Average Starting Salary for Class of 2013 Grads Up 2.4%


By SHRM Online staff September 9, 2013

The overall average starting salary for U.S. class of 2013 college graduates stands at $45,327, an increase of 2.4 percent over the reported average of $44,259 for 2012 college graduates, according to the September 2013 Salary Survey report from the nonprofit National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

Salary increases were not limited to certain fields of study; they were evident in all disciplines except computer science, NACE found.

Some highlights from the report:

  • Among the class of 2013, those in business disciplines experienced the largest increase to their overall average starting salary, which rose 7.9 percent to $55,635.

  • As a group, graduates in the computer sciences field saw their overall average starting salary drop 2.5 percent, from $60,038 in 2012 to $58,547 in 2013.

  • The overall average salary for engineering graduates rose 2.3 percent to $62,062. While some in engineering disciplines saw large boosts to their average starting salaries—bioengineering majors received a 10.1 percent increase—those in other areas, such as computer engineering and aerospace engineering, faced decreases.

  • Overall, the average starting salary for graduates in the humanities and social sciences increased 2.6 percent over 2012, bringing it to $37,791. Of the 11 reported majors within this group, eight posted increases to their average starting salaries, while just three posted decreases.

  • Graduates with degrees in the math and science fields saw the least movement in their average starting salary. The overall average salary for the group rose just 0.9 percent over 2012, bringing it to $42,731.

2013 Average Salary

2012 Average Salary

Percent Change









Computer Science












Humanities and Social Sciences




Math and Sciences








Source: September 2013 NACE Salary Survey.

Report data represent accepted starting salaries (not salary offers) derived from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. Census Bureau and a master set of employer-reported data developed by Job Search Intelligence.

Related Articles:

U.S. Salary Budgets Projected to Rise 3.1% in 2014, SHRM Online Compensation, August 2013

Salary Budgets Projected to Hold Steady in 2014SHRM Online Compensation, July 2013

Recession Continues to Influence Wage Growth, SHRM Online Staffing Management, July 2013

Spending on Performance-Based Awards Stays StrongSHRM Online Compensation Discipline, August 2012

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