Do VET graduates have high earnings?
Workers who hold a VET qualification at the certificate III or higher level earn more than those who have not studied after leaving school. In 2018, the median annual income for VET graduates working full-time six months after completing their training was $56,600. The highest salaries were for those who studied
In 2018, the median annual income for VET graduates working full-time six months after completing their training was $56,600. The highest salaries were for those who studied
- Engineering and Related Technologies ($63,800)
- Education ($62,400)
- Architecture and Building ($60,200)
Higher level VET qualifications provide better outcomes
Generally, higher level qualifications lead to stronger employment outcomes and higher incomes. Although employment outcomes are relatively low for those with a certificate I, this level of qualification can be a pathway to further study and attainment of higher qualifications and therefore stronger employment outcomes.
Higher education graduate employment outcomes
While higher level qualifications ultimately improve employment prospects, employment outcomes for students immediately after graduation have weakened over the past decade. Positively, though, outcomes have now been improving for the last four years (see chart below). In 2018, 72.9% of bachelor degree graduates (available for full-time work) found full-time employment four months after graduation.
Vocationally oriented study areas (such as Pharmacy, Medicine, Rehabilitation, Veterinary Science, Dentistry and Teacher Education) generally have stronger employment outcomes immediately after graduation. Graduates with more generalist degrees (such as Creative Arts and Communications) have weaker employment outcomes immediately after graduation, but they do improve significantly over time.
Higher education graduate salaries
In 2018, the median annual full-time starting salary was $61,000. Postgraduate coursework graduates had a median starting salary of $83,300 and for postgraduate research graduates it was $90,000.
The highest bachelor degree graduate salaries by area of study were
- Dentistry (meadian of $83,700)
- Medicine ($73,000)
- Social Work ($65,600).
Sources: NCVER, VET Student Outcomes; ABS, Characteristics of Employment; QILT, Graduate Outcomes Survey