Internships for High School Students

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When you’re in high school, you’ll probably start thinking about what you want to be when you grow up. But it’s almost impossible for most high school students to decide and plan for their entire future. Luckily, there’s an easy and fun way for you to explore your interests before picking a career. Internships for high school students allow you to learn, gain work experience, and network with professionals in almost any field.

In this article, you’ll learn what an internship entails, what you can learn, and why you should consider applying for one. Additionally, you’ll see what the best internships are for high school students in the US.

Everything You Need to Know About an Internship

An internship can help ease you into your future career. This type of program is designed to get you interested in a particular field and offer you some insight into it. You’ll also learn some useful skills that will help you get and perform a job in the future. But you won’t have to do as much as a regular employee, and no one will expect you to have any previous work experience.

Your mentor and colleagues will know that you’re starting from scratch, and will always be more than happy to help you. So, for example, if you get an internship in a law firm, you won’t be filing motions and arguing cases at any point in your internship. However, you will learn all about the daily tasks and familiarize yourself with the processes.

As you can tell, internships for high school students have a great number of benefits, and they can make your future career choice much easier. So, without further ado, let’s see what the best internships available in the US are.

A Guide to the Best Internships

The United States Secret Service

With this internship, you can get a firm understanding of the structure and nature of the US Secret Service. Additionally, you’ll get academic credit and learn a lot about how one of the best federal law enforcement agencies functions. To be eligible, you have to be at least 16 years old, and willing to volunteer for at least 12 hours a week for one semester. You can see all of the terms and conditions here, to ensure you’re eligible.


The BRAINYAC program connects high schoolers with scientists and offers them research experience in neuroscience laboratories at Columbia University. So, this internship could be the perfect opportunity for every aspiring scientist. However, it is somewhat exclusive, and it accepts only students from select partner programs in the Bronx and Upper Manhattan areas.

Air Force Research Library Scholar Program

An internship in the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Scholars Program allows you to get hands-on experience with highly-skilled scientists. Even though it requires you to be present for 40 hours a week over the summer — it’s well worth it. Moreover, you’ll be able to be on the front lines of cutting-edge technology and research. To learn more about the program and see if and when you can apply, you can check out this link.

Hutton Junior Fisheries Biology Program

If you’re interested in resource management, you won’t find a better internship than this one. The program is perfect for juniors and seniors looking to explore the impact of land use on water quality all over the US. Also, you’ll be able to learn from seasoned experts in the field. To find out if you’re a suitable candidate, you can check out this link.

GeoSciences Bridge Program

The National Science Foundation offers a 6-week paid internship for all high school students with a passion for science. You can choose to focus on marine geology, marine biology, remote sensing/GIS, atmospheric science, etc. The program offers an amazing hands-on experience and is one of the best of its kind.

Plant Genome Research REU

The USDA, Cornell University and Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI) offer an elite internship for high school students. By enrolling in the Plant Genome Research program, you will get a one-of-a-kind opportunity to research and explore a career in bioinformatics and plant science research. You’ll also receive a stipend and an opportunity to work with some of the most brilliant minds in science.

Production Assistant Intern

The Wanderlust Councils offers great internships for high school students who are interested in studying abroad. The goal of the program is to learn more about diverse cultures, and how to produce photos, videos, and social media assets. As you can tell, with this program, you will be able to learn a lot and prepare yourself for a job in production.

Naturalist/Field Research Intern

By enrolling as a naturalist or field research intern, you’ll get an opportunity to work with museum professionals. You’ll learn all about their roles and work and be able to expand your professional network. Additionally, you’ll get some extra perks, such as free tickets to all CMC exhibits, lectures, and special events — and many more.

Scripps Translational Science Institute Internship

The Institute offers internships for high school students interested in translational research. Your work would focus on personalized health care and mobile health (mHealth). Moreover, it’s an amazing way to gain some valuable work experience that will help you in your future career.

New York Historical Society’s Internship

If you’re interested in history and want to pursue a career in a museum — the Student Historian Program is the way to go. You’ll be able to meet history experts and work with other students to help you build your career. Moreover, the program will give you space to develop your leadership skills, as well as practice public speaking. So, if art and American history are something you enjoy — this might be the perfect internship for you.

Microsoft High School Internship

Microsoft wants to enroll students who are interested in STEM fields in their program and provide them with this amazing opportunity. The internship is hands-on and will allow you to learn about the company’s work culture while sharpening your skills. Also, you’ll be able to witness new technology and build work relationships that will help you in the future.

The Expanding Horizons Internship

The EHI provides interactive seminars that lead to a paid summer internship. Also, you can choose to be an intern at a non-profit, corporation, law firm, or government agency. These internships for high school students are perfect for those who want to build their leadership skills or just find a field they’re interested in.

Smithsonian Internship

As one of the largest museums and research centers in the world, the Smithsonian offers a great variety of internships. Moreover, you can choose from business, planetary science, web & new media, and other programs. In addition to allowing you to explore your career, this internship will look great on your CV.

The Library of Congress Internship

The Library of Congress offers many types of internships for high school students. In fact, you can choose between anything from field research to business development or library sciences. The Library of Congress gives you a lot of freedom in deciding on your future field, and the tools you’ll need to advance in it.

Final Thoughts

All of these internships for high school students are a great way for you to learn, network, and grow. Moreover, they can help you break into a difficult career field and explore all of the options available to you. Also, you’ll be able to learn more about interesting careers and build connections that will help you in the future.

Not to mention, many universities look for students with proven working experience —  and an internship will look great on your application. Now, the only trick is choosing the best one, and we hope this article helps you do just that.

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