People do not always perform jobs for monetary compensation. In some cases, the advantages of a job are far greater than any paycheck could provide. However, businesses must be exceptionally careful when offering jobs that offer no financial gain as many legal requirements surround a business’s ability to issue positions that give no hourly wage.
“No monetary compensation” means that no cash is paid for labor performed or services rendered. Instead, the position yields other non-cash benefits which may include building experience, gaining contacts and receiving other perks such as discounts. Though some people prefer receiving an hourly wage or salary to these benefits, others may find a non-paying job more advantageous. For instance, though a fast food restaurant may offer minimum wage, a non-paying position with a prestigious accounting firm may be more appealing to a recent college grad seeking employment after taking the CPA exam.
Types: Internships and Externships
Internships are a prime example of opportunities that offer no monetary compensation. The Louis and Clark College explains internships assist students with enhancing their resumes, building real-world experience and assessing if the chosen major is what they want to pursue. Externships are similar to internships, though an externship may be shorter in length. The University of Arkansas specifies how the brevity of the program means students may not receive academic credit, but the opportunity to "job shadow" a professional in the field helps a student gain practical experience.
Types: Volunteer Work
Another type of a non-monetary compensation position is volunteer work. Volunteers assist and improve their community while gaining valuable insight into the inner-workings of their neighborhood or other cultures. Volunteer work may include spending time with religious organizations, not-for-profit organizations or educational institutions. In some cases, volunteer work affords college or high school credit. Working to satisfy a legal sentence mandating court-ordered community service is another form of a non-monetary compensation activity. Common community service tasks include working in soup kitchens, picking up trash from road sides and cleaning animal shelters.
Businesses have to abide by laws pertaining to non-paying jobs. The U.S. Department of Labor has six different components which differentiate an internship from a paid position. Tenets include the mandate that an internship cannot replace a paid worker, the intern receives training comparable to an educational environment and is not guaranteed a job at its cessation. Volunteer positions must state in advance how the person will receive no financial compensation.