With internships harder to come by in a sluggish economy and unpaid internships typical in many industries, the lucky few college students who land a summer gig at Facebook have indeed found a friend.
According to salary information collected by Glassdoor.com, the average monthly pay for a software engineer intern at Facebook is reported to be over $6,000.
On average, 20 U.S. Facebook software engineer interns who reported their earnings on the online career information sharing community averaged a monthly salary of $6,225. Another six Facebook software engineer interns reported earnings that averaged $6,883 monthly.
Glassdoor.com's data further breaks down across U.S. cities in which Facebook's offices are located. At the Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters, the reported average income a software engineer intern pockets comes in at $5,800 a month.
Facebook spokespeson Slater Tow stated that in addition to paying interns an attractive monthly salary, the company also "provides them with all the same benefits as normal employees – iPhone, laptop, gym access, three meals a day, all the amenities" made available at Facebook offices.
On Quora.com, Facebook interns detail monthly salaries to be based on their year in school. In 2012, an anonymous user claims to be earning $6,200 a month as an undergraduate senior. Another anonymous user claimed to be earning $8,000 a month plus a tuition subsidy.
Other Internet firms pay top dollar as well to interns. A software engineer intern at Google in San Jose, Calif., earns $7,000 on average.
Generally, the closer a student is to graduating, the more they get paid.
Quora.com calculated that monthly salary equation for 2011 Facebook interns was derived from the equation $4600+$400n, with n standing for the number of years of college interns had completed.
According to Quora.com query regarding the salaries of Facebook interns in 2011, a first-year undergraduate student posted earnings of $5,000 a month, a second-year undergrad claimed to be raking in $5,400 a month, and a rising senior stated they'd be making a cool monthly $5,800.
One lucky Master's in computer Science candidate reported to be receiving $6,800 a month that had been negotiated up from $6,600.
In addition to providing a sweet monthly salary, Quora.com commenters posted that Facebook was supplementing their salaries with an additional $1,000 a month housing stipend. Not too bad for a company whose stock has fallen 26 percent below the initial public offering.
Many interns are not as lucky as the chosen ones at Facebook, and computer majors tend to command top pay. Long hours, menial tasks, and college credit supplemented for wages are just some of the difficulties that can plague eager undergraduates looking to climb up the corporate ladder earlier than their peers.
The publishing and fashion businesses seem to have their share of crummy interships. According to InternshipRatings.com, the poorest-rated internship employers include Signature Direct Magazine, Cosmopolitan Magazine, and Proenza Schouler.
An anonymous commenter had this to say about former internship employer Cosmopolitan Magazine, "Unless you want to be doing petty errands, do not step foot in 300 W 57th."
Forbes.com placed Facebook number 3 atop their list of 20 best paying internships in January 2012.