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Thread: So how much is an intern worth?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    So how much is an intern worth?

    Let's assume that I want to create a one-year internship, between ten and twenty hours per week. This person would be serving our city's downtown revitalization program, providing support for economic development, and perhaps helping to build a GIS program (if they have the skills). They would most likely have to drive fifty miles each way from either Madison or Milwaukee.

    How much would I need to pay to recruit a capable senior or graduate student?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
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    Either half or 1/3 the hourly rate of an entry-level planner.
    "A witty woman is a treasure, a witty beauty is a power!"

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    We curently pay $9.00 an hour, and have internships that are flexible during semester, full time during the summer. We find that $9.00 is too low, and have planned %0.50 increases every year for the next 4 just to jet competitive.

    With gas prices the way they have been, it has been hard for us to attract interns from Milwaukee or Madison with our wage rates.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Greenescapist's avatar
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    Mike, I'd like to talk to you about this sometime if you're planning to find someone for the Fall. I have no idea what the standard pay rates are out there, but if it were competitive with the other communities, I would think you could get someone from Madison or Milwaukee to travel out there for 1-2 days a week.

  5. #5
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    We have around $16,000 budgeted for interns this year, and we are hoping to have 3-4 interns this summer.
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  6. #6
    Cyburbian GISgal's avatar
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    interns

    Hi:

    My first post, and I'm not following the netiquette of introducing myself. I apologize. Being an intern for nearly 7 years myself at New Berlin and Milwaukee Wisconsin. (Hi ffej or jtfortin). To make your internship worthwhile you'll have to pay nearly 12.00/hr for that person to offset the cost of travel. If you can find someone local the going rate is about $8.50 an hour. I did survey of 15 or so commmunities about a year ago to get pay at New Berlin competitive.

    Enjoy

    New Planner in Town of Menasha.
    I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward. - Thomas Edison

  7. #7
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    Re: So how much is an intern worth?

    Originally posted by Michael Stumpf
    So how much is an intern worth?
    About $1.50 a pound. Cleaned and dressed.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Re: Re: So how much is an intern worth?

    Originally posted by El Guapo
    About $1.50 a pound. Cleaned and dressed.
    I was just waiting... although I had expected a Monica remark.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
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    The fact that you are paying them is great! Interns rarely ever get paid around here. I think something you could consider is the cost per credit at the school they are attending? Because essentially they are paying to come work for you.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian PlannerByDay's avatar
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    Once upon a time, when I was an intern I was getting paid $8.50/hr. Seemed okay right out of college. After a year of interning I got a "real" job making significantly more and realized $8.50 was crap. My $0.02 is it all depends on the situation, are they a student getting college credit, a recent grad. like I was or something else.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian biscuit's avatar
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    Wait. Interns get paid?!! Why wasn't I aware of this when I did my internship.

  12. #12
    Our interns get paid between $10 and $13 per hour. If you are going to get them to drive a ways I would pay $1 more per hour than the going wage rate for interns in Milwaukee.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    We have used unpaid interns from the local university. With the exception of one from the geography department, they have really not been worth the time I invest in them. I hope that by paying, we might be able to entice a grad student from the planning department at either Madison or Milwaukee. We do not have a planning department or even a particularly good public administration department here. I am also hoping to find somebody willing to commit to a full year, so they can get familiar with the community. I appreciate all of the responses so far.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Around here:

    1. Unpaid internships are usually for class credit only and are short term.

    2. You get what you pay for. I had a revolving door of them one summer and I'll never do it again.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian prudence's avatar
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    Originally posted by bturk
    Around here:

    2. You get what you pay for. I had a revolving door of them one summer and I'll never do it again.
    Jesus Chr***!!!

    bturk and I were going through interns every couple of months at one point...looking back, it's quite humorous.
    "Dear Prudence...won't you open up your eyes? "

  16. #16
    Cyburbian prudence's avatar
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    Re: interns

    Originally posted by GISgal
    Hi:
    Being an intern for nearly 7 years myself at New Berlin and Milwaukee Wisconsin.
    7 years!!! That's a career in an of itself. I will refrain from jokes as you have only posted twice...
    "Dear Prudence...won't you open up your eyes? "

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
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    It's amazing how some places pay interns more than what some people make as entry-level city planners.
    "A witty woman is a treasure, a witty beauty is a power!"

  18. #18

    Pay for interns

    I have employed over 50 interns throughout the years. My experience is that free interns are not worth the time I spend with them. We have paid as much as $12.00 an hour for highly technical GIS experience, but generally pay $8-9 per hour. If you are looking for a 1 year committment, extensive travel, and GIS expereience the $12 hour should get you someong good.

  19. #19
    I think I started out at around $7.50 or 8 bucks an hour when I interned (same place as GISgal). Driving by Cousin's Sub Shop every morning to a sign that says "Now Hiring - $11.00 per hour plus benefits" was frustrating. When I jokingly brought this up to my boss, he said "ok, put Cousin's on your resume and see how far that gets you after graduation."

    I would say somewhere between 9-11 bucks an hour would suffice. If you find an excellent candidate that is willing to drive far, you could consider offering more if your budget allows.
    "I'm a white male, age 18 to 49. Everyone listens to me, no matter how dumb my suggestions are."

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  20. #20
    Cyburbian Habanero's avatar
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    oh the thoughts I have...



    As an intern I was paid $10.50/hour, but I also worked 4 - 10 hour shifts from 3-1 a.m.
    When Jesus said "love your enemies", he probably didn't mean kill them.

  21. #21
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Originally posted by Habanero

    As an intern I was paid $10.50/hour, but I also worked 4 - 10 hour shifts from 3-1 a.m.
    A planning intern working 3-1 am? What the F? Where you a call girl planning intern?

    My internship was full time 40 hrs per week for 4 weeks for 3 credits but otherwise was FREE. When it ended I offered to stay for FREE to get experience. Guess what - that's where I got my first job out of college. I owe everything to that job (and that boss but thats another non-sexual story).

  22. #22
    The City for which GISGal and I interned made it a point to get you involved an all aspects of planning/GIS. I interviewed at some places and it seemed like I would have just been doing stuff that the regular planners didn't want to do, but at this internship they had us working on site plan review, comp. planning, zoning enforcement, and just about everything else. At one point my boss quit and i was thrown into operating and capital improvement budgeting.

    I credit that job with helping me get hired before graduation.
    "I'm a white male, age 18 to 49. Everyone listens to me, no matter how dumb my suggestions are."

    - Homer Simpson

  23. #23
    Cyburbian Habanero's avatar
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    Originally posted by Chet
    A planning intern working 3-1 am? What the F? Where you a call girl planning intern?

    My internship was full time 40 hrs per week for 4 weeks for 3 credits but otherwise was FREE. When it ended I offered to stay for FREE to get experience. Guess what - that's where I got my first job out of college. I owe everything to that job (and that boss but thats another non-sexual story).
    No, that internship was for GIS work, I didn't need any public interaction.
    When Jesus said "love your enemies", he probably didn't mean kill them.

  24. #24
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    While I was in school I did a "planning" job from 3 PM to 11 PM, digitizing maps for the Census Bureau.

  25. #25
    Cyburbian biscuit's avatar
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    Originally posted by Michael Stumpf
    While I was in school I did a "planning" job from 3 PM to 11 PM, digitizing maps for the Census Bureau.
    I made about $7.25/hour doing the same thing while in school. It sucked.

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