Internships are typically longer than externships, but shorter than temporary jobs. The length of your internship will depend on a number of factors. Internship lengths are measured to aspects of the job, actually – the number of hours you work every week, and the number of weeks you agree to work.
Internships can be part-time or full-time. For many required internships, such as medical internships, you’ll work full-time and even get a full-time salary. Others might be part-time, with you only having to work 5-20 hours every week. Sometimes, there is no set time at all and you’re instead simply assigned projects. When you’re finished with your assignments, you get to go home.
More important than the number of hours you work every week, though, is the duration of the internship. There are typically five different lengths for internships:
- Externship length: These are typically short, lasting about two days to two weeks. They might be slightly longer, depending on the job.
- Semester length: Internships are most commonly semester-length – about two to three months.
- Summer length: Summer internships are around three months as well, but they may sometimes be longer depending on the length.
- Year length: Sometimes, internships last an entire year – or, more specifically, two semesters (an entire school year). In many cases, the first semester is unpaid and the second semester is paid. The second semester isn’t always guaranteed.
- College career length: If you can get an internship on campus, it often lasts your entire college career. Internships that last this long, however, are almost always paid positions, and you usually can’t get more than two semesters of credit for it.
Of course, companies offering internships can offer whatever lengths they want. Usually, they conform to the above-listed times in order to help students get credit whenever possible. Sometimes, if you explain your specific needs to an employer, they can make the internship work for you.