Average Salary for University of Southern California (USC) Alumni

Ranked in the top 19 percent of universities by return on investment, the University of Southern California is a university based in Los Angeles, Calif., and it's home to around 18,000 undergraduates. Most often remembered as a die-hard sports school first, University of Southern California students study hard as they cheer on the Trojans. Math is one of the most popular majors at the University of Southern California, and students boast SAT and ACT test scores that are well above the national average. Replies from former USC students to PayScale's salary questionnaire form the basis for this summary.

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Overall College ROI Rank

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ROI Rank for Private not-for-profit Universities

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Mid-Career Salary Rank for Research Universities

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Typical Early Career Salary

University of Southern California (USC) Alumni

Median Salary by Job

National Salary Data 
Software Engineer
37 salaries
Senior Software Engineer
19 salaries
Mechanical Engineer
15 salaries
Software Developer
12 salaries
Senior Systems Engineer
12 salaries
Aerospace Engineer
10 salaries
Financial Analyst
10 salaries
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 1 Aug 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 1,226
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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)


The USC alumni find work in an assortment of industries including the education industry, the software development industry, and the consulting industry. The most highly represented industry among alumni is the aerospace and defense industry. Pulling in paychecks on the larger end are USC grads, which is not shocking considering the high SAT scores reported by this demographic. Starting salaries of $81K are the median among USC grads.


There's a noticeable difference between the genders; where the average man hauls in $89K after graduating from USC, the average woman earns only about $70K.


The biggest paychecks among USC alumni are earned by Senior Systems Engineers — these former students make a median salary of $133K per year. The next biggest paychecks go to Senior Software Engineers (around $118K) and Software Engineers ($98K). Relative to other positions, compensation dwindles for Financial Analysts; alumni in this role face average salaries of approximately $60K.


More often than not, USC grads continue living in Los Angeles, Calif. (slightly less than a third of former students to be exact) even though the average salary here takes last place on the pay scale ($73K). San Jose, Calif. is on the other end of the salary spectrum, offering top-notch pay and a median salary of approximately $114K; it's no wonder that USC grads are attracted to this city. In addition, USC grads flock to neighboring San Francisco, Calif. as well as San Diego, Calif.

Degree Major

A Master of Business Administration (MBA), Finance leads to the highest pay for USC grads (around $142K on average per year). The degree that warrants the lowest level of financial compensation is a B.A. in Communication ($52K on average annually).


Competency in C++ translates into above-average pay for former Trojans — they earn 27 percent more than their fellow graduates. Roughly one in six grads report using Project Management as part of their job, making it the most popular skill. Competency in Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Office, and Data Analysis also warrants excellent remuneration.

Benefits and Perks

Though vacation and sick days are paid for some, these benefits are reported by the minority of graduates (one-third of alumni and one-fourth of alumni, respectively). A large number of grads set aside retirement funds in an employer-sponsored 401(k). Health benefits extend to a large number of former students, and a strong majority of alums also receive dental coverage. Graduates of University of Southern California are also recipients of a casual working environment, life insurance, a company-subsidized cell phone, and tuition reimbursement.

Related Schools

University of Chicago grads report the most similar salaries to USC alums, earning about $81K on average. Other schools similar to USC include the California Institute of Technology, Stanford University, and Rice University.

University of Southern California (USC) Job Listings

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Test Scores

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

Key Stats for University of Southern California (USC)


42 %
58 %
$39,423 - $96,150
$48,924 - $120,736

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 262 votes.
$71,111 - $138,795
$91,750 - $149,350
$50,000 - $132,000
$73,698 - $97,565
$40,060 - $102,042
$53,537 - $128,768
$51,064 - $127,171
$88,043 - $136,876
$52,302 - $116,938

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