How Much Will College Graduates Make? Korn Ferry Hay Group Research Reveals Salaries That the Class of 2016 Can Expect

Numbers Skyrocket or Drop Depending on Profession and Location

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- As newly minted college graduates hit the streets looking for their first full-time professional career positions, research by the Hay Group division of Korn Ferry (NYSE:KFY), reveals the salaries they should expect, depending on their career choice and the cities in which they are searching.

In the Hay Group study, researchers analyzed salaries of 145,000 entry-level positions from more than 700 organizations across the United States. Based on this data, the firm issued a sampling of 25 jobs, spanning multiple industries – providing a snapshot of what new grads can expect as they enter the workforce full time for the first time.

In the sampling, those entering engineering roles will make the most ($62,174) – 29 percent more than the average of $48,270 for all of the 25 positions. That salary skyrockets to $78,988 for engineers in San Francisco, the city with the highest average salaries in the nation. The research also analyzes salaries for the New York, Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles and Chicago markets.

Customer service representatives can expect to make the least on the list, at $31,958, which is 34 percent below the average.

Following are the higher paying average salaries for entry-level professional roles that were analyzed:


• Engineer


• Software Developer


• Actuary


• Scientist/researcher


• Environmental Professional


Here are the lower paying average salaries from the entry-level professional roles that were analyzed:


• Health Education Instructor


• Call Center Specialist


• Claims Examiner


• Category Assistant


• Customer Service Rep.


On average, the 2016 salaries analyzed rose 2 percent from 2015 levels.

“The market for hiring college grads is extremely competitive this year, so employers need real, authentic ways to differentiate themselves and stand out as an employer of choice,” said Vivienne Dykstra, Global Graduate Practice leader for Korn Ferry Futurestep. “Strong starting salaries are a critical part of successful recruiting, along with a commitment to helping new recruits develop as their careers progress.”

About Korn Ferry

Korn Ferry is the preeminent global people and organizational advisory firm. We help leaders, organizations, and societies succeed by releasing the full power and potential of people. Our nearly 7,000 colleagues deliver services through our Executive Search, Hay Group and Futurestep divisions. Visit for more information.

Korn Ferry
Tracy Kurschner

Source: Korn Ferry