High School Engineering Internships in 2023: Summer Internships, Classes, and More


Engineering internships for high school students are becoming more popular because they help students explore various career fields at an early age through hands-on work experience. In addition to exploring their future career, high school engineering internships can help with the college application process for students interested in a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering.

In this article, we cover all the best engineering internships, including a range of summer engineering internships. We’ll share eligibility requirements for available programs across the country and discuss the broad range of benefits an internship can have on your academic goals.

Why Are Internships Important for High School Students?

The best internships for high school students are designed to help young people gain entry-level experience in their field of interest, which can be very helpful for students aspiring to enter the workplace or apply for top college programs. Below, we discuss the major benefits of summer engineering internships for high school students.  

  • Job experience. Many job openings have requirements for minimum job experience, in addition to education. When you enter the job market right after an undergraduate degree program, you might not have the professional work experiences required. Internship programs are great opportunities for professional development. 
  • Mentorship. The best mentor relationships usually start with a personal connection between both a mentor and mentee. Many internship programs match you with a potential mentor to help you gain a broad range of competencies in engineering. 
  • Create a professional network. The job application process is much easier when you know someone in your field who can recommend you for open positions. An intern program is a great way to build and expand your professional network. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, over 70 percent of interns are offered a permanent position. 

Types of Engineering Internships for High School Students

An engineering internship for high students is a temporary position for students to learn about engineering through professional work experiences. As engineering is a broad discipline, these internships usually specialize in a specific branch of the field. The best engineering internship for you will depend on your interests and career goals.

Chemical Engineering

Chemical engineers research and develop methods for turning raw materials into useful products, such as medications or food. Chemical engineering internships for high school students might involve tasks such as researching new processes for manufacturing chemicals, assisting experts in the field with their work laboratories, and practice handling advanced tools and instruments.   

Aerospace Engineering

High school aerospace internships allow students to work alongside and learn from senior engineers as they design and perform experiments on various forms of aircraft. This might involve reviewing prototypes and blueprints, studying propulsion systems, and ensuring that all products meet the required safety standards.

Robotics Engineering

Robotics internships for high school students are perfect for young people interested in the rapidly growing field of automation and artificial intelligence. You will likely help design, test, and debug robot prototypes to ensure that the finished product can be operated safely and effectively. 

Electrical Engineering

Electrical engineers are in charge of developing, testing, and designing electrical systems and equipment. The best electrical engineering internships allow participants to gain hands-on experience in their chosen specialty. You might be installing and updating electrical systems, producing progress reports, and reviewing and gathering the materials required to perform tasks.

STEM Internships

STEM internships for high school students might focus on any field in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics. They are a great way of broadening your understanding of STEM disciplines and gaining the experience you need to map out your educational and career goals going forward.  

Top 10 High School Engineering Internships

Engineering internships for high school students can run for a few weeks to several months and may be paid or unpaid. You’ll learn about what a day in the life of an engineer is like, and while exact tasks will vary, you might use modeling software, build circuits, take field trips to manufacturing sites, or get experience with software design. Learn more about the best engineering internships below.

California Academy of Sciences Careers in Science Intern Program 

Location: San Francisco, California

Length: Multi-year

Time Commitment: Weekdays during the summer and Saturdays during the school year

If you’re a resident of San Francisco and have a passion for science and engineering, you should consider registering for the CIS internship. Interns help scientists with field studies and teach the public about science. The eligibility requirements are to be in 10th or 11th grade with a minimum 2.5 grade point average. 90 percent of CIS alumni went on to earn a college degree.

Carnegie Mellon University Summer Academy for Math and Science

Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Length: Five weeks in summer

Time Commitment: Full-time

This summer program is a well-rounded STEM internship for high school students and is led by an electrical and computer engineering professor. This internship aims to prepare students for their transition from high school to college, and is particularly relevant to high school juniors 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

Location: 30 states across the US

Length: Eight weeks

Time Commitment: Full-time

The Department of Navy offers high school engineering internships to students in good academic standing who are interested in engineering research. This paid program runs for eight weeks at one of 30 Department of Navy laboratories. Internship applications are accepted from high school sophomores through seniors who are at least 16.

Google’s Computer Science Summer Institute

Location: Online

Length: Four weeks in summer

Time Commitment: Part-time

This summer engineering internship is an intensive, interactive, and fun look at computer science and software engineering taught by Google professionals. Applicants must be current high school seniors who have the intention of enrolling in a four-year bachelor’s program in the US or Canada. Interested students should apply through the online application.

