Your earning potential
What does a postgraduate do for your salary and job security? Here are some key facts…
92.4% employed after graduation
36.6% in the private sector
The report also noted that 36.6% of postgraduates were employed in the private sector, 26.8% in the education sector, 15.8% in the health sector, and 12.8% in government positions.
Only 2.6–3.5% unemployed
Postgraduates had an unemployment rate of between 2.6 and 3.5%, while the unemployment rate for those with no postsecondary qualifications and the entire workforce was 7.8% and 5.7% respectively.
The median salary for all postgraduates was $79,000, an increase of $4000 from 2012.
$75,000 with a diploma
According to GCA’s Graduate Salaries 2014 report, postgraduate diploma or certificate graduates earned a median salary of $75,000.
$80,000 with a masters
The report also stated that both masters by coursework and masters by research graduates earned a median salary of $80,000.
$80,000 with a PhD
PhD graduates earned a median salary of $80,000, although they were more likely to be due to be in their first full-time employment and less likely to have worked during their study than those with a Masters degree.
Healthcare and engineering pay the highest graduate and postgraduate salaries
The two highest paying fields, according to the Postgraduate Salaries 2013 and Graduate Salaries 2014 reports were:
1 Healthcare: In 2014, graduates in dentistry, optometry and medicine earned a median starting salary of $75,000, $70,000 and $60,000 respectively. The highest median salaries for postgraduates in these fields were $125,00 for a PhD in dentistry, $100,000 for a masters degree by research in medicine and $100,000 for a postgraduate diploma or certificate in optometry.
2 Engineering: In 2014, graduates earned a median salary of $62,000 in their first year out of university and the median salaries for postgraduates ranged from $80,000 with a PhD to $102,000 with a postgraduate diploma or certificate.
There is high variation between postgraduate salaries depending on the level of qualification and the field of study.
Graduate Salaries 2014 reported a large difference of $36,500 between the median salaries of veterinary science postgraduates with a masters by coursework ($53,500) and those with a PhD ($90,000).
At the other end of the scale, there was only $5000 between the median salaries of humanities postgraduates with a masters degree ($75,000) and those with a postgraduate certificate or diploma ($80,000).
Higher salaries did not always correspond with a higher level of postgraduate qualification.
Click here to see median salaries for postgraduates in full-time employment by level of award and field of education from the Graduate Salaries 2014 report.
Author: Heather Catchpole
Heather co-founded Careers with STEM publisher Refraction Media. She loves storytelling, Asian food & dogs and has reported on science stories from live volcanoes and fossil digs