Intern compensation is a major issue for companies to think about when organising internship programmes. During this stage, potential employers will consider their major and functional background. Both the level of education and the year of study are factors considered by many businesses when determining salary. Internship pay tends to improve as students progress through university and graduate with more advanced degrees. Lets go through a few salient factors to consider while paying interns.
More and more companies are considering paying their interns because its noticed that paid interns are more productive as compared to the unpaid ones. Companies these days pay the freshers pretty generously. For the same reason, it's important to identify the key factors that help companies decide the pay scale for these new joiners. Reason? They lack the real time experience of working professionally.
But why must they be paid? Because they come with distinctive skill sets, hold higher qualification from good universities that provide them ample practical knowledge in their courses.
According to the recent surveys, interns with master’s degree earn more than the ones with bachelor’s degree. That pay scale also differs with the kind of profession they are getting into. In this article, lets see some salient factors to consider while paying the interns.
1. Industry Specific:
Every industry has a different range of pay scale for its employees owing to the services it caters to the public. The interns must also be paid accordingly. For example, an arts guys may receive less salary initially as compared to a software intern. It depends on the contribution they are expected to make in their respective workplaces.
2. Location Specific:
Companies have global presence these days. But it’s not compulsory to pay the same stipend to the interns in US or UK or Middle East. They all have different geographies, different customer base, different overall business statistics. So, the pay policy for interns can be measured and put into place based on the geographical pulse. Living and working at a particular location may call for higher pay owing to the cost of living and other factors. The same may be lesser in any other location. Software Industry is a very good example of location specific pay scale.
3. Experience and Skills Specific:
An intern is usually not experienced but while completing their studies they often take up some voluntary roles. Those could be at NGOs or amateur photography, freelance for people just to get some experience and brush up their skills. Such pre internship exposure helps interns get higher pay when they are selected in companies. On the other hand those who may not have had the chance to acquire such skills, they aren't selected quickly. Candidates who come with even a nominal expertise in the required domain, are preferred more and are onboarded readily.
4. Job Availability:
It’s a matter of demand and supply. If you have enough team members for a said task, it’s possible that the new addition will not be paid as much, since there is less demand. But if there is high demand for interns for that team, and supply is lesser, then the talented lot will definitely get paid well. Its obvious that not all team members receive the same pay. At intern level also, availability of candidates as per the requirement of company and the location play an important role in determining the salary range for them.
5. Job Role:
Someone with better skill set may be given different job role as compared to the one with basic skills. This also defines the salary range for those two candidates. The one with more skill set will be paid more than compared to the other one. Job roles may differ even while being interns because of the kind of job requirement a company holds.
6. Behaviour Specific:
Though it's very rare that candidates who are smarter than others are paid more just because they are smart. But it happens, because they prove their calibre in so many other ways. They may be proactive and confident in showcasing their skills, during the interviews itself. They can make great conversation making the panel believe that they are worth the high investment. For example: Testing interns at times come with the bugs in the Company Website itself. That says something, isn’t it? Hence, they may get paid more than the regular candidates.
There are, of course, cases when interns are not paid initially, but after they prove their mettle by doing a project as expected. They will definitely be paid then because company gave them the chance, and they made the best of it.
In any case, companies paying the interns also has some legalities to follow which they should take care of while onboarding the interns.
Their payment is accounted separately, it's usually called Stipend, and not the regular Salary. Employers must be careful while establishing such professional relationships as per the above-mentioned factors. That would help them manage their finances and the overall productivity better.
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