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

Founded in San Luis Obispo, Calif., California Polytechnic State University is an institution of higher learning for around 18,000 students. The data for this snapshot was collected from Cal Poly graduates who took PayScale's salary survey.

Overall College ROI Rank
out of 1312
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ROI Rank for Public (In-State) Universities
out of 420
Mid-Career Salary Rank for State School
out of 445
See full list
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.
Project Engineer
55 salaries
Mechanical Engineer
50 salaries
Software Engineer
36 salaries
Project Manager, Construction
31 salaries
Manufacturing Engineer
23 salaries
Aerospace Engineer
22 salaries
Senior Mechanical Engineer
21 salaries
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 22 Nov 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 1,492
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California Polytechnic State University (CalPoly) - San Luis Obispo Details


One Grand Ave
San Luis Obispo, CA 93407

Also Known As:

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (CalPoly)

Admissions Website:

Students Enrolled:



State Schools, For Sports Fans

Graduation Rate:

72 %


31 %

% Stay In State:

85 %

% Receiving Pell Grants:

20 %
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Source: Freebase, licensed under CC-BY


Cal Poly alumni belong to a wide range of sectors. A few fields in which grads tend to find work include the aerospace and defense industry, the engineering services industry, and the software development industry. Among Cal Poly grads, the architectural services industry is a commonly chosen career field. Cal Poly graduates see an estimated starting salary of $70K.


A gender wage gap becomes apparent after college, with female graduates earning only $58K on average compared to about $78K for male graduates.


Cal Poly grads who become Senior Mechanical Engineers are compensated well above average — these folks are top-earners among their graduating class, usually making $98K yearly. Also notably well-paid are Construction Project Managers and Software Engineers; their salaries approach around $84K and $80K, respectively. On the lower end, Project Engineers report making approximately $67K.


Home to a large number of Cal Poly alums, San Francisco is by far the most attractive city for these former students. San Jose is another hot spot for Cal Poly grads, where salaries rank at the top of the pay scale (compensation averages out to $79K). Though median pay is subpar ($54K) relative to popular cities, choosing to stay in San Luis Obispo after graduation is a common decision made by many alumni who have developed a love for the area. Close-by Los Angeles and San Diego are also desirable cities among Cal Poly alumni.


For above-average pay, former Cal Poly students find their way to Microsoft Corp — the company offers unbeatable salaries at around $133K. Bringing in the least amount of money are Mindbody, Inc employees; they earn an average of approximately $42K.

Degree Major

Financial compensation is highest for Cal Poly grads with a Master of Science (MS), Computer Science (CS) (earnings climb to about $126K per year). Ranking last in the compensation department are those holding a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Business — their annual income amounts to $55K on average.


Competency in Operations Management translates into above-average pay for California Polytechnic State University grads — they earn 18 percent more than their fellow graduates. Slightly more than a fifth of Cal Poly grads wind up using Project Management at their job, which is one of the most common skills among alumni. Other prime know-hows include Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Office, and Engineering Design.

Benefits and Perks

When it comes to benefits, there is room for improvement — only two-fifths of alumni are paid for vacation and just one-third of alumni for sick time. For this school, a strong majority of respondents are the recipients of health benefits, and a fair portion of alumni pick up dental plans, too. The greater part of alumni set up a 401(k) to save for retirement. California Polytechnic State University graduates also take advantage of a casual working environment, a company-subsidized cell phone, life insurance, and flexible hours.

Related Schools

California State Polytechnic University grads report the most similar salaries to Cal Poly alums, earning $65K on average. Other schools similar to Cal Poly include California State University-Bakersfield, California State University-Northridge, and California State University-Fresno.

California Polytechnic State University (CalPoly) - San Luis Obispo Job Listings

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Test Scores
Academics 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Scores* 1130 1330
ACT Scores 25 29

Key Stats



35 %

female alumni


65 %

male alumni
$38,957 - $77,414
$49,618 - $103,091

Years of Experience

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 512 votes.

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