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Job and Internship Salary Comparisons? 231

Posted by timothy
from the who-makes-what? dept.
spydabyte writes "I'm a current undergraduate at the Georgia Institute of Technology and have been getting offers for internships next summer. I was wondering if there is a source of information on intern markets or how a market's competitive salaries are. How do you know if you're getting a decent offer or you deserve more when you're entering a (personally) new market? Is there a definite source? Do you have your favorite? I know that many factors matter, as in location, previous experience, etc., but I think there's more to find out besides asking for my friends' current offers. If not internships, how about full time or careers? Any ideas?"
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Job and Internship Salary Comparisons?

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  • glassdoor (Score:5, Informative)

    by krakround (1065064) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @06:09PM (#25753599)
    glassdoor.com gives pretty transparent information. You do have to read between the lines (i.e. suckage at one campus/group is not necessarily a problem at another, poor statistics gamed by shills) but it is useful information. But networking with people is much much more useful.
  • For full time jobs (Score:3, Informative)

    by spuke4000 (587845) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @06:09PM (#25753607)
    http://www.glassdoor.com/ [glassdoor.com] I don't know about internships.
  • by sshuber (1274006) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @06:11PM (#25753629)
    then take it and be happy. I'm in a paying internship myself at roughly 12.50/hour for web application development. I have a lot of friends who are also in internships required for their major and earn zip, zilch, nada. I'm not aware of any listing of standard pay rates, but anything over $10 an hour should be more than you would make jockeying a register at Radioshack and you will be earning valuable work experience which is worth much, much more than any monetary compensation. When you go for that first job interview that work experience will shine through. I'm sure any employer would want someone with experience over someone without any day of the week.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Intron (870560)
      When I was in school in Pittsburgh, software interns got about the same as the starting salary in the steel mills which is now about $12/hour, so things haven't changed.
    • by Artraze (600366) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @06:53PM (#25754235)

      Well, the way it usually goes is that technical internships pay (I've not seen any that don't), and non-technical ones don't (some will give minimum wage). So I don't think "if they pay" is nearly and relevant as "if they hire you".

      That being said, they're almost always ballpark $12/hr these days. Some will go as low as $10, and one company I knew used to pay $17+, but they since dropped to $12-ish as well. Either way, the pay's better than anything else, so don't worry about it; these things are mostly about resume building anyway.

      One thing I will stress though (enough for it's own paragraph!) is to make sure the one you choose will have use for you. I've seen far too many interns twiddling their thumbs because they're poorly managed, and nobody wants to just sit there and kill time for a couple months. So make sure that the work is interesting and a priority (as much as one can expect for and intern) for the company. That's worth more than a couple extra bucks and hour.

      • Agreed, $10 (AutoCAD) - 12/14 (actual work) - 17 (inflated pay/Disney).

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by dhTardis (1326285)
        I don't know what field you're in, but LANL pays students [lanl.gov] pretty well to do lots of things.
      • by mdarksbane (587589) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @08:19PM (#25755181)

        My internship was around $15/hr, and my wife's was $16-17. My job was the "they actually hired you to work" kind, my wife's was the "sit around and read wikipedia" kind. That seemed fairly standard for our area (Ohio) for a CS degree, from what I've gathered from my friends. That was... three years ago.

        Probably varies HUGELY by geography.

      • by DarthMAD (805372) <markhatesspam@gmail. c o m> on Thursday November 13, 2008 @09:07PM (#25755715)
        I'm currently an undergrad software engineering intern at Lockheed Martin, and I get paid a little more than $18 an hour... and the experience is invaluable - pretty much from day 1, I've been doing the work of a professional software engineer, never doing stereotypical "intern work" like getting coffee and donuts. Incidentally, if you're wondering how I got this job, my previous qualifications were a mediocre (3.3ish) GPA at a state university which has a good computer science and engineering program but is generally poorly regarded otherwise. I had a single brief interview over the phone which involved no technical questions. Smaller companies are more likely to want previous experience, since they can't afford to really train you on the job as well. I agree with Artraze entirely that you have to choose a position that's right for you. If you get an internship at a large company, and you are unsatisfied with your assignment, they can probably move you to another project - remember, it's not like school - they want you to succeed because they are trying to develop you as an asset to the company.
      • Out of college, I was offered an internship as a programmer at a place that didn't exactly pay, but provided housing and a $500/mo stipend for expenses. The fact that it was in Hawaii probably attracted people to it :-)

