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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. This synopsis is derived from the responses of former Cal Poly students who took PayScale's salary survey.

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Overall College ROI Rank

out of 1223
See full list

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.
Project Engineer
44 salaries
Mechanical Engineer
36 salaries
Software Engineer
28 salaries
Project Manager, Construction
21 salaries
Manufacturing Engineer
19 salaries
Civil Engineer
16 salaries
Aerospace Engineer
15 salaries
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 19 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 1,085

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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)


Professionally, the aerospace and defense industry, the engineering services industry, and the software development industry are popular business areas among Cal Poly alumni. The architectural services industry is the sector most highly represented among alumni. Those with a degree from Cal Poly tend to make $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 garner financial rewards beyond any other job type for this group — these alumni rake in $98K annually. However, Construction Project Managers and Software Engineers also rank as top-earners (bringing in approximately $84K and $80K, respectively). On the lower end, Project Engineers report making around $66K.


A large number of students head to San Francisco after college. The top-paying city popular with Cal Poly alumni is Palo Alto, which offers median salaries of approximately $80K. California Polytechnic State University pride remains intact long after college is over, and many former students choose to live in San Luis Obispo despite the city offering some of the lowest median pay ($55K). Graduates of Cal Poly also relocate to Los Angeles, which is not far away, and San Diego.


Cal Poly grads can make the most money at Cisco Systems Inc; average pay at this company is about $135K. Alumni looking to pad their bank accounts should steer clear of Mindbody, Inc; the median salary there is $42K, which is considerably lower than the overall median for all California Polytechnic State University graduates.

Degree Major

A Master of Science (MS), Computer Science (CS) leads to the highest pay for Cal Poly grads (around $126K per year). Those holding a Bachelor of Science in Agribusiness are less fortunate in terms of earnings, bringing in $48K per year.


Project Management is a popular skill among Cal Poly alumni, with nearly one-fifth of workers reporting using it on the job. Competency in Project Management translates into above-average pay for California Polytechnic State University grads — they earn 15 percent more than their fellow graduates. Other top skills include Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Office, and Engineering Design.

Benefits and Perks

Only two-fifths of alumni for this school enjoy paid vacation days and about one-third of alumni get paid sick time. A solid majority of respondents take advantage of a 401(k) plan. Health coverage is awarded to a strong majority of former students, and dental insurance is issued to a fair portion of graduates as well. Additional perks enjoyed by California Polytechnic State University grads include a casual working environment, a company-subsidized cell phone, life insurance, and flexible hours.

Related Schools

Among alumni of similar schools, California State Polytechnic University grads (who make an average of $65K) earn salaries most similar to Cal Poly alumni. 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

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


34 %
66 %
$38,940 - $76,865
$49,651 - $102,921
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 457 votes.
$60,092 - $113,860
$38,504 - $49,290
$61,500 - $98,812
$70,344 - $113,000
$48,500 - $80,000
$43,058 - $91,992
$45,270 - $97,306
$37,088 - $72,040
$52,148 - $108,004
$46,740 - $98,476

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