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Job and Internship Salary Comparisons?

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the who-makes-what? dept.

Businesses 231

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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glassdoor (5, Informative)

krakround (1065064) | more than 5 years ago | (#25753599) 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.

Re:glassdoor (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25753711)

...To all interns or even experienced tech workers looking to relocate:

Stay the hell out of California. We have plenty of talent and we don't need ass-backward inbred Midwestern or Southern mindsets contributing nothing to the talent pool while driving up our property costs. We don't need cheap, stinky H1-B labor or its competition -- you -- polluting our proud, grand, progressive state.

To all of you out-of-state students studying in California: "Welcome. Now get the fuck out."

Re:glassdoor (2, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 5 years ago | (#25753851)

We're tired of people coming to California and making fun of our horrendous driving skills, sushi addiction, goatees, and square-rimmed glasses.

Seriously though, I find it interesting that all the Californians want people from other states to get out and stop ruining their quirky state, while every other state wants the Californians to go home and stop mucking everything up wherever they live.

Why can't Californians and the rest of the country get along? Wasn't Rodney King from California? Why can we not heed his sage advice?

Re:glassdoor (2, Interesting)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#25754883)

What was that about his head sage advice?

Re:glassdoor (2, Insightful)

More_Cowbell (957742) | more than 5 years ago | (#25755063)

Bigots, racists, and xenophobes (read: douchebags) live in every state... Living in the heart of silicon valley for the last four years, I've really not seen this sort of attitude. AC trolls suck, perhaps best not to feed them?

Re:glassdoor (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25753915)

Seriously. I'm so totally sick of fighting your visa system, paying taxes like you but having to wait 10 years before I get the same rights as you, and having to deal with attitudes like yours.

I'm outta here.

I'm taking the PhD I earned here (with your tax money), and the skills I accumulated as a postdoc (again, all paid for by the Federal Government), and I'm heading back to the UK.

Glad you don't want to get any value out of the money you poured into my career.

Fuck you too. :)

Re:glassdoor (0, Troll)

BronsCon (927697) | more than 5 years ago | (#25754253)

You're paying taxes like I do, yes. However, you're also having your PhD paid for by the Government?

Tell me, which number is higher? The amount you pay in taxes or the cost of your education?

I wish I had that opportunity available to me, you ungrateful sonofabitch.

We don't need "doctors" like you here, please, do take your PhD and go back to the UK. Thank you.

Re:glassdoor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25753961)

HAHA, it sounds like you think people actually want to go to California. Are you afraid of the competition that might bring? You must just suck at life.

Re:glassdoor (1)

Kingazaz (1361759) | more than 5 years ago | (#25754459)

What if the job your doing is a hodgepodge collection of tasks? I work in a law firm that specializes in bankruptcy and collections. I do some accounting, some IT work, some bitch work i.e. running docs. to court etc. So how can I find out what I should be making? ($14/hr right now after a little over 2 years)

I'll tell ya what I'm not getting. Benefits. They keep my hours below whatever yearly minimum would require them to provide benefits. The perks make it too scary to want to leave though. I set my own hours and can work on my own projects. Where else would I find an employer that would satisfy my constant restlessness?

For full time jobs (2, Informative)

spuke4000 (587845) | more than 5 years ago | (#25753607) [] I don't know about internships.

Intern? Zero dollars. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25753609)

And go wash my car.

Re:Intern? Zero dollars. (0, Troll)

db10 (740174) | more than 5 years ago | (#25753625)

Sure, toss me the keys.. kekekekeke

If you're getting paid... (5, Insightful)

sshuber (1274006) | more than 5 years ago | (#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:If you're getting paid... (2, Informative)

Intron (870560) | more than 5 years ago | (#25753911)

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.

Re:If you're getting paid... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25754181)

I think it depends on many factors. For example as a PhD student interning at a Fortune 100 research center for 3 months, $70-100k/yr plus moving expenses is reasonable. (Intern salaries may even be higher than starting salaries because you are lower risk/short term.) It really depends on your area of focus, how far you are in your education and the company (e.g. can they afford to throw money around investing in potential future employees).

Re:If you're getting paid... (5, Insightful)

Artraze (600366) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:If you're getting paid... (1)

SunTzuWarmaster (930093) | more than 5 years ago | (#25754907)

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

Re:If you're getting paid... (2, Informative)

dhTardis (1326285) | more than 5 years ago | (#25755045)

I don't know what field you're in, but LANL pays students [] pretty well to do lots of things.

