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Need some advice...how much do engineering interns make per hour?

bioengineer101actgbioengineer101actg . Posts: 116 Junior Member
edited April 2010 in Parents Forum
I need to know how much engineering interns make per hour. I am negotiating a salary for an engineering internship I got with my parent's company, and they are refusing to pay me very much money. I am getting $8/hour now for doing menial activities at the office. I was told engineering interns make $13.50-$20/hour by one source, and $12-$15 by another source at Boeing. My parent's company has never had an engineer or an intern as an employee before, and they may be confused as to what an intern should make. I want the hourly rate to be competitive with other engineering internships.

I feel as though I have unique talents that cannot be found elsewhere in both biology and engineering. I want a fair salary. I am satisfied with the benefits. I just want a competitive hourly rate.

Please help. Thank you.
Post edited by bioengineer101actg on

Replies to: Need some advice...how much do engineering interns make per hour?

  • Papa ChickenPapa Chicken Registered User Posts: 2,841 Senior Member
    undergrad= $9-$12/hr depending upon yrs in school & quality of school program & other work experience.
    grad= $12-$13/hr, maybe 14 if the student is a proven star.

    civil/env eng in national consulting firm. Hard for me to believe the 20/hr # for an intern....thats closer to a starting salary #.

    Its a buyers' market typically, so for a student, its take it or leave it, as we always have plenty of candidates to pick from.

    too early for you to think you can get a premium for your "unique talents", as you'll need some hard-core job experience to backup any hope for pay premium. Put another way, and in CC terms, your double major bio/eng, is a HOOK to get you in the door potentially, but don't expect any financial aid because of it......only workplace MERIT will allow you to capitalize on your hook, and the employee/student is NOT the judge of merit......the boss is.

    The $8 you are being offered is a little low (not much though), but that may be reflective of the midwestern market as well, I don't know. I believe I recall your family company is in the civil/transportation design world....similar to mine, so I would expect intern pricing to be similar.
  • fundingfatherfundingfather Registered User Posts: 4,026 Junior Member
    As a co-op student, my son will be making mid to high teens plus a housing allowance plus money instead of health insurance. He's in ECE with 5 semesters behind him..
  • ariesathenaariesathena Registered User Posts: 5,087 Senior Member
    Depends on a lot of things, but all of those ranges are acceptable.

    First of all, what year are you? I made $11/hr after freshman year.

    Do you have ENGIN. work experience? That will drive up the salary.

    What is your major? CNN Money just did a big thing where they figured out how much grads with a bachelor's make annually. Take your hourly wage and double it - that's what you'll make in thousands per year. It would be senseless to pay a sophomore $20/hour, when, hourly, the same types of engineers are making $22/hour.

    How well does the company pay generally? Where is it located? Some companies pay more because they are in high cost of living areas. Some pay less because there is more job stability.

    To give you a more concrete answer, a firm I used to work at usually pays $11/hr for those after freshman year, $13/hr for sophomores, and $14.50/hr for juniors. There is usually a big jump once you get your degree, as you are significantly more valuable. Also, I did get a larger pay raise because I had been working there for a few years. Note that, generally, a civil engineer will start around $45k/year, which is about $22.50/hr. People with MASTER'S degrees in bio get about $12/hr for summer work. So, without work experience, there's no way that you can command a very high salary.

    If you're a freshman, I would ask for about $11 or $12/hr. That's reasonable, and trust me, it's nice money. You'll be bringing home almost $500/week on that.

    Students who research for professors make about $8/hr, and they are doing real work which requires several semseters in college. Some internships are unpaid. Some pay upwards of $20/hr.
  • ariesathenaariesathena Registered User Posts: 5,087 Senior Member
    I should also add something else. It is not uncommon for first-year interns ("first- year" being the first year of work, which has no relation to year in college) to do grunt work. Most of the time, first-year internships can be "learning the ropes" around the company, with some good work thrown your way if you seem capable of handling it. It takes a lot of resources and time to train an employee to to certain tasks and to delegate work, and it's often more efficient for a manager to do the work himself or delegate to someone who can do it in a few minutes.
  • koshakosha Registered User Posts: 89 Junior Member
    It also depends upon which area of the country you are working in...Cost of living is higher in various areas of the country (especially the coasts and cities) and therefore wages also increase. Large, well-known companies attract the best interns from throughout the country, so they pay more to attract the best. It also depends upon the kind of work you are doing. Someone with experience and doing indepth research for the company will get paid more than someone doing manual labor. Both are important for your experience, but one will be more valuable to the employer.
  • EllenFEllenF Registered User Posts: 736 Member
    Another factor - large, national, well-known corporations tend to pay significantly more than small companies.
  • bandit_TXbandit_TX Registered User Posts: 2,373 Senior Member
    At our company (defense contractor) we pay based on your school year (Fresh, Soph,...) and your experience (previous semesters interning). By the time you are classified a senior with several semesters of interning, you can make 80-90% of a starting engineer's salary. When hired in, all of your intern experience is counted, so you hire in as a 1 or 2 year experienced engineer. Freshmen with no experience probably start around $10-15 per hour.
  • DrDrewsmomDrDrewsmom Registered User Posts: 679 Junior Member
    I don't know if you're a college or HS student, but around here (lower salaries in genereal compared to national avg) the HS kids get $9/hr for interning at Micron.
  • bluealien01bluealien01 Registered User Posts: 1,941 Senior Member
    Man...where have you guys been? You mean you missed all of his other threads?
  • bandit_TXbandit_TX Registered User Posts: 2,373 Senior Member
    By the way, our engineering interns are used and treated as any other new hire college grad. You do real engineering as rapidly as you can handle it. For software, that means writing code almost as soon as you come in the door.
  • MaxwelMaxwel Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    Depends on the company. I am a sophomore in ChemE and I make about $21.50 an hour at my internship. I work at a pretty large pharmaceutical company. My roommate who is a sophomore computer science major makes about $22.50 at his internship. He works at a pretty prominent software company. I don't know how these numbers compare to smaller companies.
  • blossomblossom Registered User Posts: 8,243 Senior Member
    My company doesn't allow us to hire the children of employees as either interns or full time employees to avoid this very situation.

    OP- if you get an offer and you feel it's too low you have three choices:

    1- suck it up and take it
    2- ask for more
    3- turn it down

    You will have more leverage for numbers 2 and 3 once you have an offer from another company. So go get another offer, and if it's more, you can use it to negotiate. If it's less, than you may re-evaluate just how much value you bring to the table.
  • 3bm1033bm103 Registered User Posts: 4,209 Senior Member
    He asked this question five years ago. I'm sure he has a real job by now.
  • busdriver11busdriver11 Registered User Posts: 14,348 Senior Member
    Sure hope so.
  • worried_momworried_mom Registered User Posts: 2,205 Senior Member
    Why on earth was this old thread dragged back again?
This discussion has been closed.