17 Best High School Internships in NYC
The internship opportunities for high school students in NYC are plentiful across all five boroughs, even at high-profile and prestigious institutions. You may even earn money!
Internships aren’t just a college application booster—they’re also an important way to learn about a field or area of interest, network with professionals in your prospective industry, meet like-minded people, and gain general career skills.
To help you with identifying opportunities that might be a good fit for you, we’ve rounded up 18 of the top internships for high school students in New York.
17 Best High School Internships in NYC
For over a century, the Apollo Theater has been a hub for cultural innovation, particularly within the African American community. And if you are entering your senior year of high school and are interested in pursuing a career in the arts or entertainment, you could become a part of that history!
This is a paid opportunity, which teaches interns the technical skills of stage production through close work and training with Apollo employees. Students should apply at the end of 11th grade, to participate in the program during the summer before their senior year.
Teenagers in grades 8-11 have the opportunity to learn about urban agriculture and experience the wonders of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden through the nine-month Garden Apprentice Program. If you stick with the program, each year you will move up a tier (you will start in Tier 1 as an 8th or 9th grader, then move up to Tier 2 the next year, and so on).
While 12th graders are not eligible to be first-time applicants, if you are a rising senior and have reached Tier 4 you are welcome to stay on and continue refining the skills you have learned!
Activities include working with visitors and children; growing, harvesting, and cooking fruits and vegetables; and exploring the plant collections and greenhouses at BBG.
The program runs from March until November, and in December participants receive a monetary award based on tier: $250 for Tier 1, $350 for Tier 2, $450 for Tier 3, and $15 per hour worked for Tier 4. Note that there is a $50 fee when you join the program, to pay for uniforms and other equipment, but returning participants do not need to pay again, and need-based scholarships are available.
Learn about art, history, and museum education at one of the city’s finest museums through this apprenticeship program. You’ll have the opportunity to meet curators, assist with family programs, and run tours and teach camp groups during the summer. First-time apprentices earn $15/hour, and returning apprentices earn $16/hour. You can work up to 180 hours per year (for a total of $2700 or $2880!), and a metrocard will also be provided. The program is open to all New York City high school students, ages 14-19.
DOROT is dedicated to alleviating social isolation among the elderly, as research shows loneliness can have severe mental and physical health consequences. High schoolers can intern at the organization during the spring or summer. Program activities include virtual conversations about a wide range of topics, home visits, creative activities, and tech assistance.
Students in grades 9-12 can participate in the spring program, while for the summer program you must have finished at least your freshman year of high school (so you unfortunately can’t apply for the summer after 8th grade). There is no fee associated with the program.
Any high school student living in one of the five boroughs of New York can apply for the opportunity to partner with a range of business partners. Pairings will be made based on your own skills and interests, but all program participants will receive training on universal skills like communicating clearly, giving effective presentations, and navigating workplace etiquette.
After-school interns are expected to work 10-15/week, and summer interns are required to work 20-35/week during the summer. To be eligible, you must be 16 or older, a current 11th- or 12th-grade student living in the city, and must finish school by 2:30 pm so that you can arrive for work on time.
Interested in working in biomedical sciences? HOPP gives you a taste of what a career in the field is really like. You’ll work with a mentor who will act as a supervisor and help you develop your research skills. Additionally, you’ll have the opportunity to complete an independent research project that aligns with your mentor’s work. Outside of the lab, you’ll be able to participate in activities such as tours, luncheons, and team-building exercises.
To participate, you must be in at least 9th grade, and eligible to work in the United States. This is also a paid opportunity: every other week for the duration of the 8-week program, you will receive a $1,200 stipend.
High school students who are interested in art and art history, and live or attend school in New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut can apply to participate in this program during the summer before either their junior or senior year. Interns will work closely with museum professionals with expertise not only in the arts, but also with universal skills such as marketing and social media management.
After the program, interns receive a stipend in accordance with New York’s minimum wage law. The Met is also committed to making this program accessible to all qualified applicants: members of historically underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply, and if you need any accommodations or would prefer an alternative application format, you can contact the program via email.
NASA offers a variety of internships for high school students across four campuses, including New York City’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Interns can participate in either research or experiential learning, all while working with a mentor at the NASA site. Participants must be at least 16 and a current sophomore, junior, or senior, and have at least a 3.0 GPA. NASA internships are paid, and are available during the fall, spring, and summer.
