Paid internships are a great way to gain experience in your desired field and to network with professionals. They can also help you decide if a certain career is the right fit for you. And, of course, paid internships allow you to earn money while you learn. What’s not to love?
In this article, we will explore 7 of the top-ranked and highest-paying internships in the U.S.
Before we dive into the details, let’s cover the basics, like, “What is an internship?” and, “Are all internships paid?”
What Are Internships?
An internship is defined as a period of work experience offered by an employer, typically in order to provide the intern with exposure to, and training in, the company’s operations and industry.
Internships can be completed as part of a university degree program, but they can also be undertaken by high school students and post-graduate adults.
Summer internships are the most common, but there are also winter internships, semester-long internships, and even year-long internship programs.
What Are the Benefits of an Internship?
There are many benefits to completing an internship, both for the intern and for the company they’re working for.
For students, internships provide an opportunity to gain valuable work experience and learn new skills. They can also help interns begin networking in their chosen industry by meeting and connecting with important leaders and decision-makers.
Obviously, paid internships are even more advantageous because you can earn money while learning on the job.
For companies, internships can be a great way to identify and train future employees. Interns can also bring new perspectives and energy to the workplace, and help with short-term projects or tasks.
How Many Internships are Paid Internships?
This is a common question, and the answer can vary depending on the company, country, and type of internship.
In the U.S., there are no federal laws that mandate companies to pay their interns. However, many companies choose to do so anyway, as it’s seen as a good way to attract top talent. In this article, we’re looking exclusively at programs that offer paid internships.
In some cases, interns may receive academic credit instead of (or in addition to) a paycheck. It’s important to clarify whether you’ll receive either or both as part of your paid internship participation.
Our Top 7 Paid Internships
We chose these companies’ internship programs because they are among the top-paid programs in the country and were some of the most searched-for internship programs by students and recent college graduates, according to our research.
We wanted to provide answers to the most frequently asked questions and give you the tools you need to find internships that are a good fit for you!
Amazon Paid Internships
In the U.S. today, Amazon offers internships in tech, accounting, applied science, and research science. There are many other opportunities with Amazon globally.
Some internship programs culminate in “capstone projects,” which, if accepted by Amazon leadership, can result in an offer of full-time employment upon graduation or completion of your degree program.
What you’ll learn
You’ll hone your technical skills, learn how to work in a professional environment, and gain valuable experience that will help you throughout your career.
How to apply
You can apply for an internship at Amazon by visiting the Amazon jobs website and searching for internship openings.
Find one that matches your skills and interests and click “apply.” You’ll need to upload your resume and complete Amazon’s application process.
Meta Paid Internships (Facebook)
Ranked as the #1 intern program by Glassdoor two years in a row, Meta University is “an immersive 10-week paid internship program that enables students from underrepresented communities to get to know Meta’s people, products, and services.”
The internship program at Meta University is an excellent way to gain hands-on experience and knowledge in your desired field. You’ll be paired with a mentor to help develop professional skills in addition to your technical abilities.
How to apply
To apply for an internship at Meta University, visit the website and search for internship openings.
Be sure to brush up on your coding skills and have a strong understanding of basic computer science concepts. Expect a 70-minute coding challenge when applying for Meta Engineering.
Google Paid Internships
Google internship programs are highly sought-after and for good reason. With opportunities in so many different fields, Google internships offer a wealth of experience and knowledge that can be hard to find anywhere else.
Internship programs at Google include Software Engineering, UX, STEP (formerly Engineering Practicum), Associate Product Manager, Mechanical Engineering, and Hardware Engineering.
Like most other internship programs, you’ll need to be enrolled in a full-time degree program at a university or college.
Google internship programs are available for a variety of majors and levels of study, so whether you’re an undergrad or a graduate student, there’s likely a paid Google internship that’s a fit for you.
How to apply
To apply for a Google internship, you’ll search the Google Careers website for specific internship openings that match your skills and interests. When you find one that appeals to you, click “Apply” and submit your resume.
Apple Paid Internships
Apple internships are typically divided into two categories: technical and non-technical.
Students who are studying engineering, computer science, or a similar discipline may apply for technical internships, while students interested in fields such as marketing, sales, and human resources can apply for non-technical internship opportunities.
What to expect
As an intern at Apple, you’ll likely be working on projects that are directly related to your field of study. For example, if you’re an engineering intern, you might work on developing new products or improving existing ones.
If you’re a marketing intern, you might work on creating campaigns or conducting market research.
