For Employers
Salary Guidelines

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For Co-op Students

It is recommended that employers pay their co-op students a percentage of the entry-level salary of a Bachelor's-level engineer. It is not advisable to overpay or underpay co-ops in relationship to the rest of the employer's work force.

We recommend the following salary guidelines for co-op students:

  • First work period co-ops are paid 60 percent of the entry level wage
  • Salary increased to 70-75 percent for the second and third work periods
  • In the final work period, it is recommended that co-ops be paid 80-85 percent of an entry-level salary
  • Co-op students hired full-time after graduation are typically paid more than the average entry-level salary due to their additional experience

This plan allows the employer to make a significant increase in salary to the co-op student upon graduation and still be within their existing pay scale.

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Co-op raises are typically given at the beginning of each work term. An analysis of our active employers indicates that co-op raises tend to occur in one of two ways:

  • Employers with large co-op programs have established pay rates for sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Raises are not given until enough course work is completed to move the student to the next class standing
  • Most co-op employers tie co-op pay increases to the completion of additional coursework

It is our recommendation that co-op students receive pay increases at the beginning of each work term, not each work quarter. We do not recommend pay increases midway through a 6-month work term. Our 6-month work terms approximate semester work terms and there are no pay increases midway through a semester work period.

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Salary Information for Northwestern Engineering Students

Intern and co-op salaries vary greatly depending on major, year of study, industry, location and other factors.

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