Iowa State University Alumni Average Salary

Attending Iowa State University, a university can pay off very well in the long run. The school is based in Ames, Iowa, and it is ranked in the top 13 percent of universities by return on investment. Students thrive off the school's sports-centered energy and urban environment, which offers countless areas to explore and numerous ways to keep busy. This report is based on the answers of ISU graduates who responded to PayScale's salary questionnaire.

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63 %

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Iowa State University Alumni

Median Salary by Job

National Salary Data 
Mechanical Engineer
15 salaries
Software Engineer
14 salaries
Project Engineer
12 salaries
Senior Software Engineer
8 salaries
Software Developer
7 salaries
Electrical Engineer
7 salaries
Operations Manager
6 salaries
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Nov 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 562
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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 head into a range of vocations when it comes to work; the aerospace and defense industry, the education industry, and the banking industry are just a few professional areas popular among alumni. The majority of alumni accept jobs in the manufacturing industry. Former ISU graduates bring in $63K on average.


There is a sizable difference between men's post-college salaries and women's: the median for the former is $71K, but the median for the latter is only $53K.


Among ISU alumni, those working as Electrical Engineers report the highest median pay of around $81K, followed by Senior Software Engineers ($79K), and Software Engineers (about $76K). Graphic Designers pick up approximately $37K in financial rewards, representing the lowest-paid position among alumni.


The most popular destination for former ISU students is Des Moines, Iowa. Chicago, Ill. is another hot spot for ISU grads, where salaries rank at the top of the pay scale (compensation averages out to around $75K). Living in Ames after college is common among Iowa State University grads, whose love for the area is more important than the below-average median pay ($45K). Other cities popular among ISU alumni include midwestern-based Minneapolis and Cedar Rapids.

Degree Major

A Bachelor of Science in Computer Science (CS) will compensate ISU grads at a much higher rate than other degrees — these alums rake in about $111K on average per year. Those with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), Graphic Design face salaries on the lower end, coming in at an average approximately $38K per year.


Knowledge of Project Management seems to be related to bigger paychecks; in fact, skilled alumni bring in salaries that are 20 percent more than their former classmates' salaries ($75K). ISU alumni are often well versed in Project Management, with one in six grads ending up in jobs that require this skillset. Demonstrated ability in Engineering Design, Microsoft Office, and Microsoft Excel rank among leading skills as well.

Benefits and Perks

Paid vacation days are a given for a little less than half of the survey participants, but only one-third of alumni are rewarded with paid sick leave. Health insurance benefits extend to most survey participants, and a strong majority of alums sign up for dental plans. A large number of survey participants take advantage of a 401(k) plan. Iowa State University alumni are rewarded with additional benefits, such as life insurance, a casual working environment, tuition reimbursement, and a company-subsidized cell phone.

Related Schools

Median pay for University of Kansas grads is $63K, making their salaries most similar to those of ISU grads. 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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Test Scores

Academics 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Scores*
* SAT writing score is not included.
990 1300
ACT Scores 22 28

Key Stats for Iowa State University


34 %
66 %
$34,354 - $68,443
$41,105 - $95,197
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 167 votes.
$36,152 - $74,117
$47,745 - $96,448
$39,948 - $90,749
$28,771 - $56,460
$44,044 - $95,673

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