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105 Internship Statistics: Pay, Intern Employment, and Demographics

105 Internship Statistics: Pay, Intern Employment, and Demographics

105 Internship Statistics: Pay, Intern Employment, and Demographics

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Internships have become highly significant for students, particularly those on the brink of entering the professional world. Research indicates that students who engage in internships significantly enhance their prospects of securing full-time employment with improved compensation packages.

Intern cohorts often serve as invaluable talent pools for many companies, complementing the candidates stored in an applicant tracking system (ATS).

Nonetheless, the COVID-19 pandemic compelled numerous businesses to reduce or entirely suspend their internship programs. The economic downturn has exacerbated the situation, as companies have struggled to find top-tier talent amid the challenging job market conditions.

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  • Internship experience can lead to a starting salary ranging from $50,000 to $55,000. 4
  • Companies globally save $2 billion each year by offering internships. 4
  • 70% of employers make a full-time job offer to interns, with 80% of students accepting. 5
  • The average hourly pay for an intern ranges from $16.56 to $20.76. 8
  • Annually, about 750,000 women participate in internships. 13
  • General Internship Statistics

    In the U.S, internships are pivotal in shaping businesses and launching successful careers, transcending sectors from tech startups to financial corporations. A National Association of Colleges and Employers study highlights their efficacy, showing that 60% of students participate in internships.1

    These programs, blending academic learning with practical experience, play a crucial role in individual career growth and corporate innovation. The rise of internships marks a shift in workforce development, emphasizing the equal importance of hands-on experience and academic qualifications.

    • 67.3% of survey respondents faced obstacles preventing them from pursuing an internship.1
    • Each year, around 300,000 people intern in the U.S.2
    • Post-internship, 70% of interns are hired at the same company they interned with.2
    • 39.2% of internships in the U.S are unpaid, while 60.8% are paid.2
    • Former interns are 15% less likely to be unemployed and earn 6% more than those without internship experience.2
    • Paid internships are 32% more likely to lead to a full-time job than unpaid ones.2
    • The national average hourly wage for paid interns is $20.76.2
    • 31% of former students begin internships after graduating college.2
    • 56% of all interns in the U.S accept job offers from their internship company.2
    • Students with internship experience are 35% more likely to receive at least one job offer.2
    • The median starting salary for college graduates with internship experience is $47,470.2
    Internships have emerged as a pivotal stepping stone in today's job market, evidenced by the significant participation of college students in such programs. However, it's noteworthy that most still face hurdles in securing these opportunities, highlighting a gap that needs bridging.

    With a substantial proportion of interns transitioning into full-time roles at their internship companies, the value of these experiences in enhancing employability and salary prospects cannot be overstated. Interestingly, the distinction between paid and unpaid internships is well-defined, as paid positions are more likely to evolve into permanent employment.

    This trend underscores the importance for businesses to understand and adapt to the dynamics of internships as a talent acquisition strategy and a crucial career development tool.
    • The average hourly pay for interns rose by 6.2% between 2019-2020.2
    • 70% of all paid and unpaid internships were rescinded due to the COVID-19 pandemic.2
    • 90% of congressional offices compensate their interns.2
    • Entry-level professionals who intern with large tech companies like Stripe, Roblox, and NVIDIA have the highest compensation rates. Interns at these three major technology companies typically receive monthly salaries exceeding $9,000 on average.15
    • The average hourly wage for 2020-21 bachelor’s level interns and co-ops was $20.82.3
    • Intern hiring was expected to increase by 22.6% for the 2021-22 academic year.3
    • Paid interns are more likely to receive full-time employment and higher salary offers than unpaid interns.3
    • Internship experience can lead to a starting salary ranging from $50,000 to $55,000.4
    • There are an estimated 4.1 million paid internships and 1.64 million unpaid ones in 2023.4
    • Finance ($30.61), accounting ($22.93), and IT ($22.68) internships have the highest hourly mean pay.4
    • 67.15% of students doing internships in the U.S are white.4
    When Do People Start Internships?

