Why spend your summer playing video games when you could be a high school intern at NASA getting paid to do fun stuff like riding in a space exploration vehicle? Maybe your interests are more along the lines of interning at a prestigious law firm. If you are looking for a challenge, enjoy learning and need money for college, consider paid summer internships for high school students.

Tip

An internship is a paid or unpaid hands-on experience that combines learning and doing in a workplace setting. Interns gain insights, marketable skills, employer connections and firsthand knowledge of the world of work.

Find Summer Internships and Apply

Paid internships for teens can jump start careers. Ask your guidance counselor for assistance in finding suitable paid internships for teens located near home or in parts of the country you would like to visit. You can set yourself apart from the competition by closely following application instructions and attaching recommendation letters from teachers who consider you an excellent student.

Space Exploration Internships for High School Students

If you are a U.S. citizen, a high school student with a 2.9 GPA or higher and at least 16 years old, you can apply for a 10-week summer internship at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Facilities and labs are located in Maryland, New York City, Virginia and West Virginia. Selected students receive a stipend that varies according to the number of hours worked and the student’s current education level.

The program is intended for high school students planning a career in a STEM field. Interns study meteorology, the cosmos, space travel and spacecraft engineering. Guest lectures are given by famous astronauts. NASA also offers a career path for students who desire to work for NASA after finishing their college studies.

Science and Engineering Internships for High School Students

The Science and Engineering Apprenticeship Program offers science and engineering internships for high school students interested in conducting research for the Department of the Navy. Each year, 250 high school students receive eight-week summer internships in one of 28 DoN research labs around the country. Interns gain high-tech skills working alongside scientists and engineers who serve as mentors.

New SEAP summer interns receive a $3,500 stipend, and returning interns receive $4,000. To be considered for a SEAP internship, high school applicants must have completed ninth grade and be at least 16 years old. Interns are encouraged to pursue STEM careers and to consider employment opportunities in the DoN.

Law and Government Internships for High School Students

The Constitutional Rights Foundation hosts the Expanding Horizon Internships program for first-generation, college-bound high school students in the Los Angeles area. The program is supported by the California Bar Foundation. EHI offers 50 hours of instruction in getting admitted to college, prepping for the ACT and SAT and contributing to workplace teams.

Students are offered a paid five-week internship in a top law firm, major corporation or nonprofit agency. Interns gain self-confidence and enthusiasm about career possibilities. Completing civic and law internships looks great on college admission applications and resumes.

Hospital and Health Care Internships for High School Students

Hospital internships for high school students can be very beneficial to students thinking about a career in health, nursing or medicine. Many medical facilities require high school students to pay for their internship experience. However, some health care internships offer a small salary or stipend.

For example, the Children’s Hospital on the University of Colorado Anschutz medical campus offers a nine-week summer research internship open to high school seniors. Interns are mentored by esteemed researchers and practicing hospital physicians. Interns assist with research projects related to child health. Interns receive a $3,500 stipend.

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About the Author

Dr. Mary Dowd is a dean of students whose job includes student conduct, leading the behavioral consultation team, crisis response, retention and the working with the veterans resource center. She enjoys helping parents and students solve problems through advising, teaching and writing online articles that appear on many sites. Dr. Dowd also contributes to scholarly books and journal articles.