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#1 DragonProgrammer   User is offline

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Wage Question

Posted 02 October 2014 - 10:44 AM

Hello, I have a question about what my hourly wage should be. I currently work multiple positions at a TV station. I work as a Master Control operator, Web Design, Engineer, and I run an Audio Board when we broadcast live. I know roughly what my wages should be for my Master Control Job, and on Audio. However, I am not as for sure on the Engineer and Web Design sides, so here are the details of what I do in those positions.

Engineer - I am there to fix anyone's computer that is broken, upgrade hardware of any machines that need it, build any scripts/programs we need or that is requested. Currently though I have been working on building an RDesktop server using a custom linux distro based around tinycore that my coworker has made. I have been using SDL, C++, and bash scripts to make the linux side more user friendly, and link thinks such as USB drives to the RDesktop server, since our thin clients only have 4gb of hard drive and 2gb of ram.

Web Design - I have been making "Smart Snippets", essentially plugins, for a website builder called bento. This site builder was provided to us by PBS, and has minimal functionality. Basically these "snippets" can be plugged in anywhere around the page, and should still function the same. An example of one of these snippets is an image carousel. The reason we are doing this is so whoever uploads the content to the site, and/or makes new pages, doesn't have to know any programming. I am using HTML, CSS, Javascript, JQuery, PHP, Django, and Sekizai Tags to build this.

Now, there are a couple of things that affect my wage negatively, and I am aware of these. First, I am only a sophomore Computer Science major, with no college degrees yet, but I am not slow at my job because of this. Also, I do not work only one position. The station I work at prefers us to work at least 3 positions. So my question is for the web design, and engineer side of this what would be a realistic hourly rate? I am currently making $8 an hour, but I feel that this is below what I should be making. Am I just being crazy, or should I be making more?

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Replies To: Wage Question

#2 DarenR   User is offline

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Re: Wage Question

Posted 02 October 2014 - 11:01 AM

interns if that is what you are doing programming such as that should be anywhere from $15 - 25
degreed --- 25 up
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#3 DragonProgrammer   User is offline

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Re: Wage Question

Posted 02 October 2014 - 11:04 AM

Sorry, I should have specified. This is not an internship.
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#4 DarenR   User is offline

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Re: Wage Question

Posted 02 October 2014 - 11:07 AM

full time?
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#5 DragonProgrammer   User is offline

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Re: Wage Question

Posted 02 October 2014 - 11:09 AM

No, part time, but I am borderline full time. I work about 28-29 hours a week because they dont want to give me benefits.
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#6 no2pencil   User is offline

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Re: Wage Question

Posted 02 October 2014 - 11:17 AM

** Topic in question is not related to HTML, moving to Corner Cubicle **
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#7 astonecipher   User is offline

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Re: Wage Question

Posted 02 October 2014 - 06:53 PM

What were you initially hired for? Is the station you work for a PBS affiliate?

$8 is low for what you are doing. However, they are more than likely using you as an intern. And depending on the employer, some pay far lower than others, which is why I ask about affiliation. For me to work at the county doing what I do, starting pay is only $13.25 / hr. State is slightly higher.
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#8 DragonProgrammer   User is offline

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Re: Wage Question

Posted 02 October 2014 - 08:31 PM

I was initially hired for 7.75, but at the time I was not programming, I only worked master control, and yes to your other question. We are a PBS affiliate. However, I have picked up 3 positions since then, and multiple duties. I just feel that $8 is a bit low for what I am doing, but I don't really know much about what the going rate would be for someone who is still in college. Also, no I am not an intern. I stated this in an earlier comment. I was not hired as an intern, I put in my resume and applied and was hired like a normal job. However, when I was starting out, I did not do any programming for them. I started programming because I needed more hours, and they didn't know that I could at the time.
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#9 astonecipher   User is offline

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Re: Wage Question

Posted 02 October 2014 - 08:35 PM

How long have you worked there? Is it possible to say that you want a raise, because you are doing x,y,z ?
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#10 jon.kiparsky   User is offline

