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Engineering degrees in top 20% for average earnings

Published: 03/12/2018

Department for Education and Institute for Fiscal StudiesEngineering is in the top 20% of degree subjects in terms of raw average earnings for individuals at the age of 29, according to Department for Education and Institute for Fiscal Studies analysis of the absolute economic value of degrees.

Engineering is the fifth highest-ranked subject for women, with average earnings of £35,300; for men, Engineering ranks sixth, with average earnings of £38,600. For both genders, raw average earnings for those who studied Engineering are higher than for Architecture, Business, Computing, Pharmacology and Veterinary Science. In a recent salary survey from The Engineer, professional registered engineers reported higher average salaries than those who are not registered.  

Raw average earnings per person by subject studied is shown for the 2002 GCSE cohort in 2015-16, conditional on being in sustained employment, with earnings capped at the 1st and 99th percentiles and excluding self-employment income.

The analysis compared higher education students’ and graduates’ earnings with similar individuals at age 29, looking at over 1,000 courses offered by UK universities. It considers characteristics including class, ethnicity and GCSE results, based on the Longtitudinal Education Outcomes dataset, to estimate earnings.

See the Department for Education’s report, ‘The impact of undergraduate degrees on early-career earnings’ and the appendix data tables.