Graduate salaries are rising above the rate of inflation, with the average salary for a graduate trainee at £18,330, up from £17,7000 last year according to the Association of Graduate Recruiters.
The association’s half yearly review found that salaries have risen by 4 per cent on average, although awards vary widely.
One in six employers gave increases over £1,500 while the same number gave no rise. Most were between £500 and £1,000.
Graduate starting salaries range from £13,000 to £28,500, the study found.
Legal services offer the highest starting salaries, at an average of £21,500, followed by banking and finance at £20,000.
IT, transport, communications and consultancies typically pay £19,500, the survey showed. The lowest median starting salaries are in insurance (£16,500) and the public sector (£16,650).
Carl Gilleard, chief executive of the Association of Graduate Recruiters, said the figures show great opportunities for this year’s talented graduates. But he added that some employers are finding it difficult to compete.
“With some employers willing to pay almost £30,000 to their graduate recruits, there is some concern that employers offering salaries at the lower end of the scale are likely to find it increasingly difficult to attract good quality graduates,” he said.
The survey was based on the responses of 229 member companies of the Association of Graduate Recruiters.