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Elastri (911062)

        You can in some circumstances get more than that. I went to the University of Waterloo in Canada from 2001-2006. My 6 internships paid roughly: 15,16,12,19,23,25 per hour (all in CAD, except the last which was in USD). The third was terrible and not really a technical position. Waterloo publishes a salary survey for its interns, so you can get an idea of what at least some interns are getting:

        http://www.cecs.uwaterloo.ca/students/salary.php [uwaterloo.ca]

        In the last of the six I got my boss to tell me that I was still

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by HardCase (14757)

        At my company, interns who are freshmen and sophomores are paid at 50% of the salary of the position that they are filling. Juniors are paid at 60% and seniors are paid at 75%. We hire interns to fill "real" engineering positions. For example, in my area, if we have an open simulation engineer req and we hire an (usually a senior) intern to fill it for the summer, that intern will actually do the job of a simulation engineer. And, if the intern is from our local university, the job will usually continue

    • by liquidpele (663430) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @07:17PM (#25754507) Journal
      Yep. As an intern, it's not about salary, it's about experience. Ironically, with the experience you get you would probably get a job offer whether you graduate or not... but I digress.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Aazzkkimm (465445)

      I was making between $18 to $20 per hour about 8 years ago. To be honest, though, the job experience that I got meant NOTHING when it came time for me to get a full-time job No employer took my internships seriously (I had 4 of them)

      What it did do is let me graduate with no student loans. I say take whatever you can get...

      • by shaka999 (335100)

        I was pulling $15 hr 15 years backs as an EE intern. My intern at IBM did help a ton though. In fact I ended up getting 4 different offers at different IBM locations (didn't take any of them though).

        • by servognome (738846) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @09:10PM (#25755745)

          I was pulling $15 hr 15 years backs as an EE intern. My intern at IBM did help a ton though. In fact I ended up getting 4 different offers at different IBM locations (didn't take any of them though).

          I interned at IBM 10 years ago (did they make you take the stupid IQ test at the end of your internship too?)
          I remember going through the job fair line with my friend who was a ChemE 3.9 GPA, his resume got put on the "we'll call you" pile. I had a 3.2 GPA, but because I had an IBM internship, I was immediately asked to come in and interview the next day while the recruiters were still in town. Interview was more like a recruitment pitch talking about the neat things they were doing in the fab, specifically we chatted about SOI since my background was Mat Sci with emphasis on semiconductor physics and processing.
          That 6-month internship was worth more than 4 years of college in terms of getting a career. I also turned down an offer from IBM, but having solid experience at a recognized company opened a lot of doors.

      • by lawpoop (604919)
        Did the internships help you in any way ( technical skills, dealing with non-technical peers, interpersonal skills, office politics ) once you landed a real job?
    • by b4upoo (166390)

      Sadly the work environment lacks ethics and even basic morality as a norm. Anyone admitting their real pay rate will likely be fired.
      Worse yet jobs done out of your trade will be used as an excuse to pay you badly. For example one might work summers washing dishes in order to obtain a basic education. Taking that lowly position will be used as a lever for your entire career to try to hold down your wages. Worse yet since we are about to enter a down turn in the natio

      • by lgw (121541)

        None of what your talking about makes any difference once you have 2 years experience. Past that point, there are a great many employers who simply don't care what happened before your first real time job - they can't afford to.

