Want to set yourself up for career success early on? Getting a job while you're still in high school can help you build important skills for later. Here are some of the top jobs for teens available, plus tips on how to find them.
Pay: $18/hour (ZipRecruiter)
Babysitting is the go-to job for many teens. Talk to neighbors and family friends about whether they might be in need of your service. Even if they don’t have young children, they might know people who do. You can often negotiate your rate based on the age of the children (older children generally mean less responsibility for you), number of children, and your level of experience. Pro tip: Take a First Aid and CPR course to improve your preparedness and up your marketability.
Pay: $9.47/hour (PayScale)
When you’re 15, you can complete your lifeguard certification from the American Red Cross, which will enable you to work in one of the most high-stakes jobs a teenager can have. While you’ll spend much of the time relaxing by the pool or on the beach, you’ll have to be on guard for potential life-or-death situations at all times. This is a great full-time or part-time summer job for teens.
Pay: $10.32/hour (PayScale)
There are many stores that hire teens aged 14-16 and above (see the list below for some ideas). Working in retail will teach you important job skills and work ethic, as well as give you some terrific discounts. You can usually find these jobs online through the stores’ websites or fill out an application in person.
Pay: $17.59/hour (PayScale)
If you’re a natural at a given subject, why not help others? Some tutoring jobs are on a volunteer basis, while others are paid. Work with peers or younger students to get them up to speed in your area of expertise. This is a good choice for students who plan to go into education. Talk to teachers at your school about connecting with students who might be in need of assistance to get started.
Pay: $10.00/hour (ZipRecruiter)
Another great pick for teenagers who want to work in education, camp counselors supervise children and engage in a variety of activities, from arts and crafts to academic courses, depending on the theme of the camp. Counselors often receive free room and board during their jobs, too.
Pay: $13.66/hour (PayScale)
If you love dogs (and who doesn’t?), this is the ideal teen job. Network with neighbors, friends’ parents, and family friends to find gigs.
Pay: $10.00/hour (Glassdoor)
You’ll learn important customer service skills, as well as the ability to make a great latte, as a barista. Try applying to local coffee shops and larger chains. (NB: Chains like Starbucks require you to be at least 16 to work there.)
Pay: $8.01/hour plus tips (PayScale)
Thinking of going into the food industry? Working as a server can give you early exposure and get your foot in the door. While the salary may seem relatively low, you’ll likely make up for it in tips. Reach out to local restaurants for part-time or summer work.
Pay: $11.00/hour (PayScale)
Film buffs often have the added perk of earning free movie tickets and passes when they work at movie theaters. Start by asking movie theaters in your area if they’re hiring or look online.
Pay: $15.00 (PayScale)
Are you a writer? Do you know a lot about a given topic? Then blogging could be the path for you. While you may not earn much right out of the gate, if your blog takes off, you could be approached by advertisers. All you need to do is pay minimal fees to register your domain name, and then get writing! You’ll also want to market your blog on social media and other platforms to increase your following.
If you’re an artist who loves to make jewelry, furniture, textiles, and other crafts, why not sell your work? Platforms like Etsy are ideal for sharing your work and making a profit. Publishing listings is relatively cheap, too.
Pay: $9.03 (PayScale)
This is one of the more fun teen jobs, although you’ll need to be on guard to make sure nobody hurts themselves at all times. If you don’t have an amusement park nearby, see if you can stay with a friend or relative who is during the summer months.
Pay: $14.00/hour (ZipRecruiter)
Some offices may hire teenage receptionists to answer phones, schedule appointments, and perform other tasks part-time. Visit local businesses to inquire about who might need your services.
Pay: $12.69/hour (PayScale)
Another one for animal lovers, this job will enable you to be around dogs, cats, and other animals performing tasks such as feeding and cleaning up after them. Try advertising your services at local community centers, libraries, and coffee shops and marketing your services through word of mouth.
Pay: $10.24/hour (PayScale)
This one’s for the hyper-organized and neat freaks among us. Try using online platforms and apps to find clients, or network among people in your community.
Pay: $9.94/hour (PayScale)
While working in a grocery store may not be the most glamorous job for teens, it will help you build important job skills as you perform tasks such as bagging groceries, running the cash register, and more. You can find many jobs online through job search sites or job boards or by inquiring at your local supermarket.
Want to get a taste of your future career? Most people get their start by interning. Many internships come about through networking, so reach out to family members, friends of your parents, parents of your friends, teachers, your guidance counselor, and others for tips. You never know who might know someone who knows someone who works in your desired industry.
There are many national companies and chains that hire teens. They include:
Check out The U.S. Legal Age to Work and Where to Find Jobs as a Young Teenager for more ideas for places to look for jobs.
According to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the minimum age of employment for non-agricultural work is 14. However, your hours will be limited until you reach the age of 16. These restrictions include:
• No shifts during school hours
• Limited to three hours per school day and 18 hours per school week / eight hours per nonschool day and 40 hours per nonschool week
• May work only between 7:00 am and 7:00 pm during the school year (Labor Day through May 31st) and between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. during the summer (June 1st through Labor Day)
That still leaves the door open for many part-time, after-school and summer jobs, as per the list above.
FLSA permits children under the age of 14 to perform work such as:
• delivering newspapers
• performing in radio, television, movie, or theatrical productions
• working in businesses owned by their parents (except in mining, manufacturing or hazardous jobs)
• and babysitting or performing minor chores around a private home
Keep in mind that there may be some restrictions, so be sure to look into your state laws before performing work as a minor.