Topic ID #28412 - posted 4/24/2013 5:24 PM

Per Diem


I know this discussion was occurring back in 2007 in here but I was wondering what the average Per Diem rate for the southeast and midwest in CRM is now days? More specifically in Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. If people could post what rate they are making and the state they are in we can compile a list of what going rates are today.

Post ID#20115 - replied 4/25/2013 1:49 AM

Jennifer Palmer

Please post what per diem you are receiving for other states as well. I believe the last (food) per diem I made in PA a few months back was $40/day.


Post ID#20116 - replied 4/25/2013 4:16 AM


The company I previously worked for held their standard at 25 bucks a day.  Some project managers will try to get more in the bids, but they are a small handful.

Post ID#20117 - replied 4/25/2013 10:22 AM


The company I work for (occasionally) pays 35/day. I have made as much as 135/day, where I paid for my own lodging. With a 20/day motel room, I made bank on that project!

Post ID#20121 - replied 4/26/2013 6:04 AM


Where I work (northern plains) most companies are paying at least 35/day with no receipts. Some are paying as much as 46/day and of those, some require receipts.  These examples are with lodging provided.

On the topic of lodging:  There is a huge oil boom going on out here and lodging expenses have sky rocketed. IF motel rooms are available in some areas they easily go for between 100-170/night.  AND, these are basic rooms, nothing fancy.  Apartments start out at 2000/month and many are 3000/month; all have substantial waiting lists.  So beware any companies offering to pay lump sum per diem on projects in the Bakken oil field.

Post ID#20123 - replied 4/26/2013 7:45 AM


ACR pays for single occupancy hotel rooms up-front. For WY, MT, and most rural places in the West ACR covers $35/day cash per diem every two weeks (pay period). For urban areas, we make it a bit more (or follow Federal). For some places like D.C., or for overhead trips, meals all go on company credit cards but a few drinks are okay.

For us salaried people, though, pretty much everything goes on the company credit card and we're accountable for our own budgets.

Post ID#20128 - replied 4/26/2013 11:17 AM


I just got hired on for a job and in the hiring letter they said no per diem will be paid on rain days!   Does anyone else know anything about this?  Is this illegal?  Is there anything I can do aside from not working for the company?

Post ID#20129 - replied 4/26/2013 1:47 PM


I've seen that before--I've also seen it the other way, where the per diem is for all 7 days, along with the room. Of course, those halcyon days are probably behind us, as companies and clients try to squeeze every nickle they can.

Post ID#20130 - replied 4/26/2013 1:52 PM


The "no per diem on rain day" deal is really common. It's typical for lodging to be covered, but the most common idea is that per diem is only paid for each day actually worked. I think it's legal because there really is no mandate (unless this is a federal contract with per diem stips) that your living expenses be reimbursed.

Were it me, I'd probably not gripe...unless the lodging is not covered for rain days.

Post ID#20133 - replied 4/26/2013 7:34 PM

SHPO Grunt

You still have to pay for food on rainy days.  Besides, there is always work to be done whether it is raining or not.  And in some parts of the world (like the Pacific Northwest) if you let rain stop you nothing would ever get done.

Sorry, but if the company I was working for couldn't find work for me on a rainy day I wouldn't be in their employ for very long.

Post ID#20134 - replied 4/27/2013 2:35 AM

Jennifer Palmer

I worked for a company in the NE years ago that did not pay per diem on rain or snow days. Usually we worked in the snow, but during one project, it was pretty much a blizzard and there was no company 4WD available to get us to the project area. Everyone was pretty much stuck at the hotel until the storm passed. They still covered lodging, but no pay nor per diem for several days in a row made for a very unhappy crew.

Post ID#20135 - replied 4/27/2013 4:15 AM


It is interesting to see your per diem rates in the US (as well as salaries in other threads) and to compare with what I earned while working in the UK and in France. It seems that on average you earn more than we do as a general rule of thumb, despite everything over here usually being more expensive.

While working in the UK on away work, I earned £15/day except for sickdays. That is a little around $ 20/day but we were given lodging.

In France I earned anywhere from a little over 15 € to 25 €/day, so roughly $ 18 to $ 30/day. As with the UK job, we were given free lodging. My current workplace does not do away work so we get other goodies like meal tickets and the like.

Do you also get reimbursed fuel costs in the case that you have to take your personal vehicle to site or is that included in the per diem ?

Scotty, those rental prices are mind bobbling ! It is actually more expensive than Paris and London and that is really saying something.