        If software jobs are not a commoddity where you live - if employers can get away with making excuses to pay you less - move. In Silly Valley, or any of the big tech centers, you'll get paid market rate for your actual skills whenever you change jobs, and it's easy to change. Stupi

    • by Plutonite (999141)

      Grad students interning usually get paid 20-25 an hour, depending on the company (I interned last summer). I know google interns make more (about 6k a month) so really it depends on the location, industry, company.. so on. Not all 'tech jobs' are the same, obviously. If a research lab is trying to hire the guy and pay him 12 bucks/hour he should shoot them in the face. It doesn't hurt to make the summer internship an enjoyable and gainful experience as well as something to put on a resume. My internship was

    • by inKubus (199753)

      Yeah, I was going to say... A "good" offer is when you get enough dough to pay the bills. Don't worry about the market, worry about yourself. If, in a year, you feel like you're not making enough, ask for a raise or find another job. The money is all back up at the experience level now. Interns don't make crap because they don't have experience. You might be the smartest man/woman around, but if you've never experienced a long call with the IRS or getting sued, you're pretty useless. Most people makin

    • by Gazzonyx (982402)
      Sounds about right, I'm at $11/hr. in PA. I'm a software development major, but my job is at a small company (~20 employees) and I end up doing more admin stuff than writing code. Although I look for any excuse that I can to write some. At the end of the day, I wind down by doing some fun code, so it's all good anyways... I could use the admin. experience since developers are notoriously bad at it.
    • by DrLang21 (900992)
      Pro tip: Select your internship based on how it will expand your education and career goals. Do not select it based on money. You're an intern. They all get raw deals.
  • by gangien (151940) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @06:11PM (#25753633) Homepage

    for an internship i'd say forget which pays you better. if you have multiple offers, get the one that you think will be better in the long run. IE they often hire interns full time, or they offer great networking capabilities, or which would be more challenging/fun/interesting.

    • by Itchyeyes (908311) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @06:52PM (#25754213) Homepage

      Agreed. Just like shouldn't didn't pick your college based on what's cheapest, you shouldn't pick an internship based on what pays best. You're doing both to boost your future earnings potential, not present earnings.

      Networking and exposure to industry practices are far more important. Pick your internship based on these, and consider any pay a bonus.

  • by goofballs (585077) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @06:12PM (#25753639)
    accepting or not accepting an internship based on compensation... sounds really dumb. pick an internship based on what you're going to learn and how it's going to prep you for the future, as well as if it's going to make you more competitive when getting your first 'real' job. as an intern, you're probably not going to be able to negotiate that offer, but you're that's not the case with the first job.
    • by SatanicPuppy (611928) * <Satanicpuppy@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Thursday November 13, 2008 @06:21PM (#25753773) Journal

      Agreed. Internships are there for looking impressive on your CV, not for making you rich. If you get paid, so much the better, but it's better to do something awesome and not get paid, than to get paid for doing something lame.

      • by snl2587 (1177409) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @06:47PM (#25754145)

        I disagree: this really depends on the field the person seeking the internship is entering, and whether or not that person is planning on graduate/postdoc studies leading to a career in academia. Certain areas of study (some of the engineering disciplines come to mind) pay very well for most of the positions available for doing very similar work, and it pays to look around. And as for those going to grad school long-term: getting a well-paying internship ahead of the stipend makes the bank account much less stressful to look at.

        Then again, there's something to be said for actually enjoying the summer's (or semester's) work, and not everyone actually needs the money. So it really comes down to what's most important or necessary to the individual.

        • by mikael (484)

          Some university courses in the UK have internships (or industrial placements) as they call them. The worst internships (which the university coordinator was determined to avoid), were where a local business director was just looking for a 'bright graduate' to sit in a dark corner doing the work that nobody else had time to do. The best internships were where the student was working in a team and actively helping to specifications and making a contribution to a large real-time systems project.

          Anything where

      • by electrosoccertux (874415) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @06:50PM (#25754177)

        I wouldn't be so dismissive of someone with salary expectations. If they're expecting you to do some serious work, then they should be offering legitimate pay. Quitting a coop and finding a new one is a pain. If they're not going to give you serious work, they should at least be willing to pay you for wasting your time. Legitimate pay is a good way of gauging how serious they are about using your talents and Tech education.