Re:If you're getting paid... (3, Insightful)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 5 years ago | (#25754507)

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:If you're getting paid... (2, Interesting)

Aazzkkimm (465445) | more than 5 years ago | (#25754523)

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...

Re:If you're getting paid... (1)

shaka999 (335100) | more than 5 years ago | (#25754591)

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).

Re:If you're getting paid... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25754999)

$25-35/hour seems to be the standard for computer-degree interns working in CA, at least from my school (CPSLO)

Re:If you're getting paid... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25755051)

I would recommend going for internships that give you experience over just pure money. There are a lot of decent paying internships but they make you do crap work. Defense companies are known for this, check out this guy's summary of his northrop grumman internship

In my opinion, try to do an internship one quarter at a big company and one at a smaller company. It helps to try both to see what you like.

well for an internship (4, Insightful)

gangien (151940) | more than 5 years ago | (#25753633)

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.

Re:well for an internship (3, Insightful)

Itchyeyes (908311) | more than 5 years ago | (#25754213)

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.

don't worry about it... (5, Insightful)

goofballs (585077) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:don't worry about it... (4, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 5 years ago | (#25753773)

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.

Re:don't worry about it... (4, Insightful)

snl2587 (1177409) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:don't worry about it... (1)

mikael (484) | more than 5 years ago | (#25754765)

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 you are working in a team, working with current or next-generation technology and helping to design or implement hardware/software will count as good experience. If you have a choice in such placements, then choosing an industry with the best long-term career prospects should be the next priority.

Re:don't worry about it... (4, Interesting)

electrosoccertux (874415) | more than 5 years ago | (#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).

Re:don't worry about it... (1)

icebrain (944107) | more than 5 years ago | (#25754529)

I second the co-op program... hadn't heard that it dropped to three rotations, though (it was four when I went through). The co-op office will even help you sign up for interviews and all. The office is right over on Cherry St.

I think I made in the neighborhood of $14-16/hr (we got raises each time we went back), but the company also paid for our housing and utilities. That was nice :)

Seriously, like others said, find a program that will put you to work. Nobody wants to be the coffee bitch, and it'll be useless to you long-term if you aren't working. I was fortunate to get an employer that treated us basically as full engineers (though with a little more oversight). You might even get a chance to do things as a co-op or intern that you wouldn't later, like working in a machine shop and messing with tools. There's something satisfying about getting so dirty at work (from welding, cutting metal, messing with hydraulics) you have to go home and take a shower over lunch.

Re:don't worry about it... (1)

HerculesMO (693085) | more than 5 years ago | (#25753877)

Agreed 100%. My first internship paid only a transportation stipend, and it was worth every penny of time to get the experience.

If you need a JOB, wait tables and get the tips -- you do pretty good.

If you want an internship, don't waste time looking at how much you're going to make, look at what you're going to LEARN. That job experience on your resume can be invaluable in your future, especially when you compare a $15/hr internship to graduate you to a $40k/yearly job, or an unpaid one to graduate you to a $100k+ job.

It's your choice.

Re:don't worry about it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25753905)

I bet you'd work for peanuts.

Re:don't worry about it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25754537)

Maybe he's majoring in zoology you insensitive clod!

Re:don't worry about it... (4, Insightful)

Cadallin (863437) | more than 5 years ago | (#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:don't worry about it... (2, Insightful)

bjourne (1034822) | more than 5 years ago | (#25754361)

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.

Take what you can get. (4, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Take what you can get. (3, Informative)

Braino420 (896819) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Take what you can get. (3, Informative)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Take what you can get. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25754611)

While I was there at the peak of the .com we were getting $18-22 /hour. At the time, siemens was one of the higher paying.

Re:Take what you can get. (4, Informative)

Stiletto (12066) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Take what you can get. (4, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Take what you can get. (1)

Stiletto (12066) | more than 5 years ago | (#25753955)

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?"

Re:Take what you can get. (1)

nelsonal (549144) | more than 5 years ago | (#25754083)

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).

Re:Take what you can get. (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 5 years ago | (#25754097)

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. ;)

Re:Take what you can get. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25754273)

Sure gimme your mug I'll be right back.. kekekekekeke

Re:Take what you can get. (1)

LordNimon (85072) | more than 5 years ago | (#25754141)

You might make more contacts at the bigger company, but those contacts are just going to think of you as "that coffee guy".