How to apply
To apply for a paid internship at Apple, you’ll visit their website, search the available positions according to your skills and interests, and then submit your resume.
Disney Paid Internships
Disney has two programs for college students and recent graduates. One is their College Program and the other is their Professional Internships Program.
The Disney College Program is a great way for students to gain experience working for one of the world’s most iconic companies. Participants have the opportunity to work in a variety of departments, including marketing, human resources, and information technology.
In this unique program, college students live, work, and learn on a Disney campus. During their program duration, the participants will earn income, pay for lodging (at a reasonable, reduced rate, which includes utilities and incredible amenities), and gain real-world experience while being mentored by some of Disney’s top professionals.
Disney’s Professional Internship Program helps prepare young adults for their futures in careers from guest services to finance and data analysis. Applicants can choose from nine career areas or start their search based on specific Disney campus locations.
What to expect
As an intern at Disney, you’ll have the opportunity to work on real projects and gain valuable experience.
For the College Program, participants will be placed in entry-level positions and will rotate through different departments during their internship. This is a great way to get exposure to different areas of the company and learn about various aspects of the business.
Professional Interns will be placed in their chosen internship area and will work on projects that are directly related to their field of study.
How to apply
The application process for Disney internships varies depending on the internship you’re applying for.
For the College Program, interested students can apply online through the Disney website. You’ll need to create a profile and submit your resume. You’ll also be asked to answer some questions about your interests and career goals.
To apply for a Professional Internship, you’ll need to visit this part of the Disney website and search for internship openings that match your skills and interests.
You can also submit your resume and a cover letter through the online application portal.
Tesla Paid Internships
Tesla internship programs are divided into two categories: technical and non-technical.
Technical internship positions are open to students who are pursuing a degree in engineering or a related field, while non-technical internship opportunities are available for students interested in fields such as marketing, sales, and finance.
What to expect
Interns at Tesla experience 1:1 mentorship and interactive events with company experts, including seminars and community networking. Cross-team collaboration is an important part of the internship program and Tesla’s mission to “accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.”
How to apply
LinkedIn Paid Internships
LinkedIn offers internship opportunities in technical, business, and creative areas.
Technical internships fall into engineering and product management roles. Engineering roles include UI engineer, systems and infrastructure engineer, artificial intelligence, and more.
Product management interns help to develop end-to-end project plans, drive global product requirements, and assist with other vital duties as an assistant product manager.
Business internships are divided into undergraduate, MBA, and legal roles.
Undergraduate roles include such responsibilities as marketing and communications and global business organization.
MBA roles range from corporate development to product marketing to people analytics.
Legal interns are responsible for a range of duties, including legal research and writing, as well as drafting technology transaction contracts.
Creative internship opportunities range from UX research to product design to content design and more.
What to expect
Interns at LinkedIn are paired with a manager who will mentor them throughout their internship.
In addition to being paid for their time and efforts, interns enjoy paid company holidays, professional and social development activities, and free food and drinks in the office. A gym and fitness classes are also available.
How to apply
Tech internships open for applications in August and Business internships become available from late October to early November.
To apply for a LinkedIn internship, visit LinkedIn’s Student Careers website and click on the type of internship that interests you – Technical, Business, or Creative. Then, on that page, click “View our currently open roles.”
Alternatively, you can click the button in the upper right corner of the page that says, “Search Jobs.” If you do this, just make sure that you filter by “internships” when you search. Find a role that fits your skills and interest and apply.
LinkedIn has one of the best job boards available, so why not use it?
If none of these internships strike your fancy, do a quick search on LinkedIn. Simply searching for “internships” in their job board search bar will yield almost 60,000 results. It might be worth a look, and a more specific search if you have something else in mind.
LinkedIn also gives you the option to save searches that give you results you like, and, if you’d like, it will email you when new posts are made that fit your search criteria so you can be among the first applicants.
If you’re new to LinkedIn, check out Big Interview’s article on 15 LinkedIn Profile Tips. It’ll put you head and shoulders above the competition.
What Paid Internship Will You Apply For?
Internships are a fantastic way to gain real-world experience in your desired field and make connections that can help you land a job after graduation. As we said, the internship programs we’ve listed are paid internship programs, which is a nice incentive but far from the only benefit.
Also, keep in mind that this is by no means an exhaustive list; there are many more internship programs available both paid and unpaid, with a variety of other perks. Take some time to explore your options, weigh the pros and cons, and consider the possibilities. When you’re ready, apply to the program or programs that feel like the best fit(s), and good luck!