Part time jobs for teens are a great way to earn extra money to spend on the weekends, help save up for college or to get a car. Having a part time job also teaches responsibility and gives teens a taste of what young adult life is like.
Traditional Part Time Jobs for Teens
If you want some spending money, it's likely your parents will tell you to find a job. For teens of all ages, part time jobs are a great way to get a foot in the door at many companies. Use the money earned as savings for college, moving out, paying car expenses and other items.
Great Jobs for Younger Teens
Many states have laws about how many hours teens under a certain age can work. If you can't drive, this also limits the types of jobs you can reasonably expect to get. However, that doesn't mean you won't be able to find a part time job. Just a few great jobs for younger teens include:
- Child Care: Babysit on nights and weekends during the school year, and pick up full time hours watching kids when school is out. If competition for babysitting is fierce in your neighborhood, consider taking a class from a community college, hospital or the Red Cross on child care to get a leg up.
- Camp Counselor: Some camps hire junior counselors, so if you loved your week away from home as a child, consider applying to work as a counselor at that camp.
- Lawn Care: If you enjoy the outdoors, consider doing lawn care during the summer and fall. Mowing lawns, trimming hedges, and raking leaves are all services many busy people will pay teens to do. Experience with lawn care could translate into a retail job at a greenhouse or garden center later on.
- Detassling: Midwesterners and those who live in rural areas know that detassling is a hot and hard summer job. However, this is a part time job that can pay well, especially if you stick it out the entire season and return the next year. Older teens and college aged students may have the opportunity to become supervisors or team leaders.
- Pet Care Services: If you love animals, start your own pet care service. Hang up flyers in your neighborhood, offering to walk dogs or change cat litter boxes. You can also combine this with general house sitting, which usually includes picking up the mail and watering plants, plus other small odd jobs.
- Newspaper Delivery: A newspaper delivery route may be cliche, but it is for a reason. This is a great job for a younger teen just getting into the work force. If you are not a morning person, look for an after school or afternoon delivery route.
Jobs for Driving Teens
Teens who already have cars or who live somewhere with a good public transportation system can look outside of their neighborhoods for part time work. Most teens have success in finding jobs within service or retail industries. Look for these kinds of jobs:
- Food Service: Work as a cashier or cook at a fast food joint, waitress at a chain restaurant, bus tables at the local diner or serve as hostess at an upscale establishment. There are plenty of jobs in the restaurant and food service industry perfect for teens. Older teens with good driving records may be able to work as a delivery driver, too.
- Grocery Stores: Bag groceries, cashier or stock at a local grocery store.
- Retail: Working retail at the mall or local big box discount store may not sound glamorous, but you will often find these jobs work well around your hectic teenage schedule. Additionally, many stores offer employees discounts, so be sure to find out if your favorite store is hiring.
- Janitorial: Cleaning may not sound like fun, but in areas where good help is hard to find, it could be your ticket to some spending cash. Check out office places, maid services, hotels and even your own school for janitorial jobs.
- Bank Teller: Teens with a strong academic background, especially in math, may be able to find part time work at a local bank branch.
If you aren't too picky about where you want to work, you can spend a day at the mall gathering job applications, take them home, fill them all out, and odds are pretty good you'll get a job from your day of work.
A high school intern job is something junior, senior and just graduated teens should look for when applying for jobs. If you have a potential career path in mind, this is a great way to break into your chosen field. High school interns often start lower than college interns, but it is a great way to learn more about the field you want to work in. Consider an internship if you are interested in these careers:
- Music Production
- Public Relations
Working as an intern is not glamorous, no matter what field you want to break into. Filing, working as a personal assistant, answering phones, and other odd jobs often fall on the high school intern.
Job Search Tips for Teens
Searching for a part time job can be stressful, especially if you have never worked before. Follow these tips for a successful job search from start to hire:
- Dress nicely and practice good manners when picking up job applications from workplaces. Even if the person who hands you the application isn't the boss, it doesn't mean he or she won't remember you when you come in for the interview.
- Fill out applications completely in black ink. Make sure you include any relevant club or volunteer experience where it asks.
- When returning the application, ask if you can drop it off with the manager. This way, you get a chance to introduce yourself and make a good impression before you even secure an interview.
- If you land an interview, dress your best and arrive at least five minutes early.
- Send a thank you to the person who interviewed you.
Keeping Work in Balance
It can be a lot of fun to have a job and be making your own money that you can spend on whatever you want. However, you shouldn't let work get in the way of high school. If you're working nearly every weeknight and find yourself too tired to do your homework, that's a problem.
Talk to your manager at work about reducing your hours. It can be hard to say no to someone in authority over you, but if your schoolwork is suffering, you need to cut back on work. It is important to have time for school, work, spending time with your family and goofing off. The good news is if you can figure out how to balance it all successfully, you'll have learned a very useful skill you'll use for the rest of your life.