What is an Internship and How Much Do Interns Usually Get Paid? A Comprehensive Guide

Internships have become a popular pathway for students and young graduates in their career development journey. These short-term work arrangements provide several benefits to young professionals, including gaining valuable work experience in their chosen industry and networking with potential employers. However, an internship is not just about gaining experience, but it also comes with a salary. So, how much do interns usually get paid?

The answer to this question varies, depending on several factors such as the company’s location, industry, and size. Generally, intern salaries fall between the ranges of minimum wage to $20 per hour or more, depending on the company’s policies and the intern’s qualifications. However, some internships offer no monetary compensation at all, but instead offer academic credit hours or other non-financial remunerations.

Internships are an excellent opportunity for students to put their academic knowledge into practice, gaining hands-on experience in their field of study. Besides, they can help interns build valuable connections and make a positive impression on future employers. Though they come with a salary, it’s important to note that internships are a stepping stone in one’s career development and should not be regarded as the end-goal. Instead, they offer an excellent opportunity for young professionals to expand their skills and increase their chances of success in the job market.

Benefits of doing an internship

Internships are a great way for students and recent graduates to get a foot in the door of their desired industry. Here are some of the main benefits of doing an internship:

  • Experience: An internship provides valuable hands-on experience that can be applied in future job opportunities.
  • Networking: Internships give students the opportunity to make connections in their desired industry, which can lead to future job opportunities.
  • Skill Development: Internships allow students to develop and improve skills that are specific to their desired industry.
  • Career Exploration: Internships provide students with the opportunity to explore different career paths and industries, and determine which one is the best fit for them.
  • Resume Booster: Internships look great on a resume and can be a deciding factor for future employers.

Overall, an internship is a valuable investment in a student’s future career, providing them with experience, networking opportunities, skill development, career exploration, and a resume booster.

Types of internships available

Internships come in many shapes and sizes. There are diverse types of internships based on educational level, duration, industry, and compensation. Here are some of the most common internships:

  • Summer Internship: These internships are the most popular and usually occur between May and September, lasting 8 to 12 weeks. Summer internships give students a taste of real-world experiences before going back to school.
  • Credit-Based Internship: In this type of internship, students receive academic credit for their work. This type of internship is ideal for those who want to gain experience while still completing their degree requirements and for those who cannot afford to take an unpaid internship.
  • Virtual Internship: A virtual internship occurs entirely online, and interns can work from anywhere. Virtual internships are popular with students who live far from urban areas, students with disabilities, or those with family or work obligations that make a traditional internship difficult.

Internships come with different compensations, some are paid while others are unpaid. Here’s a breakdown of the typical compensation structure for internships:

Type of Internship Compensation
Unpaid Internship $0 per hour
Stipend Internship $500-1,500 per month
Paid Internship $10-$20 per hour

It’s important to note that paid internships are more prevalent in competitive industries such as finance, engineering, and computer science. However, it’s not uncommon for smaller startups or nonprofits to offer unpaid internships. Always research a company’s internship structure before applying to ensure that it aligns with your needs and values.

Finding and Applying for Internships

Internships are an excellent way to gain valuable work experience, build your professional network, and possibly even secure a job after graduation. However, the process of finding and applying for internships can seem daunting at first. Here are some tips to help you navigate the process:

  • Start early: It’s never too early to start looking for internships. Many companies start recruiting interns well in advance, often six months or more before the start date. To give yourself the best chance of finding an internship that suits you, start researching and applying early.
  • Network: Take advantage of any networking opportunities that come your way. Attend career fairs, join professional organizations, and connect with alumni from your school who work in your field of interest. Building relationships with people in your industry can help you learn about job and internship openings before they are publicly advertised.
  • Use online resources: Websites such as InternMatch, Internships.com, and WayUp can help you find internships based on your interests, location, and skill set. These resources also provide helpful information about the company, job requirements, and the application process.

Once you have identified internships that interest you, it’s time to start applying. Here are some tips to help you with your applications:

  • Customize your resume and cover letter: Make sure your resume and cover letter are tailored to the specific internship and company you are applying to. Highlight the skills, experiences, and achievements that are most relevant to the position.
  • Follow the instructions: Be sure to follow all instructions provided in the internship posting or application. Some companies may ask for additional materials or have specific requirements for the application process.
  • Submit your application early: Just like with job applications, submitting your internship application as early as possible can help you stand out from the competition. Pay attention to any deadlines provided and submit your application with plenty of time to spare.

