What if I told you that internships are more lucrative today than they’ve been at any point this decade? You’d probably call me a fat liar, which, one of those is uncalled for. But it’s true! According to the Wall Street Journal, average compensation for internships has risen to its highest point since 2010, at a whopping $18.06/hour.
The years since 2010 have been rough, though. After bottoming out in 2014, average internship wages have risen steadily, but unfortunately remain lower than they were seven years ago. However, this issue is likely due not to people getting paid less, but due to the fact that more people are getting paid! How does this work? The law of averages.
Unpaid internships faced a lot of scrutiny at the turn of the decade, and several class-action lawsuits were filed against the practice. Once everyone took notice, they said, “I remember something from history class about not paying people for labor being bad” and the practice began to disappear. What happened THEN was that all the unpaid internships became paid internships at the minimum wage, driving down the average of internship wage. Apparently the people who did this study, much like primitive mesoamerican tribes, have no concept of zero.
A couple of things. First of all, if you’ve ever held a minimum wage job, $18.06/hr looks pretty good. IN FACT if you extrapolate that number to 40 hours a week over 50 weeks (I’m giving you two weeks paid vacation because I have to) you get over $36k, or as I like to call it, three times higher than the federal poverty line! Moreover, the average starting salary for an entry position fresh out of college is just a shade under $50k. So throw another avocado into the toaster or whatever because you’re about to be a rich-ass millennial like the rest of us..
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