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Study reveals huge boost to lifetime earnings for engineering graduates

Professional Engineering

An engineering degree boosts wages by much more than most (Credit: Shutterstock)
An engineering degree boosts wages by much more than most (Credit: Shutterstock)

An engineering degree increases average lifetime earnings by £140,000, a new study has revealed.

The increase in earnings – compared to lifetime wages for people with no degree and a minimum of five A-C grade GCSEs – is also more than £32,000 above the average increase from having a degree, meaning an engineering degree boosts wages by much more than most.  

The study by included 2,042 UK adults. The survey data was combined with salary data from the Institute of Fiscal Studies to create a new ‘degree valuation calculator’.  

The calculator includes regional and university variations, as well as gender differences. A 29-year-old male engineering graduate from Imperial College London earns an average salary of £38,600 in the capital, for example, while a woman with the same degree earns £35,300. Statistics and reports frequently highlight the gender pay gap in the sector, which stands at more than 10%

Of the respondents, 62% said they believed that gaining a university degree would not increase an individual’s lifetime financial value, but the average graduate earns 23% more over their lifetime – a total of £582,532, an increase of £107,532 compared to those without. 

“Despite the financial burden of tuition fees, it is clear that university degrees are still a key factor in boosting potential earnings for the vast majority of graduates,” said Salman Haqqi, personal finance expert at 

“Our new calculator is a unique tool that allows individuals to compare just how much they can benefit financially from attending different universities and studying different subjects. This is particularly useful to anyone who may be in the process of deliberating their future academic and professional endeavours. 

“University is a worthwhile, long-term investment for many, both financially and personally.” 

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Content published by Professional Engineering does not necessarily represent the views of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. 


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