Internships are notorious for being “low cost” and in some cases, voluntary missions most undertake for the sake of their degree, while earning nothing. With the introduction of minimum wage, some internships will now earn at least minimum wage that ranges from €8,50 to €11,00 depending on the profession. So which internships allow you to earn this much?
Compulsory internships are internships you require to undertake before you are allowed to graduate. In most cases, you will be required to hand in a report and a confirmation from the company, for the internship to be recognised by the Uni.
Compulsory Internships however don’t qualify you to earn minimum wage, thus these will continue to be done for free or for a small token as decided by the company.
Before enrolling at Uni and during your studies at the Uni
Voluntary internships before joining University are referred to as, Orientierungspraktikum. Whether you earn minimum wage during such an internship will depend on the duration of the internship.
Up to 3months – for a voluntary internship that runs for less than 3 months, you have no entitlement to minimum wage, but you are entitled too a reasonable income.
Longer than 3 months – in this case you are entitled to minimum wage from the day you begin your internship.
You might consider taking up an internship after graduation to gain experience or simply to get your foot into a company and possibly find a job. In this case, you are entitled to minimum wage from the beginning onwards regardless of the duration of the internship.
If the person doing the internship is a minor, i.e. aged below 18, then the employer is NOT obligated to pay that individual minimum wage. However, if the individual has already completed an Ausbildung, then they can earn minimum wage.