Average Salary for Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) Alumni

Around 6,000 people attend Carnegie Mellon University, a institution based in Pittsburgh, Pa. The data for this synopsis comes from former CMU students who took the PayScale salary survey.

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Overall College ROI Rank

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ROI Rank for Private not-for-profit Universities

out of 402

Mid-Career Salary Rank for Engineering

out of 34

Typical Early Career Salary

Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) 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.
Software Engineer
42 salaries
Senior Software Engineer
26 salaries
Mechanical Engineer
12 salaries
User Experience Designer
10 salaries
Sr. Software Engineer / Developer / Programmer
8 salaries
Senior Mechanical Engineer
7 salaries
Project Manager, Engineering
7 salaries
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 523
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About This School

5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890


Private School, Research University

88 %

51 %

23 %

13 %

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


The aerospace and defense industry, the financial services industry, and software as a service (SAAS) development are just a few of the areas in which CMU grads find work. The software development industry is the sector most highly represented among alumni. Consistent with the high SAT scores reported by CMU alumni, former students go on to earn high salaries. Those with an education from CMU earn an average of about $94K.


After college, a notable gender gap appears: the average female graduate makes $72K where the average male graduate hauls home approximately $99K.


Among CMU graduates, the biggest earners are Engineering Project Managers, who haul in $130K on average. Next on the list are Senior Software Engineers and Senior Software Engineers, bringing in $122K and $118K, respectively. Mechanical Engineers wrap up the bottom of the pay scale, earning around $69K.


Though Pittsburgh, Pa. offers the least in terms of financial rewards (median pay is the lowest at $71K), nearly one in seven CMU students continue living here after college. However, CMU grads looking to fill their bank accounts consider moving to Mountain View, Calif. — one of the most popular top-paying cities — with its median salary of approximately $118K. In addition, grads flock to San Francisco, Calif. as well as Washington, DC.

Degree Major

A Master of Science (MS), Electrical Engineering (EE) will compensate CMU grads at a much higher rate than other degrees — these alums rake in $140K on average per year. Graduates holding a Bachelor of Science in Physics fare the worst in terms of compensation with an average yearly salary of $59K.


CMU grads are usually competent in Project Management, and nearly one in five alumni continue practicing this skill in their career. C commands a pay premium of 18 percent for Carnegie Mellon University grads. Also considered top-notch skills are Java, C++, and Engineering Design.

Benefits and Perks

Only about two-fifths of alumni enjoy paid vacation and one in four survey participants receive sick leave. The vast majority of former students plan for retirement by taking advantage of a company-sponsored 401(k) program. Health insurance benefits extend to the vast majority of survey participants, and a large number of alums sign up for dental plans. Carnegie Mellon University graduates also take advantage of a casual working environment, life insurance, flexible hours, and tuition reimbursement.

Related Schools

Among alumni of similar schools, Cornell University grads (who make an average of around $92K) earn salaries most similar to CMU alumni. Case Western Reserve University, Johns Hopkins University, and Georgetown University are also similar to CMU.

Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) Job Listings

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Test Scores

Academics 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Scores 1990 2280
ACT Scores 30 34

Key Stats for Carnegie Mellon University (CMU)


29 %
71 %
$40,335 - $95,032
$61,274 - $123,140
Less than 1 year
1-4 years
5-9 years
10-19 years
20 years or more

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 84 votes.
$92,110 - $127,171
$97,436 - $151,500
$66,707 - $77,000
$42,316 - $88,072
$44,698 - $106,823
$69,775 - $138,524
$54,245 - $116,688

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