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Tesla Internship: Types, Positions, Pay, and How to Apply

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A Tesla internship can be a great way to gain experience in the tech and automotive industry, but where do you even get started?

After all, it’s quite a fast-paced company, and interning there can be a challenging feat.

If you’re interested in becoming a Tesla intern, there are a few things you might want to consider, from the available roles to your interview prep.

So, let’s go over all the steps, tips, and tricks for a successful internship at Tesla!

Does Tesla Have an Internship Program?

The answer to this exciting question is one big yes!

Tesla offers many internship opportunities in locations including the United States, Europe, Canada, and the Asia-Pacific region.

You can get a Tesla internship in manufacturing, design, accounting, and many other specializations.

The number of student interns at Tesla can vary from season to season.

Based on past data, the company has about 100–350 intern postings per month.

The exact number of interns hired depends on the location and department, too.

Tesla’s auto factories in Texas and California seem to have a high number of vacancies.

Types of Internships Offered by Tesla

The two main types of Tesla internships that you can apply to include:

  • Student Internships: These full-time programs are open to all currently enrolled students.
  • Seasonal Internships: A Summer role at Tesla starts around May and ends in September. Spring and Fall internships are also available.

Tesla internships are open to all local and international students with good academics.

The company also considers applications from military veterans as well.

On the other hand, Tesla encourages recent graduates to explore full-time positions instead.

Tesla Internship Positions

Tesla’s internships revolve around various industries, experience levels, and time frames.

You can apply for a role under Autopilot and Robotics, Energy, and many other job categories.

The company also has vacancies in its Finance, HR, and Operations Departments.

Let’s take a look at some of the in-demand roles at Tesla:

  • Autopilot Autonomy Tools Intern: This special role involves maintaining Tesla’s autopilot systems. You’ll be working with machine learning engineers to create Autopilot tools, as well.
  • Electrical Design Intern: Interns in this role design and develop electronic parts. You’ll be exposed to collaborative learning opportunities with Tesla’s electronics team.
  • Vehicle Controls Intern: Creation and monitoring of car controls are the highlights you can expect in this role. You’ll be focusing on vehicle dynamics and battery management, too.

What Does an Intern at Tesla Do?

Interns at Tesla are treated like full-time employees.

As a member of their team, you’ll take on meaningful and high-impact tasks right from the start.

You’ll most likely join projects that will challenge your technical and collaborative skills.

In general, interns work with teammates in developing Tesla tools, systems, and products.

You’ll focus on Tesla car parts, product designs, or software development.

On top of that, Tesla internships can also expose you to many events to learn from a diverse community of experts.

What Is a Tesla Internship Like?

A Tesla internship closely resembles actual work at the company in your chosen field.

So, you might get to work on car production lines with full-time employees in a manufacturing plant.

As an intern, you’ll get an inside look at the various design systems and engineering processes.

Projects involving Tesla robots, power chargers, and new car designs are great opportunities for interns at Tesla.

Additionally, interns can also choose to work on solar energy systems, autopilot software, and gaming projects as well.

Tesla Internship Process

The duration of a Tesla internship program can range from 3 to 12 months.

Interns start working during the Spring, Summer, or Fall terms with the option of a longer stay.

Generally, a Tesla internship program will usually involve the following steps:

  • Step 1: Application process
  • Step 2: Interview rounds
  • Step 3: Final application update
  • Step 4: Pre-employment screening
  • Step 5: Introduction
  • Step 6: Training and mentorship

Is It Hard to Intern at Tesla?

Tesla maintains a fast-paced environment with high expectations for its employees.

So, some interns might find it difficult to adjust to the company’s heavy workloads and long hours.

All these can lead to a struggle to maintain a work-life balance.

For most internships, Tesla requires at least 12 weeks of full-time work.

This entails at least 40 hours per week.

In particular, the company prefers graduating students who are able to transition into a permanent full-time role.

Tesla Internship Benefits

As an intern at Tesla, you’ll receive one-on-one mentorship, monthly compensation, and healthcare.

Plus, you can also get benefits for housing, relocation, fitness programs, and transportation.

When eligible, you’ll also be able to take part in employee stock-buying programs and get discounts on company merchandise.

Experience in this competitive industry will teach you the ins and outs of car manufacturing as well as clean energy processing.

You’ll also be updated on the latest car design trends.

Are Tesla Interns Paid?

Most internships at Tesla provide competitive compensation.

The exact amount of monthly pay and benefits may vary depending on the program category and designated position.

Despite the decent pay, it’s worth mentioning that Tesla interns make a bit less than interns from other Silicon Valley tech companies.

Tesla interns receive a median monthly income of $5,348.

They also could receive extra pay per hour in the form of stock

Requirements for Getting an Internship at Tesla

Tesla accepts only the best and the brightest candidates.

To secure an internship position, you’ll need a strong academic and technical background, as well as some relevant skills.

There could also be a pre-employment screening that you have to pass.

Every year, Tesla receives millions of applications for a few thousand job vacancies.

Sources show that there’s only a 0.5% chance of getting hired by this company.

