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

Around 23,000 people attend the University of California, a public research institution based in La Jolla, Calif. The numbers for this synopsis were furnished by UCSD graduates who completed PayScale's salary questionnaire.

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Overall College ROI Rank

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ROI Rank for Public (In-State) Universities

out of 408

Mid-Career Salary Rank for State School

out of 445

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. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
Software Engineer
49 salaries
Mechanical Engineer
22 salaries
Electrical Engineer
18 salaries
Senior Software Engineer
14 salaries
Project Engineer
10 salaries
Software Developer
10 salaries
User Experience Designer
8 salaries
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 13 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 958

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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)


Graduates of the UCSD work in a variety of industries including the software development industry, the aerospace and defense industry, and the education industry. The most popular career sector among alumni is the biotechnology research and development industry. Those with a degree from UCSD tend to make around $67K.


Male graduates do tend to earn more than female graduates; the first group banks $77K per year, but the second group takes home only about $60K.


The biggest paychecks among UCSD alumni are earned by Senior Software Engineers — these former students make $105K per year. The next biggest paychecks go to Software Engineers ($85K) and Biotechnology Research Scientists ($78K). On the lower end, Project Engineers report making approximately $63K.


San Diego is a hot spot for UCSD alum. The top-paying city popular with UCSD alumni is Seattle, which offers median salaries of around $83K. On the other end, UCSD grads flock to Los Angeles, which actually offers the weakest median salaries of approximately $56K. In addition, UCSD grads flock to neighboring San Francisco as well as Irvine.


Cisco Systems Inc offers the most generous salaries to UCSD grads at about $119K. Salaries are anything but high at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), though, where average pay is $48K.

Degree Major

A Master of Science (MS), Computer Science (CS) will compensate UCSD grads at a much higher rate than other fields — these alums tend to rake in $110K per year. A Bachelor of Science in Business Management offers the lowest annual financial reward ($46K).


C++ commands a pay premium of 39 percent for former Tritons. Project Management is a common skill among UCSD alumni — nearly one in eight grads mention using it at work. Other prime know-hows include Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Office, and Data Analysis.

Benefits and Perks

Only about two-fifths of alumni enjoy paid vacation and one in four survey participants receive sick leave. A strong majority of alums have medical plans, and a fair portion of graduates have dental insurance. The greater part of alums opt for a 401(k) to save for retirement. University of California grads are also lucky enough to receive a casual working environment, life insurance, a company-subsidized cell phone, and flexible hours.

Related Schools

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


44 %
56 %
$37,120 - $81,480
$45,915 - $102,041
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 370 votes.
$95,007 - $118,449
$92,000 - $126,213
$41,064 - $90,958
$42,901 - $104,511
$34,072 - $86,633
$45,615 - $119,274
$41,623 - $97,170

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