Let’s make a short list of what Facebook interns have that the average worker doesn’t:
- Treadmill desks
- Access to a vast snack lounge
- Permission to hang out on Facebook all day long
- A kick-butt salary
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Yup, software engineering interns at Facebook earn, on average, around $6,400 a month, which is equivalent to about $77,000 a year, according to Glassdoor, a site that covers salary and careers. This isn’t just a quirk of Silicon Valley. Interns at investment banks and law school students with summer fellowships make similar salaries that are far above the median U.S. household income of $50,000.
Don’t get too jealous, however. As commenters on a Slate story on the topic point out, interns who pull down this kind of money hardly have time to spend it, since they are often expected to put in 80-hour weeks. And many perks in these law offices, tech offices and investment firms–like delicious subsidized lunches–are there to make the long hours more palatable.
The high salary for Facebook interns also reflects fierce competition for programmers, who get paid well throughout their career for their in-demand skills. The average Facebook software engineer makes $114,000 a year.
But back to these swank internships. Let’s do some back-of-the-napkin math: 80-hour workweeks makes for 320 hours worked each month. If an intern is paid $5,600 a month, that means he or she earns $17.50 an hour, no benefits.
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Still, that’s more than many interns who work for free. Like the poor thing who’ll get hired for this internship from hell.