Microsoft Discovery Program

Location: Redmond, Washington

Length: Four weeks

Time Commitment: Full-time

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

MITRE Nationwide High School Student Program

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

Length: Eight weeks in summer

Time Commitment: Full-time

MITRE is looking for motivated students to do cutting-edge research, development, engineering, and analysis. In this paid intern program, students will learn through professional work experiences and focus on collaboration skills.

MIT Research Science Institute Summer Program

Location: Cambridge, MA

Length: Six weeks

Time Commitment: Full-time

At MIT’s Research Science Institute summer program, students will get hands-on experience with a full research cycle. Interns are paired with a mentor and carry out their own research projects. They will also learn how to deliver a conference-style report, both oral and written.

National Institute of Standards and Technology Summer High School Intern Program

Location: Gaithersburg, Maryland

Length: Eight weeks in summer

Time Commitment: Full-time

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

National Security Agency High School Work Study Program

Location: Fort Meade, Maryland

Length: September to August of your senior year

Time Commitment: Part-time

If you are curious about how engineering fits into cyber security and the artificial intelligence community, then this is the intern program for you. You’ll need an interest in engineering, computer science, or business, with an academic goal of attending college or university.

University of California Santa Cruz Science Internship Program

Location: Either online or in-person in Santa Cruz

Length: 10 weeks in summer

Time Commitment: Full-time

The University of California Santa Cruz runs a 10-week summer research internship program for high school students who are interested in STEM degrees, including engineering. Students have an opportunity to receive personal mentoring from faculty and graduate students. This summer program gives students a chance to do real research projects in a supportive community.

How to Get an Engineering Internship

Once you have researched available opportunities and selected the internships that match your interests, you will likely need to fill out an application that includes a resume and cover letter or essay questions. Many engineering internships for high school students are competitive, so essay questions are a way of explaining why you are the best choice for the program.  

To get an engineering internship, you might also need to provide your GPA and letters of recommendation. Make sure you carefully review all the requirements before submitting your application materials to make sure you meet the criteria. 

Engineering Classes for High School Students

While internships are a great option for students to get hands-on work experience, they aren’t your only option to study engineering. There are engineering classes for high school students in topics like electrical engineering, artificial intelligence, and biomedical engineering. Check out the list of online engineering classes for high school students below. 

  • Practical Electronics by MIT. When you understand the basic concepts of electrical engineering, you can make a wide range of electronic devices like toys and remote controls. This class uses theory and lab exercises to teach electrical engineering.
  • Explore 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 Johns Hopkins University credit in the process. Preference is given to high school juniors 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 Computer Science 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 an amazing opportunity to learn about the broad range of engineering fields while learning what it’s like to be an undergraduate student.
  • codeConnects by The Coding School. The Coding School gives opportunities to students to earn high school credit while taking their online coding courses. There are options to learn about artificial intelligence and network engineering and to assist graduate-level students and engineering professors with research.

Should You Do an Internship in High School?

You should do an internship in high school because it is a great way to explore a career field while getting hands-on work experience and building a professional network. There are engineering internships for high school students available in a wide range of fields, allowing you to specialize your knowledge as preparation for a full-time career or a four-year degree. 

Engineering Internships for High School Students FAQ

Is an internship necessary to become an engineering student?

An internship isn’t necessary to become an engineering student in college, but an intern program will help you learn about the different career options for engineers and improve your chances of getting accepted to any college of engineering. Intern programs are an amazing opportunity to gain hands-on work experience while meeting professional engineers.

What is the average pay for an internship?

The average pay for an internship is $15 per hour, according to ZipRecruiter. However, this number will vary quite a bit depending on the internship and what field it is in. During your job search, keep in mind that not all internships are paid. 

Can an internship help me get a job?

Yes, an internship can help you get a job because they provide real-world experience to add to your resume. Additionally, most internships allow you to work with mentors and experts in the field, giving you a head start on forming a professional network. 

What can you gain from an internship?

The most important thing you gain from an internship is mentorship and the ability to practice hands-on skills alongside experienced professionals in your field of interest. This real-world experience can provide an education that is difficult to attain in a traditional classroom setting. 

The post High School Engineering Internships in 2023: Summer Internships, Classes, and More appeared first on Career Karma.

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