Hourly Wages for Interns Have Kept Pace With Inflation

March 11, 2024 | By Kevin Gray

A group of interns.

TAGS: compensation, Internships, nace insights, surveys, talent acquisition, trends and predictions,

Hourly wages for interns have kept pace with inflation, signaling the value of these programs to employers.

Current research from NACE shows that the average hourly wage for interns has increased over the past 10 years, but when adjusted for inflation, the increase is 0.2%. The average hourly wage for interns in 2023 was $22.06. (See Figure 1.)

At the bachelor’s degree level, interns within the computer science, engineering, and actuarial science majors have the highest average hourly wages.

Planned social activities and paid holidays are the most consistently offered—and least expensive—benefits for interns, but are by no means universally offered.

In addition, more than half of respondents provide relocation assistance to interns (54.7%). Among those that do, more than three-quarters (76.8%) believe it helps them get better applicants, which is one of the main drivers behind offering relocation assistance. Similarly, respondents also say that it removes a barrier by taking the burden off students who have to relocate and helps them stay competitive.

NACE’s 2024 Guide to Compensation for Interns & Co-ops is based on data provided by the employers that responded to NACE’s 2024 Internship & Co-op Survey. The survey was conducted from October 31, 2023, to January 5, 2024; a total of 230 NACE members responded, for a response rate of 25.5%. The survey was also distributed to nonmember companies, from which an additional 53 responses were received.

blank default headshot of a user Kevin Gray is an associate editor at NACE. He can be reached at kgray@naceweb.org.