Participants in the Municipal Internship Program have a unique opportunity to begin their professional careers in a role that is unlike many 'first' jobs after completing their education.
A Municipal Internship is a combination of:
- professional development
The Municipal Internship Program is an opportunity to gain first-hand, real-life, practical experience and training in municipal government. It is designed to encourage new or recent post-secondary graduates to consider a career in municipal administration, finance/accounting, or land use planning.
Interns receive a salary, financial support for professional development, and opportunities to develop an extensive network of municipal and planning professionals.
Interns receive training and support designed to provide the knowledge and experience required to become a future leader and professional in municipal government. Using a workplan designed by Alberta Municipal Affairs, interns will undertake a variety of activities during the internship. Each workplan is customized to each municipality’s unique situation, projects and priorities. At the end of the program, interns will have gained sufficient knowledge and skills to move into a municipal position related to their interests and areas of growing expertise.
Participants in the Municipal Internship Program will join over 300 new professionals who have been part of the program since 2002.
This stream of the program offers participants a wide range of experiences in municipal policy, management and operations over a one-year period. The goal is to gain knowledge and understanding of multiple areas of municipal administration that can be built upon as the intern’s career progresses beyond the internship.
Participants in the Administrator stream will rotate through the various departments in their host municipality, learning key aspects of the work that is carried out in each area and how that work supports the municipality overall.
Responsibilities and activities
Responsibilities and activities in this role include, but are not limited to:
- participating in management team and stakeholder meetings
- presenting to council and/or committees
- developing and reviewing bylaws and policies
- leading and managing projects
- solving problems that affect the community
- job shadowing
For the 2021 Program, a post-secondary diploma or degree completed between January 2019 and April 2021.
Finance Officer stream
This stream of the program offers participants hands-on, intensive learning in municipal finance and accounting along with professional development opportunities and a general understanding of municipal government. The goal is to provide a strong foundation in municipal finance while also getting exposure to the rest of the departments during a one-year period.
Finance Officer interns will work in the various areas of the finance department, with the goal of learning key aspects of the finance department and how the finance department interacts with the rest of the municipality.
Responsibilities and activities
Responsibilities and activities in this role include, but are not limited to:
- budget forecasting and discussions with council and management
- preparing payroll
- processing accounts payable and accounts receivable
- producing financial reports
- preparing financial records for audit and for borrowing
- supporting procurement initiatives
For the 2021 Program, a post-secondary diploma or degree in accounting or finance completed between January 2019 and April 2021.
Graduates looking to obtain their Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation are welcome to apply. Host municipalities can offer experience verification placements to help you achieve the CPA designation.
Land Use Planner stream
This stream of the program offers participants with a specific interest in land use planning the opportunity to gain a variety of planning experiences over a 2-year period. The goal is to provide a strong foundation in major planning areas in both current and long range planning.
During the first year of the program, interns are mentored and coached by a senior planner in their host organization. In addition, land use planning interns will also explore some of the key functions of municipal governments outside of the planning area, so they may understand them from a planning perspective. In the second year of the program, interns will have the opportunity to take on more responsibility and gain further experience through involvement in planning projects and issues in their host organization.
Responsibilities and activities
Responsibilities and activities in this role can include, but are not limited to:
- reviewing and amending the municipality's existing land use bylaw
- reviewing existing or developing new statutory plans including, municipal development plans and area structure plans
- reviewing development and/or subdivision applications
- planning and conducting community consultations or engagements for development proposals
- conducting subdivision and development appeal board hearings
- enforcing stop orders and other compliance mechanisms
For the 2021 Program, a post-secondary degree in planning or a related degree with at least 2 senior-level land use planning classes completed between January 2019 and April 2021.
Land use planner interns can work toward completion of the Logbook requirements for professional accreditation as a Registered Professional Planner.