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Re: Wage Question

Posted 02 October 2014 - 09:22 PM

I'd say if you're good at any one of the things you list, you can make well above $8/hr doing that one thing. I would also say that nobody but a tight-ship public station is going to have one person doing all of those things, so being the jack of all trades is not going to pay you as well as being the master of one.
That being said, I wouldn't necessarily tell you to leave that position - it might be the best place for you to be while you're in school. If you like any of the production things you're doing, you should certainly develop those skills. Not only is it good to have a fallback in case things go dry, but it's also nice to be able to be a skilled volunteer in the arts - for example, if you enjoy theater, you'd certainly find a place in many local companies if you can do sound design, or videography, or stuff like that. It won't pay for toffee, but it's nice to be involved in the arts, if that's your thing. More practically, having out-of-left-field skills in your set is always good interview chatter. In hiring, skilled = sexy.

I'm not sure that the sort of web design you're talking about is going to get you very far into a good CS job, but if you're developing deeper skills in your classes, it's no bad thing to have this on your resume. When you go into the interview, now you're a guy fresh out of school, but you've also got some experience working in a real-world environment. Welcome to the front of the line. You'll still have to show that you have something more than framework twiddling to offer, but you'll certainly get a chance to show that.
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#11 no2pencil   User is offline

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Re: Wage Question

Posted 02 October 2014 - 09:44 PM

You should discuss the pay situation before you agree to do the work. Insist on getting it in writing.

But also, while you think it maybe low, look around in your local area. If there isn't much else available, it maybe worth just doing it to have a reference & experience on your resume.
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#12 DragonProgrammer   User is offline

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Re: Wage Question

Posted 03 October 2014 - 06:02 AM

Jobs seldomly come up here that are computer science related, however could it be worth to try to turn this into a paid internship? Because I will get the credit hours for it and still get my pay (assuming that I can get everything worked out). I have been working there about 9 months. I know that I am probably not going to get raised to what I would like, but I was just curious what I should be getting payed in case there is another job that pops up in the area. I don't know if I should ask for a raise or not because I just got a 25cent raise. My problem in asking for a raise is that I can't lose any of my hours because I am working on getting married. Also, people at this job have been known to get fired or all their shifts cut except one because they've asked for raises, or benefits. It's not the best of jobs because of the management, and pay, but I choose it because it was the only thing in the area related to my major open.

View Postjon.kiparsky, on 02 October 2014 - 09:22 PM, said:

I'd say if you're good at any one of the things you list, you can make well above $8/hr doing that one thing. I would also say that nobody but a tight-ship public station is going to have one person doing all of those things, so being the jack of all trades is not going to pay you as well as being the master of one.
That being said, I wouldn't necessarily tell you to leave that position - it might be the best place for you to be while you're in school. If you like any of the production things you're doing, you should certainly develop those skills. Not only is it good to have a fallback in case things go dry, but it's also nice to be able to be a skilled volunteer in the arts - for example, if you enjoy theater, you'd certainly find a place in many local companies if you can do sound design, or videography, or stuff like that. It won't pay for toffee, but it's nice to be involved in the arts, if that's your thing. More practically, having out-of-left-field skills in your set is always good interview chatter. In hiring, skilled = sexy.

I'm not sure that the sort of web design you're talking about is going to get you very far into a good CS job, but if you're developing deeper skills in your classes, it's no bad thing to have this on your resume. When you go into the interview, now you're a guy fresh out of school, but you've also got some experience working in a real-world environment. Welcome to the front of the line. You'll still have to show that you have something more than framework twiddling to offer, but you'll certainly get a chance to show that.


Yeah the station here wants everyone to work at least three positions once they have been there over a year. It's kinda stupid though because we have a lot of people quit because of it, and they lose a lot of productivity because of it. Also, out of around 35 employees only 4 are full time, and 3 of those are in management.
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#13 depricated   User is offline

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Re: Wage Question

Posted 03 October 2014 - 07:58 AM

My first programming job was actually second tier tech support. I had all the support qualifications and programming knowledge they wanted for someone to build an in-house CMDB and front end for it. I started that at $19/hr.

Best I have to offer without speculating.
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