Re:Take what you can get. (1)

laugau (144794) | more than 5 years ago | (#25754341)

Take the one that will turn into a job. Times are gonna get rougher.

Re:Take what you can get. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25754373)

No, poster said he is at GT. That means he is an engineer. If he graduates, and has an internship, he should be looking for 50-60k starting.

I speak from experience, having graduated from GT as a Mgt major starting at 80k (but I got lucky).

When it comes to getting a full time post interning, you generally should not ask upfront. If you do a good job as an intern, it should be an automatic extension. If you ask before accepting, you are much less likely to be given either an internship or a job.

Re:Take what you can get. (2, Interesting)

CrazyTalk (662055) | more than 5 years ago | (#25754461)

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.

More important (3, Insightful)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 5 years ago | (#25753669)

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.

Re:More important (1)

caffeinemessiah (918089) | more than 5 years ago | (#25754029)

Be patient. The paychecks will come.

I'm in a Ph.D. program you insensitive clod!

Re:More important (1)

db10 (740174) | more than 5 years ago | (#25754283)

press here dummy!

Hard to say. (5, Informative)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 5 years ago | (#25753689)

Cost of Living comparison sites [] 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 [] .

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.

Re:Hard to say. (1)

Rayeth (1335201) | more than 5 years ago | (#25754067)

This isn't emphasized nearly enough. Cost of living is incredibly important when changing areas. Especially when moving long distances.

My Rule (2, Insightful) (745855) | more than 5 years ago | (#25753693)

"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.

Money Isn't the Issue (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25753737)

Money should not be a huge consideration for internships. You will probably get paid poorly and that is fine. It's something you can put on your resume and more importantly you can learn real world skills rather than the crap they teach in college. Please don't decide on an internship based on money. To be honest, with just a degree and no experience, you are "worth" very little.

I am currently interning at GE, so I can say with authority that it is worth it for the real world skills alone.

Maybe I'm alone on this (1, Insightful)

tool462 (677306) | more than 5 years ago | (#25753761)

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.

Great websites (2, Informative)

jmcbain (1233044) | more than 5 years ago | (#25753769)

For fulltime jobs, check [] and [] for good salary information. For, 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 will remember you well enough to write a letter of recommendation when you need it later. You will have the rest of your life to worry about making money. I would also recommend you get as many summer internships before you graduate as possible with a mix of big-name and small companies (where presumably you'll have more responsibilities at the smaller companies).

Paid for an intern job? (2, Insightful)

Emperor Shaddam IV (199709) | more than 5 years ago | (#25753783)

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,,, 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.

Re:Paid for an intern job? (1)

atomic-penguin (100835) | more than 5 years ago | (#25754261)

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, waiting tables at Applebee's in the evenings. I filled in for lazy co-workers, taking their extra shifts whenever I could.

When it came time to look for that first career-path job, I proudly put my food service work on my resume next to my internship. First of all, it demonstrates how hard you are willing to work for potential employers, when you are holding down several jobs to work your way through college. Second, you just never know how many interviewers will come back and say, "I flipped burgers or waited tables through college." That said, I would advise anyone just starting their career to put non-related supplemental work on their resume, at least until they build up 10 years of experience in their field.

Re:Paid for an intern job? (1)

servognome (738846) | more than 5 years ago | (#25754271)

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 interested in the web. My media arts friends were getting minimum wage because that industry had even more candidates and lower standards.

Eclipse vs. NetBeans (0, Offtopic)

CynicTheHedgehog (261139) | more than 5 years ago | (#25753787)

They use a modified version of Eclipse called Ellipse designed for "learning". Given that Eclipse is more of an IDE SDK than an IDE itself, this makes sense. (Having developed Eclipse plugins in the past I find the documentation to be plentiful and robust, and the learning curve relatively mild. And since everything in Eclipse is a plugin, there are lots of examples to go by.) I doubt this is a deliberate dig at Sun as a competitor.

doesn't matter (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 5 years ago | (#25753797)

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: (2, Insightful)

rehtonAesoohC (954490) | more than 5 years ago | (#25753819)

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.

Bureau of Labor Statistics (3, Informative)

asynchronous13 (615600) | more than 5 years ago | (#25753833)

Bureau of Labor Statistics has the information you seek. []

Check the co-op office (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25753913)

Try contacting the co-op office. I'm a former GT student myself, and not only did the co-op advisor have accurate info on how much to expect as an co-op, but he was eerily accurate on how much I could expect to get paid after graduation (he picked around number, but the was *the* round number).

