For graduates, the salary is always a crucial concern when applying for jobs and deciding whether to accept an offer.
According to a white paper on employment in Guangdong province during the first quarter of this year, the average salary for students with a bachelor’s degree was 2,795 yuan a month.
In a nationwide survey of more than 9,000 students by China Youth Daily at the end of last year, the average monthly salary barely reached 3,000 yuan.
According to Zhang Ruiguang, HR manager at Gree Group Co Ltd, it is unusual to give a graduate without any work experience a high salary.
“I would suggest students not worry about entry level salaries too much,” said Zhang. “If you think the job and company offers good prospects, don’t waste the offer over a bit of money.”
Remember that your entry salary does not determine your income for the rest of your career.
According to a report by CBN Weekly, a business weekly based in Shanghai, the third year of working for a company is when the salary starts to rise.
But it also pointed out that 2012 saw the smallest salary increases in China, with salaries going up by an average of only 9 percent.
Interestingly, after working for a year, 53.6 percent of employees are satisfied with their benefits package, despite the fact that the entry-level salary was comparatively low.
21st Century talked to four students who majored in English to get their views on starting salaries and how they feel about their career development.
1. Zhao Haochen, Capital Normal University
Graduation Year: 2013
Employer: Beijing Runfeng School
Job: English teacher
Monthly salary: 4,000 yuan
Zhao Haochen was determined to become an English teacher when she enrolled at college. In Beijing, a 4,000-yuan salary is the standard for junior middle school English teachers. Beyond this, she gets a bonus for good performances and teaching extra hours. “I see the job as a starting point for acquiring teaching experience, not just money,” Zhao said.
2. Wang Shuo, Beijing International Studies University
Graduation Year: 2013
Employer: State Administration of Radio, Film and Television
Monthly salary: 3,000 yuan
After a series of tests and interviews, Wang was offered a job at the civil service. Money isn’t a concern for Wang because the stability provided by the civil service system is good enough. “I care more about the potential of a job. As long as it’s good for my future career I’ll take it no matter how much money is involved.”
3. Li Hongbang, Shantou University
Graduation year: 2013
Employer: a trading company
Job: administrative assistant
Monthly salary: 2,000 yuan
Li rents a house in a suburb two hours from downtown Shantou by bus. She gets up at 6 am every morning. Despite these difficult conditions, Li is biding her time to gain more experience. “I will quit and look for a better job eventually, but you can’t ask for more money when you have less than one year of work experience,” she said.
4. Liang Xingchun, Guangzhou University
Graduation year: 2012
Employer: export manufacturer
Monthly salary: 10,000 yuan
Liang’s paycheck looks pretty good. But the entry-level salary a year ago was only 2,000 yuan. The first three months weren’t easy, but Liang worked hard to satisfy his clients. When they trusted him, they introduced more clients. “Then I got more orders, and my income rocketed. The flip side is that I sometimes need to work six days a week, and I always work overtime,” said Liang.