Insect Internships

Butterfly on a flower
••• Mayur Kotlikar/Moment Open/Getty Images

There are many internship options for those interested in working with insects as entomologists, beekeepers, museum curators, or in other related career paths. Here is a sampling of internship opportunities that are available in the field.


The Audubon Institute offers entomology internships at its Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium in New Orleans, Louisiana. Interns work in the butterfly house, assist with husbandry, give tours, and complete a research project. This is an unpaid internship opportunity and interns must commit to working at least 16 hours per week.

The Butterfly Pavilion (in Colorado) offers entomology zookeeper internships during spring, summer, or fall sessions. Interns work 1 to 3 days per week (approximately 6 to 24 hours per week). Duties include animal care and husbandry, exhibit cleaning and maintenance, ensuring USDA compliance, educating the public, and completing an independent project. Applicants must be students or graduates with a degree in biology, education, or a related field. This is an unpaid opportunity but college credit may be arranged.

The Cleveland Museum of Natural History (in Ohio) offers the Kirtlandia Research Internship Program which focuses on insect systematics. These 8-week internships are paid opportunities, with interns being paid $7.95 per hour plus up to $200 to fund a research project that is presented at the conclusion of the experience. Most projects require both field work and lab work. Applications are due in early March.

The Cockrell Butterfly Center, part of the Houston Museum of Natural Science, offers a paid summer internship that is funded by the Garden Club of Houston. The summer internship runs for 10 to 12 weeks. Interns learn about butterfly identification, breeding, pest control, and habitat maintenance (primarily horticultural work). They also do some public speaking and lead outreach programs for children and adults. This internship opportunity offers a stipend of approximately $4,500.

Paradise Meadows Orchard and Bee Farm offers a bee internship in Hawaii that focuses on tropical apiary management. Interns must be willing to work 5 to 6 days per week for at least six months. Duties may include construction and repair of hives, pest control, harvesting and bottling honey, splitting hives, and monitoring hive health. The internship is unpaid but Paradise Meadow provides free housing (including satellite TV/internet), partial board, transportation to and from work, and a bee suit.

Reiman Gardens, a part of Iowa State University, offers an entomology internship that runs from mid-May to early August. Interns assist the Butterfly Wing curator with colony maintenance, processing chrysalis shipments, raising tropical and native butterfly species, and providing information to visitors. Interns also work in a USDA regulated laboratory environment. Applicants must be enrolled as undergraduates in a college or university. This is a paid internship opportunity, with a pay rate of $8 per hour.

The Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History offers several internships related to entomology including options in insect specimen curation, imaging, molecular techniques, preparation and identification, and more. Interns may be involved with taking digital photos, identifying specimens, preparing and labeling specimens, and entering information into databases. Internships are unpaid and time commitments vary.

Walt Disney World offers the Entomology Disney Professional Internship program at the Epcot Center in Florida. Interns work in the agricultural greenhouses that are part of the Living with the Land exhibit. They are involved with leading tours, maintaining insect colonies, assisting with pest monitoring, and participating in classes and training sessions. Applicants must be college students or recent graduates with a major in an entomology related area. Internships are paid six-month opportunities. Housing or relocation assistance may also be provided.