Average Salary for University of California - San Diego (UCSD) Alumni

The University of California is a university based in La Jolla, Calif. that is home to around 24,000 undergraduates. This report is based on the responses of UCSD graduates who completed the PayScale salary survey.

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Overall College ROI Rank

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ROI Rank for Public (In-State) Universities

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Mid-Career Salary Rank for State School

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Typical Early Career Salary

University of California - San Diego (UCSD) Alumni

Median Salary by Job

National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are the gross, national median (50th percentile). Pay can vary greatly by location.
Software Engineer
41 salaries
Mechanical Engineer
20 salaries
Senior Software Engineer
13 salaries
Electrical Engineer
12 salaries
Project Engineer
10 salaries
Software Developer
8 salaries
Process Engineer
7 salaries
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 818
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About This School

9500 Gilman Dr
La Jolla, CA 92093

University of California, San Diego, University of California, San Diego (UCSD)


State School, Research University

86 %

38 %

87 %

30 %

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


Former UCSD students are professionally suited for a wide range of fields including the software development industry, the aerospace and defense industry, and the medical device manufacturing industry. The majority of alumni accept jobs in the biotechnology research and development industry. Starting salaries of about $67K are the median among UCSD grads.


There is a sizable difference between men's post-college salaries and women's: the median for the former is $79K, but the median for the latter is only $60K.


UCSD grads who become Senior Software Engineers are compensated well above average — these folks are top-earners among their graduating class, making an average approximately $105K yearly. Also notably well-paid are Software Engineers and Electrical Engineers; their salaries approach $87K and $74K, respectively. Relative to other positions, compensation dwindles for Project Engineers; alumni in this role face average salaries of around $64K.


Many UCSD grads flock to San Diego, Calif. UCSD grads also flock to Seattle, Wash., which is home to salaries significantly above average (median pay is $85K). On the far end of the pay scale, UCSD alumni often reside in Los Angeles, Calif., which is home to the lowest pay at $61K. Other popular cities for UCSD alumni include nearby San Francisco, Calif. and San Jose, Calif.

Degree Major

A graduate with a B.A. in Mathematics from UCSD can rake in a whopping average $114K per year, more than any other degree from this school. Graduates holding a Bachelor of Science in Management Science fare the worst in terms of compensation with an average yearly salary of $48K.


UCSD alumni are often well versed in Project Management, with one-seventh of grads ending up in jobs that require this skillset. Knowledge of C++ seems to be related to bigger paychecks; in fact, skilled alumni bring in salaries that are 44 percent more than their former classmates' salaries (approximately $97K). Proficiency in Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Office, and Data Analysis command top-of-the-line rewards as well.

Benefits and Perks

Only two-fifths of alumni for this school enjoy paid vacation days and about one in four survey participants get paid sick time. Health coverage is awarded to a large number of survey participants, and dental insurance is issued to a strong majority of graduates as well. Most grads set up a 401(k) to save for retirement. Alumni of University of California also take in a casual working environment, life insurance, a company-subsidized cell phone, and flexible hours.

Related Schools

Alumni of University of Arizona pick up average paychecks of around $67K, which is closest to the amount made by UCSD grads among similar schools. The University of California-Irvine, the University of California-Riverside, and the University of California-Los Angeles are also similar to UCSD.

University of California - San Diego (UCSD) Job Listings

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Test Scores

Academics 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Scores 1750 2080
ACT Scores 25 31

Key Stats for University of California - San Diego (UCSD)


44 %
56 %
$36,317 - $82,820
$48,856 - $103,664
Less than 1 year
1-4 years
5-9 years
10-19 years
20 years or more

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 182 votes.
$73,162 - $81,389
$105,500 - $116,283
$63,725 - $114,783
$40,677 - $91,102
$42,441 - $108,291
$35,608 - $96,984
$44,698 - $116,653
$41,915 - $99,220

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