A design internship is an opportunity for a student in a design program to gain hands-on experience in their field of choice. There are many different kinds of design interns can focus on, such as graphic design, UX design, interior design, and more. The tools that a design intern learns how to use may depend on the kind of internship they have. For example, a graphic design intern may spend a lot of time with Photoshop while a UX design intern needs to know basic coding languages such as HTML.

However, many of a design intern's tasks are similar no matter what kind of design they are focusing on. They shadow professional designers and attend meetings with them to learn about the work. Interns often take on menial tasks like managing social media in addition to their design work.

Most design interns are working towards a bachelor's or master's degree in design or are recent graduates. They do not need many years of professional experience to work as an intern, but a few design projects in their portfolio will make their application stand out. The average salary for a design internship is $46,512 a year, however many internships are unpaid.

What Does a Design Internship Do

There are certain skills that many design interns have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed time-management skills, communication skills and analytical skills.

Learn more about what a Design Internship does

How To Become a Design Internship

If you're interested in becoming a design internship, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 74.1% of design interns have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 7.6% of design interns have master's degrees. Even though most design interns have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Learn More About How To Become a Design Internship

Design Internship Career Paths

Average Salary for a Design Internship

Design Interns in America make an average salary of $45,791 per year or $22 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $64,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $32,000 per year.
Average Design Internship Salary
$45,791 Yearly
$22.01 hourly
$32,000
10 %
$45,000
Median
$64,000
90 %

What Am I Worth?

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Design Internship Education

Design Internship Majors

Design Internship Degrees

Bachelors

74.1 %

Associate

13.5 %

Masters

7.6 %

Top Colleges for Design Internships

1. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

2. Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,465
Enrollment
6,483

3. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

4. Northeastern University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,522
Enrollment
13,760

5. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,828
Enrollment
26,339

6. Boston University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,948
Enrollment
17,238

7. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

8. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,695
Enrollment
6,596

9. George Washington University, The

Washington, DC • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,230
Enrollment
12,161

10. Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$18,454
Enrollment
40,108

Top Skills For a Design Internship

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 21.1% of design interns listed graphic design on their resume, but soft skills such as time-management skills and communication skills are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Design Internship Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Design Internship templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Design Internship resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Design Internship Resume
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Design Internship Demographics

Design Internship Gender Distribution

Female
Female
58%
Male
Male
42%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among design interns, 58.3% of them are women, while 41.7% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among design interns is White, which makes up 76.1% of all design interns.

  • The most common foreign language among design interns is Spanish at 32.3%.

Online Courses For Design Internship That You May Like

Advertising Disclosure  The courses listed below are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the course, we may receive a commission.
Graphic Design Mastery: The FULL Branding & Design Process
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4.6
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Follows the FULL Graphic Design Process for A Company: Logo, Ad, Social Media, T-Shirt, Package, Website Design & More!...

Logo Design Mastery In Adobe Illustrator
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4.7
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Learn Logo Design Theory, The Creative Process, How to Work With Clients & Master Adobe Illustrator Tools...

Graphic Design Masterclass - Learn GREAT Design
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(34,049)

The Ultimate Graphic Design Course Which Covers Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Design Theory, Branding and Logo Design...

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Best States For a Design Internship

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a design internship. The best states for people in this position are Washington, California, Hawaii, and Massachusetts. Design interns make the most in Washington with an average salary of $63,464. Whereas in California and Hawaii, they would average $60,504 and $60,389, respectively. While design interns would only make an average of $57,578 in Massachusetts, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Washington

Total Design Internship Jobs:
692
Highest 10% Earn:
$87,000
Location Quotient:
1.55 Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. California

Total Design Internship Jobs:
3,449
Highest 10% Earn:
$88,000
Location Quotient:
1.93 Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Massachusetts

Total Design Internship Jobs:
635
Highest 10% Earn:
$83,000
Location Quotient:
1.13 Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Design Interns

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Top Design Internship Employers

Most Common Employers For Design Internship

Rank  Company  Average Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Openings  
1IBM$72,724$34.9620
2Broadcom$56,749$27.2830
3Intel$52,132$25.0653
4Calvin Klein$51,256$24.6429
5Anthropologie$50,143$24.1141
6Michael Kors$49,883$23.9876
7Ralph Lauren$49,286$23.7050
8Abercrombie & Fitch Co$48,737$23.4324
9The Donna Karan Company LLC$48,208$23.1852
10Tory Burch$47,906$23.0320

Becoming a Design Internship FAQs

Do design interns get paid?

Yes, design interns can get paid, although many internships are also unpaid or offer only class credit as compensation. Ultimately, it depends on the industry and company.

The average salary for the average design intern is $38,000 yearly. On the lower end of the salary range, they may only earn around $28,000 and, on the higher end, they may make about $51,000.

How do I get a UX internship with no experience?

To get a UX internship with no experience, you need to at least be enrolled in a degree-earning design program or related field. Ideal candidates are design students or recent graduates with a portfolio that demonstrates knowledge of UX design, Microsoft Suite, and prototyping tools such as Adobe Creative Suite.

How do graphic designers get college internships?

Graphic designers get college internships by being current college students or being recent college graduates and applying for school-sponsored internship programs that hire graphic designers.

What does a design intern do?

A design intern gains real-world experience working in design. This can include graphic design, UX design, interior design, or other related design fields.

Depending on the design field chosen, many of the specific tasks of the internship will vary greatly. Design interns typically shadow professionals in the design field of their choice while being responsible for small tasks and projects, like various aspects of social media management.

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