Although there’s no exact figure for internships specifically, it’s evident that they’re only given to a small percentage of applicants.

Suggested Areas of Study for Tesla Interns

The following fields of study are highly relevant to a tech and automotive internship:

  • Engineering: An engineering background is in-demand at Tesla’s manufacturing plants.
  • Information Technology: IT competencies are necessary for securing the company’s systems and data.
  • Industrial Design: Design expertise is a must in modeling and designing car components.

Does Tesla Care About GPA?

Tesla mentions that students must have good academic standing to apply.

The company also asks applicants to state relevant educational certifications on their resumes.

So, you can expect them to consider the full extent of an applicant’s qualifications.

Recommended Skills for Tesla Interns

It’s useful to have the following skills when interning at Tesla:

  • Software skills: Ability to code using Python, C++, and Java programming languages
  • Tools: Microsoft Office programs and digital modeling tools such as Alias and Clay
  • Technical expertise: Industry-specific knowledge of mechanical and electrical systems

Does Tesla Background Check or Drug Test Their Interns?

In most of the employee listings, Tesla requires applicants to pass a comprehensive background check.

The company does this to ensure the safety of the clients, employees, and intellectual property.

Tesla also conducts prior education and work verification for the employees.

So, you can expect a similar process for internships, as well.

Like most companies, Tesla performs a pre-employment screening on its applicants.

The screening involves a medical exam and a general drug test for dangerous substances.

Do Tesla Interns Get Hired?

On their website, Tesla explains that they expect interns to perform as excellently as their full-time employees.

For this reason, Tesla interns are often hired back to work for the company in permanent positions.

Tesla’s Internships webpage even showcases former Tesla interns who are now full-time employees.

Although not guaranteed, an internship at Tesla can put you on the right track to full-time employment with the company.

As long as you fulfill the internship expectations, there’s a good chance of you getting hired permanently.

How Do I Get an Internship at Tesla?

All you need to do is pick a suitable opening and apply.

Once chosen, they’ll reach out to you for an interview.

If the interview process goes well, they’ll send you an update and specific information about your start date.

The following places can give you access to an internship at Tesla:

  • Website: You can apply to available intern roles directly on their official page.
  • Linkedin: Keep an eye on the company’s postings on LinkedIn.
  • University: Tesla often partners with university internship centers to source candidates.

Interview for a Tesla Internship

Tesla has a straightforward interview process for interns. Successful applicants are usually invited to many rounds of phone or in-person interviews.

Interview questions revolve around qualifications, experiences, and problem-solving capabilities.

You’ll receive application updates throughout the interview process.

What Should I Wear to a Tesla Internship Interview?

Tesla doesn’t have a specific dress code for interviews, but formal attire is preferable.

Button-down shirts, slacks, and formal dresses are some good clothing options.

Aim to look polished and professional, but don’t overdress.

How to Answer “Why Do You Want To Work at Tesla?”

In answering this question, try to show your passion and genuine interest in working for the organization.

Explain how you identify with Tesla’s mission and culture.

Lastly, discuss how your professional background is relevant to the intern role you’re applying for.

How Do I Prepare for a Tesla Internship?

To meet the company’s expectations, review Tesla’s preparation tips.

Then, you can consider the technical skills necessary for your role.

For instance, a Tesla Vehicle Controls intern should be familiar with dynamic models and design principles.

It’s also best to prepare accommodation arrangements beforehand.

The company provides transportation and relocation support for interns located 50 miles or more from their site.

Is Tesla a Good Internship?

A Tesla internship can be a life-changing experience.

It’s a great stepping stone toward a career in the technology or car manufacturing sector.

Yet, the role involves a lot of challenges and deadlines.

So, you’ll need to exert lots of effort to meet Tesla’s high work expectations.

Tesla is a rapidly growing company, with a 68% market share in the booming electric vehicle industry.

If you’re the type of person who loves taking on challenges and enjoys working in a fast-paced environment, you might thrive as a Tesla intern.

The mentorship, training, and benefits you’ll receive at this company can be well worth your time and effort.

Frequently Asked Questions

Now that you have a better idea about Tesla internship programs, we can take a look at a couple of common queries.

Does Tesla hire international students?

Yes, Tesla accepts international students.

Yet, they can only apply if they’re able to render 40 working hours per week.

In the listings, Tesla requests international students under CPT to confirm their availability with their school/university beforehand.

Does Tesla require a cover letter?

You don’t necessarily need a cover letter when applying for an internship at Tesla.

Yet, the company will expect you to submit a resume with your professional background.

In particular, Tesla mentions the importance of including relevant experiences on your resume.

Wrapping Up

All in all, a Tesla internship can help you kickstart your career in the automotive and energy industry.

Working with mentors and full-time employees in the company offers a lot of learning opportunities.

That’s as long as you’re willing to take on a challenge.

Keep in mind that you have to start putting in the effort even before you land the internship.

So, don’t forget to follow the recommended preparation tips to make your experience a success!

Get your journey in the tech and automotive industry started by checking out Tesla’s internships here.

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