Average Salary for Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) Alumni

Nestled away in Pittsburgh, Pa., Carnegie Mellon University, a school, has a student population of roughly 6,000. The data in this summary come from CMU alumni who took the PayScale salary survey.

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Overall College ROI Rank

out of 1223
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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. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
Software Engineer
45 salaries
Senior Software Engineer
26 salaries
Mechanical Engineer
13 salaries
User Experience Designer
10 salaries
Sr. Software Engineer / Developer / Programmer
8 salaries
Senior Mechanical Engineer
8 salaries
Project Manager, Engineering
7 salaries
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 24 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 559

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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)


Graduates of CMU go into the aerospace and defense industry, the financial services industry, and the consulting industry, not to mention a variety of other lines of work. The software development industry is the sector most highly represented among alumni. True to type, CMU alumni go from receiving above-average SAT scores to landing well-paid positions in the workforce. Starting salaries of $92K are the median among CMU grads.


There's a noticeable difference between the genders; where the average man hauls in $97K after graduating from CMU, the average woman earns only $73K.


CMU grads who become Senior Software Engineers garner financial rewards beyond any other job type for this group — these alumni rake in an average approximately $119K annually. However, Senior Software Engineers and Senior Mechanical Engineers also rank as top-earners (bringing in around $118K and $100K, respectively). Sliding in near the bottom are Mechanical Engineers, who report earnings of about $69K.


Pittsburgh, Pa. keeps the largest number of CMU grads among cities despite the fact that it offers the lowest median compensation (approximately $71K). CMU alumni in search of the largest paycheck, on the other hand, will find it in San Jose, Calif. where $124K is the average pay. In addition, grads flock to New York, N.Y. as well as Washington, DC.

Degree Major

CMU students with a Master of Science (MS), Electrical Engineering (EE) can expect to make the most money (about $140K on average per year) compared to their fellow graduates. Those holding a Bachelor of Science in Physics are less fortunate in terms of earnings, bringing in $59K on average per year.


CMU alumni are often well versed in Project Management, with slightly less than one-fifth of grads ending up in jobs that require this skillset. Competency in C translates into above-average pay for Carnegie Mellon University grads — they earn 22 percent more than their fellow graduates. Other prime know-hows include Java, Engineering Design, and C++.

Benefits and Perks

Just two-fifths of alumni enjoy paid vacation and merely one in four survey participants get paid sick time. The vast majority of graduates report contributing to a 401(k). Health coverage is awarded to almost all survey participants, and dental insurance is issued to most former students as well. Other benefits awarded to Carnegie Mellon University alumni include a casual working environment, life insurance, flexible hours, and tuition reimbursement.

Related Schools

Princeton University graduates, who earn $91K on average, make a similar amount to CMU grads. Case Western Reserve University, Johns Hopkins University, and Georgetown University are also similar to CMU.

Test Scores

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

Key Stats for Carnegie Mellon University (CMU)


30 %
70 %
$40,982 - $95,406
$59,209 - $122,296
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 101 votes.
$92,110 - $127,171
$65,053 - $73,268
$114,000 - $170,500
$97,436 - $151,500
$42,897 - $88,895
$45,100 - $100,586
$66,384 - $137,521
$56,197 - $124,450
United States (change)

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