Around 28,000 people attend the University of California, a institution based in La Jolla, Calif. The figures in this overview come from the responses of UCSD grads who took the PayScale salary survey.

College ROI Report


20 Year Net ROI 


Annual ROI 

9.5 %

Total 4 Year Cost 


Compare to Other Schools

College Salary Report


Early Career Salary 


Mid-Career Salary 


% High Meaning 

55 %

Compare to Other 4-Year Schools

University of California - San Diego (UCSD) Median Salary by Job


Software Engineer
306 profiles



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Project Engineer
50 profiles

See all degrees for University of California - San Diego (UCSD) »
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 22 Jun 2019
  • Individuals Reporting: 5,043
  • View Table

About This School

9500 Gilman Dr
La Jolla, CA 92093

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


Engineering, Research University, State School

87 %

52 %

87 %

33 %


The UCSD alumni belong to a wide range of sectors. A few fields in which grads tend to find work include the aerospace and defense industry, the education industry, and the software development industry. The most highly represented industry among alumni is the biotechnology research and development industry. The average starting salary for a graduate of the UCSD is around $72K.


It's worth noting that female graduates earn a median salary of approximately $67K whereas the men's median is $82K.


UCSD grads who become Senior Software Engineers are compensated well above average — these folks are top-earners among their graduating class, making an average about $115K yearly. Also notably well-paid are Software Engineers and Research Scientists; their salaries approach $90K and $79K, respectively. Relative to other positions, compensation dwindles for Biotechnology Research Associates; alumni in this role face average salaries of $49K.


San Diego, Calif. is a hub for UCSD graduates — a large number call this city home. Another city that attracts a wealth of UCSD grads is San Jose, Calif.; given its high compensation (approximately $97K is the average salary), the city's popularity should come as no surprise. On the flipside, the lowest-paying city popular among UCSD grads is Los Angeles, Calif. (median compensation is about $69K). Graduates of UCSD also relocate to San Francisco, Calif., which is not far away, and Irvine, Calif.

Degree Major

UCSD grads who hold a Master of Business Administration (MBA), Finance can expect to fare better than most fellow alumni, earning an average $123K per year. On the other end of the spectrum, those with a B.A. in Sociology tend to do the worst in terms of salary, making an average $56K per year.


Java commands a pay premium of 32 percent for former Tritons. Many UCSD grads have knowledge of Project Management, with around one in eight alumni using this program on the clock. In addition, those who are savvy in Microsoft Excel, Data Analysis, and Microsoft Office are also considered highly skilled.

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). Health insurance benefits extend to most graduates, and most survey participants sign up for dental plans. To plan for old age, a large number of survey participants maintain savings accounts through a company's 401(k) plan. University of California alumni are rewarded with additional benefits, such as a casual working environment, life insurance, a company-subsidized cell phone, and tuition reimbursement.

Related Schools

Alumni of University of California pick up average paychecks of $72K, which is closest to the amount made by UCSD grads among similar schools. Other schools similar to UCSD include the University of California-Irvine, the University of California-Riverside, and the University of California-Los Angeles.

University of California - San Diego (UCSD) Job Listings

Test Scores

Academics 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Scores 1820 2160
ACT Scores 28 33

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


48 %
52 %
$43,933 - $91,219
$50,057 - $109,942

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 1699 votes.
Less than 1 year
1-4 years
5-9 years
10-19 years
20 years or more
$60,405 - $100,441
$58,193 - $85,004
$69,489 - $118,904
$60,680 - $129,389
$45,577 - $94,647
$54,990 - $121,698
$43,312 - $93,399
$62,966 - $131,317
$45,605 - $91,379
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