Top 25 Internships for High School Students

Student in white sweater working on a science project during her highschool internship
Updated:
February 8, 2024
12 min read
Contents

”Mary

Reviewed by:

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 02/08/24

High School Internships give students a taste of what they can expect from a job. Read on if you want to learn more about the best high school internships and how to find them!

Picture this: you’re interested in the idea of a specific career path but don’t quite know if you’re well-suited for it. Does this sound like you? You’re not alone - most high school students weigh different career ideas that will shape their entire future. Fortunately, high school internships offer more than just hands-on experience; they also provide valuable insight into what your potential career path might look like.

If you’re considering taking on an internship as a high school student, this article will cover the best experiences and when to apply. Let’s get started!

25 Top Internships for High School Students

three student studying together

The internships available to you can vary depending on your location and the field you're hoping to enter. For instance, students in more rural communities may encounter more challenges finding internship opportunities than someone living in a big city. 

Knowing the difference between an internship and a part-time job is essential. Paid internships for teens will teach you about a career and provide the necessary work experience to help you find an entry-level job in that industry. A part-time job will help you earn money but may not work in favor of your career goals.

An internship also differs from high school co-ops, which function similarly but are attached to school requirements. Co-ops are often a part of a school’s curriculum, designed to earn the student work experience while earning credits. Internships take a more part-time focus, earning work experience on the side while attending school. 

Below you'll find our recommendations for the best internship opportunities. These experiences can go a long way toward college acceptance, academic success, work experience, and getting your foot in the door for future career opportunities.

Check out our Pre-College Summer Program Directory to find internship opportunities!

Engineering Internships

female student in engineering lab

If you’d like to understand how things are built and what makes them run, consider enrolling in an engineering internship. These opportunities don’t just teach you the ins and outs of mechanics, they demonstrate the construction and reconstruction of specific objects.

1. NASA High School Internship Program (Engineering Focus)

Taking part in one of NASA’s internship programs can lead to great opportunities and experiences for students looking for a career in STEM fields. NASA is undoubtedly an outstanding choice for students wishing to break into careers in aerospace engineering, research, aviation, and many others.

Some exciting high school internships NASA offers include their Mars Climate studies, Optics for Space, AR/VR technology, Mission Science, Aircraft Mobility design, and Knowledge Management. 

Their Intern Employment Program enables students from various backgrounds to learn, contribute, and provide their perspectives on NASA’s projects. If you’re interested in learning or contributing to the process of science, sign up for the following summer’s high school programs.

2. General Electric High School Engineering Internship

For high school students eager to explore various engineering disciplines, the General Electric High School Engineering Internship is an excellent choice. This program allows students to engage in real engineering projects, collaborating with professionals to apply engineering principles to practical challenges. 

Applications for this internship typically close in the early months of the year, providing ample time for interested students to apply. 

Successful applicants find themselves working on diverse projects that span different engineering domains, offering a comprehensive experience and insight into the world of engineering.

3. Siemens STEM High School Internship

The Siemens STEM High School Internship is designed for high school students interested in applying engineering principles to real-world challenges. This internship offers the chance to collaborate on innovative projects and gain exposure to various STEM fields. 

Applications for this program usually close in the early months of the year, providing interested students with an opportunity to secure a position for the upcoming summer. Successful applicants find themselves working alongside Siemens professionals, contributing to projects that highlight the significance of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in solving real-world problems. 

This internship is an ideal pathway for high school students to explore the diverse applications of engineering in the modern world.

4. Boeing High School Engineering Internship

For high school students with dreams of contributing to the aerospace industry, the Boeing High School Engineering Internship offers an excellent opportunity. 

Applications for this program generally close in early spring, providing ample time for prospective interns to apply. Successful applicants collaborate with Boeing professionals, gaining hands-on experience in various engineering projects related to aerospace technology. 

5. Lockheed Martin High School Engineering Internship

Aspiring engineers interested in hands-on experience within the defense and aerospace sector should explore the Lockheed Martin High School Engineering Internship

Typically closing applications in the first quarter of the year, this internship allows successful applicants to work on cutting-edge projects alongside Lockheed Martin professionals. 

The program provides exposure to various engineering disciplines, allowing interns to contribute to impactful projects and gain insights into the complexities of the aerospace industry. This internship is a stepping stone for high school students to explore their passion for engineering in a renowned aerospace company.

