Submitted my PhD 2 months ago. Was happy till I started to get job interviews and job offers. I am so disillusioned and shocked: post-doc salary is around £25K a year, even if one has ten years of experience of research assistant, publications and has made successful grant applications. The same day I got an offer with this salary, I saw add that said that a London bus driver earns around £24K a year. But they often even don't have degrees...Of course, money is not the main reason why people do PhDs but still...I expected around 30K...Any other or similar experiences?
my first one starting in the states is just under $40000 - which at the current exchange rate is under £20,000. although they say the cost of living is less -
TBH I'm not that fussed, didn't do it for the money - if it was about money for nothing tho I'd be a train driver with a salary of £40447 for a 37-hour, 4.4-day week
In the wider scheme of things that doesn't sound too bad- nurses get paid an awful lot less, and train drivers may or may not have a degree, but does that matter? After all, we all make choices to do things in our lives, whether that is driving trains or reading/writing books, and I don't think either are especially easy. That said, the money for post docs and academics certainly isn't huge-but you do get to study an area which (should) be of interest to you, which must be the main thing.
Well, but nurses and drivers do not need to study for around 7-8 years, not to talk about the enormous costs of these studies. Anyway, I really wonder how do other post-docs (without well-off parents or rich lovers) survive on these salaries? I calculated that with this salary I cannot even afford to rent a one-bedroom flat (only a room in a shared house). And forgot about having children for the next 15 years (then I wont be able to have them any more)..
golfpro: I tried to negotiate, poiting out that I have experience etc, plus that I am a mature post-doc etc. They said they will consider it. It is well-known university, I am sure they can get hordes of people dying to work for any salary just to get work there;)
Not only is the salary shocking, but what's even worse is the total lack of job security due to an extreme shortage of available permanent positions. When you combine these factors it's little wonder that few people consider a career in academia a viable option.
Nope. 25k is actually quite a reasonable post doc salary (especially if its your first). I would be quite happy to take that straight from a PhD, because if you don't there are plenty that will. I personally think its the lack of sercurity which is the real killer and thats why ONLY 22% of PhDs stay in academia (check prospects.ac.uk).
Lecturer salaries aren't much better than that and never go very high (unless you make professor and that is getting rarer and rarer). I also think it will reduce in the future (like it has in the states) with more Part time adjunct lecturers teaching odd courses and a just a few core staff members that are totally overworked.
No offence was intended- I was just pointing out that a lot of people manage to live and work on a lot less, though if you are in London I agree that £24000 will not get you very far in terms of housing. I'm sure it must be very difficult and stressful to find a decent post-doc position, and on balance I know that what I wrote probably wasn't very helpful so my apologies. I hope you manage to find somewhere that you will be able to research what you want for decent pay, a.s.a.p
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