Good Summer Jobs for Teens 14 Years Old and Older
Taking on a summer job has many benefits for teenagers. It helps them develop their confidence and gives them on-the-job experience. When they make money, teenagers get to learn about how to manage their finances and gain insight into spending and saving.
Having work experience looks good on a resume or college applications, but it also truly prepares teenagers to handle responsibilities outside of academics.
Summer jobs can be social bonding experiences that teens remember for years to come. Trying out different jobs might even help them decide what they want to do in their future.
Some teens might be able to handle a part-time job during the school year, but this is not always practical with long school days, especially when you take into account their homework and extracurricular activities. The summer is the perfect time for high school students to get that first job.
How Old Should My Teen Be to Get a Job?
Kids are protected by the child labor provisions in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938. This act lists specific rules for what kind of work kids can do at which ages.
Each state also has its own labor laws that you can find on your state’s government website, but all states must follow the federal guidelines in the FLSA.
The minimum age to work is 14 years old. At this age, teens can work certain types of jobs for a limited amount of hours (three hours per day during the school week and eight hours per day on the weekends, with a maximum of 18 hours per week).
14- and 15-year-olds may not work during school hours and they can only partake in non-hazardous work. They also need to apply for a work permit before they can legally work.
After kids turn 16, they can work any hours and they do not need a work permit. But, as they are still minors, they can only work in non-hazardous environments until they turn 18.
The department of labor is in charge of overseeing employers and ensuring they follow child labor laws.
Which Job is Best for Your Teen?
Should your teen work the cash register at a fast food restaurant like McDonalds or Chick-fil-A, or at an ice cream shop like Baskin Robbins? Or maybe they love little kids and would enjoy babysitting or working at a summer camp?
Help your teen brainstorm what they love to do. If they like to be outside and engage in physically demanding work, raking or lawn mowing are good choices. If they are a movie junkie, working at a movie theater like AMC theaters has the added bonus of free or discounted viewings.
If your child is an animal lover, encourage them to look for pet sitting or dog walking jobs, or maybe they could work at an animal shelter.
Summer Jobs for Teens
Here are some more ideas to get you started:
- Amusement Park Worker: For teens who want to make the world a little more fun.
- Babysitter: For teens with a nurturing spirit who love kids.
- Barista: A job that will teach your kid lots of new skills and prepare them for future jobs in customer service.
- Camp Counselor: This role builds self-esteem and independence. This job requires multitasking and a high level of attentiveness while also being fun.
- Car Wash Attendant: This isn’t too physically demanding and may be an easy job for a teen who is fairly physically active.
- Dog Walker: If your teen is a dog lover, they can make a solid amount of cash walking people’s dogs who are not at home during the day.
- Food Service Worker: Restaurants and other roles involved in the food industry have a high turnover and there are plenty of them, so there are usually plenty of jobs available in this sector.
- Grocery Store Bagger :This entry-level job has an opportunity for growth. Maybe next summer your teen will return as a checker, and one day, a manager!
- Lifeguard: This job boosts your teen’s self efficacy because it has a high level of responsibility. They’ll also get to spend their summer by the pool!
- Mother’s Helper: Plenty of stay at home moms would love a little extra help in the summer. There are lots of moms who would pay a responsible teen to help put their little ones to bed or bath them in the evenings. It takes more work than just babysitting once the kids are asleep, so the pay may be even better.
- Pet Sitter: See if your teen can take care of the neighbor’s pets while they’re on vacation!
- Retail Worker: This type of job is great for building customer service skills, and often includes benefits such as store discounts!
- Swim Instructor: Teaching kids to swim is fun and fulfilling, and it lets you spend time outside in the water.
Helping Your Teen Find Their First Job
Your child may need some guidance with their job search. It might be best for them to start looking for work by talking to people they know in the community. Online searches are another good way to find summer jobs.
Create a resume. It’s okay if it’s short. Include work experience, including volunteer work or extracurricular activities.
It may be a good idea for your child to write a cover letter explaining why they want the job and why they would be a good fit for it. Teachers or coaches might be willing to serve as references.