I am a senior in High School, but I have passed Freshman College programming classes, and have a lot of experience with website work.

I am currently looking at a Full Stack Internship offer where I will be solely managing a startup's transition from one website to another, with options for a future mobile application, which I have experience in.

The offer is a part-time job (20 hrs) with the option of possible remote work. This is my first official work experience, though I have done freelance work previously.

  1. Should I be looking for a 40 hour per week internship at a corporation? Or will 20 hours work and I can continue doing other work on the side (could also keep practicing my code or look for other part-time work)?

  2. What would be a good hourly rate for this kind of a job? I initially was interested in $25 for 40 hours a week, but I am guessing that their budget does not allow for this. Should I negotiate for $25 for 20 hours a week? I already suggested 25 an hour in the initial interview, so I goofed a bit.

  • 1
    1) If the internship is advertised at 20hrs, then do 20hrs (or show interest in doing more and see if they'll allow you). In your free time, carry on freelancing? 2) That's up to you and who you negotiate with. How much do you think you're worth & how much can you convince them you're worth
    – hd.
    Commented May 20, 2015 at 14:27
  • @gnat Question number 2 is probably a duplicate of that, but number 1 makes it a little different I think.
    – mcknz
    Commented May 20, 2015 at 16:30
  • @mcknz question number 1 looks like off-topic, "asking for advice on what to do... (e.g. "what job should I take?", or "what skills should I learn?")..."
    – gnat
    Commented May 20, 2015 at 16:41
  • And the correct answer is: Not more money than a company will agree to pay you (that isn't an organ harvesting scam, etc), and not less than it makes sense for you to accept compared to your other options.
    – BrianH
    Commented May 20, 2015 at 19:33

2 Answers 2

  1. 40 hours a week for an internship while taking a full undergrad load of classes is suicide, in my opinion. It's certainly possible, but it would be stressful. A typical internship while you're attending school is 12-20 hours a week, which ensures you have plenty of time for your studies.

    If you're just talking about an internship over the summer, and summer work in general, I recommend cramming in as many hours as you can tolerate. For my summer jobs I averaged 60-80 hour weeks split between 2-3 jobs. But I also never worked during the semester, so these short, intense bursts of long weeks were easy to cope with.

  2. It's hard to give you an answer for how much you should get per hour, as this depends on the area and the company. Most internships are underpaid. The idea is that they're paying you in experience, on top of $$$. I personally never saw internships pay more than $18 an hour, and $25 seems high to me, but you can try for anything you want, really. When they come back and say "No, we're going to pay you $15 an hour, because that's what our policy on interns states." Then you might just have to accept it. There's rarely any negotiating power in an internship's pay. Again it varies with company, but many places see internships as low-cost labor.

    Since this is a startup, I have no idea how it works. Just make sure you get everything in writing, and make sure they actually pay you. I've heard horror stories of start-ups being inconsistent with paying their employees and using loopholes to weasel their way out of paying people.

    Also, $25 an hour * 40 hours * 52 weeks = $52,000 a year. You may be a stellar candidate, but I would have a hard time offering $52,000 a year to someone right out of high school. The US median entry level position requiring a bachelor's degree in the US is ~$70,000 with some areas going as low as $50,000. You're missing the college education or equivalent experience, so that's a really tough sell. But this is where location plays a large role - $25 an hour in San Francisco is a lot less than $25 an hour in Middle-of-Nowheres-Ville.


I worked 4 different summer internships in college and the wages were as follows:

$12/hr for 30 hours per week. $15/hr for 40 hours per week. $5000 + housing over 10 weeks. $6000 over 10 weeks.

Were better wages available? Sure, but I took many other factors into account. For the first two I was able to live at home and commute ~30 minutes per day and saved a lot of money by not renting a place. You may want to re-think your wage scale though. $25/hr for 40 hours is the equivalent of $52k salary, which is pretty bad for a developer, but for an intern with no work experience its extremely high.

The most important thing to consider are what kind of doors an internship opens for you. Are the technologies used growing in relevance? Is this a company you would consider working for after graduation? Is it a name that would be recognizable on your resume?

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