Do you make more than a Silicon Valley intern?

By Shawn Knight ยท 11 replies
Apr 29, 2016
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  1. Working as a summer intern in Silicon Valley may not sound all that appealing but you may change your tune once you hear how much the average engineering-focused intern earns.

    As Bloomberg notes, former University of California Berkeley student and soon-to-be Yelp intern Rodney Folz recently crunched the numbers and determined that the median monthly base salary at major technology companies is $6,800.

    Do the math and you’ll realize that works out to $81,600 a year, or dangerously close to double the national average wage of $46,481.52 as of 2014.

    Curious to see what his peers were earnings, Folz sent out Google surveys to a wide variety of computer science and technology groups. He also solicited reports from friends that already had internships at technology companies.

    All said and done, Folz received 503 anonymous replies to his survey from people working internships in software or electrical engineering, product design or management, program management and industrial design at dozens of companies including Apple, Google and Uber, just to name a few.

    It’s entirely possible that at least a fraction of the data is bad. For example, Folz received surveys from three people that said they’d landed internships at Snapchat with income ranging from $9,000 to $11,000 per month which seems a bit doubtful. Elsewhere, four people said Groupon offered them benefit packages worth $13,000, data Folz said was also met with skepticism among his peers.

    The data isn’t all fluff, however, as several big companies offer additional benefits to cover things like housing and travel in addition to income.

    While $6,800 might seem like a lot, one has to remember that the cost of living in and around Silicon Valley is much higher than most parts of the country. Without a housing stipend or other benefits, one could easily struggle to get by with such an income.

    Lead image courtesy Kleiner Perkins

    Permalink to story.

  2. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 3,325   +1,973

    Actually seems about right ....
  3. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 2,652   +1,092

    6-7k is just about right. and you do get other non-monetary benefits.
  4. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,920   +755

    Maybe for an area with a high cost of living like silicon valley, that is correct. However, for other areas, I suspect that that figure is high.

    Interns lack experience. While they might not like to hear that, I believe it is true. I've worked on code that interns have produced, and some of that code, I've thought that whoever wrote it may do better considering another career. That costs companies money.
    jobeard likes this.
  5. RzmmDX

    RzmmDX TS Guru Posts: 313   +67

    Because they wrote long winded scripts?
  6. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,920   +755

    Difficult to read, difficult to use, difficult to maintain, inefficient.
    jobeard likes this.
  7. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,285   +901

    That is why they are interns... they are not meant to work all by themselves, they go to LEARN, so if you CANT TEACH THEM how to improve themselves, you are -or your company- doing a bad job.

    People tend to think interns are only a cheap work source, then they can easily avoid accountability when things go south. They are in a process of learning, and blaming that on them should make wiyosaya ashamed.
  8. howzz1854

    howzz1854 TS Evangelist Posts: 611   +94

    Techspot, I believe the title of this article is misleading. upon reading it, it clearly says "median base salary", not intern salary. median salary of silicon valley is just that, the median of what everyone makes at a base. base salary meaning excluding bonuses and options. no where does it say entry level median salary, or intern base salary. com'on, this is just misleading.
  9. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,128   +982

    @Kibaruk @wiyosaya The internship is not OJT (on the job training) - - it's much closer to on the job interviewing. Each party is getting a good look at each other to determine "is this for me?" The company doesn't expect production level code from the intern (btw, lots of non-programming careers also use internships, so it aint about code) but gets to evaluate people skills and work habits without the costly; hire -- burn up some time -- and then recognize, this isn't working out.
  10. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,285   +901

    If you think interns know something about anything you might look at another definition. Interns tend to be students that are finishing or just finished college, they know nothing about what happens in the real world, hell if you ask me I ended up working in the same field but doing something I never saw in college. The company invites you, looks at your POTENTIAL and if it FITS they will COACH you to exploit this potential.
  11. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,128   +982

    @Kibaruk ALL W2 jobs are exploitation. The only way to avoid it is create your own company or camp-out on a beach in Tahiti.
  12. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,920   +755

    Often, though, the intern accepts a position at a pay rate near to what the internship pays. I've seen it. As I see it, they stand a good chance of getting better pay elsewhere, and of course, I realize that internships are not industry specific.

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