Studying for a Ph.D. can take five years or even longer; during that time, students may question whether or not their hard work will eventually pay off. The average starting salary for a Ph.D. may not be astronomically high, but it is much higher than the average starting salary for someone with a high school diploma or even a bachelor’s degree. However, the salary for an employee with a Ph.D. is influenced by numerous factors.
Less than one year after finishing the degree, an employee with a Ph.D. can expect to make £33,943 annually, according to a leading website. This is slightly more than employees who graduate with non-MBA master’s degrees, who can expect to earn an average of £32,166. Over time, these numbers change dramatically, and a Ph.D. candidate can expect to earn much more.
The future prospects for an employee with a Ph.D. are good. Most workers with doctorates tend to work for stable institutions, like universities, and thus are guaranteed some level of job security. Between the first and fourth year after completing the doctorate, Ph.D.s can expect to make an average of £42,527. Similarly, from their fifth to ninth year post-graduation, they earn an average of £48,003. Ten to nineteen 19 years after graduation, Ph.D.s earn an average of £56,414, which jumps to £66,659 more than 20 years after the completion of their degree.
To some extent, the average amount of money Ph.D.s earn is linked to the academic hierarchy in the United States. For example, an Assistant Professor—usually someone who has just successfully completed his doctorate—earns around £36,630 per year, while an Associate Professor, who has slightly more experience, earns an average of £46,755 and a fully tenured professor earns £56,659. Science Ph.D.s may earn more than the average Assistant or Associate Professor: a research scientist earns an average of £51,619 a year--much more than a post-doctoral research assistant, who earns an average of £26,776.
Salaries for Ph.D.s vary by city as well. In a survey of the largest cities in the United States, those with Ph.D.s in Los Angeles earned an average of £49,193 yearly, while New York doctorates earned £55,920. In Washington, D.C., this number rose to £62,988, while in Houston, Texas, doctorates earned an average of £70,222.
Finally, the salary for an employee with a Ph.D. will vary by what kind of institution she wishes to work for. A post-doctoral candidate searching for a research fellowship can expect to make around £28,962 per year, while the same candidate looking for a teaching job at a university can expect to earn an average of £38,823. However, if this post-doc were to look for a job at a private company, he could expect to earn an average of £61,443.