Teenagers are distinctly unrealistic about how much they will earn as an adult, a study has found.

The survey revealed the average teenager expects to be paid more than £60,000 a year by the time they are 35.

On leaving education, they anticipate a salary of about £16,600, rising to £35,400 by the time they are 25 and hitting £61,700 by their mid-30s.

But the reality is rather different, with the average 18 to 21-year-old earning just £8,595 – rising to only £18,705 for workers in their 20s and £24,333 for those in their 30s.

The survey of 12,000 teenagers by Royal Bank of Scotland revealed they are equally unrealistic about climbing on the property ladder, with 53 per cent expecting to have bought their first home by the time they are 25, while 82 per cent are confident they will have done so by the age of 30.

But figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders show that the average age of a first-time buyer is 31, while in the past five years just 20 per cent managed to purchase their first home by the age of 25.

However, there is a far more realistic outlook about student debt, with 39 per cent of 16 to 19-year-olds expecting to owe more than £20,000 when they graduate, compared with only 20 per cent when the same research was carried out in 2007.

It is estimated those who started university in October 2010 will owe £24,700 by the time they finish.