Paid Jobs

 

Basics

Now you’ve decided you’d like some extra cash—for school, college, clothes, computers, music… whatever.  As a teen, we want to make some money and be able to use it, no strings attached.  First though, we need to answer a few questions (see Job Search, Interviews & Questions To Ask Before You Look For A Job section) to help determine your qualifications for a job and find out how to find a job.  Second, check the Job Ages, Wages & Rules section: you might not qualify for some jobs because of your age.  Here are some general types of jobs, based on your age that you might consider.  This list is not all-inclusive and I’d love you to send me an email about other kinds of jobs, by age, to add to the list.

 

 

Early Teens 13-15

If you’re in this group, you can still get a job—however, mostly from friends and neighbors. These might include:

  • Shoveling driveways and doing lawn work
  • Babysitting or mother’s helper
  • Pet sitting and dog walking
  • Help when a person goes away: willing to water plants, pick up mail, etc.
  • Household chores
  • Baking for a party
  • Cleaning
  • Errand running
  • Washing cars
Treat these as real jobs.  Be appropriately dressed and always on time.  Call if you cannot make it, and try to have someone who can replace you that you feel comfortable recommending, if that happens.  These are important jobs.  If you do a good job, your employer will refer you to someone else, and your reputation and business will grow.  Hand out flyers, tell everyone what jobs you can do and how much you charge… promote yourself.

 

 

Late Teens 16-18

At this age you have more options, since many positions require you to be at least 16.  Opportunities open up once you have a driver's license and are allowed to drive without an adult (age requirements vary by state).  Many employers might start you out at minimum wage; we all have to start somewhere!  In the section Job Ages, Wages & Rules, some of the jobs you are not permitted to do by age are outlined.  Make sure to check your state regulations too, not just the Federal ones.  Below are a few jobs you might consider.

 

 

Get Physical

 

Let's face it—one of the benefits of youth is that many of us are in good shape.  If you are, and don’t mind the physical labor, this might be something to look into.  Sometimes these jobs can pay more than less physically-demanding ones.

Possible outside jobs:

  • Local town maintenance… road work, garbage
  • Lawn and garden work
  • Moving
  • Caddy at the local golf club
  • Swimming pool attendant or life guard
  • Gathering shopping carts at a supermarket

Possible inside jobs:

  •  Warehouse
  • Stock clerk 
  • Ice cream scooper (you must have good arms and wrists and be able to stand for long periods of time)

 

 

 

Brains & Skills

If you don’t want to flex your muscles and have a good brain and good skills, here are some other options:

  • Computer Geeks Unite:  If you’re a master of the keyboard… that is, the computer kind… then generally there are a lot of jobs available.  Everything from helping companies create or maintain a website, to repairing computers, to less exciting positions such as data entry.  Good computer skills are always prized.  Try to become familiar with the basic programs: Microsoft Word, Excel, and Power Point.  Any additional programs are a plus.  However, be honest—if you only know the basics of a “required” program, let a potential employer know your true ability.   At the same time, if you’re totally proficient, let the employer know that too.
  • Teaching a skill at a camp, school or to an individual person.  This can be anything from teaching computer skills, sport or a musical instrument.

 

 

Lots of Energy & Patience

Working with Kids—Summer and Kids go together.  Summer camps, day camps, town camps, sleep-away camps are all prime employers of teens during the summer.  You might also qualify for working with younger kids in an after-school program during the year.  You should start looking for summer camp jobs in the fall.  There are also summer camp job fairs. Here are two sites to check:

 

Hard Work but Nice Surroundings

  • Many Country Clubs/Golf Clubs need extra help during the summer.  This can be in the kitchen or eating area (indoors or out by the pool, tennis, golf area).  If you have a driver’s license and are 17 this can mean being a valet.
  • Hotels and Amusement Parks – These are employers who also gear up for the summer.  Check to see the age requirements and when they are hiring.
  • Summer Resort Areas:  This can mean jobs in a movie theater, store, restaurant, or a park.

 

Keep Cool, Work Hard

  • Indoor jobs, which can include working at a store (in or out of a mall), restaurant, office or school.