Computer Science Internships

computer science

To learn more about how computers work and how we can benefit from their knowledge, look towards computer science internships. As an intern, you’ll gain hands-on skills involving the development of computers and how several industries can benefit from them.

1. Google Computer Science Summer Institute

High school Internships may make a significant step towards a well-built future– especially with Google. The tech giant offers a general summer program that teaches computer science from experts and innovators that can prepare to graduate high school students for their first year of CSI college.

Students from Canada, America, and Mexico have the opportunity to participate in a remote summer program so long as they have a stable internet connection. The program requires a time commitment of about 35 hours per week, with application deadlines throughout the year.

2. Microsoft High School Internship Program

For aspiring young coders, Microsoft’s Discovery Internship Program in Computer Science is an excellent pathway.

Closing applications in the early months of the year, this internship provides hands-on experience in software development projects. Successful applicants work on coding projects, enhance their technical skills, and gain insights into the corporate tech world. 

This program is a stepping stone for high school students looking to explore their interest in computer science and technology.

3. IBM High School Internship in Computer Science

The IBM High School Internship in Computer Science caters to high school students eager to explore artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and data science. 

Typically closing applications in the early months of the year, this internship allows successful applicants to collaborate with IBM professionals on innovative projects. 

The program offers exposure to cutting-edge technologies, providing a valuable experience for students interested in the diverse applications of computer science.

4. Intel High School Computer Science Internship

Aspiring computer scientists seeking hands-on experience should consider the Intel High School Computer Science Internship

Applications for this program usually close in the early months of the year, providing high school students with the opportunity to work on projects related to advanced computing technologies. 

Successful interns collaborate with Intel professionals, gaining insights into the forefront of computer science innovation and contributing to projects that shape the industry.

5. Apple High School Internships

High school students with a passion for app development can explore high school internships at Apple.

These programs at Apple allow successful applicants to work on projects using Swift, Apple's powerful and intuitive programming language. Interns collaborate with Apple professionals, gaining hands-on experience in app development and exploring the intersection of technology and creativity. 

This internship is an excellent opportunity for students interested in the expansive world of mobile app development.

Business Internships

man looking up at building

These opportunities are perfect for individuals looking to excel in entrepreneurship, accounting, or interpersonal relations of any kind. As a business intern, you’ll learn the amount of resources it takes to run a business and all aspects of it such as marketing.

1. Pathways Program  

The Pathways Program provides internships through their contacts with United States Federal agencies. The program updates regular internship opportunities searchable here through its database. Pathways internships work with government agencies, from the Internal Revenue Service to the Departments of Agriculture and Transportation. 

As a student intern, you’ll explore out-of-the-classroom experiences while learning about the careers and work done by the different agencies. Most Pathways interns work as student trainees tasked with research, analysis, and meeting participation while learning about the agency's duties and functions. You’ll be where decisions happen.

A college will likely see a Pathways internship as an intriguing academic experience on your college application or essays. Students participating in these programs sometimes go on to full careers with the agencies they interned for. The opportunities to network and earn distinction could jump-start your future career path.

Working for an agency via the Pathways Program may be a dream come true for a high schooler. With this experience, you'll know if this future career path is what you want. Each Pathways opportunity will have separate deadlines, requirements, and locations, so you must search for an internship that meets your availability.

2. Bank of America Student Leaders Program

Interested in careers in finance? Consider the Bank of America Student Leaders Program if you're looking for internships for high school students that provide leadership experience. This internship allows students to define their leadership skills for college and future careers. 

Applications close in January for the following summer, so you'll have time to decide if you want to apply. If accepted, you'll work for non-profit organizations like the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and Habitat for Humanity while participating in the D.C. Student Leaders Summit.

As a junior or senior in high school with good grades, you'll be able to qualify for this eight-week internship based in Washington, D.C. This experience can give you diverse perspectives and an understanding of different people, politics, and leadership–something you could discuss in your college personal statement!

3. J.P. Morgan High School Internship Program

For those eyeing careers in finance, the J.P. Morgan High School Internship Program offers a unique blend of leadership experience and financial acumen. This internship is tailored for high school students seeking hands-on exposure to the world of finance and business operations. 

The application process typically concludes in the early months of the year, providing ample time for aspiring finance professionals to consider and apply. 

