• Question: What Hours do you work and what is the pay like?

    Asked by Max to Beth, John, Shona, Simon, Tadhg, Joanna, Evan, Hayley, Heather, Holly, Ian, Jennifer, Katie, Marianne, Melanie, Michael, Ollie, Rebecca, Rebecca on 21 Sep 2016. This question was also asked by 759cars46, 762cars46, 759cara46.
    • Photo: Melanie Zimmer

      Melanie Zimmer answered on 21 Sep 2016:


      Hi Max, 759cars46, 762cars46,

      We have a 37.5h week. HSSMI offers flexible working hours with core working hours from 10am to 4pm, however. Doing a PhD does include some extra working hours for me after work and/or the weekends.

      My job role (Graduate Engineer) is advertised by HSSMI with a salary range from £29k-34k a year.

      Melanie

    • Photo: Marianne Baker

      Marianne Baker answered on 21 Sep 2016:


      I work core hours, so 9-6 with some flexibility; getting work done is the important part!
      Pay is reasonable here; London weighting makes our salaries seem higher sometimes, but it’s required so that people can afford the extortionate rent and higher food + travel prices.
      Our university is also committed to paying living wages, for London, and increasing them accordingly each year. It’s small but necessary, with rising prices generally.
      As I completed my PhD I’m now paid at a grade 4 level, which starts at £28k/yr and goes up to ~£32k.

    • Photo: Joanna Bagniewska

      Joanna Bagniewska answered on 21 Sep 2016:


      The hours depend on the time of the year – during fieldwork, and during exam season, it’s a lot of work, basically from early morning until the wee hours of the night. Then there are downtimes when you can chat to students on I’m a Scientist 🙂
      I earn just over 33K a year.

    • Photo: Katie Mahon

      Katie Mahon answered on 21 Sep 2016:


      My working hours are 9-5.30 Monday to Friday. Sometimes I have to do a few extra hours if things are very busy, and 1 evening a week we have a call with our office in the US so it happens in my evening time.

      My current job is a Fellowship in Kenya, which is like an internship so it’s not very well paid but a really good experience at an engineering/fabrication company which has a social impact. My last job was in Ireland and I was on 50k euros per year, and I had started out of college on about 25k euros…. but now it’s a lot less! 😛

    • Photo: Ian Hands-Portman

      Ian Hands-Portman answered on 21 Sep 2016:


      8ish to 4ish for me – in principle at my grade I set my own working hours but you have to use some common sense with that. My commute is around 1 hour 45 on the train so I spend a lot of that journey reading papers and planning experiments – I do a lot of that at home to, not because I have to but because I enjoy my work. I’m on about 40K and get 35 days leave a year – plus Bank holidays and a week at Xmas

    • Photo: Rebecca Dewey

      Rebecca Dewey answered on 21 Sep 2016:


      I tend to work around 10am to 6.30pm. I’m quite tired by then so I’m not being very efficient any more and it’s better that I take a break. Then I can do a few little jobs in the evening like respond to e-mails on my phone. I try not to do anything at weekends unless I am travelling for work, which is usually more fun than sitting in the office!

      With a PhD, you can start earning at around £28000 a year and goes up by roughly £1000 a year until the top of the “post-doc” pay scale. Then it goes up by more than that each year. If you stay long enough (e.g. professor) you can earn loads more by taking on responsibility for organising and managing some of the university.

    • Photo: Ollie Brown

      Ollie Brown answered on 21 Sep 2016:


      I like to work 9-ish to 5-ish, but basically as long as I get whatever I need to do done, my supervisor doesn’t care 😛 On Wednesdays, for example, I like to take a long lunch and go for a cycle ride through the nearby hills, and I just work a bit later to compensate 🙂

      Pay is a bit complicated, because my funding package doesn’t exist any more. I’m on a CDT ‘enhanced’ stipend of ~£15k, but the standard PhD stipend is closer to £13.5k. Some EngDs, which are linked to industry, pay up to £20k!

      I’ll be honest, don’t do a PhD because you want lots of money, because it won’t happen — do it because you enjoy the subject and want to keep researching 🙂

    • Photo: Evan Keane

      Evan Keane answered on 21 Sep 2016:


      It depends! Sometimes I work 9-5 Mon-Fri. But I am an astronomer and sometimes I want to use a telescope in the middle of the night – that is kind of dictated by the sky (explosions in space rarely go off between 9-5 Mon-Fri!). That comes with the job.

      Also I am working on designing the “Square Kilometre Array”, which is the biggest telescope in the world, which involves working with many people in many other countries. So they are in different time zones, which means that I might have to work at slightly strange hours so that I can talk to people in Australia etc. while they’re awake.

    • Photo: John Allport

      John Allport answered on 21 Sep 2016:


      Hi Max,
      I don’t have any fixed number of hours to work, but am expected to do at least 37.5 hours a week. It would be nice if I could get away with only working so many, but most weeks I work a lot more due to travelling time etc. For example, today I’ve been to London for meetings, which makes it a 14 hour day. The one good thing is that Professors get paid enough to make up for that – typical salaries are from £55k upwards.

    • Photo: Shona Whittam

      Shona Whittam answered on 21 Sep 2016:


      I typical work 9-5.30 Monday to Friday. If is is very busy I just stay as long as it takes to get the work done and get paid overtime for this.

      While training in medical physics you earn £26K out of London/ £31K in London and the NHS pay for you to do an MSc.

      After 3 years if you pass the course you apply for jobs paying £31.5K out of London / £37.5K in London (this is NHS and you get more if you go private).
      Every year your pay will go up £1-1.5K in the NHS providing you are meeting the expectations of your role.

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