College intern and co-op programs can provide your company with an early opportunity to gauge the talents of a new generation of workers and, in many cases, sell your company as a quality place for students to begin their careers after they graduate.
However, internships and intern programs come in a wide variety of scales, scopes and compensation levels. While some pay nothing but provide experience and maybe a daily stipend, others pay the intern thousands of dollars a month. Last May, Glassdoor produced this list of the 25 highest paying internships in America in 2017 and it is probably not all that surprising that internships at major technology companies were the most lucrative.
The top 10 best paying companies and their median monthly pay for interns were:
- Facebook ($8,000)
- Microsoft ($7,100)
- ExxonMobil ($6,507)
- Salesforce ($6,450)
- Amazon ($6,400)
- Apple ($6,400)
- Bloomberg ($6,400)
- Yelp ($6,400)
- Yahoo ($6,080)
- VMWare ($6,080)
In this talent and economic environment, your intern or co-op program could create a high quality talent pipeline that exemplifies an employer brand where the "experience" is shown to matter. This can be the differentiator in attracting high potentials and hard-to-find talents that you might otherwise not be in the mix to win.
Besides determining salary, there are numerous other items to consider with your intern program. Consider this list from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).
Additionally, to learn how you can use mobility to attract (and retain) top talent, check out this white paper we created: 5 Strategies to Attract (And Keep!) Top Talent.
Average salaries for interns tend to increase as students persist toward attaining higher degrees and by ascending class years. For example, according to a 2017 compensation guide from NACE, intern salaries across degree and year of study ranged from an hourly rate of $13.94 for first-year associate students to $29.84 an hour for doctoral students. (See Figure 1.) Among interns earning bachelor’s degrees, employers paid hourly wages ranging from $15.67 for freshmen to $19.51 for seniors.