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  • Despite Gains, Mean Wage for Interns Falls Short of 2010 Level

    BETHLEHEM, PA—Despite some recent growth following a post-recession dip, bachelor’s-level interns still earned less in 2017 than they did in 2010 when these salaries are adjusted for inflation, according to a new report from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

    NACE’s 2017 Internship & Co-op Survey found that the mean hourly wage for interns has risen from $16.35 in 2014 to $18.06 in 2017. However, in real terms, they have not regained the ground lost to the recession. In fact, when wages are adjusted to 2017 levels, 2010 interns earned a mean hourly wage of $18.93. (See Figure 1.)

    That said, in both nominal and real dollars, intern wages have made gains over the past three years; that, coupled with an increase in intern hiring in 2017, suggests intern wages may soon see a larger boost.

    In 2017, factors associated with the highest average rates for bachelor’s-level interns included engineering and physical science majors; employers in the Southwest region; and the food/beverage manufacturing and management consulting industries.

    Figure 1: Mean hourly wage rate for bachelor's-level interns: 2010-17

    Source: 2017 Internship & Co-op Survey, National Association of Colleges and Employers

    About the 2017 Internship & Co-op Survey: NACE’s 2017 Internship & Co-op Survey was conducted from November 21, 2016, to February 17, 2017, among NACE employer members; there were 276 respondents, representing 26.4 percent of all eligible respondents. An executive summary from the 2017 Internship & Co-op Survey is available at  

    About NACE: Since 1956, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) has been the leading source of information about the employment of college graduates. For more information, visit NACE maintains a virtual press room for the media at