If accepted, you'll find yourself working on strategic projects, honing your leadership skills, and gaining valuable insights into the financial industry. This internship not only shapes your understanding of finance but also positions you as a potential leader in the business world.

4. Deloitte High School Business Internship

The Deloitte High School Business Internship is designed for students with a keen interest in the consulting industry. 

This internship offers the opportunity to work on strategic projects, developing skills in business analysis and project management. Successful applicants gain valuable insights into the consulting world, contributing to their professional growth and understanding of business operations.

5. Goldman Sachs High School Internship

The Goldman Sachs High School Internship is tailored for juniors and seniors interested in exploring the financial industry.

This internship offers an opportunity to work on various projects within the company, gaining exposure to investment banking and financial services. Successful interns develop a foundational understanding of the financial sector and the role of investment banking in global markets.

Science Internships

female student looking into microscope

Science internships suit individuals wanting to explore sectors regarding health and research. As an intern, you’ll learn how to optimize your research to help you in labs and fieldwork. Many doctors, scientists, and laboratory operators choose a science internship to help advance their studies.

1. NOAA Geosciences Bridge Program

The NOAA-sponsored UMES Geoscience Bridge Program is a great bridge program internship. While interning for the NOAA, students participate in lectures and hands-on field trips. When the on-campus bridge program ends, students will jump directly into college and the Geosciences major at the University of Maryland.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration focuses on researching ocean and atmospheric sustainability. If you're interested in careers based on the ocean and saving the environment, consider this great opportunity! 

2. Smithsonian Internships

The Smithsonian also offers great opportunities for high school students. The Smithsonian Institute seeks to spread scientific knowledge, understanding, and respect for history and culture. They offer exciting internships for students looking towards careers based in sciences.

Some more promising opportunities are from the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, and the National Museum of African American History and Culture. These institutions work to honor and preserve the diversity in US history and seek diverse students for their internships. 

Application requirements and deadlines vary by opportunity. 

3. Kaiser Permanente Launch Program

If you’re interested in gaining experience in healthcare careers, consider KP! The Kaiser Permanente Healthcare company offers summer internships to high school students in Northern California as part of their KP Launch Program. 

Interns of this program have the opportunity to help their community by supporting healthcare careers. Students will take on a full-time paid internship during their seven-week summer program.

As an intern, you must meet the minimum requirements as a high schooler at least 16 years old with work authorization. Students applying for the program should be ready to meet the year’s application deadline by the end of December. 

One of Kaiser Permanente’s missions is to prioritize the participation of minority students in the program. KP acknowledges that the healthcare industry lacks diversity and seeks to change that through the Launch Program.

4. Hutton Junior Fisheries Biology Program

Do you dream about a career in biology or environmental science? The Hutton Junior, Fisheries Biology Program, seeks students for their eight-week annual summer internship. If accepted, the student will receive an awarded $3000 stipend and an expense-free trip to the annual summit, on top of the internship opportunity!

If you’re ready to apply, you’ll have to submit two essays, a letter of recommendation, a statement of interest, and your school transcript. If accepted, the Hutton Scholars Network will pair you with a local mentor to oversee your internship. Their network reaches all fifty states and even Canada and Mexico.

Hutton’s program application deadline ends in February, so apply now!

5. National Institutes of Health (NIH) High School Summer Internship Program (Biomedical Science)

Passionate about biomedical science? The National Institutes of Health (NIH) High School Summer Internship Program is tailored for high school students eager to delve into biomedical research. 

With applications usually closing in early spring, this internship offers a transformative experience during the summer months. Successful applicants work on cutting-edge projects, contributing to the advancements in biomedical science. Whether exploring cancer research, genetics, or infectious diseases, this internship exposes high school students to the diverse and impactful world of biomedical science. 

The skills acquired and the insights gained during this program can significantly shape your future pursuits in the realm of healthcare and research.

Journalism Internships

person recording on camera

For writers looking to tell a story, enrolling in a journalism internship might be the perfect path for you. You’ll learn how to excel at reporting and regurgitating information compellingly. Words are only words until you have a reader - then you have a story. 

If you want to start a path that leads to a lasting and fruitful computer science career, this internship will give you a head start!

1. The New York Times Student Journalism Institute

If journalism is your calling, consider applying for The New York Times Student Journalism Institute. Tailored for high school students passionate about storytelling and reporting, this internship provides hands-on experience in the dynamic field of journalism. 

