Federal Government Interns Can Make $60K or More

federal interns 60k
Tracy O, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

By Adam Andrzejewski for RealClearPolicy

While many internships in government remain unpaid or offer hourly wages, powerful federal agencies are advertising internships that pay $60,000 and more, according to a Fox News investigation.

An IT student trainee at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in San Francisco can make between $66,333 and $131,367 if they are willing to work full time during the summer and 20 hours a week while in school, Fox reported. It also offers those interns an indefinite full-time appointment to the office after the internship. In Fresno, the Department of Veterans Affairs is offering $63,758 for a yearlong student nurse technician internship. 

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In Washington, D.C., the Development Finance Corporation is offering between $64,957 and $84,441 for a student trainee for a yearlong portfolio monitoring internship. Also in D.C., the Department of Transportation’s Office of the Inspector General is offering $53,105 for a yearlong full-time paid internship.

The country’s median income in the 4th quarter of 2022 was $56,420, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics

Many of these programs offer the higher pay because they are “Pathway Programs” that look to recruit top students and convert them to full-time positions. Experts also speculate that the higher salaries are meant to compensate for the protracted and confusing government application process, according to Fox.

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There is no problem with offering competitive salaries to recruit top talent, but offering interns without a college degree, working part time most of the year, more than the median household income of the U.S. is excessive.

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