STARTING SALARIES in civil engineering remain among the lowest of all professions, according to figures released this week by the Association of Graduate Recruiters.
In a survey of 207 graduate recruiters, including several major civil engineering consultants and contractors, the median starting salary for engineering and construction professionals in 2000/01 was £18,150, £850 lower than average.
This salary is expected to rise in line with inflation by just 1.9% to £18,500 in 2001/02, compared with a 4.1% rise to £19,500 overall.
However, graduates looking for the 'greener grass' of the information technology and accountancy sectors should beware.
While average starting salaries for software and IT consultants are around £20,000 now, the survey reveals that this is unlikely to increase next year.
In accountancy and insurance the situation is worse, with average starting salaries already below those in engineering and remaining so next year.
The increase in starting salaries overall is being pinned on the increasing skills shortage, with vacancies expected to rise by 14% this year.
In engineering and construction this figure is 25.3%, with 18% of companies surveyed reporting major difficulties in recruiting staff.