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It Pays to Be an Intern at Facebook

Lisa Scherzer

With diploma in hand, many college graduates are feeling pretty good that they’ve snagged an internship in their field of choice this summer.

These internships – many of them probably paying a lunch stipend or nothing at all – are expected to pay off in the form of valuable experience and connections. An April survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers reported that employers are expecting to increase internship hires by 8.5% over last year. Survey respondents also converted over 58.6% of their class of 2011 interns into full-time hires.

But not many will likely compare with the gigs of some computer science nerds. A few reports circulating this week have pointed to some fortunate Facebook software engineering interns who are set to bring home an average monthly salary of $6,225, according to Glassdoor.com, a careers site that provides data on salaries (based on employee generated content). That works out to a yearly salary of $74,700. For comparison, median household income from 2006 to 2010 was nearly $52,000, according to the latest Census data. (The average monthly pay for all Facebook interns, according to the site, is around $5,800.)

Jealous yet? There’s more. A few anonymous Facebook interns posted further details, with one second-year student saying he/she was offered $5,400 a month and a $1,000 housing stipend. Another computer science graduate student said they got $6,800 a month with a $1,000 housing stipend, negotiated up from $6,600. (Some Quora commenters noted intern salaries correspond to the number of years of college you’ve completed.) Facebook software engineers make an average of $111,452 a year, according to Glassdoor.

With software engineers to the key to so many hot start-ups in Silicon Valley, it’s no wonder Facebook and other tech firms are paying top dollar for talent – and aiming to get them before they’ve even gotten their degrees.

 So how do interns at the social-networking giant fare compared with their counterparts at other firms? Glassdoor released a report last month listing intern salaries at 20 top-rated companies (rated by current and former interns). Here are some highlights (figures are average monthly salary):

Software engineering intern, Google: $6,463
Research intern, Microsoft: $6,746
Software development engineer intern, Microsoft: $5,539
Intern, Cisco: $4,017
Software development engineer intern, Amazon: $5,552
Graduate technical intern, Intel: $5,681
Intern, IBM: $3,935

As we know, majoring in computer science is a smart move. Finance and accounting offers lucrative job opportunities as well:

Tax intern, Ernst & Young: $4,136
Advisory intern, PricewaterhouseCoopers: $4,702
Audit intern, Deloitte: $3,822
Business analyst intern, Target: $2,785