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

The University of California, a school in La Jolla, Calif., has roughly 24,000 undergrads. Alumni participants in PayScale's salary questionnaire provided the particulars of this report.

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College Salary Report


Early Career Salary 


Mid-Career Salary 


% High Meaning 

61 %

Compare to Other 4-Year Schools

University of California - San Diego (UCSD) School Alumni

Median Salary by Job

National Salary Data 
Software Engineer
4 salaries
Research Associate (Unspecified Type)
3 salaries
Software Engineering Manager
3 salaries
Mechanical Engineer
3 salaries
Marketing Manager
2 salaries
Structural Engineer
2 salaries
Project Engineer
2 salaries
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 May 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 115

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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 %


Former UCSD students are professionally suited for a wide range of fields including the aerospace and defense industry, the entertainment or video game software development industry, and the engineering services industry. The majority of alumni accept jobs in the biotechnology research and development industry. Very few UCSD grads go into the software development industry; in fact, less than five percent of alumni enter this industry. The average starting salary for a graduate of the UCSD is $74K.


Among UCSD alumni, those working as Software Engineering Managers report the highest median pay of $153K, followed by Mechanical Engineers (about $74K), and Software Engineers ($73K). Research Associates get the short end of the stick when it comes to salary; grads report making an average of approximately $49K in this job.


Many UCSD students are San Diego, Calif.-bound following college. Newport Beach, Calif. is another hot spot for UCSD grads, where salaries rank at the top of the pay scale (compensation averages out to around $108K). On the far end of the pay scale, UCSD alumni often reside in Berkeley, Calif., which is home to the lowest pay at $50K. Other common destinations for UCSD grads include close-by Los Angeles, Calif. and San Francisco, Calif.

Degree Major

With a median annual earnings of around $155K per year, former Tritons who have a Bachelor's Degree, Computer Science (CS) & Mathematics are the best paid among the alumni population. A B.A. in Economics commands less pay, and these degree-holders face median pay of $50K.


Many UCSD grads have knowledge of Microsoft Excel, with one-seventh of alumni using this program on the clock. For former Tritons, proficiency in Product Development warrants a paycheck that is 77 percent more than other alumni salaries. Also considered top-notch skills are Project Management, Engineering Design, and Microsoft Office.

Benefits and Perks

As for time away from work, slightly less than half of the alums are compensated for vacation days, but only two-fifths of alumni can take paid time off due to illness. It is no small feat that the vast majority of respondents are given health coverage, and most survey participants accept dental insurance. Almost all respondents set up a 401(k) to save for retirement. Additional benefits handed to University of California alumni include a casual working environment, life insurance, tuition reimbursement, and flexible hours.

Related Schools

Alumni of University of Arizona pick up average paychecks of approximately $73K, 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.

Test Scores

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

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


40 %
60 %
$31,996 - $95,251
$44,219 - $102,374

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 15 votes.
Less than 1 year
1-4 years
5-9 years
10-19 years
20 years or more
$39,368 - $96,558
$41,496 - $93,598
$34,435 - $115,980
$66,033 - $129,290

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