Main Difference between Salary and Stipend

Members of an organization include the owners, employees, workers, and trainees. These people work for pay, which can come in the form of a profit, salary, or stipend. People don’t always know what we mean when we use the words “salary” and “stipend.” In exchange for the work they do for the company, employees are paid a salary.

On the other hand, interns or apprentices who work in an organization for a short time to learn and get work experience get a stipend. In this article, we will explain in detail what the difference is between a salary and a stipend.

What is a Salary?


A salary is the money or other payment someone gets for doing work or providing services. It is paid on a regular schedule, such as once a week or, more commonly, once a month.

A salary is basically a set amount of money that an employer gives to an employee in exchange for work done. It may be called a salary of x amount per hour, x amount per month, or an annual salary of x amount.

The salary is set by the current market rates for people doing similar work in similar industries in the same area. It could also depend on the skills of the employee and how much the company is willing or able to pay to hire and/or keep someone with those skills.

The number of people who can provide the same service or do the same kind of work also affects the salary. For example, if a lot of people can do that job, the salary would be lower because so many people would be competing for that one job. On the other hand, if there are a lot of jobs but not enough people to fill them, the company would be willing to pay a higher salary to fill that position.

What is a Stipend?


On the other hand, a stipend is a bit different. It can be thought of as a salary, but it is not the same as a traditional salary. During the time of an internship or apprenticeship, a stipend is often given. It is different from a salary because it is not paid for work done. In an internship or apprenticeship, it is expected that the person won’t do good work. Instead, the person is there to learn. The person gets the stipend, which frees him up to learn instead of working to make salary.

Most of the time, the stipend is less than a salary, and it is meant to cover only the intern’s or apprentice’s needs, not their wants. In some cases, stipends may be given along with other benefits, such as a certificate, training, food, or a place to stay.

Comparison Chart: Salary Vs Stipend

DefinitionIt is the money that employees get at the end of each month for the work they have done.It is the money that interns or trainees get to pay for their own costs.
Paid toWhite-collar workers, managers, directors, and professionals.Interns, trainees, fellows and clergy
Relationship between partiesEmployer to employee relationshipStudent-mentor relationship exists.
TaxabilityTaxableEither taxable or non-taxable
IncrementIt may increase on the basis of performance.Remain fixed irrespective of the performance
ObjectiveEarn money for a livingIncrease the knowledge and experience base

Key Difference between Salary and Stipend

  • Salary is the amount of money an employee gets paid for doing the work that was given to them, while stipend is the amount that interns or trainees get to help cover their costs while doing their work.
  • Salary is the amount that employees get paid every month for doing their jobs, and stipend is the amount that trainees get to cover their costs.
  • Salary is the payment given when an employer and employee have a contract, while a stipend is the amount given to someone who joins an organization for experience.
  • Salary is taxed at the rates in place, while a stipend may or may not be taxed, depending on the country.
  • Salary goes up every year based on the contract and performance, but stipend stays the same no matter how well the person does.
  • The main goal of a salary is to get paid, while the main goal of an intern is to learn new skills and gain more knowledge.
  • Salary is for white-collar workers, managers, directors, and professionals, while stipends are for interns, trainees, apprentices, fellows, and clergy.


To sum up, salary and stipend are not the same thing because they are given to different people. When someone gets a salary, they get paid for the work they do for the company. On the other hand, the stipend is given to the people who are teaching in the organization, i.e. interns, to cover their living costs.

So, if we look at both, we can see that a stipend is always less than a salary for the same work. But whether a person is an employee or a trainee, the job will give them the same experience and knowledge.