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How Much Could You Earn With Your Degree?

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Being a student often means having to get by without much money, completely reliant on the next instalment of a grant or loan to come in (or mum and dad to send you some cash). Things won’t always be this desperate though. One day, you’ll be earning money. If you’re lucky, you might even be earning lots of money.

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Start fantasizing about what you’ll spend your first month’s wages on by looking at this list of the average salaries for different jobs and careers. Figures are based on national data for the US and UK.

Accounting & finance

Average accounting & finance salaries in the UK 
(data from PayScale)

Brokers

£45,000

Actuaries

£51,964

Economists

£35,297

Statistician

£31,693

Finance and investment analysts and advisers

£35,166

Accounting technician

£20,304

Insurance underwriters

£26,388

Financial accounts managers

£26,354

Chartered accountants

£34,637

Finance officers

£22,111

 

Average accounting & finance salaries in the US 
(data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016)

Actuaries

$100,610

Accountants and auditors

$68,150

Personal financial advisors

$90,530

Financial analysts

$91,620

Financial examiners

$79,280

Budget analysts

$73,840

Insurance underwriters

$67,680

Loan officers

$63,650

Cost estimators

$61,790

Tax examiners and collectors, and revenue agents

$52,060

Architecture

Average architecture salaries in the UK 
(data from PayScale)

Architects (not landscape or naval)

£30,591

Landscape architects

£25,231

Naval architects

£38,957

Architectural technologists

£24,591

Architectural designers

£26,545

 

Average architecture salaries in the US 
(data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016)

Architectural and engineering managers

$134,730

Architects

$76,930

Drafters

$53,480

 

Art

Art & design

Average art & design salaries in the UK 
(data from PayScale unless otherwise stated)

Graphic designers

£21,599

Artists (data from Glass Door)

£28,637

Archivists

£25,377

Musicians

£24,000

 

Average art & design salaries in the US 
(data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016)

Producers and directors

$70,950

Multimedia artists and animators

$65,300

All art and design occupations

$44,410

Archivists, curators and museum technicians

$47,230

Graphic designers

$47,640

 

Business & management

Average business & management salaries in the UK 
(data from PayScale)

Chief executives and senior officials

£91,617

Marketing directors

£68,073

Financial managers

£40,020

Human resource managers

£35,813

Purchasing managers

£34,430

Business development managers

£33,694

Project management director

£72,307

Management consultants

£46,599

Business analysts

£35,594

Senior sales executives

£24,573

Sales administrators

£18,100

 

Average business & management salaries in the US 
(data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016)

Management analysts

$81,330

Logisticians

$74,170

Budget analysts

$73,840

Operations research analysts

$79,200

Market research analysts

$62,560

Human resources specialists

$59,180

Training and development specialists

$59,020

 

Computer science

Computer science & information technology

Average computer science & IT salaries in the UK 
(data from PayScale)

Information technology directors

£76,061

IT specialist

£32,479

IT project managers

£42,549

IT business analysts

£35,543

Telecommunications specialist

£35,000

Programmers

£30,400

Software development managers

£52,099

Telecommunications engineers

£26,019

 

Average computer science & IT salaries in the US 
(data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016)

Computer and information research scientists

$111,840

Software developers

$102,280

Information security analysts

$92,600

Computer systems analysts

$87,220

Computer network architects

$101,210

Computer programmers

$79,840

Web developers

$66,130

Computer support specialists

$52,160

 

Engineering

Average engineering salaries in the UK 
(data from PayScale)

Aircraft engineers

£33,660

Design engineering manager

£50,159

Production managers in manufacturing

£34,271

Electrical engineers

£30,824

Mechanical engineers

£29,726

Electronics engineers

£29,396

Product development engineers

£29,843

Civil engineers

£30,558

Mining engineers

£40,000

Quality control engineers

£27,084

Engineering technicians

£22,058

 

Average engineering salaries in the US 
(data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016)

Computer hardware engineers

$115,080

Aerospace engineers

$109,650

Chemical engineers

$98,340

Electronics engineers (except computer)

$99,210

Mining and geological engineers

$93,720

Nuclear engineers

$102,220

Petroleum engineers

$128,230

Marine engineers and naval architects

$93,350

Biomedical engineers

$85,620

Materials engineers

$93,310

Mechanical engineers

$84,190

Civil engineers

$83,540

Environmental engineers

$84,890

Industrial engineers

$84,310

Agricultural engineers

$73,640

Drafters

$53,480

 

Law

Average legal salaries in the UK 
(data from PayScale)

Attorney/lawyer

£50,020

Solicitors

£35,482

Barristers

£53,000

Law firm partner

£68,828

 

Average legal salaries in the US 
(data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016)

Lawyers

$118,160

Judges and hearing officers

$109,940

Arbitrators, mediators and conciliators

$59,770

Court reporters

$51,320

Paralegals and legal assistants

$49,500

 

Media & communications

Average media & communications salaries in the UK 
(data from PayScale)

Public relations directors

£69,967

Advertising accounts managers

£28,000

Creative directors

£48,988

Journalists

£23,152

Public relations managers

£33,608

Author/writer

£34,050

 

Average media & communications salaries in the US 
(data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016)

Writers and editors

$61,240

Public relations specialists

$58,020

News analysts, reporters and correspondents

$38,870

Broadcast and sound engineering technicians

$42,550

Announcers

$30,830

 

Medicine

Medicine & life sciences

Average medical & life sciences salaries in the UK 
(data from PayScale)

General Practice Doctors

£50,664

Midwifes

£24,798

Dentists

£49,406

Biochemists

£27,500

Veterinarians

£30,737

Pharmacists

£34,528

Paramedics

£24,712

Psychologists

£30,435

 

Average medical & life sciences salaries in the US 
(data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016)

Physicians and surgeons

$208,000

Dentists

$159,770

Veterinarians

$88,770

Medical scientists

$80,530

Biological technicians

$42,520

Psychologists

$75,230

Conservation scientists and foresters

$60,610

 

Natural sciences

Average natural sciences salaries in the UK 
(data from PayScale)

Research scientists

£30,166

Research chemists

£27,443

Environmental scientists

£25,325

Geoscientists (but not hydrologists or geographers)

£35,000

 

Average natural sciences salaries in the US 
(data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016)

Biological Technicians

$42,520

Environmental scientists

$68,910

Chemists and materials scientists

$75,420

Geoscientists

$89,780

 

This article was originally published in March 2015. It was updated in May 2017.

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saugandhi n, Vetjitiraije M & 6 others saved this
Written by Laura Bridgestock
The former editor of TopUniversities.com, Laura oversees the site's editorial content and student forums. She also edits the QS Top Grad School Guide and contributes to market research reports including How Do Students Use Rankings?

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9 Comments

I don't know what to choose between electrical engineering and industrial engineering?
I did my bachelor's in electrical engineering but I find it very hard. Can anyone say the scope for Industrial engineering in us and the job opportunities

Thank you so much for your guide.

Nice info

Hlo,
Myself Gunjan saini living in india nd giving the final yr exam of bachelors in dental surgery ..their will be a internship after passing the exam.I want to do mds from abroad with scholarship .plz guide me what shall i do ?

This will provide funding for pilot training..?

please advice....where the best university for subject town/urban planning in asia and europe for undergraduate???

please advice....where the best university for subject town/urban planning in asia and europe for undergraduate???

Does good University or Institute really matters for astrophysics (Natural Science) to have good salary?

You're right that natural science graduates are some of the most hirable graduates out there, but the school you go to will likely have an affect on your employability. For a look at the top universities for physics and astronomy around the world, click here. Laura