Ladders for Leaders is administered by the New York Department of Youth and Community Development, which is dedicated to supporting New York City communities and alleviating the effects of poverty. The program allows high school and college students between the ages of 16-21 to complete paid internships (salaries vary, but you will be paid at least the New York State minimum wage) with a wide range of organizations.
Examples of potential employers include Bank of America, Museum of the Moving Image, LinkedIn, Morgan Stanley, and Boston Consulting Group. In your application, you will have the opportunity to select which organizations you would be interested in working with.
Participants must be high school or college students who are permanent residents of New York City, can legally work in the city, maintain at least a 3.0 GPA, and have prior volunteer or paid work experience.
Program participants learn about the criminal justice system from the inside by engaging in a wide range of workshops and discussions with staff at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. To be eligible, you must live or attend school in Manhattan and be a current high school sophomore, junior, or senior at the time of submitting your application (applications are due in March, while the program runs in July and August).
If you’re a history buff, this may be the program for you! You’ll have the opportunity to conduct your own research on a topic that is important to you, and in the process you’ll work with historian mentors, visit history archives around the city, lead gallery tours, and produce your own digital projects.
Applicants must be entering grade 10, 11, or 12, live and attend school in one of the five boroughs of New York City, and be able to legally work in the city. While this opportunity is unpaid for most participants, some interns with demonstrated financial need will be offered a stipend.
This internship is a great opportunity to learn about the natural world and environmental issues. You’ll work with Urban Park Rangers to complete environmental restoration projects across New York City’s most famous parks. You may also have the chance to go on field trips centered around activities like camping and canoeing.
Participants must commit to one, 2-2.5 hour session per week for 8 weeks in either the fall or spring. The Park Rangers will work with you to make sure your work schedule and location work with your other commitments.
This program pairs diverse students from New York City’s public schools with employers in the legal field. If you think you may one day be interested in law school, this could be a phenomenal opportunity for you to start learning about what a career in law looks like.
The tasks you complete during your internship will vary, but will likely include administrative responsibilities such as answering phone calls, filing paperwork, and assisting paralegals. Potential employers include Columbia Law School, the New York City Commission on Human Rights, and Sullivan and Cromwell.
In order to apply, you must live in one of the five boroughs of New York City, and attend one of the city’s public schools. All interns will be paid at least minimum wage ($15 an hour), but in the past some have earned up to $21 an hour.
If this program name seems like a mouthful to tell your friends at school, don’t worry: you can call it BRAINYAC for short. Participants have the rare opportunity to work on research in a university lab as high schoolers, and as a result they come away with a stronger understanding of how scientific discovery happens. In order to apply, you must be in 10th or 11th grade and be nominated by one of the program’s partners (a list can be found on the website linked above).
The Riverside Park Conservancy’s mission is to restore, maintain, and improve Riverside Park. As an intern, you will have the opportunity to learn a wide range of horticultural skills, from caring for new plantings to maintaining equipment. Anyone either in high school, about to enter high school (rising freshman), or about to graduate high school (seniors) is eligible to apply.
NYC Parks internships are perfect for those who are passionate about the environment and want to gain experience in the public sector. A variety of different internships are available, and your responsibilities will depend on which one you apply for. You could be coordinating meetings and events as a Benefits Administrative Intern, or you could be tagging fish and turtles as a Habitat Connectivity in Saltmarshes Intern!
Arete is dedicated to combating the additional challenges faced by students who come from disadvantaged backgrounds. Students in grades 8-12 who may be interested in becoming teachers can contribute to this goal through the Program for Aspiring Educational Professionals, which provides tutoring and mentorship services to middle schoolers who are struggling academically.
Arete also offers the Program for Aspiring Artist Entrepreneurs and the Program for Aspiring Engineers, Computer Programmers, and Computer Technicians, for students who are passionate about visual and performing arts or coding and computer work, respectively.
All three opportunities Arete offers are paid.
How Do Internships Impact Your College Chances?
Once you clear the academic threshold at selective colleges, your extracurriculars can be just as important as your grades. Since there are so many academically qualified candidates with strong GPAs and test scores, activities and essays are often what admissions offers rely on to see which applicants truly stand out, and best fit with their campus culture.
Admissions officers rate a student’s extracurriculars based on their impressiveness and uniqueness. Each activity can generally fall into one of four tiers, with Tier 1 being the most outstanding (i.e. a national award). An internship may fall into Tiers 1-3, depending on how selective it is.
To see how your activities stack up, use our free chancing engine. It will help you classify your extracurriculars into tiers, and let you know which aspects of your profile need improvement. Understanding how college admissions officers will view your extracurricular profile will make you much more prepared for the application process!