This post was provided by Claudia Allen, editor at the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). NACE connects campus recruiting and career services professionals, and provides best practices, trends, research, professional development, and conferences.

As your organization prepares for its summer internship program, one of the tasks you will have to undertake is setting intern wages.

Typically, interns are paid an hourly wage and fall into the “non-exempt” category due to the nature of their positions. Some employers use the salary they pay a new college hire as the starting point for determining intern wages.

In general, the average hourly wage rates for interns have increased from $0.52 to $0.70, depending on the year of student. More pronounced increases go to students at the master’s degree level.

Students earning engineering and computer science degrees generally are paid a higher wage rates than students in other disciplines, regardless of class year. Currently, at the bachelor’s degree level for seniors, those majoring I computer science and engineering earn an average hourly wage of $19.16 and $20.18 respectively. While senior-year interns majoring in communications and education earn the lowest average hourly wage rates—$16.34 and $16.82 respectively.

(Note: Your interns will talk amongst themselves, so apply your pay scales consistently.)

Average Intern Hourly Wage Rates, by Class



Freshman $15.05
Sophomore $16.10
Junior $17.19
Senior $17.94

Source: 2014 Internship & Co-op Survey, National Association of Colleges and Employers. Data are for bachelor’s degree students.

Highlights from the survey are available for free at

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