Considering a PwC offer - starting salary?

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2 December 2008 - 6:07pm

Hi all,

I know this might be a stupid question but I am a bit impatient and excited at the same time. So if you guys can help me out that would be great.

I recently got an offer from Pwc for a graduate role in assurance but I havent received the contract documents yet. I was wondering if anyone of you knows what the graduate salary is for graduates starting in 2009. I think it is around 27000 but I have heard that they have reduced it due to the economic crisis. Is this true? Anyone any ideas on this?


3 December 2008 - 9:29am


Are you in London? Otherwise its not going to be that much.

3 December 2008 - 11:04am

no not in london...based in birmingham...

3 December 2008 - 11:07am

Well I'd be amazed if PwC are paying that much outside of London for a grad role but fair play if they are - I know what KPMG are paying and its certainly not that much.

3 December 2008 - 1:06pm


if your outside London I doubt you'll get 27k. I think most of the regional offices are the same or at least similar. My offer for a September 2009 start was 20k but once you add up all the benefits and stuff it comes out at around 21.5k. My office isn't Birmingham but like I said I think most people at regional offices get the same when joining.

3 December 2008 - 1:45pm

Damn, that's pretty low - I thought it was more like £24k for a PwC regional office and around £26-26.5 for London... £20k after tax and student loan payments is just over £15k :o

3 December 2008 - 3:34pm

oh thats quite low in fact...i was expecting something arnd 25.....i read in one of the other threads in wiki that pwc increases ur salary bit by bit each time u pass a paper of the ACA...and by the time u get ur qualification in 3 will up in high 30s range...can anyone confirm this or is this a speculation?

3 December 2008 - 3:37pm

Yes I've heard that many companies give you a pay-rise as you progress through your qualification, but I think you're being a bit optimistic with your pay levels - unless I've missed something and PwC have started giving massive salaries out to trainees...

3 December 2008 - 4:23pm


I've also heard that your salary increases increases as you work your way through the qualification but I think high thirties after 3 years is a bit unlikely. High twenties or low thirties is probably more likely. I read somewhere that a manager (which you could expect to reach in about 5 years) would get around 40k plus benefits (outside of London).

Personally I don't think 20k (outside London) is that low. They are paying for your training and you get some benefits as well. A lot of people leaving uni start on a lot less and aren't getting any further qualifications or benefits. Plus even after paying tax and stuff I'm going to have a hell of a lot more cash than I ever had at uni!

4 December 2008 - 7:50pm

I've got two offers from Big 4 companies starting in September 2009 in London..

One contract is £29,000 and the other is £29,500. Does anyone know if the salaries differ between departments as i've been looking at all the posts on here and everyone else is saying London is around £27k.

4 December 2008 - 7:53pm

It is true that salaries is London are significantly higher than in regional offices. Its all linked (supposedly) to cost of living. You will see small variances in salary between offices in other cities based on the perceived cost of living in that area.

You'll probably find that all of the big four will offer very similar starting salaries when you take benefits into consideration. How and when your pay increases will probably vary from company to company - but when you qualify it will be significantly more than you started on!

The reason starting salaries are "low" is for exactly the reason whya says - training costs. Big accountancy firms spend millions every year training their graduates. It costs something like £150,000 to get a graduate from new starter to ACA qualified in terms of tuition, exams, materials, etc etc.

Like whya says again though - if your fresh out of uni a 20k salary net of tax is still a lot more than you'll be used to!

4 December 2008 - 7:58pm

how much do graduates receive when they start at PWC? i.e. golden hello or welcome pack

4 December 2008 - 8:25pm

Its not all down to costs though - apparently it costs £250k for a law firm to train up a trainee over two years, yet they are supposedly the highest paid graduates! I think it also has to do with the sheer number of graduates that the big 4 take on.

4 December 2008 - 9:21pm

Well i wont work for less than 25k in London after completing my masters i cant simply cant afford it as a self supporting student iv racked up huge debts even tho i worked full time at uni. I have to start paying back my CDL in Jan plus my student loan which will roughly equate to 450 a month, then my rent prob around 600 plus bills etc if i worked for less than thaty id have to get a second job and go back working on the doors which i dont want to do as it did ultimately effect my study in both my undergrad and graduate degree.

6 December 2008 - 1:01pm

Rasputin, i'm in the exact same position as you. I'm paying back my CDL and if I get the job I want will be paying back my student loan too. Therefore I decided to apply to a regional office instead of London and will thus hopefully save money (despite the lower wage associated with a regional office). If Big 4 salaries were on a par with IB then fine, but they are probably not even half!

