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

The University of California is a public research university based in La Jolla, Calif. that is home to around 23,000 undergraduates. Deemed a "research school", this public university offers students a wide range of resources at a relatively low cost. The data for this snapshot was collected from UCSD graduates who took PayScale's salary survey.

Overall College ROI Rank

out of 1312
See full list

ROI Rank for Public (In-State) Universities

out of 420

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
62 salaries
Mechanical Engineer
30 salaries
Electrical Engineer
20 salaries
Project Engineer
15 salaries
Senior Software Engineer
15 salaries
Software Developer
12 salaries
Research Associate (Unspecified Type)
10 salaries
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 1,266
United States (change)

University of California - San Diego (UCSD) Details

9500 Gilman Dr
La Jolla, CA 92093

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


State Schools, Research Universities

86 %

38 %

88 %

46 %

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The UCSD alumni can most commonly be found in the software development industry, the aerospace and defense industry, and the education industry, though they are employed throughout a wide range of sectors. A large chunk of former UCSD students are employed in the biotechnology research and development industry; in fact, this is the most popular job sector for this population. Typical pay for those who graduated from UCSD amounts to around $67K.


After graduation, women go on to earn an average of $60K per year compared to men, who earn approximately $78K.


The most generous salaries among UCSD alumni are reportedly earned by Senior Software Engineers, whose earnings come to about $105K, followed by Software Engineers ($84K) and Biotechnology Research Scientists ($78K). Project Engineers get the short end of the stick when it comes to salary, where grads report making an average of $63K in this job.


San Diego is a hot spot for UCSD alum. Seattle is another hot spot for UCSD grads, where salaries rank at the top of the pay scale (compensation averages out to about $81K). Los Angeles is a popular spot for former UCSD students at the opposite end of the pay scale; in fact, average salaries there are the lowest at $56K. UCSD alumni express interest in nearby San Francisco and San Jose as well.


Graduates of UCSD can earn the biggest bucks at Cisco Systems Inc ($119K). In contrast, alums who work at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) face the lowest salaries at $46K on average.

Degree Major

Among the highest-paid UCSD alumni are those with a medical degree — they earn close to approximately $130K per year. Those with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management face salaries on the lower end, coming in close to $46K per year.


Knowing C++ can pay off big time for former Tritons, who can expect a 38 percent bigger paycheck than other grads. UCSD alumni are often well versed in Project Management, with approximately one in eight grads ending up in jobs that require this skillset. Competency in Microsoft Office, Microsoft Excel, and Data Analysis also warrants excellent retribution.

Benefits and Perks

Only two-fifths of alumni earn paid vacation and just one-fourth of alumni get paid sick time. To plan for old age, a solid majority of alums maintain savings accounts through a company's 401(k) plan. For this school, a solid majority of graduates are the recipients of health benefits, and most former students pick up dental plans, too. 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

Median pay for University of New Mexico grads is around $67K, making their salaries most similar to those of UCSD grads. Other schools similar to UCSD include the University of California-Irvine, the University of California-Riverside, and the University of California-Los Angeles.

Test Scores

Academics 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Scores 1660 2030
ACT Scores 23 30

Key Stats

44 %
56 %
$36,786 - $81,330
$46,290 - $102,456
Less than 1 year
1-4 years
5-9 years
10-19 years
20 years or more
Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 400 votes.
$95,007 - $118,449
$73,177 - $92,339
$92,000 - $126,213
$41,065 - $91,853
$42,570 - $102,751
$33,507 - $85,651
$45,781 - $118,844
$41,534 - $97,328

More Charts: University of California - San Diego (UCSD) Alumni

Most Popular Years Experience for University of California - San Diego (UCSD) Alumni
Median Salary Charts

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