    • Financial, accounting, and consumer packaged goods industries offer 36% of all internships.4
    • 74% of interns globally receive a permanent job offer from the company.4
    • Companies globally save $2 billion each year by offering internships.4
    • 57.5% of people globally received a full-time job offer after their internship.4
    • 64% of companies globally refused to offer new internships during the pandemic.4

    Internships are pivotal in career development yet present a complex landscape of benefits and disparities. This comprehensive overview sheds light on the current state of internships across various industries and regions, highlighting interns' crucial differences, particularly when comparing paid and unpaid opportunities.

    In the following section, we will explore how the financial dynamics affect career prospects, skill development, and long-term earnings, setting the stage for critically examining the actual cost and value of internships in the modern workforce.

    Internship Pay Statistics

    Extensive research has demonstrated that internships offer mutual advantages, benefiting students transitioning from academia to securing permanent roles and providing businesses with the necessary workforce. Nonetheless, our data indicates that not everyone receives identical benefits from internships.

    Some interns receive compensation for their work, reaping the rewards of their efforts. Conversely, some unpaid interns may or may not receive modest perks from the companies they serve. Explore these statistics on internship compensation for further insights.

    • Since 2013, at least 60% of each graduating class has had an internship or co-op during college.5
    • Over half of those who do an internship complete more than one.5
    • 13% of interns complete three internships, and 2% complete six or more.16
    • Paid interns have approximately double the likelihood of securing employment following graduation when contrasted with those who did not participate in internships.5
    • Employers begin recruiting interns eight months before the start date.17
    • 60.8% of internships were paid during 2019, with unpaid internships most common in social services.2
    • The mean hourly wage in 2019 for a paid intern with a bachelor’s degree was $19.05.3
    • Over 84% of employers offer interns planned social activities.18
    • 59% of employers assist with travel expenses.19
    • 70% of employers make a full-time job offer to interns, with 80% of students accepting.20
    • Internships are more likely to be paid when associated with a specific occupation, in lower unemployment markets, and when the local and federal minimum wage is the same.6
    • Employers are more likely to respond positively to internship applicants with previous experience.6
    The landscape of internships has evolved into a fundamental component of modern education and early career development. Many graduates have gained practical experience through internships or co-ops, often engaging in multiple internships.

    This trend is reflective of an increasing emphasis on real-world experience in addition to academic achievements. The timing of internships, with many starting post-graduation, aligns with employers' proactive recruitment strategies, often months in advance. The financial aspects, encompassing paid opportunities and employer assistance with expenses, illustrate the growing recognition of interns' value.

    Furthermore, the high rate of full-time job offers extended to interns indicates the efficacy of internships as a talent pipeline for businesses. These insights underscore the importance of internships in shaping career paths and the need for companies to invest in these programs to attract and develop future talent.
    • The highest-paying internship in 2022 was at Roblox, with an average monthly income of $9,667.1
    • 30.5% of interns participate in Communications, Media, and Public Relations within an organization.1
    • 45% of interns completed an internship online, while 47.8% completed their internship in person despite the pandemic, and 7.2% adopted a hybrid working style.1
    • 68.2% of interns completed internships within their own zip code location.1
    • The average distance for interns to travel for an internship is between 315 miles (506.94 km).1
    • Supervisors usually support an intern's effort made on a scale of 4.3 (rated out of 5).1
    • Over 39.2% of interns rate their internships as very satisfactory.1
    • Over 75.9% of male interns are compensated.1
    • Over 56.7% of paid internships are awarded to Black or African American people.1

    • Interns typically earn 40.9% less per hour than the average worker.7
    • In terms of hourly wages for interns, San Francisco, CA leads with an average of $26.64, with Boston, MA coming in second at $21.66.7
    • 81% of unpaid interns in the U.S. are women, contributing to a significant gender pay gap in internship opportunities.7
    • It is projected that in 2023, the number of unpaid interns in America will range between 1.64 and 1.66 million.7

    There is a significant gender and first-generation student gap in paid versus unpaid internships, with men and non-first-generation students more likely to receive paid opportunities. This highlights the need for more equitable access to paid internships, as they offer immediate financial benefits, leading to better job prospects and higher starting salaries.

