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What to pay a co-op or intern is a common question. Unfortunately, there’s no simple answer. Wages vary by field, industry, geographic location, and the student’s level of experience.

The National Association of Colleges and Employers publishes articles about compensation and an annual Guide to Compensation for Interns and Co-ops (purchase required).

For on-campus part-time co-ops, pay typically ranges from $8.55 to $14.00 per hour. Some departments hire work-study students to maximize their budgets by using federal work-study dollars to cover up to 75% of student wages.

For full-time co-op positions, the tables below show hourly pay rates as self-reported by University of Cincinnati students on full-time co-op assignments in 2019-2020. Download co-op wage data as a one-page PDF.

Hourly Wages by Co-op Major in Engineering and Applied Science, 2019-2020
Co-op Major Average Hourly Wage
Aerospace Engineering
Architectural Engineering $17.30
Biomedical Engineering $17.63
Chemical Engineering $20.00
Civil Engineering $16.87
Computer Engineering $18.62
Computer Science $19.45
Construction Management $17.02  
Electrical Engineering $19.48
Electrical Engineering Technology $18.32
Environmental Engineering $17.48
Mechanical Engineering $19.28
Mechanical Engineering Technology $17.95
Hourly Wage by Co-op Major in Education, Criminal Justice and Human Services, 2019-2020
Co-op Major Average Hourly Wage
Information Technology
Hourly Wages by Co-op Major in Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning 2019-2020
Co-op Major Average Hourly Wage
Bachelor of Science in Architecture
Fashion Design $15.80
Fine Arts $13.65
Communication Design $16.81
Industrial Design $17.82
Interior Design $17.50
Master of Design $22.05
Master of Community Planning $12.43
Master of Architecture $19.59  
Urban Planning $15.00
Hourly Wage by Co-op Major in Arts and Sciences, 2018-2019 (2019-2020 data not available)
Co-op Major Average Hourly Wage
Communication   $13.41