Intern==slave (2, Funny)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Intern==slave (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25754445)

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.

Unfortunately most interns just take table scraps rather than be an active part of the team. One way for an intern to really show off is to not just accept the menial tasks, but actively look for opportunities for more complex and important ones.
On one internship I was responsible for collecting solder wetting angle data... long hours of collecting boring data most of which would be ignored. Instead of just doing my job, I took some time to attend meetings with my mentor, since I was always there he got the idea I could cover the meeting for him. At that point I was actively involved on the project (new substrate designs) and got opportunities to design and run my own experiments and give input to the program.

Re:Intern==slave (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#25754597)

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

Re:Intern==slave (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25754835)

That's funny, I made $19.35 an hour, got real experience, and got to name Lockheed as a previous employer, all without having prior related work experience.

Talk to career services (2, Informative)

eison (56778) | more than 5 years ago | (#25753973)

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.

Re:Talk to career services (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25754149)

At least for Computer Science I found DOPP (Department of Professional practices) very helpful. They can tell you how many people got offers and what the others in your major are making (approximatly). I believe they are in the Savant Building, at least they used to be.

Re:Talk to career services (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25754449)

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.

This. I don't know anything about Georgia Institute of Technology, but at my school our co-op office has statistics for average co-op wages. I believe that the average for a CS major at my school was somewhere around $14.50/hour when I was a student. If your school has its act together then it should be saving (and hopefully publishing) statistics like this.

Re:Talk to career services (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25754593)

I've never talked with anyone from Career Services, but I do agree that the co-op office was terrible.

Don't worry about the internship pay (2, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 5 years ago | (#25753985)

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.

weopenlatest (1)

weopenlatest (748393) | more than 5 years ago | (#25754057)

The best and least followed advice is simply to negotiate pay. I have always gotten at least a small increase in an offer after negotiating.

Now I'm the boss, and whenever I go into a hiring discussion I always have two figures in my head -- what I'll offer, and what I'm willing settle on. Don't be the fool who jumps at the first offer. Not only will you make less, but your boss will think less of you for it.

My Experience (2, Insightful)

Daniel Weis (1209058) | more than 5 years ago | (#25754079)

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 every company I've talked to is offering a paid internship. What's the big deal? Well, what set this company apart was its size. They were a 30 person company with a name in their field, but nothing special. Larger companies like Microsoft, IBM, Google, Oracle, AOL, etc. tend to offer significant compensation (>20/hr, or even >30 depending on class standing).

I've personally gotten offers from two of the above and accepted one of them this past summer. I felt as if I would be doing rewarding work for them which I could learn from. Luckily for me, it turned out I was right.

I implore you to keep in mind that the learning and experience gained is far more important that any monetary compensation gained (unless the money is necessary to maintain your enrollment and general wellbeing). With that in mind, I have been pursuing jobs from larger companies and interviewing with them. The interview is a two way channel where the company learns more about me and I them. If the results are satisfactory for both parties, then we move forward. To be explicit, use the interview as an opportunity to gauge how rewarding the job opportunity may be. That, combined with the monetary compensation should be the basis for your decision.

Good luck (and don't be greedy)!

$0 - $4,000/month in the San Francisco Bay Area (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25754251)

I have brought in interns at the companies I have worked for, and I have also been monitoring Cragslist recently for entry level IT jobs for a friend, and the range I have seen varies from nothing to about $4,000/month. Typically seems to be around $15/hour, which is so low as to frankly piss me off. 4 out of 5 interns I have hired would have been easily worth double that amount. Besides, you can get that at Starbucks without any education, so it just insults me when I see those lowball figures for IT/CS internships.

Granted, money is just a minor detail with internships. You are really looking for real world experience, getting contacts and buffing up the resume.

RIT has info (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25754325)

I dunno if outsiders can get access to this information, but either look at the RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology) portal for co-ops or the main website for the major that closest matches your own. Both tend to have information on low, high, and averages for co-op pay amongst students at our school. The co-op program is extensive @ RIT (I'm a freshly graduated CS major, and 1 year of co-op is required), so the data should be pretty good. Just be aware there is some skew towards cost of living in the Rochester area since a lot of people get at least 1 co-op block (3 months) in the area.

Bigger company = more money (1)

kbrasee (1379057) | more than 5 years ago | (#25754335)

Generally speaking, the bigger companies (IBM, Microsoft, Google, Motorola) pay quite a bit better for co-ops. Back when I was in college (comp sci & eng), people who worked at the big places made close to twice what I was getting at a smaller place. Those numbers were pretty consistent across our whole class.