    Intern Employment Statistics

    Certainly, ensuring secure employment opportunities following internships is a tangible reality. Consequently, students have enthusiastically participated in internship programs, given that companies consistently extend permanent job offers to individuals who successfully finish their internships. Take into account the subsequent internship employment data for further insight.

    • 21.5% of college students did an internship in 2022, amounting to an estimated 4.17 million student interns in the U.S.7
    • The average internship lasts for 18.3 weeks (about 128.1 days).7
    • 66.4% of interns secure a full-time job post-internship with a $15,000 higher salary than non-interns.7
    • 31% of interns undertake multiple internships, with women more likely to do so than men.7
    • The average hourly pay for an intern ranges from $16.56 to $20.76.7
    • The most popular industry for interns is financial services, accounting for 19% of internships.7
    • Students who completed at least one internship received an average of 1.17 job offers. Those without an internship received 16% fewer offers (0.98 offers on average).8
    • Intern hiring was expected to be down by only 0.5% in 2021 due to the COVID pandemic.9
    The evolving role of internships in shaping career trajectories is increasingly evident as a substantial portion of college students engage in these programs. This reflects a trend that spans diverse industries, with financial services leading.

    The duration of internships, averaging nearly half a year, signifies a substantial commitment that often translates into tangible benefits, including a notable salary advantage for those securing full-time roles post-internship. The gender dynamics in undertaking multiple internships, with women more likely to do so, and the demographic representation among interns reveal diversity and inclusivity within these opportunities.

    Additionally, the slight decrease in intern hiring during 2021 due to the COVID pandemic suggests a resilient market. It highlights the significance of internships as a crucial tool for students and graduates to bridge the gap between academic learning and professional experience. They can therefore be seen as one of the more positive emerging workforce trends.
    • 66% of 350 senior students engaged in an internship.14
    • Students with internships experience 15% lower unemployment, 6% higher wages five years after graduation, and grades that are 3.4% higher than those who didn’t have internships.10
    • For every 100 interns hired, 25 resulted in a permanent hire (25% conversion rate).11
    • Over 71% of interns with internal experience stay with the company for at least one year.11
    • The median salary of recent college graduates working full time is $47,470 per year.12
    • Employers highly value internship experience when hiring.12
    • Completing internships increases job offers by 16%.12
    • The retention rate for hires with internal internship experience is 71.4% after one year.12
    • Graduates with internship experience earn $2,082 more annually on average.12
    • 66.4% of graduates who underwent paid internships received job offers.12
    • Around 43% of internships are unpaid.12
    The Top Organizations That Generally Offer Internships

    • The opportunity cost for an unpaid internship is $12,986.12
    • 89.4% of employees in Congress have interned previously.12
    • More than 90% of interns at PwC are offered full-time jobs.12
    • At General Electric, 60% of participants in the leadership program were former interns.12

    This is a comprehensive overview of the current state of intern employment, including hiring rates, conversion rates, wages, and the impact of internships on future employment. Moving onto the next section, we focus on where most individuals intern.

    Internship Statistics By Demographics

    Many statistics break down internship participation by demographic in the United States. Some of the key findings include:

    • 56.1% of interns are white.2
    • 18.1% of interns are Hispanic or Latino.2
    • 10.3% of interns are Asian.2
    • 9.8% of interns are Black or African American.2
    • 6% of all interns are LGBTQ+.2
    • Interns are 35% more likely to work at public than private companies.2

    Internship Statistics by Age

    • The average age of interns is 17 years old.7

    Internship Statistics by Gender

    • Men and women participate roughly equally in internships.8
    • 35% of women receive pay during their internships, compared to 58% of men.8
    • Women account for 81% of unpaid internships and 68% of paid internships.3
    • 74% of the sample population in a NACE study were women.3
    • 58.0% of all interns are women, while 42.0% are men.2
    • Women are 77% more likely than men to secure unpaid internships.13
    • In terms of overall composition, 64.7% of student interns are women, whereas men constitute 35.3% of this group.13
    • Annually, about 750,000 women participate in internships.13
    • At the onset of their professional journeys, an estimated 400,000 women are likely to encounter sexual harassment.13
    The demographics of internship participants present a multifaceted picture, reflecting varying levels of participation across racial, gender, and sexual orientation lines.

