Michigan State University (MSU) Alumni Average Salary

Michigan State University is a university known for giving students excellent value for their tuition costs. Located in East Lansing, Mich., the school is ranked in the top 16 percent of universities by return on investment. The school attracts plenty of sports fans (Go Spartans!) to its rural campus, though graduates go on to find employment in nearby cities like Detroit, Mich., Chicago, Ill., and Lansing, Mich. The figures in this overview come from the responses of Michigan State University grads who took the PayScale salary survey.

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Michigan State University (MSU) Alumni

Median Salary by Job

National Salary Data 
Packaging Engineer
16 salaries
Financial Analyst
14 salaries
Project Manager, Construction
11 salaries
Software Developer
9 salaries
Project Engineer
9 salaries
Software Engineer
8 salaries
7 salaries
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 21 Nov 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 915
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About This School

East Lansing, MI 48824-1046



State School, Research University, For Sports Fans

77 %

20 %

50 %

21 %

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


Graduates of Michigan State University are found working in a number of different fields including the manufacturing industry, the software development industry, and the education industry. The most popular career sector among alumni is the automotive manufacturing industry. Starting salaries of approximately $66K are the median among Michigan State University grads.


There is a sizable difference between men's post-college salaries and women's: the median for the former is $75K, but the median for the latter is only $60K.


Human Resources Directors win the contest for best-paid Michigan State University alumni, making $100K on average every year, though Project Engineers (about $78K), and Construction Project Managers (around $76K) are not far behind. Sitting at the bottom of the pay scale are Financial Analysts who make an average of $56K.


The most popular destination for former Michigan State University students is Detroit, Mich. The top-paying city popular with Michigan State University alumni is Chicago, Ill., which offers a median salary of about $72K. On the other hand, Michigan State University alumni who end up in Lansing, Mich. receive the lowest median salary of $54K. Other popular cities for Michigan State University alumni include nearby Grand Rapids, Mich. and Ann Arbor, Mich.

Degree Major

A medical degree leads to the highest pay for Michigan State University grads (approximately $119K on average per year). A B.A. in Journalism offers the lowest median annual financial reward ($37K).


Project Management is a common skill among Michigan State University alumni — close to one-sixth of grads mention using it at work. For former Spartans, proficiency in Strategic Planning warrants a paycheck that is 41 percent more than other alumni salaries. Other top skills include Microsoft Office, Microsoft Excel, and Data Analysis.

Benefits and Perks

As for time away from work, slightly more than two-fifths of respondents are compensated for vacation days, but only one in four survey participants can take paid time off due to illness. In an effort to save up for the years ahead, most respondents contribute to a 401(k). Most survey participants receive health insurance, and a fair number of survey participants get dental coverage. Michigan State University grads also enjoy benefits like life insurance, a casual working environment, a company-subsidized cell phone, and tuition reimbursement.

Related Schools

Compensation averages around $66K for University of Illinois at Chicago alumni, making their earnings most comparable to Michigan State University grads. The University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Wayne State University, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison are also similar to Michigan State University.

Michigan State University (MSU) Job Listings

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Test Scores

Academics 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Scores 1430 1850
ACT Scores 23 28

Key Stats for Michigan State University (MSU)


44 %
56 %
$33,683 - $80,606
$41,250 - $102,348
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 260 votes.
$52,308 - $95,497
$43,000 - $92,568
$72,120 - $94,000
$35,053 - $97,471
$42,142 - $100,107
$33,953 - $74,917
$37,359 - $87,077
$33,283 - $89,800

More Charts for Michigan State University (MSU)

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