Water Week

EWN Publishing

Average full-time salary for a male PhD graduate is $84,847 and $74,454 for women, Qld University study finds

Posted by waterweek on 12 October 2007

According to Tess Livingstone in The Courier Mail (20/9/2007, p.72), a University of Queensland Social Research Centre online survey, involving almost 2000 PhD graduates, found they had all obtained their doctorates five to seven years earlier at one of Australia’s eight sandstone, research-intensive universities in Group of Eight. Most of the graduates were satisfied with their jobs and were earning average salaries of $80,000, although some earned double that and some far less, a report of the survey, PhD Graduates 5 to 7 years Out, said.

Graduates still lack some skills: However, many said that they wanted more generic skills than compiling their doctorate gave them. Report author Mark Western said the report highlights the important mentoring and professional guidance role of PhD supervisors. The survey was conducted last year and the report found the average full-time salary for a male PhD graduate was $84,847 and $76,454 for women. “This is largely due to the fact that the women have had more interrupted careers, switching between full-time and part-time work and taking time off in their 30s for family reasons,” Professor Western said.

Natural sciences top subject for PhDs: The report found that most PhDs were completed in natural and physical sciences (36 per cent) followed by arts, social sciences and humanities (34 per cent), applied sciences such as information technology, engineering, architecture and agriculture (17 per cent) and health (12 per cent).

Four-year task: Most postgraduates took four years to submit their thesis and five years before having their PhD conferred. Although very few graduates were unemployed at the time of the survey, about 20 per cent had been unemployed at least once following their doctorates, mainly because of family reasons. More than three-quarters of those surveyed were aged between 30 and 49. The report is believed to be the first in-depth study of satisfaction and work experience in Australia.

The Courier Mail, 20/9/2007, p. 72


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