Applications typically close in early spring, offering aspiring journalists a chance to secure a spot in this prestigious program. Successful applicants work with professionals at The New York Times, participating in workshops, reporting, and multimedia storytelling. 

This immersive experience not only enhances your journalism skills but also provides valuable insights into the world of media. The stories and perspectives gained during this internship can become a compelling part of your journey into the field of journalism.

2. CNN High School Journalism Internship

Explore the world of news production with the CNN High School Journalism Internship. As a paid internship, this program offers high school students a chance to gain hands-on experience in journalism and reporting. 

Successful interns work within CNN's newsroom, contributing to real-time news production and storytelling. This immersive experience provides a unique insight into the fast-paced environment of a global news organization, fostering a passion for journalism and media.

3. National Public Radio (NPR) High School Journalism Internship

Discover the world of radio journalism and storytelling with the NPR High School Journalism Internship

Applications typically close in early spring, providing high school students with an opportunity to delve into the world of broadcasting. 

Successful interns contribute to NPR's news production, engaging in radio journalism and gaining valuable experience in the broadcast media industry. This internship offers a unique perspective on storytelling through audio, enriching the interns' understanding of journalism.

4. Associated Press (AP) High School Journalism Internship

For high school students interested in the global news landscape, the Associated Press (AP) Internship provides an enriching experience. 

Closing applications in the early months of the year, this internship offers the opportunity to work with AP professionals, contributing to news reporting and gaining insights into the journalistic standards of a renowned global news agency. 

Successful interns engage in real-time reporting, enhancing their skills in journalism and storytelling on an international level. This internship serves as a valuable stepping stone for those aspiring to pursue a career in the field of global news reporting.

5. PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs Fellowship

The PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs Fellowship is tailored for high school students passionate about video journalism. 

Closing applications in early spring, this fellowship offers hands-on experience in video storytelling and news reporting. Successful fellows work on projects related to critical issues, producing stories that may be featured on PBS NewsHour. 

This experience provides a platform for high school students to explore the intersection of journalism and visual storytelling, contributing to their growth as aspiring journalists.

How to Find High School Internships

Like scholarships, students can find internships on online databases, some of which compile both. If you're wondering how to find internships for high school students, start by searching in your local area based on your interests. Your interests as a student should be incorporated into your dreams and what you want for your future career path. 

Internships can show up on both regular job sites and company job boards. Many job websites allow you to search separately for internships. If you need help searching online, Indeed, Glassdoor, Google, and Internship.com can be great places to start.

Internships can also run through bridge programs. These summer internships provide work experience and credit while on your future college campuses. Students intern for college credit with the program's sponsor group and immediately jump into fall classes afterward.

Another way for students to find internship opportunities is through word of mouth and networking. A simple word can go a long way if you've worked to attain a strong network from past work experiences, volunteer work, and extracurricular activities. Even asking a local company in person could be a great lead for an internship.

Like applying for a job, getting an internship depends on how well you can market yourself, so ensure your resume highlights your achievements and relevant experience. What you do every day, from extracurriculars to academics, may look good to a hiring company or college admissions.

How Important is a High School Internship for College Admissions?

student walking on campus

Having experience as an intern can show admissions teams that you're committed to exploring your field and are eager to learn and apply your skills, making you stand out! It's crucial to catch the admissions' eye with your application; pre-college internships can help!

Anything you've done that you think is important you should talk about on a college application. If you’ve taken on an internship, talk about what you experienced! An internship could make an excellent essay topic if you can relate to or even center the topic on your experience. 

Keep in mind a high school internship should not take priority over your grades or test scores. Participating in an internship isn’t essential to your success. What matters more for college should come down to your academics and other high school activities. Only take on an internship if you can stay on top of your grades.

Alternatively, you can take summer programs offered by academic institutions to explore new areas of interest before college.

How to Take the Most from the Internship

Taking the most from an internship requires proactive engagement and a strategic approach. Here are key steps to maximize your internship experience:

1. Set Clear Goals

Define specific, measurable goals you aim to achieve during the internship. Whether it's gaining practical skills, building a professional network, or exploring a specific industry, having clear objectives will guide you forward.

2. Be Proactive and Enthusiastic

Take initiative in your tasks and demonstrate enthusiasm for learning. Volunteer for additional projects, seek additional responsibilities, and showcase your willingness to contribute. Proactive interns often leave a lasting impression and may turn their internship into a job.

