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Employer Guide to Internship Pay and Compensation


The Employer’s Guide To Compensation For Interns

There is a question employers everywhere are asking when it comes to the compensation of their interns: To pay or not to pay? This detailed article will explore this question and provide the facts on exactly why money is such a hot topic among the internship community.

1. The Compensation is Scarce, Even Still. Almost half – 47.8 percent, to be exact – of internships that were accepted by the Class of 2013 were all unpaid. In fact, each year in the United States there are at least one million unpaid internships.

2. If You Are Not Paying, Your Interns Will Look Other Places. Keep in mind that most interns are already lacking in finances. 41 percent of the interns that were paid say that the remuneration level was not nearly enough to pay for just their daily expenses.

61.4 percent of students are having to work second jobs when they are working at an unpaid internship. 65 percent of students are reliant on financial assistance from their parents while they are working internships.

3. Is Your Company At Risk of an Internship Lawsuit? A judge decided that the former interns of Fox Searchlight were entitled to the wage and hour protections of New York Labor Law and the FLSA. The production company Charlie Rose has had to agree to pay a $250,000 settlement when a former intern said they endured minimum wage violations.

Interns of Conde Nast have also filed a suit against the company after making the claim that they were only paid $1 per hour. Former interns of Saturday Night Live at NBC Universal are suing after not being paid for their internships.

4. There Are Benefits to Paying Your Interns. Students who are hurting financially are much more likely to accept a paid internship than a non-paid one. Of the 20 million Americans that attend college each year, 60 percent of them have to borrow annually in order to help cover their college expenses. On average, paid positions get an average of 2.5 times as many clicks as the unpaid positions on InternMatch.

You are much more likely to attract a more diverse array of candidates with paid internships, particularly those who are in debt. 81 percent of African American students and 67 percent of Latino students that earn their bachelor’s degree leave school in debt.

The interns you pay are the ones who have a better chance of being hired. The median starting salary at a first job for a paid intern is $51,930. Meanwhile, the median starting salary at the first job of an unpaid intern is $37,087. 61 percent of paid interns will at least receive one job offer. Also, as anyone might guess, paid interns are much more engaged and happier than non-paid interns.

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