They are lowest on the totem pole, lack any kind of job security and assigned work no one else wants to do. But for almost $6,000 per month, who cares?
Google's(GOOG) interns held coveted positions even before being featured in the film "The Internship," which hit theaters this weekend. On average, interns there are paid $5,800 monthly, while specialized software engineer interns make as much as $6,700 per month, according to the job-rating website Glassdoor.
Today's tough labor market has created a difficult job-placement environment for students. Finding an internship that pays is often not a reasonable expectation, let alone landing a job at Fortune's top U.S. company to work for. (Full disclosure: I'm a paid intern at CNNMoney, but I make nowhere near what Google interns make).
At Google, internships range from ad sales and marketing to the highest paid software engineers. They are expected to commit to at least three months of full-time work, meaning that most tech interns will get paid about $20,000 during their stint.
A Google spokeswoman would not confirm how much any company employees are paid.
"Actually, it's not that surprising that interns at a company like Google are getting paid so handsomely," said Scott Dobroski, a corporate communications manager at Glassdoor. "The war for tech talent continues to rage on," he said.
Software engineer interns at Microsoft(MSFT) and Amazon(AMZN) are also paid more than $5,500 monthly. Research interns at Microsoft are paid even more ($7,000 a month), according to Glassdoor which compiles self-reported information from employees and interns.
In addition to topping the highest paid list, Glassdoor reports that interns rate Google higher as a company than interns anywhere else. They also rate Google's interview process as the toughest.
In "The Internship," Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson's characters are interviewed and asked by Google employees what they would do if they were shrunken down to the size of nickels and dropped to the bottom of a blender. Dobroski said that Google is known for asking challenging interview questions aimed to test the applicant's critical thinking skills.