Average Salary for California Polytechnic State University (CalPoly) - San Luis Obispo Alumni

California Polytechnic State University is a university based in San Luis Obispo, Calif. that is home to around 19,000 undergraduates. This outline is based on answers to PayScale's salary survey.

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Overall College ROI Rank

out of 1223
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ROI Rank for Public (In-State) Universities

out of 408

Mid-Career Salary Rank for State School

out of 445

Typical Early Career Salary

California Polytechnic State University (CalPoly) - San Luis Obispo Alumni

Median Salary by Job

National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are the gross, national median (50th percentile). Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
Mechanical Engineer
34 salaries
Project Engineer
33 salaries
Software Engineer
27 salaries
Project Manager, Construction
18 salaries
Manufacturing Engineer
18 salaries
Civil Engineer
16 salaries
Aerospace Engineer
15 salaries
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 27 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 971

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About This School

One Grand Ave
San Luis Obispo, CA 93407

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (CalPoly)



State School, For Sports Fans

70 %

31 %

84 %

14 %

Freebase CC-BY Source: Freebase, licensed under CC-BY; IPEDS (As of January, 2015)


Cal Poly alumni find work in an assortment of industries including the architectural services industry, the engineering services industry, and software as a service (SAAS) development. The majority of alumni accept jobs in the aerospace and defense industry. The average salary for a grad from Cal Poly is $70K.


There's a noticeable difference between the genders; where the average man hauls in about $77K after graduating from Cal Poly, the average woman earns only around $58K.


The biggest paychecks among Cal Poly alumni are earned by Senior Mechanical Engineers — these former students make a median salary of approximately $98K per year. The next biggest paychecks go to Construction Project Managers ($83K) and Software Engineers ($81K). Project Engineers wrap up the bottom of the pay scale, earning $65K.


San Francisco, Calif. is a hot spot for Cal Poly alum. Another city that attracts a wealth of Cal Poly grads is San Jose, Calif.; given its high compensation ($80K is the average salary), the city's popularity should come as no surprise. Many California Polytechnic State University grads can't resist staying in San Luis Obispo after graduating despite the median salary there ranking lowest among popular cities (approximately $59K). Neighboring Los Angeles, Calif. is another common pick among Cal Poly grads, along with San Diego, Calif.

Degree Major

A Bachelor of Science in Engineering will compensate Cal Poly grads at a much higher rate than other degrees — these alums rake in $102K on average per year. Those with a B.A. in Political Science (PolySci) face salaries on the lower end, coming in at an average about $48K per year.


Knowledge of Construction Estimating seems to be related to bigger paychecks; in fact, skilled alumni bring in salaries that are 16 percent more than their former classmates' salaries ($81K). Proficiency in Project Management is common among Cal Poly alumni, and when it comes to using it on the job, somewhere between a fifth and a fourth of former students report doing so. Demonstrated ability in Microsoft Excel, Engineering Design, and Microsoft Office rank among leading skills as well.

Benefits and Perks

A lucky minority (about two-fifths of alumni) are fortunate enough to be compensated for vacation while just one-fourth of alumni get sick time. Benefits are rather generous for graduates of this school; a large number of grads are rewarded with health insurance and a fair number of former students report dental coverage, too. Most graduates participate in a 401(k) program. Additional perks enjoyed by California Polytechnic State University grads include a casual working environment, a company-subsidized cell phone, life insurance, and tuition reimbursement.

Related Schools

Alumni of California State Polytechnic University pick up average paychecks of $65K, which is closest to the amount made by Cal Poly grads among similar schools. Other schools similar to Cal Poly include California State University-Bakersfield, California State University-Northridge, and California State University-Fresno.

Test Scores

Academics 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Scores*
* SAT writing score is not included.
1140 1340
ACT Scores 25 30

Key Stats for California Polytechnic State University (CalPoly) - San Luis Obispo


33 %
67 %
$38,856 - $75,627
$49,766 - $102,460
Less than 1 year
1-4 years
5-9 years
10-19 years
20 years or more

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 257 votes.
$38,504 - $49,290
$68,800 - $102,500
$68,351 - $120,002
$48,500 - $80,000
$42,214 - $95,286
$44,890 - $93,641
$47,376 - $98,263
$50,825 - $107,112
$38,221 - $84,076

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