        I'd recommend the Coop program, spydabyte, over the Internship program. Better pay (from what I've seen), more opportunities for serious work (because you're coming back), you get to know more people in the company, and if you do it right, you can pretty much depend on having a job offer. The coop program is now only 3 semesters at Tech (of course you can keep going if you need the money, I'll be doing 5), so there's really no reason not to. Get to add more nice things to your resume, while you're at it.

        Salary expectations-- My first coop company paid $16/hr a few years ago. Friend's coop last year was paying him $20/hr. Now I'm making $18/hr at my second coop. GE starts you at $17.

        Don't forget-- YOU CAN NEGOTIATE. This is no different from any other job. Be bold about it. There aren't many students involved in the Coop program at Tech. You are in demand, ESPECIALLY if your GPA is at or above 3.0 (if you go to Tech).

    • by Cadallin (863437) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @06:43PM (#25754089)
      Yes. Internships aren't about raking in the bling.

      Internships are like modern apprenticeships. They are to gain experience working with a professional, preferably one as experience and respected in their field as possible. Its also extremely helpful if said professional has some talent at teaching.

      If at all possible you should decide on an internship based on reports from people who have interned there previously that you respect, plus information on how well regarded in their field the person or company to be interning with is.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bjourne (1034822)
      One of the most important lessons in life is to learn to value your your time highly. Because if you don't, no one else will either. Working for free does not teach that lesson, quite the opposite.
  • by jellomizer (103300) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @06:13PM (#25753649)

    For internships it is not about how much but what you will pick up. You can get paid say $15 with a big company but you just may be serving coffee. Or you can get $10 an hour as a smaller company and you are actually getting real work experience. Which may be the difference later on a starting real job out of college of $35,000 a year vs. $45,000 a year (depending on location and cost of living) Also check to see if the company is willing to hire you as a full paid employee after you graduate (with say preferential treatment) or you will have just the same opportunity as the rest.

    • by Braino420 (896819) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @06:21PM (#25753775)
      I agree with the parent is saying. I was interning in Atlanta, GA area for the past 3 years, and you can expect around $15/hr. My recommendation is don't do any internship for free. CS/IT/SwE majors seem to get paid internships more than other majors, but some companies, *cough*siemens*cough* will try to get away with paying you nothing.
      • by jellomizer (103300) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @06:30PM (#25753933)

        While you should stay away from slave labor called unpaid internships depending on your skill sets it may be a good proving ground when all else fails. Say you are a Liberal Arts Major trying for a Tech Job. a Free internship may prove that you know what you are doing and that Liberal Arts Degree shows your flexibility in many areas.

    • by Stiletto (12066) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @06:22PM (#25753789)

      I'd still go with serving coffee at the big company. You'll probably make better contacts at the bigger company, and you'll certainly have a more recognizable name on the resume. It's not what you know but who you know and being able to name-drop.

      Most of the jobs I've ever gotten (or gotten very far through the interview process with) have been either through knowing the right person, not by having the right skills or the right experience. This is one of the things I wish I had known 15 years ago.

      • by jellomizer (103300) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @06:28PM (#25753897)

        However a small company has more contacts then you think. Sometimes you can actually make much better contacts threw a small company then threw a large one. Say you worked at Microsoft you will be working in your small team of people who focus on that one job. In a small company as an intern you may be working with the clients some of them are actually quite high up on the scale. Where say Microsoft your contact will be with the other engineers on your team a small company you actually may get contacts with CEO's of more recognizable companies.

        • by Stiletto (12066)

          This is a great point. An important question for any company you'll work for is, "How much exposure to the higher-ups will my work get me?"

        • by nelsonal (549144)
          I agree, I worked at a tiny pension manager and met Street analysts and learned Bloomberg, while my counterpart met several VC/private equity shops. We both worked on real projects (mine saved the firm a fortune and consolidated a data provider his was presented to the board).
      • I'd still go with serving coffee at the big company. You'll probably make better contacts at the bigger company, and you'll certainly have a more recognizable name on the resume.

