Iowa State University Alumni Average Salary

Around 28,000 undergrads attend Iowa State University, a school in Ames, Iowa. The school sits in the top 13 percent of universities by return on investment. Enthusiasm for sports runs deep here (Go Cyclones!), and the urban location affords rich cultural experiences for the students. Alumni participants in PayScale's salary questionnaire provided the particulars of this report.

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Iowa State University Alumni

Median Salary by Job

National Salary Data 
Mechanical Engineer
80 salaries
Project Engineer
50 salaries
Software Engineer
47 salaries
36 salaries
Graphic Designer
30 salaries
Electrical Engineer
29 salaries
Design Engineer
29 salaries
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Aug 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 2,529
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About This School

3410 Beardshear Hall
Ames, IA 50011-2030


State School, Research University, For Sports Fans

68 %

26 %

43 %

21 %

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


Graduates of ISU are found working in a number of different fields including the education industry, the aerospace and defense industry, and the agriculture industry. The manufacturing industry registers as the most common industry among alumni. Former ISU graduates bring in $64K on average.


There's a noticeable difference between the genders; where the average man hauls in about $71K after graduating from ISU, the average woman earns only approximately $54K.


The most lucrative professionals among ISU alumni are Senior Software Engineers; they earn a median annual salary of $78K. Also approaching the top of the pay scale at $76K and around $74K, respectively, are Software Engineers and Veterinarians. Relative to other positions, compensation dwindles for Operations Managers; alumni in this role face average salaries of $46K.


The most popular destination for former ISU students is Des Moines, Iowa. Another city that attracts a wealth of ISU grads is Minneapolis, Minn.; given its high compensation ($82K is the average salary), the city's popularity should come as no surprise. Many former Cyclones can't resist staying in Ames after graduating despite the median salary there ranking lowest among popular cities (around $45K). Chicago, Ill. and West Des Moines, Iowa are also desirable cities.

Degree Major

ISU students with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) can expect to make the most money (approximately $110K on average per year) compared to their fellow graduates. Those holding a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), Graphic Design are less fortunate in terms of earnings, bringing in $37K on average per year.


Knowledge of Java seems to be related to bigger paychecks; in fact, skilled alumni bring in salaries that are 39 percent more than their former classmates' salaries ($89K). Project Management is a popular skill among ISU alumni, with slightly less than one-fifth of grads reporting using it on the job. Competency in Microsoft Office, Microsoft Excel, and Engineering Design also warrants excellent remuneration.

Benefits and Perks

When it comes to paid time off, there is more lenience involving vacation than illness; approximately half of the former students get vacation time, whereas just one-third of alumni get paid sick leave. Most former students report contributing to a 401(k). Benefits are rather generous for graduates of this school; most respondents are rewarded with health insurance and a strong majority of respondents report dental coverage, too. Additional perks enjoyed by Iowa State University grads include life insurance, a casual working environment, a company-subsidized cell phone, and tuition reimbursement.

Related Schools

University of Minnesota grads report the most similar salaries to ISU alums, earning about $65K on average. Other schools similar to ISU include the University of Iowa, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Iowa State University Job Listings

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Key Stats for Iowa State University


34 %
66 %
$33,798 - $75,991
$40,962 - $88,034
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 46 votes.
$45,312 - $61,699
$34,601 - $72,874
$51,957 - $101,736
$43,731 - $101,130
$28,161 - $56,460
$50,000 - $81,445

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