Benefits of being an intern
As an intern you will:
- be coached and supported by experienced municipal professionals
- intern supervisors are managers and senior staff who will coach, mentor and help support you in your learning and development
- often you will participate in management team meetings in your organization, which will afford you an overall perspective on the challenges and rewards of working in the municipal field
- gain extensive knowledge of municipal management, finance and/or planning
- you will build a solid base of knowledge about municipal government through reading, researching, job shadowing, activities, and extensive hands-on experiences throughout the organization
- build transferable skills and competencies
- The type of work undertaken by staff in the municipal organizations hosting interns will provide you learning experiences in key skill areas that will be critical to your career success.
- establish an extensive network in the municipal field
- through the program you will connect with municipal staff both within and outside of your organization, the other interns in your program year, alumni interns, municipal associations, Municipal Affairs staff, and other professionals who can help support you in your work and career
- receive a salary and support for professional development
- interns receive a salary that is appropriate for their organization and host community; the typical salary is between $45,000 and $55,000
- in addition, you will receive support to pursue professional development opportunities that you and your supervisor determine are most beneficial for your role in the organization and future career
- become part of a field in which enthusiastic and skilled employees are in demand
- through the program you will establish a foundation in the field and connect with municipal staff across the province
- although the program does not guarantee you a position after your Internship, there is high demand for more people to enter this exciting field
- internship program staff will help prepare you to seek positions in the field and support you in your efforts
- Applicants must be eligible to work in Canada.
- Applicants must be willing to relocate to the host municipality or a community within commuting distance of the host municipality.
- A desire to experience and learn the functions of municipal government.
- A desire to work in the public service at the local level.
- Administrator Stream: Applicants for the 2021 Program must be a graduate or have graduated from a post-secondary degree or diploma program in any discipline between January 2019 and April 2021 in any discipline.
- Finance Officer Stream: Applicants for the 2021 Program must be a graduate or have graduated from a post-secondary degree or diploma program between January 2019 and April 2021 in an accounting or finance related discipline (for example: business administration, commerce).
- Land Use Planner Stream: Applicants for the 2021 Program must be a graduate or have graduated from a post-secondary degree program between January 2019 and April 2021 in a land use planning-related discipline or a related degree with a minimum of 2 senior-level (third or fourth year or graduate level) land use planning classes.
Individuals who have completed their most recent post-secondary degree/diploma (course work and/or thesis) prior to December 31, 2018 are not eligible to apply for the 2021 Program.
You can apply for more than one stream if you are eligible. You must send in a separate application package for each stream.
Desired professional attributes
- Basic knowledge about local government in Canada.
- An interest in pursuing a career in municipal administration, municipal finance or land use planning.
- Experience working with community groups or involvement with volunteer community organizations.
- A desire to influence public policy and community development through public service.
- Flexibility in terms of work hours and job requirements.
- Problem solving ability.
- Effective communicator.
- A motivated, self-directed learner who will take initiative.
Each host municipality may set additional criteria for their intern selection that are featured on the host municipality profile. Candidates should determine the specific needs of the host organization as part of the interview process. An applicant's entire intern application package will be considered.
It is important to remember that the intent of the program is to train an intern, so they may pursue a career in municipal administration or land use planning. Individuals not interested in pursuing a career in the public sector are encouraged not to apply.
Additional eligibility requirements
The intent of this program is to attract new people to the field of local government and provide an opportunity for recent graduates to enter municipal administration, finance or municipal planning as a career choice. If you are currently employed by the host organization or have worked for the organization in the past 12 months (excluding casual, co-op or summer students), you are not eligible to apply to be an intern in that organization. If you meet the other minimum recruitment criteria, you may apply to be considered as an intern in the other host organizations.
The municipalities and organizations that host interns varies from year to year. The Municipal Internship Program invites municipalities, planning agencies and growth management boards to submit an application to host an intern each year. Through a selection process, the municipalities and organizations that meet certain criteria are selected to host interns for the following year.
It is important to note that municipalities with a population of 700 or less, and the cities of Calgary and Edmonton are not eligible to host municipal interns and therefore, no internship positions under the Alberta Municipal Internship Program will be offered in those municipalities.
