While unpaid internships were a big thing in the past, the US Department of Labor now issues legal guidelines that encourage employers to pay interns for their work in fact both national and local data indicate that the overwhelming majority of internships are paid.

If you graduate college with no internships, your chances of finding a job are just 32%, now if you get unpaid internships then your chances go up to 44%, but if you land a paid internship then your chances of finding a job skyrocket to 72%.

The fact is that paid internships give you higher chances of getting a job, and you'll be paid more throughout your career so let's talk about the highest-paid internships.

Average Hourly Rate for Interns:

The National Association of Colleges & Employers (NACE) reported that the average hourly wage for undergraduate interns rose from $16.35 in 2014 to $18.06 in 2017. With paid internships, students are typically paid weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or provided a stipend. NACE also reported in May 2017 that they anticipated employers hiring 3.4% more interns in 2017 than in the previous year.

Depends on Your Degree Level:

A recent internship survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) offers some insight into what employers are paying interns for their work. The average hourly wage rate for a bachelor's degree intern is $16.26.

Generally, the closer to the terminal degree, the higher the internship wage. A college senior, for example, averages 20.2 percent more than a student who just completed the freshman year: $17.47 versus $14.53 per hour. Similarly, the higher the level of the degree, the higher the wage. In fact, according to NACE’s latest intern compensation report, the average hourly wage for a master’s degree candidate is 35 percent more than the average wage rate for an intern earning a bachelor’s degree: $21.90 compared to $16.26.

Intern Salaries are Increasing Across all Levels:

According to Guide to Compensation for Interns and Co-ops, National Association of Colleges and Employers In 2018, the average hourly wage earned by interns is up 3.7 percent from last year. Overall, interns also saw their average hourly wages climb across all degree levels and years.

Across degree levels, the average hourly wage ranges from $14.47 for first-year associate degree students to $32.35 for those pursuing doctoral degrees.

The biggest gains over last year’s wages were among the highest degree levels—interns earning doctoral degrees and second-year master’s students, whose average hourly salaries grew $2.51 (8.4 percent) and $2.04 (8.1 percent), respectively. Second-year associate degree interns also saw a sizable gain of $1.37 (9.1 percent) per hour from last year.

The Highest Paid Internships Are In Fintech:

These internships are reserved for actual geniuses the highest pay is at hedge funds like Two Sigma, Jane Street, and D E Shaw, mainly in software engineering and finance quant roles, and their salaries blow everyone else's out of the water.

The job involves working on software and algorithms to bring in billions of dollars to the hedge fund, and that's why these people make so much money. The people who intern at these companies are amazing at programming and have insane analytical and critical thinking skills.

Getting into one of these is much more competitive than other internships, before you even get an interview you have to pass technical tests, and then you have multiple technical and behavioral interviews.

The pay might be hard to believe, but if you manage to get into one of these companies you'll make over $11 000 a month as an intern, that's $28 000 throughout the entire summer if you have a 10-week internship.

Tech Industry:

Tech companies totally dominate the list of the highest-paid internships. What’s great is that the top tech companies offer many different types of internships; from marketing to product design and even data roles, all of which are really high paid, but the highest-paid roles tend to involve software engineering.

If you want a software engineering internship, you should make sure you have good technical skills like coding. Most people that internship tend to be computer science majors, but you don't necessarily need that, all the companies care about is what skills you bring to the table.

These five companies have the highest-paid tech internships:

· Facebook: pays interns a median salary of $8 000 a month

· Amazon: pays around $7 000

· Salesforce: is around $7 600

· Google: pays $7 500 dollars a month

· Microsoft: pays interns a median salary of $7 200 a month

Most of these internships are around 12 weeks which means you would make around $24 000 for the entire summer

Investment Banking:

Investment banking interns at top banks like Goldman, JP Morgan, and Barclays, make around $6 500 a month, that’s if you're an undergrad. As an MBA you could make $10 000 a month. For context, the average American makes just $4000 a month.

If you want to land an internship at one of these companies, the key is to start early on in your college career, join investment clubs and business frats to show your interest in the field, and then use that to network with alumni in investment banking, and start learning the technical side of things, like financial modeling and sharpening your excel skills. That’s going to set you up to get a finance-related internship, and then you'll have the experience investment banks look for in their interns.

Consulting Internships:

Top consulting firms like Mckinsey, Bain, and BCG pay their undergraduate interns around $7 000 a month, that's $18 000 for a ten-week internship. And that's totally wild until you realize MBA interns get paid $12 000 dollars a month which is $32 000 for 10 weeks.

Getting into these top-tier consulting firms is extremely difficult, usually, they only recruit out of highly ranked schools like the ivy leagues, and they look for people who go above and beyond both in and outside of the classroom that's not to say it's impossible to work at one of these places unless you go to an ivy league

Like Accenture and Deloitte, mid-tier consulting firms are much more attainable to get into, but they're still really competitive. Their pay is around $35 an hour, plus you get overtime and sometimes even a signing bonus. That means you'll average around $5 600 a month.

Even if you work at a lower-tier consulting firm, you'll still make around $25 an hour and that's $4 000 a month or $10 000 for a ten-week internship