Dentists, optometrists, geologists and engineers were the most well-paid graduates of 2012, starting on graduate salaries of between $63,000 and $80,000.
According to newly released statistics from Graduate Careers Australia, the median annual starting salary for 2012 bachelor degree graduates aged under 25 was $52,000, up from $50,000 in 2011.
Dentists were the most well-paid bachelors degree graduates, commanding a median starting salary of $80,000. Pharmacists were the most poorly paid, with a median starting salary of $39,000.
The median salary for accounting graduates was $49,000.
Postgraduate qualification holders earned higher median salaries: those with diplomas and certificates were paid $70,000; masters by coursework graduates $78,000; research masters graduates $76,000; and PhD graduates $76,000.
“While it may be expected that PhD graduates would be earning more than masters coursework graduates, in fact the opposite is true,” Graduate Careers Australia reported.
“Compared with masters coursework graduates, PhD graduates were much more likely to be in their first full-time employments in 2012 (27.8% compared with 23.2%).
“They were also much less likely to have been in full-time employment with their current employer in their final year of study and were much more likely to have studied on a full-time basis.”
The lowest-paid postgraduate degree holders were those graduating from education diplomas to jobs that paid $58,000.
The highest paid graduates, overall, were architecture and building PhDs, who commanded a median salary of $97,000 in 2012.
Almost 1 in 4 (23.9%) of bachelor degree graduates were unable to find full-time work within 4 months of graduating. Graduate Careers Australia noted that this figure had remained essentially unchanged since 2009, after rising from 14.8% in 2008.
Of the 2012 bachelor degree graduates, 15.3% were working part-time while seeking full-time employment while 8.6% were not working while seeking full-time jobs.
“Employment figures for new graduates were initially affected by global financial crisis in late 2008, and continuing labour market uncertainty amongst graduate recruiters has seen graduate intakes remain conservative,” Graduate Careers Australia reported.
There’s more in the Graduate Careers Australia salary report.
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