Post ID#20137 - replied 4/29/2013 12:01 PM


One factor to consider here is if on your away project the company has driven you out to the work-site in their company vehicle. If I understand the regs properly, and there is no guarantee of that as I'm not a labor lawyer, and you have no way to get back to the corporate office, where you started your work day and project (that's how the regs describe it), then the company owes you. The company, more than likely, will claim a force majeure and collect a fee for the day(s) of no work, which was beyond their control. That fee should be used to pay you, especially since you are literally stuck away from home. Again, that is the way I understand it, but you should do your own research to corroborate.

Post ID#20139 - replied 5/2/2013 11:46 AM


"The company, more than likely, will claim aforce majeure and collect a fee for the day(s) of no work, which was beyond their control. That fee should be used to pay you, especially since you are literally stuck away from home."

I agree that per diem should be paid out, even on rain days, for that very reason...  For any projects I've worked on or run, we've always had to eat the cost.  I've never heard of reimbursement from the client, unless the down time was the direct result of their doing.

Post ID#20142 - replied 5/4/2013 8:21 AM


In western North Dakota and Eastern Montana its between $30 to $46 dollars a day with lodging included.  Not all companies pay cash or check per diem, some issue company credit cards and make you turn in receipts.    

Post ID#20193 - replied 5/21/2013 2:27 PM


What is the per diem for the states of Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Florida?

Post ID#20202 - replied 5/27/2013 1:17 PM


My last per diem was in Houston last summer at $71/day (cash up front), which made it worth the lower pay rate. That is the GSA rate for the most expensive cities like NY, DC, etc.  and it was because it was a TEXDOT project.  In NC/VA it was $25-38, but rarely more than $30.  

I don't get per diem anymore because, luckily, I am home every night, but I would always look up that GSA rate and question anything that wasn't close to it.


Post ID#20204 - replied 5/28/2013 10:27 AM


Just to let you all know, the federal CONUS/GSA rate's base is $123 everywhere in the U.S. That rate goes higher elsewhere in the U.S.; for example, in Los Angeles County it is $184. Now, that means paying for your own lodging. If a company pays for your lodging and say it costs $70 a night, that means you are LEGALLY entitled to $53 a day. Of course, the labor laws surrounding per diem rates and enforcement are weak and that is why companies will pay incredibly less and get away with it. However, and this is a strong however, it is illegal to write a contract with these per diem rates and not provide them. Therefore, when you are being short changed on per diem, regardless of where it is in the U.S., and the company is pocketing the rest of what is your billable amount, they are breaking a federal law. When I hear someone is getting paid $25 a day, I hope that their lodging costs $98 a day. The lowest a contract company can provide for meals and daily expenses is $46 a day, if they provide housing. The law is crystal clear on this one. 

Post ID#20205 - replied 5/28/2013 12:44 PM


Actually a private contracting company can pay per diem at or below the prevailing CONUS/GSA rate for their area; they are not required by law to pay the prevailing rate.  The IRS (not the GSA) regulates the per diem rates of private businesses.  If the prevailing GSA rate is 46/day and the private firm pays 30/day with no receipts required, as long as the private firm is consistent with that policy, then it is allowable by the IRS. 

A contractor who is awarded a federal contract pays the per diem rate established under the contract by the federal contract officer which may or may not be the same as the prevailing GSA rate. 

In my state, state employees are paid 20/day on overnight travel.

Post ID#20207 - replied 5/28/2013 8:38 PM


Actually, it has nothing to do with the IRS. It would be a violation of contract law, and since it is an issue of labor, it would be overseen by the U.S. Department of Labor. Their phone number is 1-866-487-2365. If your proposal states the CONUS rate, and the employees are not paid that, you are in violation of labor law (you are in even more of a world of hurt if you say to your employees that you pay the CONUS rate and you don't). And a request for proposal that involve any business contract involving any federal or state agency (like SHIPO or BLM or Forest Service or Department of Transportation or Department of Defense or even your city council) is public information. Typically, in my experience at least, almost all bids I've seen have given us the CONSUS rate. The only time that did not happen was on a military base, which shall go unnamed. And here is a kicker, if you are in violation of your contract, your client can sue you, too. So if you do skim off your employees by billing out a higher rate and pay a lower rate on per diem, as I said before, you are breaking federal labor law. And just from a business perspective, it really doesn't make sense to lower your per diem rate, that's a zero-sum game that everyone loses. Personally, if I saw a contract paying $20 a day, as a client, I would seriously question the company I was hiring and who was working for them.

Post ID#20208 - replied 5/29/2013 6:59 PM


We generally pay $35/day with single occupancy lodging included.  Since most motels now provide a good breakfast, $35 should cover lunch, dinner, and snacks.


Post ID#20247 - replied 8/13/2013 7:52 PM


I make 50 a day no matter the location, along with never having to share a room with anyone. He pays rain or inclement weather days as well. I work for a small company that Ive been with off and on for several years, and my boss treats me very well. I work mostly in Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, and Mississippi.


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