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Average Salary for Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) Alumni

Around 6,000 people attend Carnegie Mellon University, a private research institution based in Pittsburgh, Pa. The private university has a reputation for being engineering-minded. This summary is derived from information given by CMU grads who completed 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
50 salaries
Senior Software Engineer
28 salaries
Mechanical Engineer
13 salaries
User Experience Designer
10 salaries
Sr. Software Engineer / Developer / Programmer
9 salaries
Project Manager, Information Technology (IT)
9 salaries
Senior Mechanical Engineer
8 salaries
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 617

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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 consulting industry, the aerospace and defense industry, and the financial services industry, not to mention a variety of other lines of work. Among CMU grads, the software development industry is a commonly chosen career field. It is typical for CMU grads — a group that scores high on the SATs and contributes to an impressive graduation rate — to earn above-average incomes as well. Those with an education from CMU earn an average of $90K.


A gender wage gap becomes apparent after college, with female graduates earning only $71K on average compared to $98K for male graduates.


The most lucrative professionals among CMU alumni are Senior Software Engineers and Senior Software Engineers; they earn a median annual salary of about $117K. Senior Mechanical Engineers aren't slouches either, bringing in approximately $99K. Mechanical Engineers pick up around $68K in financial rewards, representing the lowest-paid position among alumni.


About a seventh of CMU students choose to remain in Pittsburgh after graduation, where average salaries are actually the lowest at $69K. CMU grads with a different agenda may consider the above-average salaries in San Jose — pay averages to $126K. San Francisco is also a common pick among CMU grads, along with Washington, DC.


Graduates of CMU can earn the biggest bucks at Microsoft Corp ($131K). Salaries are anything but high at Accenture, though, where average pay is $70K.

Degree Major

A Master of Science (MS), Electrical Engineering (EE) will compensate CMU grads at a much higher rate than other fields — these alums tend to rake in around $138K per year. Ranking last in the compensation department are those holding a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) — their annual income amounts to $43K on average.


Many former CMU students are familiar with Project Management, and just under one in five grads move on to positions where this experience is utilized. Knowledge of C seems to be related to bigger paychecks; in fact, skilled alumni bring in salaries that are 21 percent more than their former classmates' salaries (about $108K). In addition, those who are savvy in Java, Engineering Design, and C++ are also considered highly skilled.

Benefits and Perks

Lacking in the benefits department, just two-fifths of alumni report compensation for sick days and only one-third of alumni get vacation time. Almost all former students set aside retirement funds in an employer-sponsored 401(k). Nearly all survey participants have medical plans, and the greater part of respondents have dental insurance. Carnegie Mellon University grads are also lucky enough to receive a casual working environment, life insurance, flexible hours, and a company-subsidized cell phone.

Related Schools

Alumni of Princeton University pick up average paychecks of approximately $89K, which is closest to the amount made by CMU grads among similar schools. 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 1990 2280
ACT Scores 30 34

Key Stats for Carnegie Mellon University (CMU)


32 %
68 %
$40,050 - $90,242
$59,672 - $122,230
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 159 votes.
$93,701 - $125,071
$65,649 - $73,784
$97,732 - $145,736
$63,277 - $122,084
$69,250 - $100,000
$41,377 - $87,053
$45,145 - $104,981
$65,517 - $131,547
$56,197 - $128,439
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