Where Interns Make The Most Money

It used to be that interns expected to do little more than scut work and get scut pay for it. But that’s no longer true—at least at many of the better companies where a new report finds that internship responsibilities and pay can be pretty darn good—even better than what the typical full-time worker in the U.S. gets.

According to Glassdoor reports, which are based on self-reported salaries by current or recent interns, the highest paying internship in the U.S. is at Facebook which forks over $8,000 a month in median monthly pay. At a time when the median annual salary for a full-time U.S. worker is just $51,350, that’s really good money. In fact, if interns at some of the best-paying companies worked a full 12 months, their salaries would range from about $96,000 at Facebook (o about $55,000 at Bank of America, much higher than what the average full-time American worker earns.

Not surprisingly, tech companies dominate the top of the list. After Facebook, there’s Microsoft ($7,100), No. 3 ExxonMobil ($6,507), No. 4 Salesforce ($6,450), and No. 5 Amazon ($6,400). High tech firms fill out the top ten, with Apple, Bloomberg LP, and Yelp, all paying $6,400 in median pay per month, while No. 9 Yahoo and VMware pay $6,080. One big surprise: Google found itself 11th on the list, paying interns $6,000, two grand less per month than Facebook.


The highest paid finance internship on the list was at BlackRock, which came in at $5,400 a month, followed by Capital One ($5,000), Deuutsche Bank ($4,640), AIG ($4616), and Bank of America ($4,570).

However, one drawback to the analysis is that firms without enough salary reports from interns to meet the sample size were excluded from the analysis. That includes the big global consulting firms, such as McKinsey, Bain, BCG and Deloitte, as well as some Wall Street investment banks and law firms that typically pay well but didn’t make the list because too few interns filed reports with the website. Another issue is that the median numbers include both undergraduate and graduate pay.

Yet, some companies failing to make the Glassdoor analysis clearly pay more. Hedge funds that hired undergraduate interns last summer from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School paid their summer workers an average salary of $8,390, according to the school’s employment report. The management consulting firms last year paid Wharton undergraduate interns average monthly salaries of $4,923. The highest paid industry for Whartonites was predictably finance where the average monthly pay came to $6,555. Within the financial sector, the investment banking internships paid average monthly salaries of $7,517. Still, the Wharton report affirms Glassdoor’s analysis in one way. The single highest paid position was software developer/engineer, an internship that paid $7,617, a hundred bucks more than investment banking analysts.

All told, the 25 best-paying companies in the Glassdoor report pay their summer interns median pay of more than $4,500 a month. And pay is clearly going higher. In 2014, for example, Facebook paid interns $6,200 a month, some $1,800 less than it is now paying.


It makes sense that tech companies would end up high on the list. Many of their hires are STEM students and graduates who routinely make more money as a result of their engineering and science backgrounds. Students who take jobs in other fields without STEM majors are likely to be paid less. Indeed, the Glassdoor list found that 15 of the 25 highest paying internships are in the the technology industry.

Three of the top five intern paying companies on Glassdoor’s list in 2014, the last time the website published this information, fell off the list, including No. 1 Palantir Technologies, a Palo Alto-based software company specializing in big data analysis, where the average monthly base pay three years ago was $7,012, and No. 3 Twitter ($6,791), and No. 4 LinkedIn ($6,230). Also gone were eBay, ConocoPhillips, NetApp, AutoDesk, and Intel.

Some 16 of the 25 companies on this year’s list are making a repeat performance from 2014. Among those firms, only three saw median pay fall.

All in all, pretty good pay for a summer gig.