I obtained an internship at a government healthcare organization doing IT work (my title is IT Technician) which I successfully "completed." They offered to let me stay on for the summer and through next semester.

The objective of the internship was to literally setup their entire IT infrastructure as they were formerly part of another larger organization but now split off into their own. I'm talking everything from installing the server racks, putting the servers in it, installing virtualization/windows server, setting up active directory, all the group policy, setting up the network, firewalls, switches, setting up security, IP phone system, deploying 30 workstations and setting up Office 365 with exchange / sharepoint servers AND migrating their email system from Lotus Notes (horrible experience), and much more, all by myself.

I get paid $12 an hour. Zero benefits. I feel like I'm being taken advantage of, or at least that they don't value me as much as I feel they should. Before they offered me a full time position they raised my internship pay from 11 to $12. So I feel like if I asked for a raise they would say "well why didn't you ask for more earlier?" Sure, I don't have a degree yet, but if I left, not only would they be screwed (again I am the ONLY IT employee) but they would end up having to pay someone at least $20+ an hour who has the necessary education/experience to fill my position. And I would personally have to train my replacement because nobody else in the company knows any of this stuff.

So I guess my point is, this ISNT an internship anymore. I get paid $12 an hour with no benefits to do system/network administrator duties for a government healthcare organization. Even without a degree, it seems really low to me. I know I don't have a degree yet, but I'd like to be making at LEAST $18+. I enjoy this job and its duties, and it is great experience, but I pay for tuition out of pocket and I will no longer have health insurance, making the next year or so pretty damn tough if I stay here at this level of compensation.

I will also most likely have a job offer at the University for an Executive Technician at the help desk which would pay me at least $16 an hour. Is there any way to use that to my advantage? Or should I just put my two weeks in and leave if I decide to take it?

Is it really as simple as just asking for a raise? Help!

  • I'm also currently doing internship in a canadian government healthcare organization. And I'm also getting $12/hr, as a web developer(To put on perspective, another private company offered me $20/hr for internship but I wanted try working in government so I turned down the offer). I heard $12/hr-ish is their rate for students. Eventhough you are no longer internship, they might still consider you as a student in their system.
    – SSilicon
    Commented Jun 4, 2015 at 18:42

2 Answers 2


This is a transition everyone goes through, at some point.

You get paid for the level of work you did 6 months ago. You work today for the salary you get 6 months from now. It's just the "inertia" of salary.

You need to schedule a meeting with your manager (and let your supervisor know you're doing it.), and tell them:

"I know I was hired as an intern, but the level of work I've been doing lately is that of a senior network administrator. I believe I've proven that I can work at this level, and would like to adjust my job classification to what matches the work I'm doing."

Part of the job classification is salary / rate, as well as a list of responsibilities and expectations.

Salary is PART of the issue. It's probably the most important part to you, but address the entire issue, including salary.

And BTW - nice work. Pretty good list of accomplishments for a student. If nothing else, you've got a great start on a resume!

  • Great, thanks. I hadn't considered the whole "job classification" aspect of it. That definitely sounds better than just asking for a raise and I think it will make me appear more knowledgeable / professional. Commented Jun 4, 2015 at 17:50

Another thing you need to remember is that it's not your job o worry about if your leaving screws them. That's THEIR problem. You look out for you. If you're not happy there & you feel undervalued, jump ship and don't look back.

Talk with your boss but don't take it personally if s/he doesn't seem to do jack about your situation.

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