How much?! Snapchat interns earn $10,000 a month, twice the average US worker

Snapchat pays summer interns $10,000 a month plus $1,500 for housing, according to new survey data that highlights the jaw-droppingly high wages that Silicon Valley’s top tech companies pay students for summer gigs.

The data, from former University of California Berkeley student Rodney Folz, comes from an anonymous survey of more than 500 college students who have landed highly coveted summer internships in tech, which are often engineering positions.

Pinterest offers one of the highest rates at $9,000 per month, in addition to $1,000 for relocation expenses and $3,000 for housing, according to Folz’s survey results.

Twitter pays interns $8,400 a month, plus $6,000 in benefits. Facebook offers $8,000 a month plus around $3,000 in benefits. Monthly pay is $7,700 at Slack and Groupon, $7,500 at Palantir and Groupon (plus housing), $7,300 at Uber and Yelp (plus other benefits) and $7,200 at Oracle and Microsoft (plus benefits).

Apple pay is $6,700 a month, plus $1,000 a month for housing. Google’s pay is $6,600 a month, plus $9,000 in benefits. And Yahoo offers $6,500 a month plus $4,500 for housing.

Here’s the full list:

— Rodney Folz (@rodneyfolz)
April 26, 2016

💰 state of top tech internship offers, 2016 #talkpay

Folz sent a Google survey to a number of groups and listservs for college computer science students and tech interns and to friends with tech internships. Respondents to the survey said they had scored internships in software or electrical engineering, product design or management, industrial design and program management.

Folz interned at Facebook in 2012, where he said he made about $4,800 a month in his first year at college.

The median monthly base salary for an engineering intern at the big tech companies is $6,800, according to Bloomberg’s analysis of Folz’s data. To put that into perspective, that would be $81,600 a year – or $120,000 for Snapchat, $108,000 for Pinterest and $100,800 for Twitter.

According to the US government, the national average wage index for 2014 was $46,481.52, or around $4,040 per month.

Folz, who will soon be starting an internship at Yelp, said some of the company’s figures were unexpected. “The biggest thing I was surprised about was that the largest companies – Google, Apple, Microsoft – generally offered less in terms of monetary compensation than some of the more up-and-coming startups.”

He said he wanted to publicize the salary data so that his peers would know the value of their work. Some student engineers, he noted, end up working for free on startup projects with other students, not realizing that they could get competitive wages in a summer job.

“I want students to realize that… they have worth and what they’re working on matters,” he said, adding, “They can use … compensation to pay off student loans.”

Folz said he was confident that the data was reliable, especially since he directly solicited responses from friends who had recent offers.

Asked about the survey results, most companies that responded to Bloomberg declined to disclose internship wages, though at least one company, Twitch, confirmed the accuracy of the survey, which revealed that interns at the video company make $7,200 a month.

According to hundreds of thousands of anonymous reports on Glassdoor, a salary website, the national average intern wage is $33,120 and $48,779 in San Francisco.

Glassdoor says Snapchat summer interns make $9,000 a month – slightly below Folz’s estimate. Snapchat declined to comment.

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