Average Salary for University of Southern California (USC) Alumni

The University of Southern California, a private research university based in Los Angeles, Calif., that is ranked in the top 14 percent of universities by ROI, gives students and parents great value for their tuition dollar. Most often remembered as a die-hard sports school first, University of Southern California (USC) students study hard as they cheer on the Trojans. Math majors are among the most popular majors at University of Southern California (USC), and the student ranks boast SAT and ACT test scores well above average. This overview is based on graduates' answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.

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Overall College ROI Rank

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ROI Rank for Private not-for-profit Universities

out of 402

Mid-Career Salary Rank for Research Universities

out of 267

Typical Early Career Salary

University of Southern California (USC) 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
45 salaries
Senior Software Engineer
30 salaries
Mechanical Engineer
18 salaries
Senior Systems Engineer
18 salaries
Attorney / Lawyer
15 salaries
Senior Financial Analyst
14 salaries
Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
14 salaries
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 1,690

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About This School

University Park
Los Angeles, CA 90089



Private School, Research University, For Sports Fans

91 %

13 %

76 %

18 %

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


Graduates of the USC head into a range of vocations when it comes to work; the health care industry, the education industry, and the financial services industry are just a few professional areas popular among alumni. The majority of alumni accept jobs in the aerospace and defense industry. It is quite common for USC grads — a demographic that scores high on the SATs and boasts excellent graduation rates — to earn top-notch salaries in the workforce. Those with an education from USC earn an average of $80K.


Male graduates of USC out-earn their female counterparts significantly, earning an average of $90K versus around $67K for women.


In the USC alumni professional community, Senior Systems Engineers make the highest median pay ($121K), though Attorneys ($115K), and Senior Software Engineers (approximately $107K) are close competitors. Financial Analysts wrap up the bottom of the pay scale, earning about $59K.


Los Angeles keeps the largest number of USC grads among cities despite the fact that it offers the lowest median compensation (approximately $75K). San Jose is on the other end of the salary spectrum, offering top-notch pay and a median salary of about $110K; it's no wonder that USC grads are attracted to this city. USC alumni express interest in nearby San Francisco and San Diego as well.


USC grads can make the most money at Deloitte Consulting LLP; average pay at this company is around $135K. In contrast, PricewaterhouseCoopers ranks much lower on the pay scale; the median salary there is $67K.

Degree Major

Financial compensation is highest for USC grads with a Master of Business Administration (MBA), Finance (earnings climb to $135K per year). A Master of Social Work (MSW), Clinical Social Work (CSW) commands less pay, and these degree-holders face salaries of $46K.


Competency in C translates into above-average pay for former Trojans — they earn 26 percent more than their fellow graduates. USC grads are usually competent in Project Management, and approximately one-sixth of alumni continue practicing this skill in their career. Other prime know-hows include Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Office, and Data Analysis.

Benefits and Perks

Lacking in the benefits department, just one-third of alumni report compensation for sick days and only one-fourth of alumni get vacation time. A strong majority of former students save up for retirement through a 401(k) plan. It is no small feat that the greater part of former students are given health coverage, and most respondents accept dental insurance. University of Southern California graduates also take advantage of life insurance, a casual working environment, a company-subsidized cell phone, and tuition reimbursement.

Related Schools

Median pay for Washington University in St Louis grads is $75K, making their salaries most similar to those of USC grads. Other schools similar to USC include California Institute of Technology, Stanford University, and Rice University.

Test Scores

Academics 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Scores 1920 2230
ACT Scores 29 33

Key Stats for University of Southern California (USC)


43 %
57 %
$39,226 - $94,654
$49,626 - $120,615
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 567 votes.
$72,084 - $132,656
$61,212 - $130,702
$45,302 - $126,856
$52,000 - $107,442
$40,559 - $104,074
$52,321 - $120,644
$50,227 - $116,925
$49,896 - $110,430
$82,414 - $134,850

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