        On top of that: Anybody who brings me coffee, I'll recommend. ;)

      • That's probably true in a lot of cases, but has not been my experience. I had an internship at Xerox doing something that I thought at the time would be relevant to my career but turned out not to be. On the other hand, I thought it would be a great name to drop. It wasn't though. Because the project that I was working on was only very narrowly relevant, it didn't do much for my career.

        On the other hand, a job that I had after graduation which was much more relevant but at a 4-6 person startup opened ma

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by CrazyTalk (662055)
      For those who still insist that things are better off today than in years past - when I graduated college in 1986 recent grads were getting offers between 35-45K/yr (Petro engineers were starting in the 50s). That is in 1986 - when a movie cost $4.50, a new car 5 grand, and you could rent a decent apartment for $300/month. Never mind adjusting for inflation - salaries have not gone up at all even in raw numbers.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jellomizer (103300)

        Yes the value for engineers has dropped. But the job has also gotten a bit easier. 1986 there was a lot more hand based math that needed to be done which can be done in a split second in excel. We have the internet to allow us to see what other ideas people though of out of the box. Also CAD and Modeling systems help us do hundreds/millions of tests allowing engineers to focus more on the engineering and not a lot of the humanly tough grunt work. That said Engineering is still loss a lot of its value unpr

  • More important (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Reality Master 101 (179095) <`RealityMaster101' `at' `gmail.com'> on Thursday November 13, 2008 @06:14PM (#25753669) Homepage Journal

    Money is nice and I can appreciate that a broke college student would want to maximize that, but that's short-term thinking. I would focus on:

    1) What sort of industry relationships can I foster. If there is one lesson I've learned, it's that the most critical factor in success is who you know. Both in finding future employment and mentoring relationships.

    2) What skills can I learn *that will look on a resume*. New grads always complain about, "They want experience, but how can I get experience when they won't hire me???" Well, this is how. You want as much experience doing real work as possible.

    Honestly, working for free is worth it if you can get really great situation that fulfills #1 and #2. Be patient. The paychecks will come. Take advantage of your opportunities first.

  • Hard to say. (Score:5, Informative)

    by SatanicPuppy (611928) * <Satanicpuppy@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Thursday November 13, 2008 @06:16PM (#25753689) Journal

    Cost of Living comparison sites [bestplaces.net] are good. That'll give you an idea of the comparison between two jobs in different places...One may be offering 50% more, but that 50% more may actually be a net loss depending on the cost of living.

    Demographic information can give you average salaries, but you MUST weigh that in terms of the cost of living. Don't take a job for the national average salary in a city where the cost of living is twice the national average. You can get lots of salary information on Google [google.com].

    I'd say there is no definite source. You're going to have to weigh and consider what you need, and what the job is worth to you. Don't be afraid to take less for a job that has great experience/training opportunities, and don't be afraid to ask for more if the job looks like hell on earth.

    • by Rayeth (1335201)
      This isn't emphasized nearly enough. Cost of living is incredibly important when changing areas. Especially when moving long distances.
  • My Rule (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BlueBoxSW.com (745855) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @06:16PM (#25753693) Homepage

    "Don't trade your time for money. Trade your time for experience. Then trade the experience for more money!" -Me.

    Don't look only at dollars. Don't even look to who is going to value you most as an employee/intern. Look to fill that experience gap that you and everyone else has coming out of school.

    • by dbIII (701233)
      Also be very wary of anybody that offers to just let you work "for the experience". If you don't cost them anything there's no real incentive for them to get you to do anything so you probably won't actually get much experience.

      I had one mongrel try to pull that one on me when they were hiring me because they wanted my experience and contacts to get a contract with my former employer - you won't just get that line in your first year on the job. In retrospect even though I got a decent rate I was screwed i

  • by tool462 (677306)

    But I would worry less about what you'll get paid as an intern and more about what kind of experience you'll be getting and networking/employment opportunities after the internship is over. Whatever you would make as an intern would be a pittance anyway, so don't pass over long-term prospects just to make a couple hundred dollars extra.

    • But I would worry less about what you'll get paid as an intern and more about what kind of experience you'll be getting and networking/employment opportunities after the internship is over.