I don't know what the quality of work is like at big places compares to the smaller. I liked the variety and importance of the stuff I got to do in an IT department of 4 people, and a better co-op experience is far more valuable in the long run. Basically, do what you think you'll like the most and aligns best with what you're planning for your future, instead of just trying to squeeze as much money as you out of a co-op. It won't seem that significant once you get a real position.

Frist 8stop (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25754351)

asshole about.' One Is wiped off and ver7 distraScting to

Pay doesn't matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25754363)

The last thing you should be worried about is pay for an internship. Sure, you will want to make enough money to pay rent and eat, but that should not be what you base your decision on. If you are getting numerous offers, choose the internship that offers the best experience.

Depends on your major; make sure you factor in xp (1)

Specter (11099) | more than 5 years ago | (#25754415)

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. (I graduated in May of 06 but I already had my job by Oct 05 and not with the company I'd co-op'ed for. I'm still with that employer today.)

Simple (0, Flamebait)

CrazyTalk (662055) | more than 5 years ago | (#25754425)

You are an intern? Then your pay should be zero. Funny how the way to get around minimum wage law in the US is to just call someone an "Intern" then you don't have to pay them squat!

Re:Simple (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#25754581)

why 'should' it be Zero?
There are paid internship programs.

Getting the internship might be more difficult (1)

Michael Meissner (520083) | more than 5 years ago | (#25754467)

I suspect a lot of companies are starting to tighten their belts and reduce or freeze hiring, etc. If the economy gets much worse, it might be you will lucky to have a single offer, instead of having multiple offers and being able to pick and choose. So before you start trying to negotiate a higher salary, better perks, more interesting job, etc. figure out if you have a good bargaining position.

Paid Vs Unpaid (2)

SirLurksAlot (1169039) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Priorities (1)

DynaSoar (714234) | more than 5 years ago | (#25754509)

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 what you'd be likely to gain in terms of experience in what you want to do. The latter may in fact be more to your interest.

Internship vs Job pay (1)

SMacD (1140995) | more than 5 years ago | (#25754517)

I had an internship as a graduate student that paid me a salary almost 10k/yr higher than what I am making at my current job. Of course, I graduated with my Masters earlier this year, and finding ANY job is a pain. Unfortunately I could not get a job with the company I interned with (Intel) as they are not doing much hiring in my area.

INterships are about (3, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#25754563)


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

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

Professional Societies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25754615)

Not sure if this exists for any others but your local professional society would be a good start. I know ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers) publishes a survey every year for thier members detailing average salaries in locations and fields.

Google Summer Intern (1)

mrbamboo (1279978) | more than 5 years ago | (#25754655)

Software Engineer Interns at Google gets paid $5500-5800 monthly salary. Closer to $5000 if you are a Software Engineer in Test Intern (QA). At least that's what they were paying us the last 2 summers.

Find Alumni (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 5 years ago | (#25754663)

Like me...

Alumni outside the school will tell you the way it really is, not necessarily just what you want to hear.

Drop me a line if you want some input...

Do you have any bills to pay? (2, Insightful)

Jeffsmashkot (1406879) | more than 5 years ago | (#25754707)

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 direction I was headed there.

After that I managed to find employment that offered me a better career path, and better compensation. So another piece of "advice", don't always take your first offer, unless you have to.

Money isn't the point... (2, Informative)

DelawareGT (905614) | more than 5 years ago | (#25754745)

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.

Internships Pay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25754763)

When I interned my first and second summers as a software engineer eight years ago, I made $10/hr and $24/hr respectively. Worked as a research assistant at Georgia Tech, coincidentally, during grad school, which paid my out-of-state tuition plus a $12k stipend.

My first full-time job was at the company where I had my second internship. It was helpful to be a known quantity, and came in making $70k/yr on only that experience. Five years later, I'm making over $150k ... though I'm not really working as an engineer anymore. ;)

Ignore the money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25754771)

Really, ignore the money. The one big thing against you and any other (soon-to-be) fresh graduate is experience. My advise is to completely focus on the experience you will be gaining. That is what will land you a nice-paying job in a few years. In my first job out of college I made $28k a year with no benefits of any sort. After six months I landed a $42k job with full benefits only because of the experience I gained in the previous gig.

Intern's make money? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25755009)


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