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Aim High With The 25 Highest-Paying Internships in the United States

highest paying internships

Gain valuable career experience while also earning top dollar when you work at one of the companies offering the highest-paying internships.

Interning can sound like a nightmare. After all, unpaid internships are everywhere, and relying on beer money tricks when you’re trying to make rent isn’t anyone’s idea of a good time. But what if you could make enough money as an intern that you don’t have to worry about your bills, and you could even start paying back your college loans?

It’s not a far-fetched idea. Some of the world’s biggest companies, ones that carry plenty of weight in the United States, offer extremely well-paying internships. It’s true that they’re very competitive, but it’s always a good idea to aim high. So what are the highest-paying internships in the United States? Here’s everything you need to know.

The Highest-Paying Internships

First off, here’s a no-frills list to get you started. 

  1. Microsoft – $7,478 Monthly
  2. LinkedIn – $7,453 Monthly
  3. Google – $7,382 Monthly
  4. ExxonMobil – $7,280 Monthly
  5. Yahoo – $7,107 Monthly
  6. VMware – $7,107 Monthly
  7. Facebook – $7,036 Monthly
  8. Apple – $6,760 Monthly
  9. Amazon – $6,531 Monthly
  10. NVIDIA – $6,413 Monthly
  11. Qualcomm – $6,413 Monthly
  12. Valero Energy – $5,893 Monthly
  13. Intel Corporation – $5,893 Monthly
  14. Chevron – $5,744 Monthly
  15. Adobe – $5,547 Monthly
  16. Tesla – $5,027 Monthly
  17. NetApp – $5,027 Monthly
  18. Salesforce – $5,027 Monthly
  19. Boeing – $4,986 Monthly
  20. KPMG – $4,873 Monthly
  21. Lockheed Martin – $4,862 Monthly
  22. PwC – $4,853 Monthly
  23. EY – $4,853 Monthly
  24. Deloitte – $4,853 Monthly
  25. Ericsson-Worldwide – $4,853 Monthly

Now that you have an idea of the type of salary you’re looking at, as well as the variety of companies, it’s time to get a little bit more information about each one.

Microsoft – $7,478 Monthly

Sector: Technology and Software

Microsoft is one of the world’s largest software companies, and that’s why its internship program has so many perks. On top of the hefty monthly salary, you’ll get free transportation, employee restaurant access, and health benefits. It’s a lot like being a full-time employee, which means you’re going to really learn a lot as an intern.

Of course, being treated like a full-time employee is both a blessing and a curse. Software companies are known for “crunching,” which can mean working a lot of overtime. It’s important to remember that this company is huge, and company life isn’t for everyone. But if you’re invested in software and engineering, it’s a great internship to strive for.

LinkedIn – $7,453 Monthly

Sector: Online Services

The LinkedIn platform is a trusted way for people to research potential employees, and that means it maintains a high profile. As essentially a networking site, it makes sense that it would place high priority on community. Interns all live in the same housing complex, there are lots of events to take part in, and people love the atmosphere — it holds a 4.9/5 rating on Glassdoor.

Despite this internship’s uproarious success, it’s obviously not for everyone. Even though many describe it as feeling like a small business, it’s actually a huge one. It can be hard to push things through the bureaucratic process, especially if you’re someone with big ideas. At the same time, this can be motivation to seek a full-time position after your internship.

Google – $7,382 Monthly

Sector: Technology and Software

Google is seemingly omnipresent. It has a monopoly on the search engine market, offers very popular smart home devices, has its own line of smartphones, and is constantly creating new ways to interact with its audience. Previous interns describe it as a place where people are treated equally, which means you shouldn’t feel like you’re automatically considered lesser as an intern.

But Google internships are cutthroat. That doesn’t mean you’re encouraged to act unethically, but rather that you’re always competing with other interns and employees if you’re looking to move up in the company. If you prefer to keep to yourself, it may not be for you. But if you love a challenge, Google might be perfect.

ExxonMobil – $7,280 Monthly

Sector: Energy

This is the highest-paying internship not at a software and technology company, which is great if your talents lie outside of those areas. Many interns describe ExxonMobil as encouraging communication between employees and teams, which means that you’re more likely to discover healthy workplace habits.

The main thing you may want to look out for is that ExxonMobil uses a ranking system for promotion that tends to utilize very rigid productivity categories. If you prefer a company culture that uses your personality as much as your physical results, this may not be the right place for you.

Yahoo – $7,107 Monthly

Sector: Online Services

If you want to feel truly valued as an intern, Yahoo is definitely a place you want to go. Interns are offered challenging tasks that really make a difference in the company, and mentors seem genuinely invested in your future. Even if you go on to work somewhere else, you’ll definitely learn a lot here.

However, Yahoo tends to have an issue with a lack of innovation, which has led to both employees and outsiders worrying about its future. You may end up having to take the things you’ve learned to another company. If that doesn’t necessarily bother you, Yahoo is definitely a worthy target.

VMware – $7,107 Monthly

Sector: Technology and Software

VMware is really challenging the concept of interns as outsiders — even as an intern, you receive a 401K, retirement and healthcare plans, and access to an employee gym. You’ll do valuable work for the company and receive a paired mentor.

