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Top Highest-Paying Internships & How To Get Them

It’s no secret that interns rank the lowest on the totem pole—which typically means no compensation. In exchange for money, you are given what employers like to call “experience.” But here’s an even bigger secret you might not have heard of: there are actually companies out there who will pay you to intern. Wait, what? Yes, you heard that correctly, and while you won’t be making 100 G’s over the summer, we all know that a little cash can go a long way (especially if you’re interning in a city and funds are low). Check out these top-paying coveted internships for collegiettes (as compiled by BusinessWeek’s annual list) and find out how you can snag one before the summer so that you can bulk up your resume and your wallet.

1. BP America 
$23 to $26 per hour

True, BP hasn’t had the best PR over the past two years, but that doesn’t mean that this global energy company isn’t generous to its interns. Those students interested in electrical engineering can make bank by earning as much as $5,5000 a month, while other interns can earn $23 to $26 an hour.

If you’re interested in working with professionals on real problems that the company tackles, as well as potentially having the opportunity to transition into a fulltime position, check out BP’s intern page for more details to see how you can apply.

Science, engineering and business majors: to apply, BP says to visit your career placement office to see when a BP rep will be on your campus conducting interviews.

2. JP Morgan Chase
$12,385 per internship 

While an hourly wage amount was not available based on BusinessWeek’s list, we can tell you that students can earn up to $12,385 through an internship at this financial firm.

If you’re a finance or accounting major who has excellent analytical and communication skills and crunching numbers is second nature, this internship might be right up your alley. As a company that tends to offer fulltime analyst positions to their pool of summer analysts, it doesn’t hurt to apply to one of their six programs ranging from investment banking to asset management.

Though their summer program is mainly geared to rising seniors, they also have freshman and sophomore internship opportunities. Check them all out here.

Heads up: students should have a strong transcript. Juniors and seniors, make sure you have that 3.2 GPA and for freshmen and sophomores, you need a 3.5. Other qualifications include great communication and teamwork skills.

3. Goldman Sachs
$29 per hour 

When you think of investment banking, Goldman Sachs is likely one of the first firms that comes to mind. Again, if you’re a numbers girl and terms like “prime brokerage” and “private equity” make your heart sing, then your first stop in becoming a potential Sachs employee is landing an internship there, where you can make up to $29 an hour. Sachs offers 10-week summer internships in various locations, where interns are introduced to the company with a three to four-day orientation as well as specific firm-wide and specific division learning series. For a chance at working at this renowned firm and for more details on the application process, visit their intern page here.

Not a finance major? Luckily, it’s not a deal-breaker. According to their website, “Whatever your discipline or major, we encourage you to apply, provided you share an interest in the financial markets and have demonstrated strong academic performance and professional drive.”

4. Procter & Gamble
$26 per hour

Ever want to intern at a Fortune 500 company? Now here’s your chance as well as a chance to earn a paycheck, where interns can accumulate $26 an hour at the esteemed Procter & Gamble. Based in Cincinnati, you’ll be part of a P&G sponsored program called FAST, where interns are included in a “unique intern team experience solving P&G’s strategic challenges.” If you’re up for the challenge and want to have a shot at being in a group where 70 to 80 percent of interns receive fulltime job offers, then take a look at P&G’s Intern and Co-op page for more information.

Here’s another perk: depending on where you go for your internship, all U.S.-based interns are eligible for relocation benefits. The P&G website says that if your permanent or current address is more than 50 miles from your P&G intern placement, you’ll be provided with a “lump sum” based on factors like travel distance and family size.

5. Deloitte & Touche
$24.50 per hour

Working in four primary business areas including audit, financial advisory, tax and consulting, Deloitte works to provide selected services to clients by collaborating independent firms under Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (DTTL), a UK private company. Ranked No. 1 by BusinessWeek’s “Best Place to Launch a Career” list, the company boasts that there will be “no sitting around making copies or working in a back-office environment.” If you’re ready for a hands-on experience while working in a challenging environment (and making up to $24.50 an hour), check out Deloitte’s internship page for available opportunities.

With office locations in almost 150 countries, visit their website to look for a specific location.


$24.80 per hour

This audit, tax and advisory firm helps to solve industry-specific problems of clients in more than 144 countries worldwide. By interning at KPMG, not only can you make up to $24.80 and hour, but you’ll also receive training sessions, focused on key skills and knowledge for your success in the profession. Other cool perks: you’ll get a laptop to take back to campus to use your final year of school. Sounds pretty sweet to us. For more benefits about interning at KPMG, visit their website to learn about their Global Internship Program as well. 

Don’t want a conventional internship? You can participate in the Build Your Own Internship program, where you can intern with two practices as opposed to just one! To apply, talk to your on-campus recruiter for more details by contacting your career services office.

7. PricewaterhouseCoopers
$23.75 per hour 

By honing in on audit and assurance, tax and advisory services, “PwC” focuses on “16 key industries and provides targeted services that include — but are not limited to — human resources, deals, forensics, and consulting services.” You can earn $23.75 an hour while interacting with marketing professions and will “participate in technical training that is geared to bridge the gap between your academic education and your initial assignments and responsibilities as an intern.” For more details on how you can become a part of this demanding but rewarding program, explore PwC’s internship curriculum here.

8. Merck
$22.20 per hour

As a business dedicated to preserving and improving human life and animal health, Merck works to “support public policies that advance the interests of patients, improve public health and promote access to medicines and innovation.” Merck seeks to recruit top-notch interns in departments such as research & development, finance, communications and sales & marketing, where they can make up to $22.20 an hour. Visit here to learn how to make your own Merck profile as well as other information on the application process.

The Merck website recommends, “All interested candidates should create a profile and then apply to posted intern/co-op positions beginning in the fall.” Visit their career site to make your profile and begin the application process.

9. Ernst & Young
$22 per hour 

A “global leader in assurancetaxtransactionadvisory services and strategic growth markets,” Ernst & Young pays their interns a solid $22 an hour. If you’re interested in collaborating with professionals and participating in award-winning learning and development programs, develop your career early by taking on an internship at Ernst & Young—“a great way to apply what you’ve learned in school, test the waters of the professional world and build a strong foundation for achieving your career goals,” according to their website.

For more information on how you can be the next intern at Ernst & Young, visit here.

The Ernst & Young website says, “Take the first step! Contact your college placement or career service office to find out when Ernst & Young is scheduled to interview on your campus” in order to apply.

Good luck!


Taylor Trudon (University of Connecticut ’11) is a journalism major originally from East Lyme, Connecticut. She is commentary editor of the student newspaper, The Daily Campus, a blogger for The Huffington Post and is a proud two-time 2009 and 2010 New York Women in Communications scholarship recipient. She has interned at Seventeen and O, The Oprah Magazine. After college, Taylor aspires to pursue a career in magazine journalism while living in New York City. When she's not in her media bubble, she enjoys making homemade guacamole, quoting John Hughes movies and shamelessly reading the Weddings/Celebrations section of The New York Times on Sundays (with coffee, of course).
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