I was wondering whether employed PhDs on the forum feel their salary is commensurate with their degree. Of course, money isn't necessarily the most important reason for pursuing a doctorate, but in general, do you feel your salary is worth the time and work you put into it?
I would say that at the moment mine is, yes. But then I have been very very fortunate in securing an RA position during my PhD, plus a lot of teaching and further dept work, which has now led on to a senior RO position with a few days left until I submit. Like anything in academia these days its on a fixed term contract, but I'm hoping that it will lead on to more work - but for salary (I'm on an hourly rate) its what I would hope for at this stage :-)
"Ady", I have to commend how you always seem so positive in spite of it all!
"Stressed", that's a good point...If I could give one piece of advice on this forum, it would definitely be to try to start working in your field during the course of your PhD program! Like you, I began as a "Graduate Research Assistant", and became a "Senior Research Associate" before the Viva. However, while my responsibilities and workload have increased, I'm dubious that a salary increase will follow. I'm worried about what the future holds...
Check out the post on the site about 'Value', http://realworldgraduate.com/. I'm sure there is a great deal generated in your field but is it widely available?
Some see self promotion as demeaning but in an ultra competitive environment it can be the only differentiator.
Let me know what you think.
No it's not. I was working as an engineer. I took a pay cut to do what I do now which is work as a research assistant. Once I finish my PhD I will be automatically upgraded to a Research Associate and my pay will go up. Unfortunately my pay will probably go up to just a little bit more than I was on before I started my PhD. If I had stayed in industry it would have been around 6-10k higher at this stage.
Having said this, I plan on going back into industry and should come out no/not much worse off than if I'd stayed in industry, just earning less for the 3 or so years of the PhD. On top of this, when I consider the median wage in the UK in 08-09 was 18.5k before tax I don't feel that bad about my wage at all...
I agree with your comment about money not being the most important thing though. I have taken on my PhD to change slightly the field in which I work, hopefully leaving me with a more fulfilling career in the long term.
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