Student Intern Architect pay hours


I am a student intern at a firm. I go in at 8:00 and work until 5:00 with an hour lunch break. I know the firm only puts time down for the hours they are working on a project, based on the the time that is allotted for that project, but i am working for the 8 hours I am there on whatever needs to be done, (redlining mainly). I was told by the guy that hired me to list all my time under administration rather than an individual project, but recently had the other architect in the office tell me to list each thing for the project i am working on. I obviously take longer to do things so i don't want to list like 8 hours for a project and mess up the hours for that project but at the same time am I really only supposed to be putting a few hours each day? I not getting paid a whole lot so am I supposed to get payed the whole 40 hours that I am in the office working each week or less than that? Im not sure what they expect me to put down as my hour pay.  

Jun 19, 17 9:21 am
Non Sequitur

Ask your boss.

Jun 19, 17 10:35 am

if you are at the office you should get paid. You have to value your time and if you dont they definitely wont. This is the problem in architecture, you are always expected to work for free. I sit at my job and on some days i do no work at all. If they dont pay me ill just walk out, i dont need to be here. Im not particularly skilled i just know that the hiring process is a long and difficult one and im willing to call their bluff. Also i have more leverage than they do.

 At my last job i help a project up until i got paid in full. I didnt care if my boss didnt get paid by the client yet. I didnt care that the schedule was pushed back because my bills didnt get pushed back.

If they cant pay you then they shouldnt have you there working. Dont take their bull shit. 

Jun 19, 17 11:07 am

Follow Non's advice - but there's no way you're expected to get paid only when working on drafting. 

I think you're mis-interpreting what he told you; the second person has asked you not to list stuff as 'administrative' but list it to the most closely related project - I've had offices operate this way (if you're watching revit youtube tutorials, put it on the project for which you needed to learn how to do xyz in revit). 

Jun 19, 17 1:08 pm

Figure out who your "direct report" person is. In other words, who of the two people you mentioned is actually your boss.  The guy that hired you, or the other guy.  You should be paid for every hour you are in the office. How it gets recorded on your timesheet is up to your boss.  

Some firms have strict limits on time budgeted per project, and in that situation  the manager may prefer you to charge your time somewhere else (off of the project's books) like "administration".  Other places (or individual managers) may want a very accurate idea of who worked on what and for how long, hence the interest in having you record your time more specifically to individual projects.

Jun 19, 17 1:34 pm

Bosses know very well interns waste more time slacking off given the opportunity, eating double their share of free food, stocking up on supplies for the school term etc, so it offsets the lunch hour you don't get paid for but had to keep working through before a deadline . :D

Jun 20, 17 4:10 am

there could be a misinterpretation on your part. i would suggest to double check with your boss - and also make sure what you worked on is recorded.

Jun 20, 17 9:54 pm

Record all your hours.  If you've been told to record all project-related hours to the projects and not as administrative then do that.  If the firm wants to adjust what they actually bill to clients, to meet the target fee and/or to "discount" some of your work because they don't think it should have taken that long or whatever, then they will do so. You shouldn't be guessing how to discount your own hours - let the employer do that after you complete your time sheets.  If you're doing things like non-project-specific CAD template work, changing plotter paper, organizing the product library, etc then record that time as administrative (or whatever other appropriate non-project categories that particular office uses).  It's not unusual for employers to tell new interns to bill their first several weeks entirely to administration - lots of employers figure 2 to 4 weeks' investment of training time for new hires.  After that they will typically transition to having you bill time to projects as much as possible.

If you're working on anything for the firm's benefit, whether or not it is billable to a client, then you must be paid. It doesn't matter if you're being efficient or not.  Record all hours.  If they're unhappy about it, their legal recourse for your inefficiency is any combination of: warn you, train you better, supervise you more closely, reduce your hours, or fire you. They do not have the option to not pay you for any hours that you work, regardless of how inefficient you are.

The only time for which they can ever legitimately refuse to pay you is time for which they can establish that you were doing unauthorized tasks completely unrelated to their firm, such as working on your own outside freelance projects, watching youtube, that sort of thing.  Even with those kinds of things it's better for the employer, in terms of avoiding labor law issues, to warn or terminate the employee than to withhold pay for time-theft, so most employers won't attempt that.

Jun 21, 17 10:47 am

thanks for the replies, i have began to continue putting the correct amount of time that I work in the office consulting with my boss. What I was confused about that i left out was on my first day, my boss was showing me how to log hours and was like "I worked 40 hours last week here in the office, but I'm only getting payed for 20" so i just wasn't sure how i would logging things. It is clear now just curious about what other people did!

Jun 21, 17 11:26 am

Billing is a strange animal - some project managers try to manipulate the books to make them seem more efficient than they are by having interns and even staff architects put their hours under other categories except their own project.  In the long term it really hurts their understanding of running a project, but sometimes in the short term it may help them look like overachievers.

From the firm owner's perspective, it's best to see total hours actually worked.  They can always make their own decisions as to who gets billed when.

Jun 28, 17 2:08 pm

all the famous architects like zaha, frank ghery, and ingles always get criticized for doing shit work. "the design is garbage", "the construction methods are impractical". Yet, they are still raking in cash like no one else in the industry. (R.I.P zaha). 

they make so much money is because they value themselves and that didn't come with "experience". if you don't properly value you self now don't expect anything to ever change. Sure you might get a raise here and there and when you graduate you might land a spot at some firm as Jr. Arch or something along those lines and hustle your way up to an Arch lvl 1 when you get your license. By then you will be well off in your 30's with bills and an unsustainable lifestyle. 

you get your back bone and get the pay you deserve. 

i say this because your schools will tell you that you should be happy with whatever you get and that money doesn't matter. Yet i still see posts every now and then about money. 

Jun 28, 17 2:56 pm

I agree but sometimes you have to pay your dues!!!! Ive worked with younger people who's attitude is they have a M.Arch and coffee cup so that entitles them to 60k/yr with no experience!

     once worked wit a guy 10yrs younger, whom I handed a set of redlines to him to pickup, he looked at them for about 15 mins and proceeded to lecture me about consistency in arch & error's because kitchen cabinets are not divisible by 3! I just chuckled inside, and thought to myself, poor guy hasnt even finished his bachelors and he's a self proclaimed elite architectural genious. he's got a wonderful ride in front of him

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