The short answer: The average starting salary for college graduates (in 2011) is: $41,701. More importantly, that salary figure is up over 2% from last year!! Go make your money!
The long answer:
Every year, a new crop of students graduate college eager to enter the workforce and start earning some money! The average starting salary for new college graduates is a difficult figure to come by because there are so many variables: Location, major, career choice, experience etc etc. A finance major from a prestigious east-coast college being hired on Wall Street will have a very different starting salary point than a english major getting a job as a teacher outside Kansas City.
Luckily, each year the NACE (that is the National Association of College and Employers) comes out with a report on new college graduates. They take into account a number of factors, and determine average salary statistics for recents grads. They compile a number of relevant sources, the most important of which is the Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you have not been to the BLS website, you should definitely check that out before starting your career, as they have very detailed, exact information on salary figure across every industry and job you could imagine. More importantly they don’t just have average starting salary information, but they detail what type of salary you could expect throughout your career. Lots of jobs have low starting salaries only to reward you later in your working life with substantial pay raises and bonuses as you climb the corporate ladder. The NACE survey also takes into account census data, though as you probably know those records are not updated every year.
If you are interested in going into more detail on the exact average starting salary per your major, you can click through on the links below. If not, feel free to take the $41,000 number to any employeer trying to offer you a lot less!! (Especially if you’re in a big or expensive city). Remember, while your salary level is very important (you can find our salary negotiation tips here to make sure you earn what you’re worth), a number of other factors should be considered for new college graduates.
- Is this an environment I can LEARN in. Learning certainly does not end when your college or university hands you that diploma.
- Is this an environment I can GROW in. As you work hard and provide value to the company, they should have a proven track-record of rewarding value with raises, promotions etc etc.
- Is this an environment I can EXCEL in. What is your personal competitive advantage? Are your skill sets going to be utilized in this job
- Is your boss (or their boss) able to MENTOR you. Every recent college grad needs a mentor to show them the ropes
Obviously there are many other factor you should consider, but we’ll save those for another post. In the meantime, checkout the links below to find the average starting salary for college graduates in their specific major or field. Some will be updated periodically with new tips and information:
- Starting salary with a Business Degree
- Starting salary with a Communications Degree
- Starting salary with a Computer Science Degree
- Starting salary with a Education Degree
- Starting salary with a Health Sciences Degree
- Starting salary with a Humanities or Social Science Degree
- Starting salary With A Math Degree