Kids need so many things these days. From cell phones bills to spending money, it can be hard as a parent to give them all the items on their wish-list. If you’re a teen looking for work, finding a job is a great way to build character! What jobs for teens are the best? From babysitter to EMT, here are the top choices for teenagers today, along with how to find the best work.
Where to Find Jobs for Teens
In addition to networking or simply asking around, there are quite a few listings for teenagers in the regular online job sites like Indeed.com and Monster.com. The good jobs can be filled quickly, however.
Another way to see what’s available is to dress like the job you want. Carry a few copies of an updated list of your activities and achievements with you. Stop by places you’d want to work in person, and simply ask who you would talk to about working there. Businesses need extra workers but may have not gone through the process of taking out an ad. This method gets you work fast, and often when businesses are in the most need.
Parents can be a vital resource in the job search, as well. They can inquire with their friends and family if they know of anyone open to hiring teenagers. Word of mouth is a great way to let people know that you are ready to work!
What do Jobs for Teens Pay?
Depending on the job, most jobs for teens pay minimum wage or even less. The law requires that most jobs pay the federal minimum wage, but some state have their own higher minimum. For jobs that include tips in the payment, the hourly rate may be lower. Jobs such as babysitting, lawn mowing, or other service jobs that pay by the project, you may find your wages to be lower than that. Benefits for teens are not common, as these usually require full-time hours, something most teenagers can’t commit to between school and other responsibilities.
The Best Jobs for Teenagers
Service Jobs for Teens
Like helping out? These are perfect for the young entrepreneur:
1. Pet sitter
If you’re responsible enough to feed, water, and walk a family pet, these jobs are easy to get. You can start out by asking family and friends if they can use your services. Most will agree to trust their pets to someone they know over strangers. Apply for pet sitting jobs at SitterCity and Care.com.
2. Paper deliverer
As more people get their news online, and the routes for newspapers get larger, many of the delivery workers are adults with cars. Many areas of the country still allow old-fashioned bike delivery, though. Check with your local publisher to see how you can help. If you can’t get a job as a delivery person, there may be clean-up jobs in the mailroom or other administrative tasks you can do.
While it takes years to perfect the art of photography, many teenagers have the talent to do work before they become adults. By offering their services to local businesses and to other students, they can build a portfolio and earn money at the same time. One great idea to earn money? Take fellow student’s Senior pictures!
While not as popular as in generations’ past, kids older than 12 or 13 can start learning the basics of being a babysitter. Many local 4-H programs offer babysitter training classes for a fee. You can also buy online training from the Red Cross. Care.com and SitterCity have hundreds of listings for these types of jobs.
5. Mother’s Helper
For kids who aren’t quite old enough to care for other’s children on their own, a “helper” job is ideal. Many parents, especially professionals who work from home, need someone to occupy and tend to the minor needs of their younger kids. This job pays less than a babysitter, but is as equally as important! Ask parents you know from church, school, or the community if they could use a break for a few hours during an afternoon. Then show how valuable you can be for future work! Find mother helpers jobs by advertising at your local MOPS group!
Teen Jobs at Local Businesses
Helping your local business succeed is an important job! Teens fill vital roles in the following job descriptions:
6. Bus Boy (or girl)
Clearing tables is an important part of restaurant work, and these jobs are usually given to minors. Sometimes, this task is combined with the job of dishwasher. You’ll be working on both the front and back of the house.
Teenagers are perfect for working the many jobs in retail. In fact, when most people think of those who work inside a mall, teenagers come to mind! The tasks that stores employ teens for are numerous, but they include:
- Stocker – Making sure shelves are properly stocked, faced, and tidy.
- Bagger – Placing merchandise in bags and loading into carts. (May also include carry-out to vehicles.)
- Cashier – Ringing up purchases for customers and handling money
- Janitor – Cleaning bathrooms, sweeping aisles, and handling spills or messes
- Cart manager – Bringing in all the carts from the parking lot, cleaning carts, helping customers get carts
Indeed.com has hundreds of retail jobs in your area. Just use the search terms to narrow down the type of job you want!
Health Jobs for Teens
You don’t have to wait to be older for these exciting and important jobs. Starting as a teenager can set you on a career path, as well.
8. CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant)
While this job is mostly done by adults, teenagers can start earning their certification to be a nursing assistant while still in high school. CNA’s are an important part of caring for those in nursing homes, hospitals, and adult care centers. Their duties include bathing, light housework, and helping their clients live independently. To find out how to get started, contact a local care facility who is hiring or check in with your state health department. Some community colleges also offer this option.
9. EMT (Emergency Medical Technician)
Teens can also be paramedics! High school guidance counselors have info on how to get started. Search for career training at your community college.
Online Jobs for Teens
Do you want to work from home? At-home work is common and also have many benefits for teenagers. These are the most popular job types for teens to do online.
10. Social media manager
Today’s teens are social media savvy are well-versed in Snapchat, Instagram, and other social media platforms. Small businesses often cannot afford the cost of a full-time marketing agency (nor do they need it.) Teenagers can help schedule posts, create graphics, and share on social to build buzz around a local business and help it grow.
11. Writer and blogger
If teens have a knack for the written word, there are lots of jobs online for them to do. Writing jobs pay from a penny a word to $100 or more per article. Teens can earn even more money if they are influential on social media. Brands pay to promote their work on influencer accounts. Find a blogging job at Problogger!
12. Social media influencer
Do you have a high reach on Instagram? Are you subscriber anxiously awaiting your next YouTube video? If you have a following you can charge $10 – $1000 for your content on your existing social media channels. (Just be sure to disclosure according to the FTC guidelines.)
13. Ebay seller
If you have an eye for buying low and selling high, opening an eBay store may be for you. You may need to be 18 to open a Paypal account, so check with your parents to see if they can help. Open an eBay store to get started.
14. Etsy seller
Those with a talent for handmade can make some real money as an Etsy seller. Bonus points if you take great pictures and can write catchy descriptions for your products. Etsy stores can earn hundreds of dollars a month or more! It’s free to start an Etsy store, although you will pay for listings and commissions on sold items.
15. Amazon seller
Anything that doesn’t do well on eBay or Etsy may be a good product to place in an Amazon store. If nothing else, you can sometimes sell back your used goods to Amazon and earn store credit. Many teens are using it to get trade-in value on their old video games, books, and gadgets. Set up a store at the official Amazon site.
Bonus: Best Summer Jobs for Teens
While any job a teen enjoys that pays well is reason to celebrate, there are some summer jobs for teens that are most commonly open to young workers. They include the following:
While these are mainly summer jobs, places that might hire a teen to work as a lifeguard include public swimming pools, YMCA’s, private clubs, and waterparks. Expect to follow vigorous qualification standards to be accepted (such as Red Cross CPR training.)
17. Cabana and towel workers
Speaking of pools, most of the jobs at the pool in light maintenance and customer care are done by teens. Keeping the destination tidy and responding to basic service requests are the main tasks of these positions.
18. Corn Detassler
In rural areas of the country, teenagers are vital to getting crops pollinated and harvested. The work is among some of the toughest kids will do. A detassler, however, can make thousands of dollars in the month or two they work each summer. Your high school counselor has information about this job, available only to kids in communities where feed corn and seed corn are grown. Seed corn companies such as DuPont offer job listing on their sites. You might also want to check out Not Afraid To Sweat to see how they hire and available positions.
Jobs for Teens and the Law
State law varies, but some teenagers are subject to labor laws that will several limit the type of work and hours they can do. Kids under the age 18, for example, cannot usually work jobs that require use of a vehicle, stove, sharp kitchen tools, or ladders. Work deemed unsafe is usually only open to adults.
Exceptions to these standards include working your for your own family in a family-owned business or doing farm work.
Do you need a work permit? Each state has their own set of requirements. Permits may state that they can’t work late at night or more than 20 hours a week while school is in session. File this permit with both the employer and the state employment office. See your state department of labor for details on what type of documentation a teen job will require.
The jobs for teens available in your area will depend on a number of factors. Population, access to retail, climate, and state law will have an effect on how you are able to find work. Remember, that as the seasons change, so do the available jobs. It may not be possible to find something during the school year. You may, however, be a good candidate for one of many summer jobs for teens!