When searching for your first graduate job it is hard to figure out what you should expect for a starting salary. To help you, below is an infographic that displays the average UK graduate salary for your region so you can see what graduates are earning in your area.
When interviewing for any job, a question that is bound to come up is: “What are your salary expectations?” For recent graduates, this can be quite an uncomfortable question. You do not want to price yourself out of a role or sound unrealistic. On the flip side, you also do not want to say a lower salary just in case this is less than what you could have been offered. This can also make you look like you lack ambition or commercial-awareness.
What is an average starting salary for graduates
The average UK graduate salary statistics that are often quoted in the media are unfortunately quite unrealistic for the masses. They say that 2015 graduates can expect a higher salary than ever with the median starting salary coming in at £30,000. If you think this sounds too good to be true, that is probably because it is.
The High Fliers Research that releases these questionable statistics only focus their data on the top 100 UK employers. These are corporate giants with prestigious and highly competitive graduate schemes. However, only a tiny percentage of UK graduates will secure places on these schemes. So what can the rest of those in the graduate job market realistically expect to earn?
There are a lot of factors that influence what you could be looking at as your graduate starting salary. Job sector is one that can make a big difference, but the location is something that can also have an impact on your starting salary.
Take a look at the infographic below to see what the average graduate salary is for your region. You could be looking at a bit more or a bit less, but these salary estimates are a good starting point for you to establish what you are worth.
UK Graduate Salary by Region Infographic
- Scotland – £20,500
- North of England – £18,500
- Midlands – £18,500
- Wales – £18,000
- South of England – £19,500
- London – £22,000
- Northern Ireland – £19,000
- Ireland – €28,000
Scotland is currently averaging at a reasonable £20,500 for new graduates. The North of England is offering £18,500, as is the Midlands. Wales is offering the lowest graduate starting salaries with £18,000 being the average.
As we move further south, graduates can expect higher starting salaries although these are often to compensate for the higher cost of living. The South of England is averaging at £19,500, with London being considerably higher with an average graduate salary of £22,000.
If the higher salaries and big city of London are calling to you, do think carefully about the additional costs of high rent and travel. Here’s a great article that can help you to decide whether London is the right option for you.
Finally, Northern Ireland is offering graduates an average of £19,000 while the Republic of Ireland is more generous with graduates expecting closer to €28,000.
How important is your starting salary?
When looking for your first graduate job, it’s important to bear in mind the other factors that could make a big impact on your career and future salary prospects. Receiving great training and having an experienced mentor could be more valuable to you in the long run that a higher than average salary.
Company culture and benefits could also make a big impact on your role. Are there bonuses or profit share that will give your salary a boost? Are there opportunities to work more flexibly or from home? Is the office a fun environment that you can see yourself enjoying? There are plenty of factors for you to consider.
You should also remember that your starting salary is just that, a starting salary. If you work hard and prove yourself your salary will soon be reviewed and raised to reflect the value you bring to a company. In many graduate roles, salaries are reviewed as quickly as six months into your employment.
Bringing it all together
Ultimately, you want to earn a great salary. However, there is no point in earning £30,000+ a year if you using toilet breaks to escape your boring job or are counting down the minutes until home time each day.