How Many Hours A Week Do Interns Work?

Whether you are a paid or unpaid intern, you may wonder how many hours a week you are expected to work.

While the Federal government sets some standards for interns, including what is and isn’t considered a paid internship, they have not set any standards for work hours.

An internship, regardless of payment or compensation structure, is considered a working job.

As-such, the hours set will be determined between the employer and the intern.

Most employers understand that interns typically juggle multiple schedules throughout their internship and are limited in total hours available.

Hours Dependent On Season

Above all else, the hours dictated for an internship are tied to the student’s semester course load.

An intern’s main objective continues to remain their education and ensuring they maintain their grades and graduation schedule.

Employers are acutely aware of interns’ school schedule and will work directly with an intern to accommodate their needs and availability.

Typically, employer’s will expect an intern to put in extra hours towards their internship over the summer months.

This is one of the main reasons why summer internships are so popular amongst employers.

They can guarantee a freer and clearer schedule from the intern.

During a summer internship and internships which coincide with the summer months, interns will be expected to work at a full-time schedule, averaging 40 or more hours.

Many interns will also opt to work additional hours, especially over the summer months, due to many employers providing overtime pay.

During the spring and fall seasons, an intern’s work schedule will be highly dictated by their course load.

Students who opt to take additional credit hours will typically average ten or less work hours per week.

However, interns who take an average number of school credits or less will be expected to put in additional work hours.

This is typically set as more than ten hours per week and can reach up to twenty hours per week.


An intern’s work week and schedule is a conversation between the employer and the intern.

It is difficult to make assumptions or generalizations on work hours per week as it is highly dependent on an intern’s schedule and an employer’s need.

However, expect to work more hours over the summer months, reaching upwards of 40 hours per week and less hours over the semester, averaging anywhere from 10-20 hours.

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