    The overrepresentation of white interns, especially in paid positions, coupled with the underrepresentation of Black students in similar roles, highlights existing disparities in internship accessibility and compensation. Gender dynamics are particularly striking, with women more likely to engage in both paid and unpaid internships yet facing significant pay disparities compared to their male counterparts.

    This trend extends to the prevalence of sexual harassment experiences among a considerable number of women at the onset of their professional paths. Understanding these dynamics is crucial in shaping internship strategies that foster talent development and address systemic inequalities in early career experiences.
    The General Length Employers Want Internships To Run

    Internship Statistics by Race

    • White students make up 74% of paid interns, showing overrepresentation.3
    • Black students account for 6% of paid interns, showing underrepresentation.3
    • Hispanic students are more likely to never have an internship.3
    • Asian-American students are more likely to be paid interns.3
    • Multi-racial Americans are more likely to be unpaid or never interns.3
    • International students on F1 visas are more likely to be paid interns and are rarely unpaid.3

    The information provided highlights different facets of internships and work environment interactions, emphasizing the gender imbalances. While women form a significant portion of internship participants, they confront issues like a greater probability of securing unpaid roles and a notable incidence of sexual harassment at the beginning of their professional lives.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Q1. What is an internship?

    An internship is a temporary work experience that provides students or recent graduates with practical, hands-on experience in a specific field or industry. It's typically a short-term position, often paid or unpaid, aimed at gaining valuable skills and knowledge.

    Q2. Why should I do an internship?

    Internships offer several benefits, including gaining real-world experience, building a professional network, enhancing your resume, and exploring potential career paths. They can also help you apply classroom knowledge to practical situations.

    Q3. Are internships paid or unpaid?

    Internships can be paid or unpaid, depending on the organization, industry, and local labor laws. Some internships offer a stipend, while others provide hourly or monthly wages.

    Q4. How do I find an internship?

    You can find internships through various means, including online job boards, university career centers, networking events, personal connections, and company websites. Internship programs are also sometimes advertised on social media platforms.

    Q5. When should I start looking for internships?

    It's a good idea to start searching for internships well in advance, typically several months before you begin your internship. Many organizations have application deadlines, and the process can be competitive.

    Wrapping Up

    Internship programs offer students and recent graduates valuable opportunities to gain practical skills, establish essential professional connections, and explore various industries. Statistics indicate that internships often lead to enhanced career prospects, frequently resulting in job offers from the organizations where interns were trained.

    However, it's important to recognize that internships can vary significantly regarding the quality of experience and opportunities they provide. Not all internships offer the same level of learning or personal growth. Nevertheless, for young professionals, internships serve as a powerful means to gain a competitive edge in today's job market and set the foundation for a successful career in the future.

    flair is an all-in-one HR solution built on Salesforce that supports all kinds of work arrangements, including internships, traineeships, and student placements. Features such as automated onboarding workflows and performance reviews can aid in interns' professional development while providing companies access to fresh perspectives and emerging talent.

    flair helps organizations identify potential future employees who can bring innovation and new skills to the workplace while also reinforcing the company's commitment to nurturing the next generation of professionals.

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    1. National Survey of College Internships(NSCI) Report
    2. Zippia
    3. National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE)
    4. Enterprise Apps Today
    5. Forage
    6. National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER - The Demand For Interns Report)
    7. StandOut CV
    8. College Recruiter
    9. National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE)
    10. Fast Company
    11. Yello
    12. CompareCamp
    13. MarketSplash
    14. University of Vermont Report
    15. CNBC
    16. LinkedIn
    17. Florida State University
    18. Finances Online
    19. The Access Group
    20. Career Connections Center

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