Paid Internship vs. Unpaid Internship, How To Choose?


One of the first steps to developing a career is to take part in an internship or internship. But until now, there are still many who argue about paid internships vs. unpaid internships.

Many think that unpaid internships will provide more benefits for interns. However, some believe that paid internships are better.

So, which one is better? How to choose the right internship program for you?

In this article, wannawishyou will discuss it in full.


To choose what kind of internship program is right for you, you must understand the differences between paid and unpaid internships.

1. Compensation

The first difference between paid and unpaid internships lies in the company’s compensation to apprentices.

According to Capital Placement, companies that hold paid internship programs compensate participants, whether in the form of pocket money, food allowance, or transportation money.

Meanwhile, participants participating in the unpaid internship program will not receive compensation from the company that held it.

2. Workload

You can see the second difference between paid and unpaid internships from the workload the company gives its interns.

Companies tend to give some special responsibilities in the paid internship program like employees. It is not uncommon for companies to treat interns as employees.

On the one hand, a program system like this will allow you to study one field of work in greater depth.

However, on the other hand, you will find it difficult to explore your abilities in other fields because of the existing responsibilities.

Meanwhile, companies that hold unpaid internship programs will tend to give participants the freedom to explore various tasks and responsibilities.

That way, you can learn various things while participating in this program, even if the time is relatively limited.

3. Availability of vacancies

The availability of vacancies is also one of the differences between paid internships vs. unpaid internships.

Currently, there are still few companies that hold paid internship programs compared to unpaid internship programs.

Related to that, sometimes, you will find a paid internship program that is not following your career goals or skills.

As a result, you have to choose between joining an unpaid internship program that fits your career goals or a paid internship program that doesn’t match your career goals.

How to Choose the Right Internship


After understanding the difference between paid internships vs. unpaid internships, how do you choose the right internship program?

You can use the following four ways to consider which internship program is right for your career goals and skills.

1. Understand the applicable rules

Before choosing between a paid internship vs. an unpaid internship, you must first understand what the regulations regarding the internship program are.

Based on the Manpower Act, companies must sign an apprenticeship agreement with participants, including rights and obligations during the internship process. The rights of the interns include:

  • Compensation includes pocket money, food allowance, and transportation allowance.
  • Labor social security.
  • Certificate after being declared to have passed the internship program.

If there is no written agreement, the internship program conducted by the company will be considered invalid, and the apprentice’s status will change to the employee.

Furthermore, if you want to participate in an internship program abroad, you must obtain permission from the minister of human resources or an appointed official.

So before choosing the internship program you want to join, ensure you understand these rules, OK?

2. Find out what you will get from the internship

After knowing the rules governing the internship program, you also need to find out what you will get from the program.

Don’t forget to compare paid internship vs. unpaid internship, OK?

It’s not just figuring out if you’ll get compensation, perks, or certificates. According to WayUp, you must find out what opportunities the company can provide and make the most of them.

For example, does the company provide career mentors for its interns? Or, is there an opportunity to become an employee after the internship program is over?

Finding out what you will get from the internship program will make it easier for you to choose a program that suits your career goals, skills, and needs.

3. Choose an internship that is more useful for your career

Finally, choose an internship program that is more useful for your future career development.

Especially if you are in your final year of college and plan to start working immediately after graduation.

The reason is that internship experience can be a plus point for recruiters when you apply for work.

However, there is nothing wrong with starting an internship program when you are a first- or second-year student.

Joining the internship program early will give you more opportunities to explore your skills and add to your experience.

Well, now you know the difference between a paid internship and an unpaid internship.

After reading this article, are you interested in joining an internship program? Before applying for an internship, it’s a good idea to find various information about internships.

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Alok kumar is an Indian content creator who is currently working with many world wide known bloggers to help theme deliver the very useful and relevant content with simplest ways possible to their visitors.


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