Government Is Quietly Paying Interns Over $60k

( Federal agencies are paying above $60,000 a year to interns. While some internships do not pay at all, others offer a salary higher than the median income of US adults. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in San Francisco pays student IT trainees $66,333 and $131,367 for full-time work during holidays and part-time while at college. The Department of Veterans Affairs is offering $63,758 for student nurse technicians, and the Development Finance Corporation in Washington, DC, pays between $64,957 and $84,441 for an annual monitoring internship. The nation’s median income for adults is $56,420. 

The high-paying posts are justified by the government as “Pathway Programs” intended to recruit students at the highest academic level and keep them on in a full-time capacity following completion of their training.  

Rachel Greszler of the Heritage Foundation said, “Such high pay for short-term interns almost certainly reflects the burdensome nature of the federal hiring process as well as the impact of inflation and worker shortages on the overall labor market.” Veronique de Rugy of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University added that the payment packages indicate the willingness of the federal government to overspend without scrutiny. “The government is going to not care about spending money wisely,” she said.  

According to a study in 2021, a college graduate who has taken an internship doubles their chances of gaining full-time employment. The study also found that 22% of college students undertook an internship in 2020 – about half of these were online. A large number of such posts are unpaid with 42% of online and 35% of in-person schemes undertaken without a salary. The investigation, carried out by the Center for Research On College-Workforce Transition, furthermore found that most internships are obtained through personal contacts, prompting complaints of an unfair advantage for young people with well-off or well-connected parents. In 2016, the president of the Ford Foundation said that the practice amounted to “privilege multiplied by privilege” and called for a nationwide ban on unpaid roles.