Host municipalities and organizations
Host municipalities for the 2021 Municipal Internship Program will be announced in January 2021.
There are several important dates that prospective candidates should keep in mind. Please note that Alberta Municipal Affairs may change any of the dates listed, should it become necessary to do so and will update this page as appropriate.
Late January 2021
Applications open for the 2021 Municipal Internship Program.
February 18, 2021
Interested candidates are required to have their entire intern application package to Alberta Municipal Affairs by 12 pm (noon) Mountain Standard Time. Late submissions will not be accepted unless extensions were granted prior to the deadline.
Alberta Municipal Affairs reviews all applications to ensure applicants meet basic internship requirements. Once the initial screening is complete, each host municipality will conduct their own review of applications and arrange interviews with applicants. Applicants will be notified whether or not they have passed the basic screening.
Host municipalities and organizations review the qualifications of candidates and contact the applicants that they want to interview. Interviews may be conducted in-person, by telephone, by video/web conference.
April 16, 2021
All interviews will be completed and job offers made to successful candidates by this date.
April 26 to June 4, 2021
Internship placements begin. Each host and their intern will mutually determine the exact start date.
Early June 2021
Interns attend a mandatory 3-day Intern Orientation workshop hosted by Municipal Affairs in Edmonton.
Interns attend a mandatory 4-day mid-year professional development workshop hosted by Municipal Affairs in Edmonton.
April 16, 2021
All host municipalities must complete their intern hiring by this date.
Since the re-launch of the program in 2002, over 300 individuals have participated in one of the 3 programs streams of the Municipal Internship Program and joined our alumni network.
“I think the biggest surprise for me was to see, as an intern, the operational scale of municipal government, realizing that the financial services department plays an integral part in the operation. I got to experience this inter-departmental connection by assisting in and observing the preparation of the capital budget and the operation budget .... By participating in the program, I’m now presented with more opportunities in the municipal finance field. I will certainly capitalize on this internship experience and integrate the experience into my pursuit of my professional accounting designation (CPA).”
Tao Liu, City of Lethbridge
“I cannot speak highly enough about the Municipal Internship Program and the experience it provided me. I was able to meet incredible people, attend national conferences, complete a diploma in Public Relations and develop skills that I know will serve me well throughout my career.”
Sara Jensen (McKerry), Parkland County
“The greatest surprise for me was the amount of knowledge I’ve acquired throughout the last year, not only of the administration and operation of the County, but also the skills and abilities that I have developed. My most significant learning of this entire experience would be the challenges of operating as a municipal government administration in Alberta and all of the issues that municipalities in the province face. Prior to the internship, I had no idea of how vast the world of local government was.”
Jason Lussier, Northern Sunrise County
“I have been most surprised by how much I like living in a rural area. Most of my life has been lived in large cities but I find I enjoy the openness and quiet. It has also been an opportunity for me to settle into a new community and I’ve been fortunate to have met some really wonderful people.”
Kate Churchill, Mackenzie Municipal Services Agency
“This program has confirmed my passion for local government. Before the internship I was fairly certain this is where I was going to end up and over the last year, I have not been more pleased with the direction I have taken. Overall I had an absolutely amazing experience with the Internship. My knowledge of local government has grown immensely, I have grown personally in terms of my leadership abilities and I am excited to see where a career in local government takes me.”
Rory Tarant, City of Grande Prairie
“The Land Use Planner Internship Program gave me the chance to explore different areas of municipal planning in a supportive environment. Not only did I gain competencies as a Planner but I was able to use my skills to contribute to the municipality. I expanded my professional network and gained new friendships. This internship is a great avenue for new graduates to jump into the workforce and find their fit.”
Mary McInnes, Parkland County
Connect with the Internship and Education team at Alberta Municipal Affairs:
Municipal Internship Program
Alberta Municipal Affairs
17th Floor, Commerce Place
10155 102 Street NW
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 4L4