      If you've submitted three or more patches to FOSS projects, don't do it for the experience.

      It's pretty much what you're used to: write the patch, discuss it on irc/mail for review, commit the patch, repeat. Submit bugs to bugzilla, read the wiki for documentation that no one has written or organized [but don't worry, it's coming out as soon as you don't need it anymore].

      Your new experiences will be more in the area of morning meetings and free coke.

      Whatever you would make as an intern would be a pittance anyway, so don't pass over long-term prospects just to make a couple hundred dollars extra.

      Thirty to forty bucks per hour isn't exactly bad. Someone

      • by tool462 (677306)

        $30-$40/hr is really good. I've never seen an internship in the US pay that well. Many don't pay at all. I'd say $10-$15/hr is typical.

  • Great websites (Score:2, Informative)

    by jmcbain (1233044)

    For fulltime jobs, check salary.com [salary.com] and glassdoor.com [glassdoor.com] for good salary information. For salary.com, you can enter in a job title (e.g. software engineer II) and zip code; the salary range results are pretty accurate. When you move to take a fulltime job, be sure to check the cost-of-living adjustment calculator there too.

    If you are looking for an internship, then I recommend you not be so concerned with money. The goal of an internship is get real-world experience and do a good enough job so the manager wi

  • by Emperor Shaddam IV (199709) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @06:21PM (#25753783) Journal

    I went to college a few years back, in the nineties, and I didn't get paid for an intern job. Neither did any of my classmates. Is that something companies do now?

    Anyway, you are at the beginning of your career, so I wouldn't worry about the money for an intern. Intern with the most interesting job at the most interesting company, even if you have to do it for free. Then you will be off to a good start and learn something interesting.

    As far as salaries, you can look at Dice.com, ComputerJobs.com, Monster.com, realrates.com etc and look to see "around" what people are paying.

    But these are just ballpark figures. Its all in the negotiation and the what the company your working for is willing to pay ( and how bad they need your skills ). I've seen poor saps making less than 50K coding C++ with years of experience. And I've seen complete idiots pulling in 100 dollars an hour or more.

    When you do look for that first job, negotiate good, interview a lot, be professional, and get as many offers as you can. Then you can pick and choose and have more leverage.

    • I went to college a few years back, in the nineties, and I didn't get paid for an intern job. Neither did any of my classmates. Is that something companies do now?

      Same here, I got paid next to nothing for an internship. The total came out to less than minimum wage, for the amount of work per week that I put in. If I recall correctly, I put in 30-40 hours a week and got $5.15 an hour for 10 hours a week. However, I supplemented my income and paid for college, by washing dishes at Subway, and later on, wai

    • I went to college a few years back, in the nineties, and I didn't get paid for an intern job. Neither did any of my classmates. Is that something companies do now?

      Probably depends on the field of study you are interested in and how many candidates are available. I was an undergrad materials engineering intern in the late 90's for IBM, $20/hour; but I had some friends interested in web development who got half as much for their internship since it was during the dotcom boom and so many students were interes

  • As an intern, the experience you get matters WAY more than the pay you might receive. Ignore compensation, go for the interesting jobs or the well-respected companies regardless of pay.

  • My internship: (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rehtonAesoohC (954490) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @06:23PM (#25753819) Journal
    As a Software Engineer, when I was working as an intern 4 years ago, I was offered $14.50 an hour.

    After six months, I was promoted to full time status at $46,000 per year. My salary has since increased to $70,000 per year.

    Note that this is in the Midwest, where the cost of living is quite low.
  • by asynchronous13 (615600) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @06:24PM (#25753833)
    Bureau of Labor Statistics has the information you seek. http://www.bls.gov/ [bls.gov]
  • by Foofoobar (318279) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @06:30PM (#25753929)
    Your an intern. Expect to be treated like my little brother after having lost a bet. I will make you do the most menial of tasks that I don't want to do and give you table scraps and you will be thankful for the experience of being able to write it on your resume that you were my personal slave for 6 months and this company because it actually looks like experience when it was nothing but humiliation and torture. Welcome the day you get your first intern with a guilty pleasure.
    • by geekoid (135745)

      Hay, whatever helps you feel good about your tiny penis.

