates can expect to take home a very competitive £32,000 if they work in the energy and utilities industry.


Graduate engineering salaries vary depending on the type of engineering but a tidy £28,000 is a realistic expectation.

Environment, Agriculture & Conservation

Environment, agricultures and conservation companies will pay graduates an average of £19,000.

Health & Social Care

Health and social care graduates, such as nurses, take home an average £21,000 in their starting roles.

Hospitality & Tourism

The average starting salary for graduates in the hospitality and tourism industry is £17,000.

I.T. & Telecommunications

The average starting salary for I.T. and telecommunications graduates is £30,000, just above the national average.


The legal sector is known as one of the best paying and graduates can expect to take home very attractive £38,000.

Management Consulting, Business & Admin

Like law and banking, finance and accounting, graduates who land a job in the management consulting, business and admin industry take home £31,500, which is just above the national average.

Manufacturing & Production

The manufacturing and production industry will pay graduates £16,000 to £25,000.


Following a career path in media is a popular among graduates, who are paid an average of £25,000 in this industry.

Medicine, Medical Sciences & Research

Graduate doctors, dentists, biochemists, pharmacists etc. have an average wage of £22,000 to £30,000.

Public Sector & Defence

Public sector and defence graduate jobs, such as civil servants, pay an average of £22,000.

Recruitment & Human Resources

Average graduate starting salaries in the recruitment and human resources industry is £16,000 to £20,000.

Retail & Sales

Graduates who land a job in the retail and sales sector can expect to take home between £18,000 and £25,000.


Science graduate salaries vary depending on what company you work for, but graduates can expect to take home £14,000 to £20,000 when they first start out in the industry.

Sport & Recreation

Sport and recreation salaries for graduates starting out in the industry are between £15,000 to £20,000.

Teaching & Education

Newly qualified primary and secondary school teachers can expect to earn around £21,000.

Transport & Logistics

Graduates who enter the transport and logistics industry will have a starting salary of around £20,000.

Hopefully this has cleared a few thing up in regard to graduate salary expectations. Remember, your salary should increase as the year’s progress. Keep your head down, work hard and your salary will increase in no time.

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