Special Report

This Is How Many Unpaid Interns Are Working in Texas

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There are 1.36 million people working in internships across America in more than 100 different industries, according to career-search website Zippia. Internships offer college and university students, as well as recent graduates, the opportunity to gain work experience in a particular field – both to build their resume and develop a skill set.

While most internships are paid positions, many are not. The concept of an unpaid internship is a controversial issue. The Department of Labor’s Fair Labor Standards Act requires employers to pay employees, but are interns employees or not? FLSA guidelines list seven criteria to make the distinction.

According to the FLSA, these guidelines are designed to “examine the ‘economic reality’ of the intern-employer relationship to determine which party is the ‘primary beneficiary’ of the relationship.” In other words, to be legal, unpaid internships have to benefit the intern through gained education and experience. If the primary beneficiary is the employer, who hires an intern with the expectation of getting free labor, then the internship must be paid.

A recent report published by online lender CashNetUSA found that 9.4% of all internships in Texas are unpaid, the 25th smallest share among states. The same report also found that the average hourly wage for interns working in the state stands at $15.32, the 20th lowest of the 50 states.

To determine these rankings, CashNetUSA reviewed internship salary data from more than 100 U.S. industries. Average hourly pay for paid internships in each state was sourced from the career-search website Zippia.

 

Rank State Unpaid internships as a share of total (%) Avg. hourly intern pay ($)
1 Delaware 33.54 18.31
2 New York 27.03 18.38
3 Oregon 26.91 18.88
4 New Mexico 26.67 12.03
5 California 25.79 20.78
6 New Jersey 25.69 16.42
7 Florida 17.94 14.75
8 Illinois 17.57 15.99
9 North Carolina 17.53 14.68
10 Massachusetts 15.88 18.15
11 Pennsylvania 15.65 16.75
12 Georgia 15.01 16.71
13 Indiana 14.89 14.46
14 Rhode Island 13.79 15.85
15 Connecticut 13.75 20.39
16 Hawaii 12.05 17.46
17 Washington 11.93 20.92
18 Michigan 11.18 16.36
19 Oklahoma 11.11 13.90
20 Virginia 10.88 15.98
21 Arizona 10.04 16.68
22 Missouri 10.00 14.69
23 Maine 10.00 15.75
24 Louisiana 9.92 12.12
25 Alaska 9.84 16.80
26 Texas 9.44 15.32
27 New Hampshire 9.18 17.09
28 Wyoming 9.09 11.92
29 Tennessee 8.33 14.26
30 Vermont 8.33 17.75
31 Maryland 7.78 16.91
32 Mississippi 7.77 15.01
33 Alabama 7.76 12.39
34 South Carolina 7.64 12.44
35 Utah 7.64 15.09
36 South Dakota 7.58 15.21
37 West Virginia 7.58 17.82
38 Kentucky 6.92 14.63
39 Montana 6.67 16.40
40 Idaho 6.25 15.99
41 Iowa 6.10 14.00
42 North Dakota 5.97 17.65
43 Arkansas 5.71 13.79
44 Wisconsin 5.56 17.12
45 Ohio 5.00 15.78
46 Minnesota 5.00 16.88
47 Nevada 4.95 18.89
48 Colorado 4.73 16.86
49 Nebraska 4.24 14.61
50 Kansas 4.20 13.51

 

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