3. Build Relationships

Grow your professional relationships with colleagues, mentors, and supervisors. Networking within the organization can lead to not just important teachings but also opportunities that will benefit your future, such as recommendations.

4. Seek Feedback

Actively seek feedback on your performance. Regularly check in with supervisors to discuss your progress, strengths, and areas for improvement. Constructive feedback is essential for personal and professional growth.

5. Learn Beyond Your Role

Use each opportunity to understand different facets of the organization. Attend meetings, participate in different projects, and learn about departments beyond your immediate scope. This broadens your perspective and improves your understanding of the industry.

6. Document Your Achievements

Keep a record of your achievements, tasks, and new skills acquired during the internship. This documentation can serve as a valuable resource when updating your resume, LinkedIn profile, or discussing your experiences in future interviews.

7. Network Outside the Organization

Attend industry events, conferences, or networking sessions to expand your professional network beyond the internship. Connecting with professionals in your field can open doors to future opportunities and provide insights into industry trends.

8. Show Professionalism

Maintain a high level of professionalism throughout your internship. This includes dressing appropriately, adhering to deadlines, arriving on time, and demonstrating strong communication skills. You want to be known as reliable, dependable, and professional.

9. Reflect on Experiences

Take time to reflect on your experiences and identify the skills you've developed, challenges you've overcome, and lessons learned. Reflection improves self-awareness and helps you articulate your internship experience in future interviews.

10. Express Gratitude

Before finishing your internship, show thanks to those who supported and mentored you. A thoughtful thank-you email or message shows appreciation and leaves a positive impression.

By approaching your internship with a proactive mindset, a commitment to learning, and a focus on building meaningful connections, you can maximize the value you get from the internship and apply it to new experiences such as jobs or education.

FAQs: High School Internships

1. Is an Internship Good for High School Students?

An internship can be good for high school students depending on their goals, commitments, and fields of interest. While high school internships can add to your work experience and benefit your college application, it is not the only pathway available to do so. 

As a high school student, it's essential to focus on academics, extracurriculars, and work experience, so take time to decide whether an internship is the best path for you. An internship should not be a priority for high school students.

2. What are the Best Internships for High Schoolers?

The best high school internships for you will focus on your interests. Hutton Junior might be your best option if you're interested in biology or science, and The Bank of America Student Leaders program might be best if you’re interested in leadership roles. 

Only go for an internship if the opportunity works with your interests. A good internship will make it clear to the student if their interests work as an appropriate career direction.

While internships with reputable institutions such as NASA, the Smithsonian, and Google provide you with an impressive resume that stands out, don’t take them on if you have no interest in them. The best internships challenge students to start thinking about their future.

3. How Do High Schoolers Land an Internship?

There are a variety of websites and databases for high school students looking for internships. Additionally, you can find them by networking and asking the right people. Talking to your school counselors, employers, or teachers about internships can be a great place to start. 

You must also work on your resume, overall experience, and academic and non-academic portfolio to become a stronger candidate.

4. How Old Do You Have to Be for an Internship?

Generally, students must be the minimum working age in their state to take on an internship, as the position will still count as a job and comply with labor laws. Make sure that you qualify to work before you apply for an internship. 

Additionally, most students in the United States can only obtain a driver's license after turning sixteen, and you may need one to get to the job site during school hours or even work the internship.

4. Do Internships Look Good for College?

Internships help you stand out as you go through the college application process. However, other activities and experiences, such as volunteering, extracurriculars, and employment, add similar value to your application. While positive, internships for high schoolers aren’t necessary for college.

An internship will help you stand out if it is related to your field of study, so keep that in mind. You may earn college credit or some distinction by taking on the internship. At the least, you can always put it on your resume.

5. When Do Most People Apply for Internships During High School?

Most high school internships have eligibility requirements and are typically open to students who are 16 years or older. While you can start looking for internships earlier in high school, your age and grade might limit your choices. Most high school students start participating in internships during their junior and senior years.

Final Thoughts

High school internships can be beneficial to getting into college and your future career. If you can include it on your resume, it's worth extra! If you want to participate, try to do it during your junior or senior years. That way, you can include these experiences in your college application. 

Don’t take on an internship unless you know you can handle it during high school, as it should not affect your grades. Other tasks should take priority, like applying for college and standardized testing. Only participate in an internship if it will help your unique education pathway.

Good luck!

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