Do Interns Get Paid?


Quick Answer

Not all interns get paid. As of 2014, over half of the interns hired by U.S. companies are not paid, according to Fortune magazine. Since internships are not the same as regular jobs, interns are paid at the discretion of their employers. Students usually take on internships to get exposure to their future careers, whether they are paid or not.

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Full Answer

The Fair Labor Standards Act specifies six criteria that differentiate an employee from a trainee or intern. An interpretation of the criteria shows that if an intern is contributing to the revenues of a business, he should be paid. If an intern is not being paid, he should be provided with skills and opportunities for his own personal benefit, while the employer should not gain anything from the work the intern performs. Some companies choose to pay interns to avoid future lawsuits. According to Forbes magazine, paid interns are happy and dedicated to their work, which leads to the development of a work ethic, and builds a company's reputation. The article advises employers who cannot pay their interns to create a mutually beneficial relationship that allows the interns to learn the actual work in exchange for going without a paycheck.

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