Ambitious British teens expect to be earning £70,000 by the time they are 30

Published by Stephen Little on 13 February 2019.
Last updated on 13 February 2019

A third of teens ‘carefree’ with their cash

While it is always good to be ambitious, a new survey has revealed that British teenagers may have slightly unrealistic expectations about their futures.

According to new research from financial services provider OneFamily, today's teenagers expect to be earning £70,000 on average by the time they hit 30 - almost three times the actual average salary for 30-year-olds.

The research, which questioned over 2,000 teenagers, revealed the milestones teens believe they will reach before their 30th birthday.

When it comes to their careers, nearly half (45%) of teenagers think they will have their dream job by the time they are 30, while 21% believe they will be running their own business.

While some youngsters want to pursue modern careers in video game developing or coding, the most popular careers for young people are still traditional professions such as engineer, teacher and psychologist.

Teenagers are taking other factors into account rather than just money when it comes to the job they want.

The survey found they value doing something passionate above making lots of money (62% v 48%), while more than two in five (43%) say working with nice people is important to them. A quarter (25%) think it is important to do something that they are good at.

Despite soaring deposits and sky-high house prices, 47% believe they will be on the property ladder before they turn 30. Two in five (41%) expect to be married with children.

Many youngsters want to achieve multiple goals with significant cost implications, with 16% wanting to go travelling, get married and buy a home all by the time they are 30.

However, they might be in for a shock as the average salary at age 30 is £23,700, just a third of the average teenager’s expected earnings.

More than two in five (42%) say that their parents will help them out with some of their plans, while one in five (20%) expect to split the costs with a partner, and the same proportion would take out a loan.

Average expected age teenagers expect to achieve life goals
 Life goal Average expected age 
Pass driving test 19
Go to university 19
Buy a car 20
Move out of the family home 22
Go travelling 23
Have their dream job 25
Start a business 27
Get married 27
Buy a home 28
Have children 28
Earn 'a lot' of money 29

Source: OneFamily. February 2019

Steve Ferrari, managing director of children's savings at OneFamily, says: "Many teens are expecting significantly higher than average salaries, which highlights the importance of helping them understand money. Parents can do this by encouraging their children to get a part-time job, or suggesting they save up their pocket money to afford bigger expenses.

“Today's teens have many life goals, so we need to encourage a savings culture, helping them understand the benefits of saving into a product such as a Junior Isa, to help them achieve their aspirations.

“It’s great to see teens choosing careers based on factors like giving back to society, or working with nice people, but it’s also important for them to understand what different careers pay and parents can help educate them on this and ensure they make the right career choices, so they can follow their life dreams."

Free Consultation: 5* Rated Financial Adviser

  • UK's no. 1 financial adviser rating site, 80,000+ client reviews
  • Enter your postcode to see the top 5 rated advisers near you
  • Search 5,000+ fully vetted financial advisers
  • Claim a free 1 hour consultation to clarify your options


More About

Leave a comment

"Earn £70k by age 30 ?" -

"Earn £70k by age 30 ?" - well, they might be on a salary of £70k by that time, but that doesn't mean they are "earning" it. There are lots of people getting paid good salaries, some even on ridiculous salaries, but let's not keep using the word "earned", which suggests they all deserve it. Some people might deserve high pay and one might say they earned it, but many get paid high salaries regardless of their value - so not "earned".

That sounds a bit bitter pal

That sounds a bit bitter pal , it's not how much u earn it's what you do with it .

Takes one bitter one to

Takes one bitter one to recognise another!

Optomism is often a good

Optomism is often a good thing but the truth is that they are being unrealistic. I started on £320 a year and my then ambition was to earn a £1000 a year. I did manage that but the value of money plummeted so I probably lost out.
One issue with modern education is that we encourage children to believe that they can become chiefs. The awful truth is that there are far more braves than chiefs and most will end in jobs that provide a living at a lower level.

Dream on snowflakes, learn to

Dream on snowflakes, learn to work first, many are only just starting full time employment by the age of 30, bring on the robots and AI to put them out of work unless they have trained for a trade that robots and AI can't do, those are the workers we need and it don't take a university to produce then.