Another perk that VMware offers is flexibility to work from home. However, some people would rather build community in the workplace. If you prefer to really be part of a workplace culture, you might feel disconnected from your teammates at VMware. On the other hand, if you’ve been on the internet your whole life, you might actually be good at connecting with people through text and video chat.

Facebook – $7,036 Monthly

Sector: Online Services

Facebook is far and away the most widely-used social media platform in the world, and although it’s had its fair share of controversies, its importance can’t be overstated. The internship program at Facebook is very well-structured, which means you’ll be able to perform meaningful and challenging work that’s meant to directly increase your work skills.

The unofficial Facebook motto has long been “Move fast and break things,” and while that breakneck speed can lead to great changes, it’s not always ideal. You might end up feeling left behind if you’re not good at moving and adapting, and “band-aid” solutions can be frustrating if you like being thorough.

Apple – $6,760 Monthly

Sector: Technology and Software

As an intern, you want to make a change, but some interns are treated like Employees Lite. Not so at Apple, where the internship program is structured to give interns the chance to make big changes in places where they really find interest. There are lots of different things to do at such a huge company, which means there are plenty of jobs to take on.

One of the things that Apple’s well-known for is its confidentiality, but that confidentiality is present even inside the company, and that can lead to barriers in communication. If you’re able to stay at it, though, you can work your way up and have fewer confidentiality issues.

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Amazon – $6,760 Monthly

Sector: Online Services

Amazon is known for its intention to strive toward 100% efficiency, and that means you learn a lot about how to successfully navigate a company that’s essentially a well-oiled machine. You also get the chance to both work with mentors and have individual products that interest you specifically.

One thing that’s big regarding Amazon mentorships is burnout. A lot of people report that they feel like their work demands continuously crept into their personal life, leaving them feeling like their long-term health was hurt by the demands the company placed on them. If you prefer to keep your work and personal lives separate, this is not the place to be.

NVIDIA – $6,413 Monthly

Sector: Technology and Software

It may not be the highest-paying internship available, but it very well may be the most well-prepared for interns. NVIDIA offers flexibility with work hours, collaborative projects, open work environments, a culture of fairness, and great communication, all of which have made it one of the most beloved internships out there.

Though the work side of things tends to run very smoothly, NVIDIA doesn’t have as much to offer in terms of personal life. There aren’t many intern events, and the amenities can be a little lacking in some interns’ eyes.

Qualcomm – $6,413 Monthly

Sector: Technology and Software

Work, pay, and housing opportunities are all a very substantial part of Qualcomm’s internship program, which means that you’re more than compensated for the work you put into the company. It’s focused heavily on preparing you for full-time employment, whether at Qualcomm or elsewhere, and that means you can get a lot of value from your time.

On the other hand, Qualcomm doesn’t seem to be great at matching interns to things that they really enjoy doing. You may also find that not all of the things you work on end up making a significant impact, which can be disillusioning.

Valero Energy – $5,893 Monthly

Sector: Energy

A focus on intelligent thinkers is a big part of the Valero Energy internship program, and if you’re very bright, that means you’ll shine. You also get the opportunity to be part of a larger community — the company constantly promotes community involvement, which means you can feel like you’re making an impact on the world at large.

It’s important to remember that the energy sector is inherently political, especially as questions start to arise regarding sustainability, and that politically-charged energy can be too much for some people. You’re also not always guaranteed a job after the internship is complete, which can be disappointing.

Intel Corporation – $5,893 Monthly

Sector: Technology and Software

Not being “part of the team” is a big gripe that many interns have about their internship, but that’s not a problem at Intel Corporation. You’re very close to higher-ups, which means that you may be able to work with and learn from people who are very prominent in the technology sector.

Although the supervisors and other management tend to be very high-quality, some interns have noticed that they’re pretty few in number. Cross-team collaboration is also fairly infrequent, which means you’re going to mostly be working with a smaller number of people.

Chevron – $5,744 Monthly

Sector: Energy

Chevron tends to actively reach out to interns with very competitive benefits, intern tours, and high-profile internship projects, and that can make you feel valued in the company. The environment is welcoming to interns, tending to treat them more like full-time employees than passing individuals.

However, Chevron isn’t always up to date when it comes to technology and communication. You might find that the processes are somewhat bureaucratic and the computers are running a little behind. If you prefer a great community over top-tier processes, however, it might be a useful tradeoff.

Adobe – $5,547 Monthly

Sector: Technology and Software

If there’s one thing people tend to talk about regarding Adobe internships, it’s that the work/life balance is great. The community is very friendly and you’ll tend to find yourself working on projects that really interest you rather than ones that are more routine.

The flexibility inherent in the Adobe internship process can be frustrating to people that prefer to have their path fully laid out. If you’re a go-getter, it can be very useful, but if you would rather have a heavily structured internship, this probably isn’t for you.

Tesla – $5,027 Monthly

Sector: Transportation

Tesla is a bit of a wild card because it’s focused on high-tech cars. That means it has a place for both hands-on physical builders and technology-friendly whiz kids. The company’s always on the cutting edge of brand new technology, and that means you’re always going to learn something new through the internship.