17 December 2008 - 9:25pm

joyrevision could you tell us what KPMG is paying outside of london? and is it the same for all regional offices?

18 December 2008 - 10:49am

I believe it is the same, they have pay structures in place depending on service lines etc - however I doubt there's much deviation between lines, just experience.

24 December 2008 - 3:15pm

I have a friend who is working for KPMG, doing audit in Leeds. He told me he was on 20k now and once he was ACA qualified it should go up to 40k

24 December 2008 - 4:02pm

20k for a grad job id tell them to piss off even if it was KPMG thats taking the piss makes a mockery of going to university i can make more than that without using my brain working as a hired goon in the security industry. The fact that a big 4 can get away with paying that little is blooming outrageous

24 December 2008 - 7:31pm

The salary is bad compared to other grad jobs, particularly in London. But its still better than a poke in the eye. What you have to consider is the far greater earning power an ACA qualification gives you compared to say, qualifying as a solicitor. It makes taking a hit as a fresh graduate all the more sensible. I guess though the starting salary puts a lot of people off, and is why it is inexplicably easier to get into a big 4 accountancy firm than it is a top 40-50 law firm. Long may it continue!

29 December 2008 - 10:23pm

I will have pay back their loan which I'll use to buy a car, start paying for council tax, pay for car insurance (really expensive as I will be a first time UK driver), car tax... so I think I won't be better off than I am now :( at least for the first year.

I don't think the regional office salary is that bad. I did some calculations and in terms of living costs I will be better off working in a regional office for less money.

31 December 2008 - 12:54am

regional office pay of 20.5k is bad, especially if you have to buy a car/ rent etc, but then it goes up quite fast so just hold out for a while!

12 January 2009 - 4:41pm

Does anyone know if the salaries differ between departments? Like does audit get paid more than tax both at the start and in the long-run, or are both departments roughly the same?

12 January 2009 - 7:54pm

Bear in mind that a staring salary of 20k (regional offices) is 2-4k above the national graduate average (depending on whose average you use!) - and in the current economic climate having any job at all as a fresh graduate is a bonus!

As for differences between departments, I'm not sure, but as far as i know most new starters in the same office will earn the same salary... But I could be wrong!

20 January 2009 - 2:37pm

Does the salary go up at all while you're studying?

Also are there any corporate discounts or anything at PwC?? I'm starting in London in 09.

20 January 2009 - 3:14pm

Hi Missnewby,

If u r abt to satrt in 09, you should've got all the relevant inf now. Its all written on the contract!

20 January 2009 - 4:19pm

you have to remember that you are not trained at all, know very little about audit etc - so in all fairness you are not worth that much to the company therefore there is nothing that seperates limitless graduates apart really. They are only going to pay for skills and if your not that skilled in auditing you not going to start on much - this goes up very quickly once you do become skilled tho. Compared to other jobs like security like rasputin said - there wage will hardly go up ever, auditing etc will!

Having personally worked in london, you need the increase of £6k more because prices are so much more than regional. I have a job with grant thornton in a regional office and have been told i am starting on at least £20k + overtime, so from what i heard is in line with big 4.

i wonder what happens to kpmg if it goes to a 4 day week, will graduates get even less?

20 January 2009 - 7:42pm

You should find that your pay will increase a little each year as you progress through your training contract. Upon qualification you should see a somewhat more significant pay rise!

The flexible working hours scheme KPMG are bringing in is voluntary at present. I imagine as a fresh starter the chances of being affected by cost cutting measures such as flexible working and redundancies are slim - the main effect is a shortage of actual jobs available, most firms have reduced intake numbers this year.

20 January 2009 - 7:44pm

Hi blessedme,

I got my offer pack but I haven't received anything since they started doing the reference check. Do you get the contract after that, or is the offer pack the contract?

Are you starting in London?

20 January 2009 - 7:50pm

Hi missnewby,

I only got the offer pack just like u. I think the offer pack is the contract. My training contract starts from April 09 in London, what about you? By the way, do u know anything abt work permit stuff, cos I do need the work permit.

20 January 2009 - 7:53pm


U could also check PwC embark, which contains loads of useful inf for new graduates.

20 January 2009 - 8:40pm

Hey Blessedme, I'm starting in April too! We must be starting together - I just tried to private message you but it didn't work.

I'm not sure about the work permit stuff...are you waiting to hear back about yours?

20 January 2009 - 9:13pm

Hi Missnewby,

yes, I am still waiting for PwC legal to contact me regarding work permit application. That would be great if we could start together. I know that we r gonna go straight to college after one week induction. Then we will sit 3 exams at the end of May................... stressedddddddddddd!

