5 answers

Is it appropriate to negotiate a salary or stipend with your potential employer for an internship?

Updated Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

A lot of internships are unpaid, but if you need a salary or stipend of some sort, can you ask your potential employer? #college #internships #interviewing-skills #salary-negotiation #stipend #financial-planning #personal-development #job-application

5 answers

Carole’s Answer

Updated Rancho Palos Verdes, California

This is an area where I suggest you handle with care. Internship are not normal jobs. The main compensation you gain from this internship is the REAL WORLD EXPERIENCE. In some cases the organization is doing this to create goodwill with its community and possibly entry level hires and future employees. Thus seeming greedy may annoy your prospective employer and cause them to withdraw the internship or label you as a problem. While I realize you have bills to pay, some internships I've seen have a fixed salary and there is not budget for an increase. Also many are unpaid for the internship. This is the other side of this of the situation. Some companies may be highly bureaucratic and not want to unfairly compensate interns at different wage levels. If you feel you need more money you can Negotiation, but you must do this in the right way Some companies will see this as a strength, whereas others will feel that you are leveraging them and get turned off by that. Some say negotiation is best done over the phone. If you have an offer and you'd like to ask for a higher offer, tell the employer you have some follow-up question you wanted to go over. It helps a lot to have another offer to base your request on. My Opinion is that you research this company through on-line information and find out if they have selected a lot of interns and if they are paid. Sometimes you can find the amount paid, but often you cannot, but at least you would know that they pay or don't pay for the internship. If you choose to negotiate then here are a few points to check out: 1. Startups are highly likely to negotiate because they have very few rules and care tremendously about talent. Big companies are likely to have budgets and many will be highly concerned that you might accept a role at a competitor, but some do have internal restrictions on intern salaries. 2. Keep in mind the first thing that I said: "Many companies offer REAL WORLD EXPERIENCE and that is what you are getting as you SALARY (obviously no money, but the experience will get you to the better salaries and on your path to success. 3. If you do decide to negotiate you will gain a great skill and learn early. Don't negotiate just for the sake of it, but if you truly feel like you deserve a higher salary (after you have researched this) then it might be worth doing. RESEARCH IS A KEY WORD HER "KNOW YOUR COMPANY BEFORE YOU TRY AND NEGOTIATE WITH THEM.

I wish you luck in finding the right Internship for you. Be pro-active in your search for the right fit!! This is very important!!

Thank you!

Judith-Ann’s Answer

Updated Grapevine, Texas

It depends on the understanding of your internship when you signed to become an intern. Consider the pros and cons of why you deserve a stipend, consider the consequences of asking and not receiving or asking and receiving. Are there other interns and are they receiving stipends? What are the benefits of your internship? Do you want to continue the relationship with this company after your internship? I don't know the answers, but I would have the answers to these questions to make your decision.

Thank you for the insightful answer!

Brendon’s Answer

Updated Prosser, Washington

In my opinion negotiating would be appropriate only if the following criteria are met:

  • The internship is already paid
  • An offer has been formally made
  • You already have real-world experience that sets you apart from other applicants AND can make a difference in the company (this could be previous work, a second language, etc)

However, you can politely ask if a stipend exists for this position. I agree with everything that Carole Curtis wrote before -- unpaid internships do pay off in the long-run. I believe that my internship work led to a much higher salary upon graduation.

Thank you!

Stephanie’s Answer

Updated Columbus, Ohio

I wouldn't necessarily recommend negotiating an internship wage as so many internships don't even pay, but if you do negotiate, just make sure you do it for the right reasons and have logical rationale for doing so.

For instance, if you need a higher wage to cover your travel expenses, work clothes, rent, etc it's acceptable to make sure you're at least being compensated for your expenses and the foregone wage you could be making at another higher paying (but less relevant job).

Likewise, if similar internship positions in the same industry are paying a significantly higher wage, it's acceptable to reference industry standards and market rates to ensure you're compensated fairly.


only time I think it'd be acceptable, is if you

Thank you!

Ken’s Answer

Updated Cleveland, Ohio

Hi Jacki!

That is not appropriate. The internships are set up to provide an inside view of the career area. The benefits that you derive from such a program is the opportunity to view what actually goes on in the practice and to meet and get to know professionals that can give you guidance and assistance in furthering your career objective.s. If you want to get paid, you would have to get a part time job.

Thank you for your truthful answer!