Carnegie Mellon University

Student Hourly Positions

Job Profile Codes & Pay Grades/Ranges

The university has created hourly job profiles for undergraduate and graduate student positions, based on the responsibilities and skills necessary for each job. Corresponding job profile codes and pay grades were assigned to each job. In addition, the university developed recommended pay ranges for each pay grade, reflecting minimum, mid-point and maximum hourly rates. While the university does not mandate specific wages for particular student jobs, except as otherwise required by applicable labor laws and the Federal Work-Study program, the new job profiles and pay ranges offer increased transparency for student planning as related to on-campus job searches and available positions.

Minimum Hourly Pay Rates for Student Positions

Federal and state minimum wage laws are systematically enforced for all hourly positions on campus, including student positions. The minimum hourly rate guidelines for student positions may be higher than these regulatory minimums. Students may be hired at an hourly rate that is above regulatory minimums but may be below guidelines for the specific job profile.

Raise Advice for Hourly Student Positions

It is not uncommon for students to receive an hourly pay rate increase of $0.25 per hour when returning to a position in the same department or hiring unit after completing a prior term or year of successful performance. Appropriate increase amounts will vary based on the position’s responsibilities and skills required.

Federal Work-Study Positions

When determining an appropriate pay rate, the hiring department should consider the skills needed to perform the job regardless of whether or not the student has been awarded Federal Work-Study. It is not acceptable to base the pay rate on the student’s need or on any other factor not related to the student’s skill or job description. If a student’s skill level depends on his or her academic advancement, the hiring department may pay a student on that basis. However, in most cases, students performing jobs comparable to those of other employees should be paid comparable wages, whether the other employees are students at different class levels or regular employees.

Types of Hourly Student Employment:

  • Federal Work-Study (FWS): Funding = 40% Federal / 60% Employer
  • Federal Community Services Work-Study (FCS): Funding = 70% Federal / 30% Employer
  • Non-Work-Study (NWS): Funding = 100% Employer

If a student has a Federal Work-Study award and is paid an hourly rate that is higher than the Federal Work-Study or Federal Community Service maximum, the hiring department will be charged 100% of the student's earnings.

Pay Rates for Student Employees:



Federal Work-Study

Undergraduate Students $8.25 - $12.00 per hour
Graduate Students $8.25 - $17.00 per hour
Federal Community Service
Undergraduate Students $8.25 - $12.00 per hour
Graduate Students $8.25 - $17.00 per hour
Non Work-Study
Undergraduate Students $8.25 and up per hour
Graduate Students $8.25 and up per hour