Workplace Recruiting & Staffing

Should Internships Be Paid or Unpaid?

By: JobGet
Jun 24, 2020 • 3 min read

Why Employers Should or Shouldn’t Pay Interns

In my opinion, an unpaid internship is a drawback that affects the modern American economy. I understand why companies provide these services. If they are indeed a way for people entering the labor market to gain some practical experience by taking a small amount of work in selected areas. I became a member of the fight against the wave of unpaid internships, which is my personal mission, therefore, for these reasons, each intern should be paid.

two women and one man on computer screen


The U.S. Department of Labor knows that companies are taking advantage of unpaid internship opportunities and has imposed strict restrictions on what can be called “unpaid internships.” Among other conditions, job training must be similar to the training provided during unpaid internships. In an educational environment, internships must benefit interns, while employers cannot obtain direct benefits from internship activities. In other words, if the intern is engaged in any form of productive work (sales, paperwork, and customer service), they are eligible for salary, and you may be in trouble.


It’s actually more than a paycheck, and it’s not what you think. The whole purpose of the internship is to help students gain experience and, at some point, get a full-time job. However, if the salary is not paid, it will hurt the interns. Paid interns might be more active in their work and can legally obtain the types of jobs that really benefit the company. Plus, when you look for potential employees, you may want the candidate to have practical experience that aligns with your company’s routines.

Bad for Society

We all know that working for free is not always the most fun. However, it can be rewarding if you are passionate about a particular area of work. If your startup does not have any income, even enough cash to fill your fuel tank will be a serious obstacle. If you can, you should try to at least provide a subway card or some additional gasoline fees.

man in gray sweatshirt sitting on chair in front of iMac

Right Thing

Morally speaking, paying interns is the right thing to do. These young interns can be very beneficial in creating and promoting your business. They often have fresh and innovative ideas and are easy to mold into your work culture coming right out of college. If you can swing it, try to pay your interns a fair wage. 

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