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Average Salary for Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) Alumni

Nestled away in Pittsburgh, Pa., the student population at Carnegie Mellon University, a private research school, roughly 6,000. Private education at this university is geared towards the engineering student. Alumni participants in PayScale's salary questionnaire provided the particulars of this report.

Overall College ROI Rank

out of 1312
See full list

ROI Rank for Private not-for-profit Universities

out of 476

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. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
Software Engineer
69 salaries
Senior Software Engineer
36 salaries
Mechanical Engineer
20 salaries
User Experience Designer
13 salaries
Sr. Software Engineer / Developer / Programmer
11 salaries
Project Manager, Information Technology (IT)
10 salaries
Senior Mechanical Engineer
9 salaries
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 15 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 811
United States (change)

Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) Details

5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890


Private Schools, Research Universities, Engineering

87 %

51 %

21 %

14 %

Suggest changes »

Freebase CC-BY Source: Freebase, licensed under CC-BY


CMU alumni belong to a wide range of sectors. A few fields in which grads tend to find work include the financial services industry, the consulting industry, and the aerospace and defense industry. The software development industry registers as the most common industry among alumni. Students of CMU go on to make comfortable salaries after graduation, a trend consistent with the high graduation rates and above-average SAT scores reported by this group. Starting salaries of $90K are common among CMU grads.


After graduation, women go on to earn an average of $70K per year compared to men, who earn $99K.


Among CMU graduates, the biggest earners are Senior Software Engineers, who haul in $116K on average. Next on the list are Senior Software Engineers and Software Engineers, bringing in around $113K and approximately $96K, respectively. Salaries are anything but generous for Mechanical Engineers, where earnings rank lowest on the pay scale at about $68K.


Pittsburgh keeps the largest number of CMU grads among cities despite the fact that it offers the lowest median compensation (around $69K). By comparison, the top-paying city popular with CMU alumni is San Jose, which offers median salaries of $122K. Other common destinations include San Francisco and Washington, DC.


Graduates of CMU can earn the biggest bucks at Microsoft Corp ($125K). Bringing in the least amount of money are Accenture employees; they earn an average of about $70K.

Degree Major

A Master of Science (MS), Electrical Engineering (EE) leads to the highest pay for CMU grads ($138K per year). Graduates holding a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) fare the worst in terms of compensation with yearly salaries of $50K.


Many CMU grads have knowledge of Project Management, with just under one in five alumni using this program on the clock. Carnegie Mellon University grads with C experience garner salaries that are 19 percent more than other grads' salaries. Java, C++, and Engineering Design are among other dominant skills.

Benefits and Perks

Lacking in the benefits department, just two-fifths of alumni report compensation for sick days and only one-fourth of alumni get vacation time. Health coverage is awarded to nearly all alumni, and dental insurance is issued to the greater part of graduates as well. Almost all alumni allocate some part of their earnings to a company-sponsored 401(k) savings plan. Alumni of Carnegie Mellon University also take in a casual working environment, life insurance, flexible hours, and a company-subsidized cell phone.

Related Schools

Princeton University graduates, who earn approximately $88K on average, make a similar amount to CMU grads. Other schools similar to CMU include Case Western Reserve University, Johns Hopkins University, and Georgetown University.

Test Scores

Academics 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Scores 1970 2260
ACT Scores 29 33

Key Stats

32 %
68 %
$39,643 - $89,305
$59,144 - $122,231
Less than 1 year
1-4 years
5-9 years
10-19 years
20 years or more
Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 186 votes.
$93,701 - $125,071
$65,244 - $73,784
$63,277 - $122,084
$97,732 - $145,736
$111,039 - $147,518
$40,800 - $87,245
$44,279 - $107,990
$66,676 - $134,219
$57,133 - $127,926

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