What are the highest paid graduate jobs in the UK?

Debra Rutherford
28 February 2022
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If you have invested in a university degree you will of course want a return on your investment. An undergraduate degree will open many doors for you, including some of the top paying careers in the UK. Many graduate training schemes and graduate roles are well paid since employers take on graduates with a view to training the future leaders of their organisation.

So what are the best paid graduate jobs in the UK?

(Please note that salaries are averages and are dependent upon individual organisations and location. London recruiters will pay higher than the rest of the UK for example.)

1. Management Consultant £47,500

Consultancy firms are amongst the top paying in graduate recruitment. Deloitte, Accenture and KPMG are established and well known for their graduate training programmes. You can expect to progress quickly with such firms. These coveted positions are highly sought after. 

These positions are often suited to those who have an undergraduate degree in a business discipline. However, this is not essential. The application and selection process for these positions is very competitive. A 2:1 or above will be required to apply for these positions.

2. Investment Banker £40,000

It is no surprise that investment bankers are amongst the highest paid in the UK. Many investment firms don’t disclose the amount paid to their graduates, however, research shows that depending upon area and the firm itself graduates can expect an average salary of around £35k and even upwards of £50 in large London firms.

Those who embark upon a career in investment banking will enjoy high salaries. Throughout a graduate scheme pay increases each year. Beyond this the salary continues to increase with the potential of hitting a 6 figure salary in just six years.

As you can imagine such high salaries are awarded to high performing undergraduates and a rigorous recruitment process will be undertaken. You can expect assessment days to evaluate an applicants suitability for the role.

3. Trainee Solicitor £26,500 – £50,000

Solicitors are notoriously well paid. However, The Law Society recommends that a minimum salary of £22,794 in London and £20,217 is paid to trainee solicitors. Most firms pay well above this. If you complete training within a city firm you will be likely to earn over £30k, even higher in London. Solicitors keep recruitment numbers low and therefore can offer higher salaries to those that they take on. As with investment bankers, upon qualification a solicitor will enjoy a lucrative career.

A trainee solicitor is required to have a qualifying Law degree, followed by the LPC or CPQ. Or an undergraduate degree of any discipline followed by the CPE/PGDL conversion course. If you are nearing the end of your degree it’s worth contacting solicitors firms to find out more about their training programmes and recruitment process.

4.Graduate Sales Manager Retail £37-44,000

Graduate training schemes in retail are an excellent starting point for a varied career that will lead to an impressive salary. Aldi are top of the salary leaderboard with their graduate retail management scheme paying £44k. Others include Lidl at £37k, Tesco at £28-32k and McDonalds £24-27k. 

An undergraduate degree in any discipline will be considered for a retail management programme. It is often suited to those who have embarked upon a business degree. Like most graduate schemes a 2:1 or above is usually required.

5.Graduate Area Manager £38,000

An area manager is trained to oversee a number of branches and/or teams across a geographical location. You will lead the managers of each team providing support and resources to enable each team to thrive and hit their targets. The nature of the role involves travel and strong people skills in addition to exceptional problem solving abilities.

If an area manager is a career that you feel you would enjoy the best route is a graduate training programme. It isn’t necessary to have a specific degree, however, as with most graduate training programmes a 2:1 or above is usually required.

If the above roles are not for you here are some more of the top paying graduate roles in the UK. Keep an eye on the best graduate jobs and training schemes with Our Graduates.

6.Petroleum Engineer £35,000 

7.Actuary £35,000

8.Vet £32,000

9.Clinical Scientist £32,000

10.Software Developer £32,000

11.Graduate Software Engineer £32,000

12.Graduate Technology Consultant £32,000

13.Graduate Business Analyst £30,500

14. HR Graduate £29,000

15. Graduate Data Analyst £29,000 

16. Graduate Engineer – various disciplines £28.500

17. Marketing Graduate £28,000

18. Civil Servant £27-28,000

19. Civil Engineer £28,000 

20. Graduate Quantity Surveyor £27,000



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The Law Society



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