i am about to finish my Phd, and already started looking for a postdoc position. I talked to a prof in the UK, and apparently there are some postdocs on offer which pay (after taxes - i am not married, no kids if that plays a role here) less than 1300 pounds a month. Is that normal?? It sounds incredibly low to me!
In my field (biology), starting salary ranges from a bottom end of around £25,623 to an upper end of around £29,506 (without London allowance). That's ~£1624 to £1856 after taxes, NI, etc (according to www.thesalarycalculator.co.uk).
£1300 p/m after taxes is ~£20k p/a gross, which is definitely too low for a postdoc and more in line with a graduate salary.
Postdoc salaries in the UK are quite good when compared internationally; still not concomitant with all the education and training though! I have friends who left school without a-levels who are earning much more!
I was going to start a post asking what a postdoc is, as I have seen it mentioned by a few (just another one of my stupid questios!) - but dont bother on that sort of money I'm no longer interested, I'm doing my PhD on love alone, but that salary is laughable, lol 8-)
Is that actually the rate once you pass your viva or a rate you'll be on until you pass your viva?
Most places won't employ you as a Postdoc until you pass your viva, but will allow you to work as a research assistant (on a lower wage) until you pass your viva when you go up to the Postdoc pay range. It seems that research assistants are typically paid ~£20-24K (depending on the university pay scale while postdocs generally start around the £27k mark.
It could be that what you've been told is the research associate wage you would start on (assuming you haven't had your viva yet) rather than the postdoc wage. This is something you should check out. Also if this is the case you should find out if/when you would move from one position to the other
Guitarman I'm guessing you was employed as a tech too or something along those lines? I've heard of CASE studentships where students get a bit more (maybe £16k) but never heard of a PhD stipend higher than a postdoc salary.
And I agree most PhD students are in it for the subject not the money (what money?!). The only very highly paid job specifically for fresh PhD grads I know of is Quantitative Finance (writing algorithms to trade the stock market etc.), though there aren't many of these jobs left anymore.
I am (or was!!) company sponsored in engineering.. I guess it's totally fine if you do it for love of the subject - that's totally cool... but I know of far easier occupations paying way more requiring less hours.. hell I got offered a job starting on £39k when I left my degree (d'oh!!).
Unfortunately engineering is taking a nose-dive in the U.K. Not well-respected at all but it's damn hard work, let me tell you! I'm a bit disillusioned with it all - the pay really doesn't reflect what we do and I'm considering something else requiring less hours and less stress. Still, an engineering degree is very useful and there are usually jobs available if you're willing to relocate (which I'm not, unfortunately!)
Man, that's exactly why I never started a standard PhD - mine was industry-focussed. For me, personally, staying in academia was never an option for lots of reasons, one being the poor money you get. You could have left school and joined the police or became a bus driver and been on better money.
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