How Much Do Interns Usually Get Paid?

One question that often comes up when considering applying for an internship is how much it pays. The answer varies widely depending on industry, location, and the size of the company. According to a 2021 survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), the average hourly wage for interns was $19.05. However, this varies significantly by industry, with some interns earning as little as $10 per hour and others earning over $30 per hour.

Some internships are unpaid, which means that interns work without receiving any compensation. Unpaid internships are more common in certain industries, such as non-profits, government, and media, where the opportunity to gain valuable experience is often considered compensation in itself. However, unpaid internships may not be legal in all cases, as labor laws require that interns be compensated for the work they do unless certain conditions are met.

Industry Average Hourly Wage
Architecture and engineering $21.21
Arts and entertainment $14.74
Education $16.04
Finance $22.78
Healthcare $16.28
Information technology $22.48
Manufacturing and wholesale trade $18.65
Public administration $14.08
Retail and services $13.55
Transportation and logistics $19.45

Regardless of how much an internship pays, the experience and skills gained can be invaluable for future career success. As you consider applying for internships, keep in mind that the connections and knowledge gained during your internship can lead to incredible opportunities down the road.

Internship Requirements and Qualifications

An internship is an opportunity for students or people who are new to the workforce to gain practical experience in a particular field. Most internships have certain requirements and qualifications that applicants must meet in order to be considered. The following are some of the common requirements and qualifications for internships:

  • Education: Most internships require that applicants be enrolled in or have recently graduated from a college or university. This is because internships are designed to provide students with hands-on experience in their field of study.
  • GPA: Many companies require that applicants have a certain grade point average (GPA) in order to be considered for an internship. The required GPA varies depending on the company and the field of study, but it is usually around 3.0 or higher.
  • Skills: Internships often require specific skills or knowledge related to the field of study. For example, an engineering internship may require knowledge of a particular software program, while a marketing internship may require experience with social media platforms.

In addition to these common requirements and qualifications, internships may also have specific requirements that are unique to the company or industry. For example, an internship in the fashion industry may require applicants to have knowledge of sewing and pattern-making.

Internships are a great way for students to gain practical experience and build their resumes. By meeting the requirements and qualifications for an internship, students can increase their chances of being accepted and getting the most out of their internship experience.

Internship programs for college students

Internship programs for college students are designed to provide them with an opportunity to gain practical work experience in their chosen field of study. These programs are typically offered by companies, non-profit organizations, and government agencies. The main goal of these programs is to provide students with a chance to apply their academic knowledge to real-world situations and develop their professional skills.

  • Duration: Internship programs for college students can last anywhere from a few weeks to several months. Some programs may even last up to a year, depending on the company and the duration of the student’s academic program.
  • Compensation: Many college internship programs offer financial compensation, either in the form of a stipend or hourly wage. The amount of compensation can vary depending on the company, industry, and geographic location. Some internship programs may also offer academic credit instead of monetary compensation.
  • Requirements: In order to participate in an internship program, college students must meet certain requirements set by the host organization. These requirements can include being enrolled in a specific major or academic program, maintaining a certain grade point average, and possessing certain related skills or experience.

Internship programs for college students provide a unique opportunity for them to gain valuable work experience, build their professional network, and explore potential career paths. These programs can also help students to make informed decisions about their future career goals and provide them with an advantage in the job market after graduation.

Company Duration Compensation Requirements
Google 10-12 weeks Stipend Computer Science major
Goldman Sachs 10 weeks Hourly wage Business major with a minimum GPA
NASA 8-12 weeks Academic credit Engineering or science major

Overall, internship programs for college students are a great way to gain work experience, build valuable skills, and make connections in the professional world. By exploring internship opportunities during college, students can set themselves up for success after graduation and have a competitive edge in the job market.

Companies that offer paid internships

While many internships may be unpaid, there are still a number of companies that offer paid opportunities for students and recent graduates to gain hands-on experience in their chosen field. These paid internships serve not only as a valuable learning experience but also as a way for interns to earn some extra income while they work. Some of the companies that offer paid internships include:

  • Google: This tech giant offers paid internships in a variety of fields, including engineering, marketing, and design.
  • Microsoft: Like Google, Microsoft also offers paid internships in a range of areas, including software engineering, product management, and design.
  • IBM: IBM offers paid internships in fields such as software development, data science, and consulting.

