How much can college leavers earn in these popular careers?

Published on: 03/04/2019


How much can college leavers earn in these popular careers?

One of the first questions most people have when they begin any new career is, 'How much can I earn?'

While graduating from university is a great way to kickstart your career, landing a well-paying job without a degree is still entirely possible thanks to the great range of employment opportunities that are open to college leavers today. Chances are, your qualification or apprenticeship will offer the ideal route into your dream career, as well as great earning potential.

If you're keen on finding out what you could be earning in five popular career choices, have compiled average salary information below based on data from The Office of National Statistics (ONS).

1. Carpenter & Joiner

Carpenters and joiners build and install structures of wood and other strong materials, including steel and concrete. They may work as independent contractors creating and fitting prefabricated parts in a variety of public and private buildings. They may also work on larger civil engineering projects, making moulds for motorways and multi-storey car parks, bridges and suspended staircases.

What's the average salary?

ONS reports that carpenters and joiners earn an average salary of £26,875 full-time and £13,719 part-time, which is a 2.2% year on year increase. Starting your career as a carpenter or joiner can see you go onto become a director of your own firm, a general construction supervisor or a construction project manager (£40,549 per year full time).

2. Civil Engineer

The work of a civil engineer is grounded in addressing the needs of the public. From start to finish, civil engineers oversee large scale infrastructure projects in the public and private sectors. This can involve designing and managing vital developments like roads, buildings, tunnels, bridges or systems for waste management and public transportation.

What's the average salary?

Civil engineering has quickly emerged as one of the best paid construction careers in the UK. You could be set to earn up to £43,628 full time and £25,357 part time and depending on your level of responsibility and the size of the projects you are working on this could increase greatly.

3. Electrician

Electricians are responsible for the maintenance and installation of electrical wiring, circuits and related equipment. Electricians work in homes, public buildings or offices, ensuring that wires and circuits are safe, repairing faults in the electrics and installing new circuits once building work is complete.

What's the average salary?

Electricians have great earning potential, with ONS forecasting an average salary of £31,617 full time. Figures issued by the ONS also show that the electrical industry is experiencing a skills shortage, largely due to an ageing workforce. With this increased demand, apprentices should experience no difficulty in finding well-paid opportunities once they become fully qualified.

4. Hair & Beauty Therapist

Hairdressers and beauty therapists are tasked with making people look and feel great. In either role, you could find yourself working in a variety of environments. The most common is a salon, working as part of a team to serve the local community. You may offer hair cutting and styling, facials, massages, waxing and non-surgical skincare.

What's the average salary?

Hair and beauty therapists, incorporating practitioners of all the most common treatments and therapies, are estimated by the ONS to earn between £15,000 and £18,000 full time. Opportunities exist to progress to salon management (£25,204 per year), freelancing or teaching, which could see your salary increase.

5. Travel Agent

Travel agents help make their client's dream travel plans a reality. In addition to booking reservations, they assist them in choosing their destination, transport options and accommodation. They also make travellers aware of any passport and visa requirements, currency exchange rates and import duties.

What's the average salary?

Travel agents can expect to earn up to £21,557 full time and £11,497 part time, with the potential to earn more through commission depending on how many bookings they generate. Moving into upper management and eventually becoming an agency manager could see your salary rise to £33,280 full time, a year on year increase of 5.7%.

Oli Garner is a writer and digital content editor at professional training search engines and, and study abroad portal He aims to create and share engaging learning and careers focused content for individuals in all employment sectors.

Course Enquiries

Call 01245 265611

Follow us