      • by Foofoobar (318279)
        got news for you peon... intern == tiny penis. Pray I dont whip you out and wave you around in the ladies rest room
  • by eison (56778) <pkteison.hotmail@com> on Thursday November 13, 2008 @06:33PM (#25753973) Homepage

    Georgia Tech's "Career Services" was very useful when I was there. In contrast, the co-op office was horrible. I'd definitely make an appointment with career services and talk to them about this.

    • Agreed, talk to your school. Personally, my internships were $16-$18/hour. I got offers as high as $24/hour. It'll vary widely by major - mine (Computer Engineering and CS) were the highest-paid at our school.

      You can find other info online, google something like "intern salary" or "engineering intern pay" or something like that. Of course, those will be interns who have a different education than you, so you might get very different numbers.

      If you're thinking about trying to negotiate your salary, you might

  • by MikeRT (947531) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @06:35PM (#25753985) Homepage

    What really matters with the internship is the professional experience you get. Get as much of it as you can while still getting your degree. My wife did four summers of internships and when she graduated, she was rated as having 2-3 years of professional work experience by her employer. The result was that they actually took her application pretty seriously and offered her good pay since she wasn't, strictly speaking, "entry level" anymore.

    I got paid $7.50/hour starting out and ended up making $10/hour after a few months at my internship, which lasted 2 years through my university. That internship is what actually got me my first job; my employer just ignored my low GPA and focused on the fact that I had been interning as a software developer for 2 years for my university on a research project.

    Bottom line is, be their bitch, as much as you can tolerate it. Let them task you with all sorts of technical work, even if it's making you work long, unpaid hours because when you graduate, it'll give you more leverage with a serious employer to demand more pay out of college.

  • My Experience (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Daniel Weis (1209058)
    As a current undergraduate at Carnegie Mellon University, I should be able to give you some insight which you can relate to.

    That said, it has been my experience that some companies believe that compensation is great in it of itself and others believe that they should pay you and keep you happy now so you will stick with them later.

    A good example of this is an interview I once had where the interviewer kept pushing that "this is a paid internship, so it's very competitive". I sat there thinking that e
  • Back in 94 I worked a co-op for a major IT company's unix tech support call center. I think I started out at around $15 hour but I was up to $17/hour by the end of my second co-op there.

    I'd had other internships/co-ops before that, which didn't pay as well but both were with smaller companies.

    I got great (and varied) experiences from all of them.

    Don't just look at the $$$ also consider what you'll be learning in the process. The combined work experience I had when I graduated made it easy to find a job.

  • by SirLurksAlot (1169039) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @07:14PM (#25754481)

    I see a lot of posts above that basically state that internships are more about what you can learn than they are about how much you get paid. I agree with this to a certain extent, but I gotta say that getting paid is an absolute must for me. I realize that companies are under no obligation to take on interns (much less paid interns), especially with the way the economy is, but on the other hand interns can be a cheap source of labor, and if companies are willing to pay your interns a decent amount (that is, below what an actual developer makes but well above minimum wage) then everyone involved can benefit, especially if the internship turns into a full-time position.

    That said I find the idea of a non-paying internship to be ridiculous. My time is just as valuable as anyone else's and if a company doesn't respect me enough to pay me for the time I spend working for them then I wouldn't have anything to do with them. It is simply condescending to argue that a company is providing hands-on experience so they don't need to provide monetary compensation as well. It is to the company's (and the industry's) benefit that they hire interns and actually pay them a wage as it provides an incentive and a means for new entrants to earn the experience that companies demand entry-level worker to have.

    I'd also like to point out that it is much more common now for students to be "non-traditional," meaning that they don't live on campus, work their way through college at full or part-time jobs and are either starting families or already have them. I'm one of these students (my daughter is two months old as of Monday), and the idea of taking a non-paid position (even with hands-on experience) is simply unthinkable. Companies should understand how the student population is evolving and should take these facts into account when considering whether or not to pay their interns.