Other companies that offer paid internships include Deloitte, Goldman Sachs, and Procter & Gamble. In addition to providing interns with a salary, these companies often offer other benefits, such as housing allowances, travel stipends, and access to company resources and mentors.

It’s important to note that paid internships can vary widely in terms of compensation. Some companies may offer interns an hourly wage, while others may provide a stipend for the entire duration of the internship. The amount of pay can also vary depending on factors such as the industry, location, and level of experience required. To get a better idea of what to expect, it can be helpful to do some research and look up average salaries for interns in your field and area.

Company Average Intern Salary
Google $7,500 per month
Microsoft $7,000-$8,000 per month, with additional benefits such as housing and transportation
IBM Varies depending on position and experience, but can range from $3,000-$6,000 per month

While paid internships can be a great way to earn some money while gaining valuable experience in your chosen field, it’s important to remember that compensation should not be the only factor to consider when accepting an internship. You should also take into account factors such as the company culture, the quality of the training and mentorship provided, and the potential for future career growth and advancement. By carefully considering all of these factors, you can find an internship that will provide you with the best possible learning experience and set you on the path to a successful career.

Legal aspects of internships and employment laws

When it comes to internships, it is important to understand the legal aspects and employment laws that govern them. Here are some key things to consider:

  • Interns must be paid at least minimum wage unless they meet certain criteria for unpaid internships.
  • Unpaid internships must meet very specific criteria, including that the internship is primarily for the benefit of the intern, the intern does not displace regular employees, and the employer derives no immediate advantage from the intern’s activities.
  • The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets the rules for what constitutes a legal internship and outlines the requirements for minimum wage and overtime pay.

It is also important to consider other employment laws that may apply to interns, such as discrimination and harassment laws. Interns must be protected from discrimination and harassment in the workplace, just like any other employee. This means that employers should have policies in place to prevent and address any issues that may arise.

Finally, it is important for employers to understand that interns may be deemed “employees” for purposes of certain laws, including workers’ compensation and health and safety regulations. Employers should make sure that all necessary insurance and safety measures are in place to protect their interns.

Key takeaways:
Interns must be paid at least minimum wage unless they meet certain criteria for unpaid internships.
The FLSA sets the rules for what constitutes a legal internship and outlines the requirements for minimum wage and overtime pay.
Interns must be protected from discrimination and harassment in the workplace, just like any other employee.

By understanding the legal aspects and employment laws surrounding internships, both interns and employers can ensure that the experience is mutually beneficial and complies with all applicable laws.

Frequently Asked Questions about Internships and Payment

1. What is an internship?
An internship is a temporary work position, usually in a professional field, that provides practical experience and training to individuals. It is often done by students or recent graduates to gain skills and knowledge in their chosen area of work.

2. How much do interns usually get paid?
The payment for interns varies depending on the company, industry, location, and the tasks required. Some internships are unpaid, while others offer a stipend or hourly wage. On average, paid internships in the United States range from $12 to $20 per hour.

3. Are unpaid internships legal?
Yes, unpaid internships are legal as long as they meet certain criteria established by the U.S. Department of Labor. The internship should benefit the intern, not replace regular employees, and not provide immediate advantage to the employer.

4. Can interns negotiate their salary?
Interns may try to negotiate their salary, but it depends on the company’s policies. However, it is important to do research on industry norms and the company’s budget before negotiating.

5. Do interns receive benefits like healthcare or retirement plans?
In general, interns do not receive benefits like healthcare or retirement plans, but some companies may offer them if they choose to. It also depends on the length of the internship and the company’s policies.

6. How long do internships usually last?
Internship lengths vary depending on the industry, company, and job role. Some internships are part-time or seasonal and could last for a few months, while others can be full-time and last up to a year.

7. Do internships lead to job offers?
Internships can lead to job offers, but it is not guaranteed. However, internships provide valuable experience, networking opportunities, and skills that can enhance a resume and make a candidate more competitive in the job market.

Thanks for Reading!

We hope that we have answered your questions about internships and payment. Keep in mind that internships provide valuable experience, training, and networking opportunities that can benefit your future career. Don’t hesitate to explore different internships in your field of interest and build your skillset. Stay tuned to our website for more career FAQs and tips. Thanks for reading and come back soon!