These 9 Industries Pay Interns the Most Money

Two Businesswomen Working On Computer In Office.
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A long career journey usually starts with the small but very important step of landing an internship. From gaining exposure to developing professional skills — as well as benefiting from mentoring and networking potential — an internship provides “invaluable” experience, per Forbes.

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In fact, Zippia found that about 1.2 million people are currently engaged in an internship, and Chegg Internships claims that 70% of those in internships land a permanent job with their employer after the “trial” wraps.

But the truth is, not all internships are created — or pay — equally.

Lending provider CashNetUSA recently set out to see how internship compensation varies from field to field and state to state, and their results show the wide range that exists — in fact, organizations in some states are reluctant to pay interns at all. To gather the data for their study, CashNetUSA looked into 50,000 roles in more than 100 different industries.

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They found these nine industries pay the most for interns:

  1. Technology (average hourly rate: $19.77).
  2. Finance (average hourly rate: $18.10).
  3. Professional (average hourly rate: $17.91).
  4. Manufacturing (average hourly rate: $17.01).
  5. Health care (average hourly rate: $16.61).
  6. Retail (average hourly rate: $16.39).
  7. Media (average hourly rate: $15.90).
  8. Education (average hourly rate: $15.60).
  9. Government (average hourly rate: $14.56).

Yet, interestingly enough, CashNetUSA’s report also found that many of the same industries also have the highest percentage of unpaid interns — with finance and retail sectors leading the way at 30.67% and 18.8%, respectively.

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Other unique findings in the report include the highest intern pay per state — with Washington, California and Connecticut coming in on top, averaging around $20.92, $20.78 and $20.39 in average hourly wages for interns, respectively. On a down note, Delaware is the state most frequently hosting unpaid internships, as reports suggested 33.5% of all internships were unpaid within its borders.

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About the Author

Selena Fragassi joined in 2022, adding to her 15 years in journalism with bylines in Spin, Paste, Nylon, Popmatters, The A.V. Club, Loudwire, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Magazine and others. She currently resides in Chicago with her rescue pets and is working on a debut historical fiction novel about WWII. She holds a degree in fiction writing from Columbia College Chicago.
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