21 January 2009 - 9:14am

oh man. they get you started straight away don't they. What are the hours at college like?

Have you heard which business unit you're in yet? I hope they tell us soon

Where are you from originally? That's annoying they're taking so long with your work permit

21 January 2009 - 10:01am

From 9 am to 4 pm. No news abt which business I will be joining.

I am originally from HK.

21 January 2009 - 10:17am

Oh cool! Well I guess I'll meet you in April!

21 January 2009 - 9:19pm

blessedme n Missnewby

I will also join the April intake programme in audit department, n im originally from China.

Have you guys sorted out the work permit thing out yet?

22 January 2009 - 12:48pm

hi! I don't need a work permit which is pretty lucky..

Are you guys living in the UK already?

9 March 2009 - 6:36pm

Difference between departments: usually if you're doing a training contract like the ATT or ACA you will get less than people who go into something like consultancy. They usually start on something like 30k because there is less money spent on them on training.

7 September 2009 - 3:40pm

Hello, I am also a Chinese student and now applying for the 2010 intake programme in Manchester. You must be working already. Can I ask you some questions about the pwc application. When do you start your application and how long it took you to go through the whole procedures to get offer? I was notified that I passed the on-line test 10 August but haven't got any reply since then. It has been one month so I'm a bit worried about it.

7 September 2009 - 4:55pm

Christina, well done on passing the tests! You've waited nearly a month and heard nothing?! I passed the tests about 8 days ago and even though I received an email saying I would hear shortly I actually called them 2 days later to get the ball rolling. I am now waiting to hear when the assessment centre will be. It would be in your interest to call ASAP as other candidates may now be ahead of you...

Best of luck,

7 September 2009 - 6:42pm

Hello, Imiliano, I also received an email from them saying that I would hear shortly from the recruitment team. I called them 2-3 times during this period but everytime they gave me the answer that there's no slot on system. They said I can only wait for their further notice. What office are you applying for? I am going for the Manchester Office. I have a friend who is applying for London office just 20 days earlier than me and he already gets the offer.

7 September 2009 - 7:26pm

Oh right, that sounds similar to me. I'm applying to the Cambridge office. When I spoke with PwC I was told that instead of doing interview, then assessment centre if successful it will be the other way around now for the Cambridge office, and some other regional ones. Because of this I was told that I will have to wait while things get sorted, and should have a date later this week... pretty frustrating though as I just want to know how long I have to prepare, etc. I think that having the assessment centre (interview with a manager/partner) as the 3rd stage of the recruitment process (instead of the 4th stage last year) and not the 4th means that senior partners have to interview fewer people (at the final/4th interview stage) as I guess some unlucky people will fail the assessment centre.

7 September 2009 - 7:36pm

I think it really depends on offices. They told me currently they are still busy with 2009 intake recruitment. Sounds a bit strange! Anyway, I'll call them this week again and try to sort it out. Congratulations on coming into the last round and good luck with you! May I know what questions you were asked in the first interview?

25 October 2009 - 7:46pm

Do they sponsor work-permits for students at UK universities only?

I am studying in France (and I am originally from China). I am thinking of applying to PwC 2010 grad intake. Will they consider me?

24 December 2009 - 3:08pm

hi all

just wanted to check something - to all those who have accepted a PwC offer/ are now working at PwC,

did you guys ever receive a hard copy employment contract via the post?

i have only received an "offer pack" and associated docs via e-mail...

many thanks and merry xmas!

28 December 2009 - 1:08am

Your actual contract will not arrive until about 12-8 weeks before you start work.

28 December 2009 - 10:12am

thanks for the clarification!

22 January 2010 - 3:40pm

Hey guys

Quick (but important question)

Do the offer e-mail and e-mail confirming acceptance of offer together constitute a binding contract?

Not totally comfortable having to wait months before my written contract is due to be sent out. Anything can happen from now until then, particularly in this climate.

22 January 2010 - 7:01pm

I hope so. I'm going to accept the PwC offer, but I've been concentrating on my exams at the moment. I was told that they would wait as long as I needed, and I think somewhere in the email it said that they'd wait at least a month. I don't think they would withdraw an offer before a written contract is sent out.

22 January 2010 - 8:41pm

I do not believe the offer is a binding contract as, in the past, graduates have found their jobs no longer exist. In the cases I have heard of this, they are usually compensated in some way or another. I wouldn't worry about it though, it's the same boat for everyone and we're (hopefully) pulling out of the recession now.