Average Salary for Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) Alumni

Around 6,000 people attend Carnegie Mellon University, a institution based in Pittsburgh, Pa. This outline is based on answers to PayScale's salary survey.

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Overall College ROI Rank

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ROI Rank for Private not-for-profit Universities

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Mid-Career Salary Rank for Engineering

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Typical Early Career Salary

Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) Alumni

Median Salary by Job

National Salary Data 
Software Engineer
37 salaries
Senior Software Engineer
18 salaries
Mechanical Engineer
11 salaries
User Experience Designer
9 salaries
Sr. Software Engineer / Developer / Programmer
8 salaries
Senior Mechanical Engineer
7 salaries
Project Manager, Engineering
7 salaries
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 1 Aug 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 450
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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 work in a variety of sectors including the aerospace and defense industry, the financial services industry, and software as a service (SAAS) development. The majority of CMU alumni wind up in the software development industry. It is quite common for CMU grads — a demographic that scores high on the SATs and boasts excellent graduation rates — to earn top-notch salaries in the workforce. The average salary for a grad from CMU is $94K.


After graduation, disparities in salary rise to the surface — males earn an average $99K per year compared to females' approximately $74K.


The most generous salaries among CMU alumni are reportedly earned by Engineering Project Managers, whose median earnings come to $130K, followed by Senior Software Engineers (around $122K) and Senior Software Engineers (about $118K). Mechanical Engineers face rather mediocre compensation — average salaries are actually the lowest at $70K.


More often than not, CMU grads continue living in Pittsburgh, Pa. (roughly a seventh of former students to be exact) even though the average salary here takes last place on the pay scale ($71K). Alternatively, San Jose, Calif. is home to some of the highest salaries — median pay is around $135K — which is an (obvious) draw for many CMU grads. Other cities of interest include New York, N.Y. and Washington, DC.

Degree Major

A Master of Science (MS), Electrical Engineering (EE) earns CMU students the most money after college (an average about $140K per year). A Bachelor of Science in Physics is less advantageous in terms of earnings; alums with this degree are the lowest earners with a median annual pay of $59K.


CMU grads are usually competent in Project Management, and about a fifth of alumni continue practicing this skill in their career. Competency in C translates into above-average pay for Carnegie Mellon University grads — they earn 16 percent more than their fellow graduates. Java, C++, and Engineering Design are desirable skills as well.

Benefits and Perks

Though vacation and sick days are paid for some, these benefits are reported by the minority of graduates (two-fifths of alumni and one in four survey participants, respectively). Health coverage is awarded to almost all former students, and dental insurance is issued to most former students as well. Almost all graduates set aside retirement funds in an employer-sponsored 401(k). Other benefits that Carnegie Mellon University alumni receive are a casual working environment, life insurance, flexible hours, and tuition reimbursement.

Related Schools

Among alumni of similar schools, Princeton University grads (who make an average of approximately $93K) 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 %
$40,453 - $95,773
$62,075 - $123,075

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 76 votes.
$92,110 - $127,171
$97,436 - $151,500
$66,707 - $77,000
$41,684 - $87,631
$44,850 - $117,138
$69,592 - $138,983
$54,245 - $116,688

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