Of course, Tesla has had its fair share of media issues, especially surrounding the character of the company. That means morale isn’t always great, and media coverage of the management can make the company as a whole somewhat unstable at times.

NetApp – $5,027 Monthly

Sector: Online Services

NetApp maintains a casual approach to the work environment, and that includes interns. The company tries to help you integrate into the existing staff with planned activities and learning experiences that enhance your understanding of business while also giving you an opportunity to make a difference in high-profile projects.

The problem is that it’s not always well-balanced. Depending on the sector you’re in or even the specific team you end up with, you may end up with a very heavy or very light workload. And if you do have too light a workload, you’ll probably have to take the initiative and ask for more.

Salesforce – $5,027 Monthly

Sector: Online Services

Community really comes first at Salesforce — you’re offered both responsibility and freedom, and the company events can help you integrate into the company with no problems. Plus, you’re heavily encouraged to interact with other company members, which includes even high-level employees.

It’s good to remember that Salesforce does tend to have a slightly older workforce, which means that if you’re fresh out of high school or graduated early, you might find yourself feeling a little out of place at some of those team events.

Boeing – $4,986 Monthly

Sector: Transportation

The casual feeling of Boeing’s atmosphere make it an easy place for interns to become part of the community. It offers competitive benefits and opportunities to rise in the company, so you know that your internship can really be the start of a career.

One thing to note is that Boeing is a pretty old company, and some of the factors of its business show that old-school thought. If you’re a young, fresh intern, that old-school style can be intimidating or even frustrating.

KPMG – $4,873 Monthly

Sector: Accounting

This is one of the “Big Four” accounting firms in the United States, which means that if you’re going into the accounting sector, you’re going to want to look into one of them. KMPG has managed to create a very inclusive culture, which can be helpful if you’re used to feeling a little out of place. With plenty of hands-on work available, you’re going to learn valuable skills.

Accounting, however, does tend to have more busy and less busy seasons, which means that hours can be unpredictable. You can also end up with a pretty heavy workload during those busy seasons, while having less-interesting work during light seasons.

Lockheed Martin – $4,862 Monthly

Sector: Transportation

Lockheed Martin is a very well-known aerospace and defense company, and its variety of resources make it a great place to learn the ropes. It’s known to utilize interns’ work well and respond when interns signal that a project isn’t right for them, which has led to its internship program having a great reputation.

As one of the world’s largest aerospace and defense companies, however, the sheer size of the company means that you’ll meet a lot of people on a very fleeting basis. That can make it hard to really make “work friends,” which can occasionally lead to a disconnect with the work environment.

PwC – $4,853 Monthly

Sector: Accounting

Another “Big Four” accounting firm, PwC allows its interns to get a feel for many different work functions within the accounting sector. It works hard to be inviting and accommodating, and the skills you learn during your internship are real-world skills that you can apply to other jobs as well.

Again, because accounting tends to have a busy season, you might find that work/life balance is difficult to maintain at times. The culture at PwC also sometimes suffers from a lack of creativity, which can bore certain interns.

EY – $4,853 Monthly

Sector: Accounting

This is another one of the “Big Four” accounting firms, and its company culture is widely known to be incredibly approachable. If you want to learn general business skills that you can really put to the test, EY is a good place to learn those skills.

On top of the issues regarding accounting’s busy seasons, some interns have found that their work didn’t feel valuable. You might discover that you end up working on projects that don’t have the impact that you’d like them to.

Deloitte – $4,853 Monthly

Sector: Accounting

The last of the “Big Four” accounting firms, you’ll find that Deloitte puts a lot of effort into making sure that interns’ work is as well-utilized as the work from full-time employees. Plus, social events are extended to both employees and interns, allowing for easy mingling from both.

Many interns, however, have found that Deloitte has an issue with bureaucracy. If you like to move quickly and have a hard time with red tape, it’s likely that you’ll feel stifled with the processes that are required in order to move forward with projects.

Ericsson-Worldwide – $4,853 Monthly

Sector: Technology and Software

Ericsson-Worldwide is known for its emphasis on creativity and professional growth. Interns aren’t held back from their goals, and are given enough freedom to really make a meaningful impact on the company, but aren’t pushed so hard that it gets overwhelming. That means you’re really learning as much as you can from your training.

One of the problems that interns have run into comes from the sheer size of the company. Processes can run a little slow simply because there are so many things to do every day. It’s also in an ever-changing industry, which can have an impact on morale and job requirements.

Conclusion

Every internship is different, and what works for you might not work for other people. You might find that you love an internship that other people have hated. But one thing that you can make sure of is that you have a stable economic footing during your internship. Don’t settle for beer money hacks on your off time. Pursue these high-paying internships to set yourself up for good.

Finance Blog Staff

Finance Blog is here to show you your finance options! FinanceBlog.co is a website dedicated to providing personal finance advice for real people. We take great pride in showing readers unique financial options they otherwise would not have known about. Our primary goal is to make finance simple, for everyone.
Finance Blog Staff

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