High School Internships in 2022: Summer Internships, Classes, and More

Technical internships for high school students are becoming increasingly popular as they help students explore different career areas at an early age through hands-on work experience. In addition to exploring their future careers, high school engineering internships can aid in the college application process for students interested in a bachelor’s degree in engineering.

In this article, we’ll cover a wide variety of technical high school summer internships and other programs. We share the eligibility requirements for available internships across the country and discuss the wide range of benefits an internship can bring to your academic goals.

Can high school students gain access to engineering internships?

Yes, high school students have access to both online and in-person technical internships. Both options can help students gain professional skills and lay a foundation for their future careers. Many technical internships are only available to undergraduate or graduate school students, but there are technical internships for high school students available.

Are there technical summer internships in high school?

Yes, there are high school summer technical internship programs. While some of these internship opportunities for engineering students are unpaid, many are paid internships. According to ZipRecruiter, $15 is the average hourly rate for interns. Students can work with business professionals at an engineering firm or with engineering professors at top colleges and universities.

Why are internships important for high school students?

  • Work experience. In addition to education, many vacancies also have minimal work experience. When you enter the job market right after a bachelor’s degree, you may not have the required professional work experience. Internship programs are great opportunities for professional development.
  • Mentorship. The best mentoring relationships usually begin with a personal connection between both a mentor and a mentee. Many internship programs match you with a potential mentor to help you gain a wide range of competencies in engineering.
  • Create a professional network† The application process is much easier if you know someone in your field who can recommend you for open positions. An internship program is a great way to build and expand your professional network. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, more than 70 percent of interns are offered permanent employment.

Top 10 Technical Internships in High Schools

California Academy of Sciences Careers in Science Intern Program

Place: San Francisco, California

Length: Perennial

Time commitment: Part-time in the summer, after school and on Saturdays during the school year

If you are a resident of San Francisco and have a passion for science and engineering, you should consider enrolling in the CIS internship. Interns help scientists with field research and educate the public about science. Eligibility requirements must be in ninth or 10th grade with a minimum of 2.5 point average. 90 percent of CIS alumni went on to complete a college degree.

Carnegie Mellon University Summer Academy of Mathematics and Science

Place: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Length: Four weeks in the summer

Time commitment: full time

This summer program is a well-rounded STEM internship for high school students. This internship is designed to prepare students for their transition from high school to college, and is particularly relevant to high school students and high school seniors. The program focuses on college applications and holds family support sessions to address financial aid.

Department of Navy Science and Engineering Apprenticeship Program

Place: 30 states in the US

Length: eight weeks

Time commitment: full time

This paid internship is for high school students in good academic standing who are interested in technical research. The program runs for eight weeks in one of the Department of Navy’s 30 labs. Internship applications are accepted from high school sophomores to seniors who are at least 16.

Google’s Computer Science Summer Institute

Place: Online

Length: Four weeks in the summer

Time commitment: part time

This summer program is an intensive, interactive and fun look at computer science and software engineering taught by Google professionals. Applicants must be current high school students who intend to enroll in a four-year undergraduate degree program in the US or Canada. Interested students should apply through the online application.

Microsoft Discovery Program

Place: Redmond, Washington

Length: Four weeks

Time commitment: full time

This internship is open to high school students. Eligible students must live within 50 miles of Redmond, Washington and have a demonstrated interest in science, technology, engineering and math. This paid internship program is full-time and lasts four weeks.

MITER Nationwide High School Student Program

Place: Bedford, Massachusetts, McLean, Virginia and Tampa, Florida

Length: Eight weeks in the summer

Time commitment: full time

MITER is looking for motivated students to do groundbreaking research, development, engineering and analysis. In this internship program, students learn through professional work experiences and focus on collaboration skills.

Summer Program of the MIT Research Science Institute

Place: Online

Length: Six weeks

Time commitment: full time

During the summer program of the Research Science Institute at MIT, students will gain hands-on experience with a full research cycle. Interns are matched with a mentor and carry out their own research projects. They also learn how to deliver a conference-style report, both orally and in writing.

National Institute of Standards and Technology Summer High School Intern Program

Place: Gaithersburg, Maryland

Length: Eight weeks in the summer

Time commitment: full time

The National Institute of Standards and Technology offers a great opportunity for students interested in technical research. This eight-week summer program is an unpaid internship where students join the engineering lab to help with a research project. Candidates must submit two letters of recommendation and a strong cover letter for the internship.

National Security Agency High School Work Study Program

Place: Fort Meade, Maryland

Length: 10 to 12 weeks in the summer

Time commitment: part time

If you’re curious about how engineering fits into cybersecurity and the artificial intelligence community, this is the internship program for you. You have an interest in technology, computer science or business, with an academic goal of entering a college or university.

University of California Santa Cruz Science Internship Program

Place: Online

Length: 10 weeks in the summer

Time commitment: full time

The University of California Santa Cruz has a 10-week summer research internship program for high school students interested in STEM degrees, including engineering. Students have the opportunity to receive personal guidance from teachers and graduate students. This summer program gives students the opportunity to do real research projects in a supportive community.

Technical classes for high school students

While internships are a great option for high school students to gain hands-on work experience, you can also take a wide variety of engineering classes to learn more about engineering. Some of the engineering areas you can study include electrical engineering, artificial intelligence, and biomedical engineering. Check out the list of technical classes for high school students below.

  • Practical Electronics by MIT. If you understand the basic concepts of electrical engineering, you can make a wide variety of electronic devices, such as toys and remote controls. This class uses theory and lab exercises to teach electrical engineering.
  • Discover Engineering Innovation by Johns Hopkins University. This summer program is an exciting college-level course for high school students. Students develop critical thinking, problem-solving, and technical skills and can earn credits from Johns Hopkins University in the process. Preference is given to high school students and seniors, but current sophomores can also apply.
  • Computer Science by NextGen Bootcamp. High school students attending this online summer program will master the basics of programming in Python and Java in a small supportive community. Students also get a head start on the AP Informatics exam.
  • Introduction to engineering by Notre Dame. The College of Engineering at the University of Notre Dame brings high school students to campus for this summer program in engineering. This course is a great opportunity to learn about the wide range of technical fields while learning what it’s like to be an undergraduate student.
  • Code Connects from The Coding School. The Coding School offers students the opportunity to earn high school credits while taking their online coding courses. There are opportunities to learn about artificial intelligence and network engineering and to help graduate students and engineering professors with research.

Do you have to do an internship in high school?

Yes, doing a high school internship program is a great way to explore a career field while gaining hands-on work experience and building a professional network. You can also learn what it’s like to study for a bachelor’s degree if you do an internship at a university.

Tech Internships FAQs for High School Students

How do I get a technical internship?

You should start by deciding what kind of tech jobs you are interested in. For example, are you interested in electrical engineering or software engineering? Refine your search and use the resources above to find the right internship for you.

What is a technical internship for high school students?

An engineering internship for high school students is a temporary position for students to learn about engineering through professional work experiences. An internship program can last from a few weeks to several months and can be paid or unpaid. You can learn about what a day in the life of an engineer looks like and decide if engineering is the right career path for you.

What do you do during a technical internship?

Engineering interns perform a wide variety of tasks during their internship program, and the exact duties vary depending on the type of internship. You can use modeling software, build circuits, take field trips to production sites, or gain experience in software design.

Is an internship necessary to become an engineer?

An internship is not necessary to become an engineering student, but an internship program will help you learn about the various career options for engineers and increase your chances of getting accepted into a technical college. Internship programs are a great opportunity to gain hands-on work experience while meeting professional engineers.

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