Do You Get Paid For Orientation? [Answer Inside]

Orientation is an important part of starting any new job – but do you have to be paid? The answer is yes – and we have all the information you need.

Updated January 2023
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Fact checked by Cathy Gresham

Do You Get Paid For Orientation?

Orientation is an important element of finding your feet in a new role – this is a chance to learn the ropes and get to know your colleagues. But do you get paid for orientation? We took a closer look at the legalities of this, and the details that should play a role in your decision to take a new job.

Do you get paid for orientation?

The short answer is: YES!

As a general rule, any work or tasks that are carried out during your usual working hours at your workplace should count as employment for the terms of payment, under the Fair Standards Labor Act, your employer must legally pay you for orientation.

In certain cases, employers may offer a stipend or bonus for completing orientation. This is usually in the form of a one-time payment and is typically offered to new employees who have completed their orientation period. It is important to note that this type of payment is not required by law and may vary from employer to employer.

It is important to remember that you are not obligated to accept a job offer if you are not comfortable with the terms of payment for orientation. If you feel that the employer is not offering fair compensation for your time, it may be best to look for another job opportunity, and making this decision before you start employment is the best option for everyone.

Do You Get Paid For Orientation

What is orientation?

Orientation is a period of time when you are introduced to the company and its policies, procedures, and expectations. It is also a chance for you to get to know your colleagues and the culture of the organization. Orientation can last anywhere from a few hours to several days or even weeks in some cases, depending on the size and complexity of the organization.

What are the benefits of orientation?

Orientation is an important part of starting a new job, as it helps you to become familiar with the company and its policies. It also allows you to get to know your colleagues and build relationships that will help you succeed in your role. Additionally, orientation can provide valuable insight into the culture of the organization and how it operates, which can be invaluable for long-term success.

Some of the main advantages of undertaking orientation at your new place of work include:

Learn the company policies and procedures

Orientation is a great way to learn the company policies and procedures, as well as any expectations that you may have. This can help you to understand what is expected of you in your role and how to best carry out your duties.

Get to know your colleagues

Orientation is also a great opportunity to get to know your colleagues and build relationships with them. This can be invaluable for long-term success, as having strong relationships with your colleagues can help you to work together more effectively.

Understand the culture of the organization

Finally, orientation can provide valuable insight into the culture of the organization and how it operates. This can be invaluable for understanding how decisions are made and how best to approach tasks to achieve success.

Understand safety protocols and requirements

Orientation is also a great opportunity to learn about the safety protocols and requirements of the organization. This can help you to stay safe while on the job and ensure that you are following all necessary regulations.

Orientation

What forms can orientation take?

Orientation can take many forms, depending on the organization and the job role. It may include a tour of the workplace, an introduction to the company’s policies and procedures, safety training, or a review of job duties. Additionally, some employers may require that you complete certain tasks or training during orientation to receive payment.

Some of the main activities and tasks you may be required to complete during orientation include:

Completing paperwork

It may not be glamorous, but paperwork forms a key part of the orientation process, and you may be required to complete certain forms in order to receive payment. Other key forms will include next of kin information, tax forms – particularly a W4, and any waivers or declarations that are required for your job.

Safety training

You may also be required to complete safety training during orientation, which can help you to stay safe while on the job and ensure that you are following all necessary regulations.

Job duties review

It is very likely that you may need to review your job duties with your supervisor or manager during orientation to understand what is expected of you in your role.

Some companies may make this an extensive part of the training. Essentially they are teaching you the basics of how to accomplish your job. This part of orientation can last from a couple of hours all the way up to weeks or months in some specialized professions.

Tour of the premises

You may also be required to take a tour of the premises during orientation, which can help you to become familiar with the layout and any safety protocols that are in place. This is important to ensure that you are aware of any potential hazards and how to avoid them, and will make your time at work more efficient and productive.

Mandatory training

In some cases, employers may require that you complete certain mandatory training during orientation in order to receive payment. This could include anything from customer service training to health and safety protocols, depending on the nature of your role. Often these pieces of training are government mandated.

My own experiences with orientation training

I’ve been fortunate to have fantastic orientation experiences at every firm I have worked for. They have always been paid time orientation experiences, of course. 

Since I’ve been lucky to work for top firms, these orientations often included top-tier training during the day and fancy dinners and outings at night. These firms also frequently fly in people from other cities and put them up at classy hotels, to attend the training. 

However, your experience may vary. Orientations can range from what I describe above all the way down to just a couple of hours of explanation of the job and an encouragement to get started. 

I spoke to a few friends about their orientation experiences for this article and was surprised at how wide the range of experiences was.

One friend who joined the military described his ‘orientation’ as rolling in the mud and being screamed at for weeks on end. Not too much fun! Most friends, however, described their orientation as about a week of boring lectures in an office environment and maybe one dinner together at a reasonably priced restaurant. So that felt like the median experience that you might expect.

But every company is different and has different amounts of resources at their disposal to train new people, so try to go in with an open mind – as long as you are being paid for your time!

Do you get paid for orientation even if I quit?

The answer to this is good news for employees, but bad for employers – there is a legal requirement to pay employees for orientation, even if they quit before the end of the orientation period, or between the orientation period and formally starting the job. This is because orientation is considered to be a part of the job, and employees must be compensated fairly for their time.

It is important to note that the amount of pay you receive for orientation may vary depending on the organization and your job role. Some employers may offer a flat rate, while others may pay an hourly wage or salary. Additionally, some employers may require that you complete certain tasks or training during orientation in order to receive payment. It is important to check with your employer before starting orientation to ensure that you understand the payment terms.

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Bottom line: do you get paid for oritentation?

It is important to remember that you are legally entitled to be paid for orientation and that this applies even if you leave before actually starting work. Always double-check the details to ensure that you are happy with the payment terms, and make sure that you are aware of any mandatory training or tasks that may be required to receive payment.

Editor's Note:

At Personal Finance Guru, we want to help you maximize your lifestyle through personal finance. You can trust the integrity of our independent financial advice. Our opinions are our own and have not been provided, reviewed, approved, or endorsed by any advertiser or financial product provider. To support and grow the site, however, we may receive compensation from the issuers of some products.

Author bio:

Cody Beecham

Cody Beecham

Founder/Owner/Editor/Author

Cody is the founder and owner of Personal Finance Guru. His day job is as a management consultant at one of the Top 3 firms (think Mckinsey, Bain), where he advises Fortune 500 C-suite clients on their most important and pressing business problems. He completed his business education at Harvard Business School. 

After seeing the lack of personal finance education for regular people, Cody started the website with the mission to provide everyone access to information that will help them achieve their financial goals.

Cody approaches personal finance from a maximalist perspective, shunning typical advice around simply not buying a cup of coffee instead of more effective methods like investing in yourself to quickly grow your income. 

He believes in saving money and investing for the future, but he also knows that you need to enjoy life today. That’s why Cody approaches money with a sense of humor and a positive attitude. He knows that, if you’re not having fun while you’re growing your wealth, then what’s the point?

Cody approaches life with the same gusto that he brings to personal finance. He loves to travel and experience new cultures, and he is an avid reader and learner. He also enjoys playing sports (especially tennis) and spending time with his family and friends.