Most internship positions last an average of three or four months, and longer internships last up to eight months. Internship length is largely determined by how many hours per week are allotted for the position.
An intern working during the summer months typically works anywhere from 20 to 40 or more hours per week. This work schedule allows the intern to be immersed completely in the work environment while learning job tasks. Alternatively, internships that take place during spring and fall school semesters may stretch out over a longer period of months, because the intern is only able to work between 10 and 20 hours per week. A student working a summer internship can expect to be working at least two or three full-time days during the week. This common practice is preferred by employers, because it allows the intern to integrate better into the work environment without too much disruption.
Most internships are unpaid job positions, and the student earns school credit instead of receiving monetary compensation. A few internships offer pay along with valuable work experience, which studies show is a good deal for employers who wish to retain student talent after graduation. Some of the most competitive internships are offered by Fortune 500 companies that typically recruit for interns in January.