Internships & Co-ops

An internship with real-world application

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Intrigued by the possibility of applying classroom theory in a real-world work environment? Consider Sandia.

Each year, Sandia welcomes students from around the country—from those in their final years of high school to researchers obtaining PhDs—to work in a variety of technical and business positions. Interns work on real-world, challenging projects to contribute to critical national goals.

Many of our research internships can be experienced through technical institutes that encompass a range of disciplines, including cyber security, energy surety, engineering design, and software development. Each institute provides a team to guide and mentor interns in projects aligned with their major or area of particular technical interest. Professional development and social activities supplement project work to create an even more rewarding experience.

Our internships provide students

  • Opportunities to work on challenging projects at competitive pay
  • Academic credits for some co-op and other internships
  • Research mentoring from top scientists and engineers
  • Training and practical work experience using state-of-the-art equipment and instruments

In some cases, internships can also lead to an offer of full-time employment.  

Sandia cultivates longstanding academic partnerships with institutions across the nation: Learn More>

Internship Types

Sandia offers several types of internships to help jump-start your career 

Summer Internship

These internships, available to students at all education levels from all over the country, typically run 10-12 weeks, generally from May to the last Thursday in August. Summer interns may work up to 40 hours per week.

Year-Round Internship

Year-round internships allow students who attend local schools to work part-time at a Sandia site. College juniors and above attending more distant schools may be allowed to work offsite through an official Telecommuting/Remote Work Agreement. During the academic terms, high school and undergraduate students can work up to 25 hours a week, and graduate students up to 30 hours a week. During school breaks, interns may work up to 40 hours per week. 

Co-Op Internship

Co-op internships, conducted in partnership with individual schools, allow students to take time off during the academic year to gain work experience at Sandia, working up to 40 hours a week. Students return to school full-time after the internship. These internships typically run 3–8 months during the academic term and may include an adjacent summer term. Students must be enrolled in their school’s official co-op program to participate.


Before applying to an internship or co-op, make sure you meet these minimum requirements:

  • U.S. citizenship for positions that require security clearance or as stated in the job posting
  • At least 16 years of age
  • Full-time enrollment status (typically 12 units for undergraduates  and 9 units for graduate students) at an accredited college, university, or high school
    • Year-round/co-op intern – Must be a full-time student during the academic school year (spring, fall, and winter)
    • Summer intern – Must be a full-time student during the spring term immediately preceding the internship
  • Minimum cumulative grade point average
    • 3.0/4.0 for graduate students
    • 3.0/4.0 for undergraduate and high school students applying for Research and Development (R&D), Technical, or Business positions
    • 2.5/4.0 for undergraduate and high school students applying for clerical or laborer positions (Laborer positions are available only at the Sandia/New Mexico site)

How to Apply

Apply to each job you are interested in separately, following these steps:

  1. Use Sandia’s Careers tool to create a username and password.
  2. Filter by the Student Job Family or Job Type.
  3. Browse the list of internship and co-op openings.
  4. Complete your online application.

Check out the How to Search and Apply for Internships Guide for detailed instructions.

Recruiters manually review resumes on each job posting instead of using a resume screening software program. To ensure that recruiters can accurately determine your qualifications, follow Sandia’s Resume Writing Best Practices.


Many factors are considered in the selection of an intern, including your interests, academic achievement, and applicable experience, as well as Sandia’s workforce needs.

Pay and Benefits

At Sandia, we value the important work done by our interns and its contribution to National Security. Because of this, our interns earn competitive pay rates and benefits. Our pay structure is based on earned credit hours, classification, and degree level. Pay rates will be determined during the hire process and included in the offer package.

Intern Benefits

For benefits information, visit the Intern Benefits website.

Intern Pay Rates

All interns are non-exempt temporary employees paid at an hourly rate based upon their classification and degree level. Check out the Intern Pay Rate chart to view rates by Lab site. Clerical and Laborer represented intern pay rates are not included but they align with the applicable collective bargaining agreement and are communicated during the hire process. Review additional details on how Sandia intern pay rates are determined:

High School student interns may differ by classification depending upon the work they are performing but are typically paid a consistent pay rate.

Undergraduate student intern pay rates will differ based upon the intern’s classification and the total number of earned credits. If attending a quarter school, earned units will be converted to semester units. Also, note that students pursuing an Associate degree will be capped at the college lower division rate but will be re-evaluated when the student transfers to the next academic level.

Graduate student intern pay rates align with their earned degree level, but also depend on if the student has reached “All But Dissertation” status (available to PhD students who have completed all coursework, exams and have been advanced to candidacy) verified by the student’s school advisor. Be aware that pay rates for summer student interns are based upon the student’s status at the conclusion of the fall term prior to the internship. Regarding undergraduate students, earned winter and summer term units will not be factored into the pay rate to ensure pay rate consistency for all summer students.

Evaluation of student transcripts will occur during the hire process. Ensure you engage with Sandia’s HR Solutions team upon request to ensure timely processing.

Check out our Internship Experiences

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, or veteran status and any other protected class under state or federal law.

Sandia invites you to review the Equal Employment Opportunity posters which include EEO is the Law, EEO is the Law Poster Supplement, and Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination Provision.

Sandia is a drug-free workplace. As a national laboratory funded by a U.S. government agency, we are subject to federal laws regarding illegal drug use. Illegal use of a controlled substance, including marijuana even in places where it does not violate state law, may impact your ability to obtain and/or maintain a Department of Energy security clearance, and may result in the withdrawal of an employment offer or termination of employment.