  • The only salary consideration I'd call relevant was whether it was enough to live on. The actual salary and the time you'll be there aren't going to add up to much.

    The main reason for choosing an internship should be how it looks on your resume/vita. Consider your future employment offers if you have an entry that says JPL as compared to that entry saying Showa-Denko Heavy Motor Works. You'd do better to take the first with no pay as opposed to the latter with a "big" though short-lived salary.

    Also consider

  • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportlandNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Thursday November 13, 2008 @07:23PM (#25754563) Homepage Journal

    contacts.

    Which company is more likely to ahve contacts for your career goal?

    Forget the intern salary numbers. Keep your eye on your end game.

  • When I was in college (2002-2007), I was working nearly full time to pay for things my parents couldn't (books, supplies, etc).

    I was offered three IT internships while I was in school:

    A wireless telecommunications company paid me over 17.00 an hour.
    A cosmetic company offered to pay me 12.00 an hour.
    A shipping company paid me 20.00 an hour.

    The shipping company offered to take me on full time as an employee, but didn't pay me much more than what I was earning as an intern, plus I really didn't like
  • the point of internships are to stuff your resume. You've already got one big name on your resume (GT), add another and you'll be golden. Besides... if you went through the professional practice office then the wages are negotiated by the school and can't be changed.
  • I was paid at very close to the starting wage for newly-hired engineers.

    In fact, my last summer I was paid the same hourly rate as when I graduated a year later.

    I think the work of students is about equal to a new-hire engineer so the pay should be comparable.

  • I recently graduated from college with a BS in computer engineering. My second year, I cooped with a company as a firmware engineer getting paid $19.75/hour. I went back to the same company upon graduation, and my starting salary was over $60,000 year. My advice to you is the same that everyone else has given you: Don't pick solely based on compensation. I had to turn down 3 other offers in order to coop where I did, with one of the other positions paying more. I picked it because it was an awesome po
  • As an intern, you cannot expect to be paid going market wage. Expect to be abused for your limited, real-world, skill set. Choose something that you are interested in and that excites your intellect and challenges your knowledge, otherwise you will be hating your time there. Since you are still in school, look at what you get in monetary compensation during your two month stint as beer money for the Fall semester.
  • I was an intern for the company I work for full-time now back in 2005 and made $18/hour, in Minnesota. I was doing some interesting web design, Perl, and Business Objects. Stuff I hadn't really done in school (Java, C++, etc.). They actually kept me on during my senior year while I finished school and I worked remotely from my house on campus. That was pretty awesome. Worked like 12 hours a week and made the equivalent of like 30 hours doing regular college work.

    Like I said, I still work there, that wa

  • As someone finishing his college career, and has had two internships, I can safely say that money is the last thing you should be focusing on.

    The first job was doing IT work at a small, non-profit. I made $15, partially through work-study credit, and was told up front I'd never get a raise. I had about 130 PCs and 150 people I served in three locations; I was half of the IT department (the lesser). It was easy, the people were great, and I was apparently loved by all (the young, wacky college intern in a bu

  • In this economy, just be happy if they don't rescind the offer.

    In my company we are being told 'forget raises, just be glad you still have a job you worthless sods'

  • I've seen plenty of such questions on /. over the years, with plenty of commentators offering nuggets of job advice. Very rarely do I see particularly good and non-obvious advice come out of such discussions. So, for the first time, I'm going to jump in with what I have learned.

    I strongly suggest you consider my advice very carefully...

    When looking for good-paying jobs, your resume is incredibly important. And job experience is easily the single most important part.

    If your resume lists NO experience in t

  • I was wondering if there is a source of information on intern markets or how a market's competitive salaries are. How do you know if you're getting a decent offer or you deserve more when you're entering a (personally) new market?

    As long as you have enough to live on, look at them for the experience and industry connections they will give you, not for the money you will make.

  • check monstertrack.com

    First-time (summer after freshman year) CS tends to run at $15/hour. Students further along in their studies can get $20-$25/hour.

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