Just a few years ago, internships were simply résumé builders, and students who landed them would be lucky to break even in terms of salary and expenses. While gaining experience is still the key motivating factor behind internships, computer science majors should now be able to put a few dollars away over the summer, as intern salaries for prospective engineers continue to skyrocket.
For the chart below, we looked at the average prorated intern salaries offered by Google, Facebook, Amazon, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and a number of hedge funds and high-frequency trading firms, courtesy of self-reported data in giant new Reddit thread. The offers were all made to software engineer interns in the United States.
Perhaps the biggest surprise is the fact that Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan are just a bit more generous than the three big tech firms, at least at first glance. There are two competing factors here that slightly change the equation. First, Goldman and JPMorgan engineering interns were offered hourly wages of $52 and $47.36, respectively; with a high probability of overtime, take-home pay rises significantly (depending on the internal group the intern works for).
However, the two banks only offer a one-time housing stipend of $1,500, plus travel expenses, according to respondents. Meanwhile, Google offers a $9,000 lump sum, while Facebook and Amazon provide free corporate housing. Considering the lofty rent prices in New York City, San Francisco and Seattle, interns at the three tech firms may come out ahead, even with a lack of paid overtime.
Interestingly, there was no deviation from the average in terms of internship salaries: Each tech company and bank made the same offer to every candidate (yes, JPMorgan’s hourly rate in New York is exactly $47.36). So negotiating as an intern appears to be fruitless across industries. It’s also worth noting that the standard internship length at Google and Facebook is 12 weeks, compared to just 10 at most investment banks. That fact may not change the prorated numbers, but it will put more actual cash in your pocket.
Elsewhere, internships at hedge funds and high-frequency trading firms are a completely different story. While there is a fairly wide range of prorated salaries, the starting point is significantly higher for prospective quants and trading engineers. The average prorated salary is over $150,000, with a floor of around $140,000. All respondents (mostly in New York and Chicago) said they were also offered free corporate housing for the duration of the internship.
Some banks refer interns to discounted shared-living providers, but the rent is still very pricey. That said, it appears banks now pay their engineering interns more than summer analysts working within their investment bank, something that wasn’t true until very recently.
This article originally appeared in eFinancialCareers.