Graduate Salaries

How much do university graduates earn?

In 2015, the median annual starting salary for bachelor degree graduates aged younger than 25 years in their first full-time job was $54,000 (or 75.8% of the annual average male earnings).

Median starting salaries, bachelor degree graduates (under 25 years) ($‘000)

This column graph shows the increasing median starting salaries of bachelor degree graduates aged younger than 25 years from 2005 to 2015. In 2005, the median starting salary was $40,000. In 2006, the median starting salary was $40,800. In 2007, the median starting salary was $43,000. In 2008, the median starting salary was $45,000. In 2009, the median starting salary was $48,000. In 2010, the median starting salary was $49,000. In 2011, the median starting salary was $50,000. In 2012, the median starting salary was $52,000. In 2013, the median starting salary was $52,500. In 2014, the median starting salary was $52,500. In 2015, the median starting salary was $54,000.

The highest starting salaries were for

  • Dentistry ($80,000)
  • Optometry ($80,000)
  • Medicine ($65,000)
  • Education ($61,000)
  • Earth Sciences ($60,000)
  • Engineering ($60,000)
  • Mathematics ($60,000).

Interestingly, the starting salaries for Engineering fell over the year (down from $62,000 in 2014), and Education appeared in the top five for the first time in 10 years.

What about vocational education and training (VET) graduates?

In 2015, the average annual salary for VET graduates across all age groups working full-time after training was $56,900. Younger graduates (aged 20 to 24 years) earned an average of $46,800, but for those aged 45 to 64 years, the average was considerably higher ($65,600).

Employment outcomes vary depending on the level of qualification attained and there is also a difference in graduate salaries by qualification level.

  • Diploma or higher vocational qualification ($61,800)
  • Certificate IV ($63,400)
  • Certificate III ($51,700)
  • Certificate II ($51,600)
  • Certificate I ($46,300).

The highest average salaries for VET graduates in 2015 were for those who studied

  • Education ($71,400)
  • Engineering and Related Technologies ($62,100)
  • Natural and Physical Sciences ($57,400)
  • Health ($57,400)
  • Management and Commerce ($56,000).

Sources: Department of Education and Training, Higher Education Statistics; GCA, Graduate Salaries; NCVER, Government-Funded Student Outcomes; NCVER, Government-Funded Students and Courses