I am a full time student and have been working part-time as a contractor for the past 7 months developing an app for a company. They have recently announced that they would like me to continue working for them, as an intern over the summer. I would be working double the hours I do currently and doing almost identical work, with no new experiences.

However my employer has announced that since I will be an intern, I will be paid 25% less than my current hourly rate, in order for it to "be fair for the other interns" who will also receive this lower rate.

This company and my employer have been very good to me, and have made it clear that they are impressed with my work, so I am somewhat confused as to why they are choosing to lower my pay. Naturally I feel rather annoyed at being paid less for the same work, and I am wondering whether I should agree to sign up for this reduced pay. I have been considering asking whether it would be possible to continue on my current contract with the same hours and the same pay, but I am terrified of upsetting my boss who has been so lovely, and I really do not want to lose this job!

TL;DR Should I continue working for a company who want to lower my salary?

Thank you!

  • 10
    "... I will be paid 25% less than my current hourly rate, in order for it to 'be fair for the other interns'" - That's pure horsehockey, right there. You have to make your own decision, but I wouldn't stand for this. May 13, 2016 at 0:19
  • 2
    I don't think anyone in their right mind should consider a largely illogical pay-cut (the reason literally makes no sense) in a high-demand industry like software development. Consider this: The interns who have no company-specific experience will be taking their sweet time doing intern stuff like learning to walk, and you'll be developing apps. I'm somewhat dramatizing the interns, but seriously.
    – CKM
    May 13, 2016 at 0:38
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    I'm sure the other interns would understand "Genierock has been working for us part time for 7 months, and so gets paid a bit more." May 13, 2016 at 0:41
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    @PatriciaShanahan The other interns technically shouldn't know what Genieirock is making to begin with, IMO.
    – CKM
    May 13, 2016 at 0:42
  • @CMosychuk Agreed. I'm just saying that even if they knew I don't think they would consider it unfair. May 13, 2016 at 0:44

2 Answers 2


To follow through from the comments earlier, you state that you have to submit invoices to be paid. So in fact you are a contractor working part time, paid on an hourly rate.

It's very normal to earn a higher rate per hour as a contractor, to compensate for the lack of stability and any benefits. Now as an intern, you have a stable, fixed income each week for a set number of hours. I don't know if you accrue leave or anything, but that too is factored into the overheads of the wage you are paid.

I don't think anything is wrong here, it's just changing from contract to employment.

  • In the abstract, sure, but if the OP is "developing an app" for the company then being paid at an intern rate (as well as being a contractor at 25% above an intern rate) is too low. And being paid the same as new interns, who do not have any experience with the company, is also unfair.
    – user45590
    May 13, 2016 at 10:47
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    @dan1111 he is a Student and as such he can't really Claim a professional pay. We can't speak about his experience other than the 7 months he has been working for his current "Boss". He still is getting more Money out of the deal in total. Also your calculation is wrong: his contractor rate is 33% higher ( contract hourly = 4/3 intern hourly = 33% more as a contractor which means he is getting 25% less of his current hourly) May 13, 2016 at 12:14
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    Unless the reduction in financial compensation is offset by other compensation (paid vacation, insurance, retirement plane etc), the OP is getting ripped off. @RaoulMensink the OP's status as a student in no way justifies lower pay for the same work.
    – DLS3141
    May 13, 2016 at 12:22
  • @RaoulMensink good catch on my calculation. It's true that our knowledge of the OP's ability/work is limited. But the question creates the impression that the OP is doing professional-level software development work, and if that is the case, they should be paid more than an intern.
    – user45590
    May 13, 2016 at 12:23
  • @DLS3141 I agree, but also the stability and guaranteed hours are one offset. It's up to the OP to decide if it's sufficiently so, if there are no other benefits.
    – Jane S
    May 13, 2016 at 12:26

Are you being mentored or otherwise receiving some sort of on the job education in this position? If yes, then maybe it's ok to call you an intern. If no, sounds like you are a regular employee.

In either case, it is not acceptable to lower your current pay - especially if they are happy enough with your work that they want you to stay.

I suggest you discuss with your boss and just say "if you like my work thus far, I think you should continue my pay as it stands. Other 'interns' won't know what I make, so that should not be an issue."

  • 2
    Actually it sounds like the original student work was paid as a contractor. As an intern (or an employee), you have more guaranteed hours, and so the rate of pay per hour is normally lower to reflect this.
    – Jane S
    May 13, 2016 at 0:53
  • He said he was a part time employee. Generally, part-time employees make less per hour than full-time employees, but it's usually not 25%. May 13, 2016 at 1:06
  • Still could be a part time contractor. Nowhere does the OP specifically state that they are an employee.
    – Jane S
    May 13, 2016 at 1:08
  • @mjulmer I haven't received any kind of mentoring or training from the company at any point while I have been working for them, and I agree that were I doing new work and gaining new experience during this internship the pay cut might make sense, but it is just the same work as I have been doing for the past months. May 13, 2016 at 1:35
  • @JaneS To be honest I'm not sure what the company consider me, I was interviewed and given the job based on this, and have met a number of employees in the company, as well as being invited to work socials, etc. However I don't have a company email address as I know some of the others do, and I currently have no set hours per se, only a hourly rate for as many hours as I work every week. May 13, 2016 at 1:46

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