The Interns That Earn More Than Most Americans

By Alden WickerLearnVest

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.

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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.

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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.