15 Paid Internships for High School Students

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Internships are a great opportunity for high schoolers to network, explore different fields, and gain real-world experience. Internships also look great on college applications—they demonstrate determination, motivation, and an active pursuit of areas of interest. In addition, many internships pay, which is important for students looking for ways to cover the cost of college.


15 Paid Internships for High School Students


1. Bank of America Student Leaders


The Bank of America Student Leaders program prepares a diverse group of community-minded young people for success in the workforce through leadership training. While employed in these eight-week paid internships, more than 300 high school juniors and seniors from roughly 100 communities gain first-hand experience working with nonprofits such as the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and Habitat for Humanity.  


2. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Scholars Program


The AFRL Scholars program offers stipend-paid opportunities to upper-level high school students (as well as undergraduate and graduate students). Available at a variety of locations across the U.S., this STEM-focused program provides students with the chance to gain hands-on experience working with cutting-edge research and technology under the supervision of AFRL scientists and engineers.  


3. The Met High School Internship Program


This fantastic opportunity for rising juniors and seniors who attend school in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut allows students to observe, assist, and be mentored by a Met staff member—connecting them to the arts and creative professionals while gaining work experience and building a professional network. Students are placed in a department based on their interests and experience and are paid a stipend in line with New York State minimum wage law. 


4. MITRE Early Summer High School R&D Internships


MITRE’s federally funded R&D centers offer paid, 40-hour-a-week internships to ninth- and tenth-grade students interested in the STEM fields. Students will collaborate on projects including research, development, engineering, and analysis while learning how to discover, create, and lead in the science, engineering, technology, and mathematics fields. 


5. New York Historical Society Student Internship Program 


This interesting internship allows high school students entering tenth, eleventh, and twelfth grade to conduct research and tell the untold histories they care about using the resources of the New York Historical Society. Historian mentors guide students along the way and help the students create digital projects that cover the stories underrepresented in history books. Students attending a Title 1 School or students eligible for free or reduced lunch are offered a stipend—this is an unpaid internship for other students. 


6. Hutton Junior Fisheries Biology Program


Sponsored by the American Fisheries Society (AFS), this internship’s aim is to foster interest in fisheries science and management among groups underrepresented in the field. This paid internship program also provides mentoring and has paired more than 700 high schoolers with mentors since 2001—69% of Hutton alumni have gone on to study fisheries or other biological sciences.


7. Asian Art Museum Art Speak Internship 


This paid internship for high school students in grades 10-12 from the Bay Area is an excellent opportunity to explore the intersection of art, activism, and culture. Over the course of ten months, students will explore Asian art and cultural traditions, learn from local artists and arts organizations, conduct interviews with museum staff, and explore careers in the arts. They will also facilitate virtual arts activities and build leadership skills. 


8. Science and Engineering Apprenticeship Program (SEAP)


This eight-week internship doing research for the Department of Navy (DoN) pays a bi-weekly stipend and offers the chance to participate in research and receive mentoring from laboratory personnel. Three hundred high school students with an interest in pursuing a career in science and engineering participate in this program annually at 35 DoN laboratories. 


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9. Saltz Internship Program


Looking for an interesting paid internship for high school students over 14 years old in New York City? Look no further. The Saltz Internship Program at the American Museum of Natural History provides students with a stipend as they explore scientific and cultural content and engage with visitors from around the globe. Internship participants will also participate in college and career workshops, meet with scientists, and gain exposure to a variety of STEM careers. 


10. Museum of Fine Arts Boston Teen Arts Council


The Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) Teen Arts Council allows high schoolers to learn about museum professionals and build valuable leadership skills, all while earning a respectable hourly wage. Teen Arts Council students assist museum staff and visitors, participate in a variety of art classes and workshops, and provide teen-focused events for their Boston-area peers to engage with and enjoy the Museum’s collections.


11. Rockefeller University Summer Science Research Program (SSRP)


Over the course of this eight-week program, high school students will participate in a variety of events and experiences designed to deepen their understanding of biomedical research and its relationship with society. Participants are broken up into small groups of 10-12 students, assigned a research track, and mentored by scientists actively conducting research at The Rockefeller University. Not all participants are paid, but students facing financial hardship are eligible to receive a stipend. 


12. Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory High School Student Summer Research Fellowship


Only a few applicants are selected to participate in this extremely competitive paid internship for high school students. Those selected conduct an independent research project under the supervision of a faculty mentor and present their findings at the lab’s annual Summer Science Symposium. Participants will live on campus with other high school students and a residence advisor—room, board, and meals are provided at no cost. In addition, students will receive a stipend during the seven weeks the program runs. 


13. Fred Hutch Summer High School Internship Program (SHIP)


Aimed at students from underrepresented groups in biomedical science, the SHIP is an eight-week, full-time, paid internship for rising twelfth graders. Students will receive an orientation covering laboratory safety, technique, and skills then proceed to participate in immersive mentored activities in a Fred Hutch research group in Seattle. Additional activities for interns include social events, workshops, and presentations. 


14. Richard Louie Memorial Internship for High School Students


The Richard Louie Memorial Internship for High School Students allows interns to work in the Smithsonian’s museums of Asian art (the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery) and undertake a specific independent project within a departmental area of interest. Participants are required to be over 16 years old and enrolled in high school, and preference is given to students who are fluent in an Asian language or who have demonstrated an interest in Asian art and culture. At the completion of 200 internship hours, students are awarded a stipend.   


15. Texas Tech Anson L. Clark Scholars Program


The Clark Scholars Program delivers an incredible variety of paid internships for high school students in fields ranging from Accounting to Theatre Arts. This prestigious and intensive seven-week program is extremely competitive, just 12 exceptional high school juniors/seniors are chosen from a global pool of applicants to undertake hands-on, faculty-supervised research. Upon completion of a successful project report, participants receive a tax-free stipend. 


How Do Internships Impact Your College Chances?


One of the ways internships benefit college-bound high schoolers is by contributing to their extracurricular activities, which account for as much as a quarter of admissions decisions. Extracurricular activities are broken down into four tiers, with internships such as the Texas Tech Anson L. Clark Scholars Program ranking in tier 1 (rare and exceptional) and internships like working at your local humane society ranking in tier 4 (commonly seen). 


If you’re curious how your paid high school internship affects your odds of college admission, CollegeVine can help. Our free chancing calculator factors in data such as grades and test scores along with other considerations such as extracurricular activities, like internships, to predict your odds at hundreds of schools across the country. Sign up for your free CollegeVine account to start using this valuable tool.



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Short Bio
A graduate of Northeastern University with a degree in English, Tim Peck currently lives in Concord, New Hampshire, where he balances a freelance writing career with the needs of his two Australian Shepherds to play outside.

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