How much will I earn in IT?
The IT industry offers good salaries whether you want to start work at 18 or go to university and get a degree first. You're unlikely to become a millionaire, but if you want a well-paid career this is a good industry to look at.
Starting salaries for IT higher apprenticeships and degree apprenticeships
Starting salaries for higher apprenticeships and degree apprenticeships in IT typically range from £15,000 to a little over £20,000 per year.
Higher and degree apprenticeships typically last several years, and if you make satisfactory progress it’s likely that you’ll be awarded pay rises over the course of your apprenticeship. For example, on Jaguar Land Rover’s digital technology solutions degree apprenticeship you will start on around £20,000, but this is likely to increase over the course of the scheme.
Not quite sure how much money this is in ‘real’ terms? If you stay living with your parents or guardians you should be able to live comfortably, depending on how much you are expected to contribute towards household costs. If you are paying them a nominal amount rather than market-rate rent, you should easily cover your day-to-day spending plus be able to afford to go on holidays, buy a car and/or start saving for the future. If you need to relocate for work (or just want to move out) money will be tighter but you should be able to rent a room and pay for your own living expenses. However, some parts of the country are more affordable to live in than others (for instance, living in London is considerably more expensive than Bristol). Employers may support their apprentices in finding a place to live and some, such as Dyson, even offer accommodation for some of their apprenticeship schemes.
Starting salaries for graduates in IT
Starting salaries for university graduates in their first IT job vary widely. You might typically earn somewhere between £25,000 and £30,000, though some salaries can reach as high as £40,000.
While these salaries are higher than those for higher apprenticeships or degree apprenticeships, don’t forget that a full-time degree will take three years or more, during which time those in work will probably have had several pay rises.
Take a look at What graduate salary can I expect in an IT job? on our graduate careers site TARGETjobs to find out more.
How much will I earn in IT when I have more experience?
According to the Hays UK Salary Guide 2018 (which is based on jobs placed by Hays recruitment agency), an experienced developer could expect to earn between £35,000–£50,000 (depending on location) and cyber security information security engineers (in London) could expect to earn around £60,000. According to IT Jobs Watch, the median salary for developers (of all experience levels) is £50,000, the average for technology consultant roles is £47,500 and the average for IT project management jobs is £52,500.
Your salary is also likely to be affected by the programming languages that you learn. You may be taught specific languages over the course of an apprenticeship. According to IT Jobs Watch (as of November 2018), the average salary for C#, Java and .Net jobs was £50,000, and £55,000 for jobs using Perl.
What do these salaries mean in practical terms? As living costs are higher in London, Manchester and other major cities in the UK, salaries in these locations are likely to be higher. However, across the board, these are good salaries that should allow you to live relatively comfortably and have plenty to spend on your life outside work.