Iowa State University Alumni Average Salary

Ranked in the top 13 percent of universities by return on investment, Iowa State University is a university based in Ames, Iowa, and it's home to around 28,000 undergraduates. Enthusiasm for athletics forms a core part of campus culture (Go Cyclones!), and students supplement the sports fun by taking full advantage of their school's urban environment. This report is based on the answers of ISU graduates who responded to PayScale's salary questionnaire.

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Iowa State University Alumni

Median Salary by Job

National Salary Data 
Mechanical Engineer
85 salaries
Project Engineer
55 salaries
Software Engineer
54 salaries
Design Engineer
30 salaries
Graphic Designer
30 salaries
Civil Engineer
30 salaries
28 salaries
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 14 Feb 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 2,557

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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)


Professionally, software as a service (SAAS) development, the architectural and engineering services industry, and the health care industry are popular business areas among ISU alumni. The agriculture industry is the sector most highly represented among alumni. Former ISU graduates bring in $65K on average.


It's worth noting that female graduates earn a median salary of around $52K whereas the men's median is $73K.


Former ISU students with an interest in making money consider becoming Information Technology Managers, the highest-paying gig (average earnings amount to $126K) among this alumni group. Other well-paid jobs include Software Engineers (about $90K) and Senior Software Engineers ($88K). Salaries are anything but generous for Marketing Specialists, whose earnings rank lowest on the pay scale at approximately $34K.


Home to a large number of ISU alums, Des Moines, Iowa is by far the most attractive city for these former students. Another city that attracts a wealth of ISU grads is Chicago, Ill.; given its high compensation ($140K is the average salary), the city's popularity should come as no surprise. Iowa State University grads are so loyal to Ames that a sizable number choose to stay after graduating, despite median salary there ranking lowest among popular cities (around $41K). Minneapolis, Minn. and West Des Moines, Iowa are also desirable cities.

Degree Major

A Bachelor of Engineering in Bachelor of Engineering (BEng / BE) earns ISU students the most money after college (an average $145K per year). Average annual salaries for those with a Bachelor of Science in Event Management are the lowest of the pack, earning $32K.


Many ISU grads have knowledge of Project Management, with just under one-fifth of alumni using this program on the clock. For former Cyclones, proficiency in People Management warrants a paycheck that is nearly double other alumni salaries. Microsoft Office, Microsoft Excel, and Engineering Design are desirable skills as well.

Benefits and Perks

Benefits include paid time off, but vacation days are more heavily handed out than sick days; more than half of respondents report receiving the former, but only one-third of alumni report receiving the latter. It is no small feat that the vast majority of grads are given health coverage, and most graduates accept dental insurance. Almost all former students plan for retirement by taking advantage of a company-sponsored 401(k) program. Additional benefits handed to Iowa State University alumni include a company-subsidized cell phone, life insurance, a casual working environment, and tuition reimbursement.

Related Schools

University of Minnesota grads report the most similar salaries to ISU alums, earning $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


36 %
64 %
$34,336 - $85,055
$40,089 - $99,947

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 10 votes.
Less than 1 year
1-4 years
5-9 years
10-19 years
20 years or more
Minneapolis Grain Exchange
$37,299 - $79,593
$33,976 - $150,570
$32,893 - $84,507
$56,000 - $125,115

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