Everything You Need to Know About the Tesla Internship Program

The Tesla internship program is highly selective, challenging, and a real growth opportunity. Here’s how to navigate the application and selection process to increase your chance of getting accepted.

Is Tesla a good place to intern?

Tesla is a great place to intern. If you are looking for a meaningful internship with a company bent on accelerating the world’s transition to sustainable energy, then Tesla is the place for you. Tesla provides an inclusive network experience, with one-on-one mentorship, networking events, and weekly seminars with industry experts. Not only is it a learning experience, but you will work hard, challenge yourself, and grow professionally from the experience.

What qualifications do I need to have to apply for a Tesla Internship?

Tesla hires interns for a wide range of job categories, ranging from HR to vehicle engineering. So, the qualifications they look for vary greatly depending on the given Tesla internship.  

For example, engineering majors may be interested in participating in the Vehicle Controls Internship where they will be working on “projects within a sub-system like battery management algorithms, vehicle dynamics control, torque production, motor control, thermal and HVAC controls etc.”   Depending on the project they are assigned, they may work on developing models of various systems in the car, refine algorithms, dubbed firmware, or participate in cross-functional efforts involving control systems. Because of the highly technical nature of this internship, applicants will need to be working towards a BS, MS, or higher degree in electrical, mechanical, aerospace, chemical, automotive engineering, or equivalent. 

Students who wish to pursue a career in immigration may be interested in the Immigration Internship where they would help Tesla’s immigration program by building trust with Tesla employees in the immigration process.  here is no specific major requirement for this position, but students “must have excellent problem solving, organizational, communication and customer service skills” in order to apply.

In short, your education, training, area of expertise, skills, and demonstrated interest all play a role in which internships you can apply for at Tesla. Today, there are over 100 internships available with varied requirements,  so take a look and find one that fits your expertise and interest on Tesla’s internship search page.

Are Tesla internships paid?

Yes, as of 2022, all Tesla internships are paid internships. While the pay scale ranges, the typical salary is roughly $32 per hour.

Are Tesla internships competitive?

Tesla internships are one of the most highly sought-after internships in the United States. You need to be at the top of your game to apply. You also need to meet the specific requirements of internship listing, and your resume should show your demonstrated interest in the role. 

Does Tesla have any resume preferences?

Yes, Tesla has very precise resume expectations, so make sure to follow them. Here are some of the key takeaways: 

  • Formatting – Your resume should be one page and have consistent font types, styles and sizes. 
  • Error-Free – Double-check for grammar and spelling mistakes. Get mentors to review it. 
  • Substance Over Form – Your professional story matters more than the overall design. 
  • Include Online Professional Profile – Alongside your name and contact information in the header, you should include your LinkedIn profile, GitHub account, or portfolio link. 
  • Detailed & Complete Education Data – Provide your academic institution, degree program and location if available. You can also include your anticipated graduation date, performance indicators or any relevant educational certifications. 
  • List Your Experiences – Tesla values candidates with additional academic and professional experience. For each entry, you should provide a name, role, start and end date, along with a few examples demonstrating your impact. 
  • Share Your Skills – You can include a skills section to detail relevant knowledge sets or certifications, but make sure to contextualize how you applied your skills in your previous professional roles.  

For more about how to improve your resume, read How to Write your Resume, The Complete Resume Guide for College Students – 12 Rules for Resume Perfection, and 35 Phrases that will Improve your Resume.

How do I prepare for the Tesla Interview?

Tesla also provides some straight-forward guidance on how to prepare for an internship interview.  In short, you will need to be able to answer these questions:

  • What makes you the most qualified candidate for the role?  
  • What’s the most difficult challenge you ever faced?  
  • What has been your proudest achievement?  
  • When have you solved a problem with limited resources? 
  • Why do you want to work at Tesla? 

This does not mean you should memorize every answer like a script. Instead, know what you want to say and be concise when you say it. You will also be asked technical questions and even some vague ones, so it is important that you answer with clarity and thoughtfulness.

Make sure to ask meaningful questions and send a thank you email!

Finally, on interview day, do not forget to ask thoughtful questions about the role and potential projects. If you need some ideas for this, read Questions to Ask During Job Interviews.

Also, make sure to send a thank-you email to the interviewer shortly after the interview. To learn how to write a good thank-you email, read How to Write a Thank You Email After an Interview.

Are Tesla internships remote?

There are many remote internships as well as in-person internships. To find an updated list of internships and whether they are remote or not, first visit Tesla’s webpage here. Then, on the left filter, select “Job Type” and click “Internship/Apprentice” in the drop-down menu for a full updated list of what is currently being offered. Then, simply click on the one that interests you for more information. 

What do Tesla interns do?

Unlike some other companies, Tesla believes in treating their interns as if they were already full-time employees. So, as an intern, you will be doing all the things a full-time employee would be doing. Depending on which internship you applied for, as a Tesla intern, you may work on a production lin, or behind a computer coding and collaborating with full-time employees and interns alike. The internship program is three-months long during which you will be assigned a one-on-one mentor to help you navigate through the program. 

This is what Aishwarya V, a former Tesla Mechanical Engineer Intern and now employee, had to say about her Tesla internship experience: “A Tesla internship is best summarized by cool projects, high levels of responsibility, an incredible community of coworkers and unparalleled opportunities for personal growth.” 

Tesla interns collaborate across disciplines, borders, and production lines to support the company’s shared mission of accelerating the world’s transition to sustainable energy.

Does Tesla convert interns to full-time employees? 

Yes, it does. While this is obviously not guaranteed and is contingent on your carrying out Tesla’s internship expectations, as an intern, you are on track towards employment. Tesla expects interns to perform to the same level of excellence as its full-time employees, which is it often hires them back.

However just like college, graduate school, or any other company, there are often changes to how many new employees Tesla can take on and the number of open spots may be limited. So, if you do land an internship, make sure you shine!

How long do Tesla internships last?

Tesla asks for a minimum of 12 weeks, full-time, for most internships. Some students may be limited to part-time depending on their academic standing.

Can International students attending university in the United States apply?

Yes, but only if your work authorization is through Curricular Practical Training (CPT). You need to consult with your school before applying.

Do Tesla interns do real work?

Tesla interns are expected to perform meaningful work from Day One. Instead of going on coffee runs and making copies, Tesla interns are seated at the table making critical decisions that will influence not only their team but the overall achievement of Tesla’s mission. Tesla challenges its interns to take on high-impact projects to expand their technical skills and exceed their own expectations.

For more internship opportunities, use TUN’s Job Search Engine.