Cal Poly alumni find work in an assortment of industries including the architectural services industry, the medical device manufacturing industry, and the software development industry. The most popular professional field seems to be the aerospace and defense industry. Graduates of Cal Poly earn around $68K on average.
After graduation, disparities in salary rise to the surface — males earn an average $82K per year compared to females' $54K.
Cal Poly grads who become Senior Mechanical Engineers are compensated well above average — these folks are top-earners among their graduating class, making an average $115K yearly. Also notably well-paid are Electrical Engineers and Directors of Operations; their salaries approach $105K and about $89K, respectively. Project Engineers face rather mediocre compensation — average salaries are actually the lowest at approximately $69K.
San Francisco, Calif. is filled with Cal Poly grads. San Jose, Calif. is another hot spot for Cal Poly grads, where salaries rank at the top of the pay scale (compensation averages out to $93K). Paso Robles, Calif. is a popular spot for former Cal Poly students at the opposite end of the pay scale; in fact, average salaries there are the lowest at approximately $45K. Neighboring Los Angeles, Calif. is another common pick among Cal Poly grads, along with San Luis Obispo, Calif.
A Master of Science (MS), Mechanical Engineering (ME) will compensate Cal Poly grads at a much higher rate than other degrees — these alums rake in about $104K on average per year. Graduates holding a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Business fare the worst in terms of compensation with an average yearly salary of around $48K.
Engineering Design is a common skill among Cal Poly alumni — close to a fourth of grads mention using it at work. Knowledge of Data Analysis seems to be related to bigger paychecks; in fact, skilled alumni bring in salaries that are 46 percent more than their former classmates' salaries ($100K). Demonstrated ability in Project Management, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft Office rank among leading skills as well.
Benefits and Perks
Slightly more than half of the respondents report receiving paid vacation days, but just one in three grads are paid for sick leave. Health insurance benefits extend to a large number of respondents, and a strong majority of grads sign up for dental plans. A large number of graduates participate in a 401(k) retirement savings plan. Graduates of California Polytechnic State University are also recipients of a casual working environment, a company-subsidized cell phone, life insurance, and gym / health club / fitness membership.
Among alumni of similar schools, California State Polytechnic University grads (who make an average of $65K) earn salaries most similar to Cal Poly alumni. California State University-Bakersfield, California State University-Northridge, and California State University-Fresno are also similar to Cal Poly.