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Finding a job isn’t always easy, especially for teens with limited work experience. Thankfully, many companies are hiring now and could use extra sets of hands for the summer and beyond. These summer jobs for teens provide not just decent hourly wages but also experience in various fields that will serve them well in their future endeavors as well.
But first things first, at what age can a teen get a job? In the U.S., 14-year-olds and 15-year-olds are able to work, but depending on where you live, there are laws you need to follow that are set by the U.S. Department of Labor.
You can see how each state varies for child labor standards by comparing this chart. Select your state to see which specific rules you fall under. So what are the best summer jobs for teens? And what’s the average pay rate? We’re breaking it down.
50 Summer Jobs for Teens
1. Animal Shelter Associate
If you have a teen who loves critters, working in an animal shelter can be a meaningful way to earn extra money this summer. Pay rates vary but average around $13 per hour; however, some animal shelters only use volunteer labor.
Your teen is home for the summer — and so are a ton of kids younger than them whose parents need a break! Get referrals from family members, family friends, and neighbors, and encourage your teen to post about themselves in a local Facebook parents group. Rates can vary depending on how many kids your teen will have to watch but averages about $21 per hour.
Have a teen with a caffeine habit? Are they craving creativity with their coffee? Have they always wanted to know what the difference is between a caramel latte and a caramel macchiato? (There is quite a bit!) They’ll learn all that, plus customer service skills that can translate almost anywhere else, as a barista. Hourly rates vary by location and coffee shop, but your teen can expect around $13 per hour on average, plus tips if they’re lucky.
4. Bookstore Associate
Whether your teen spends their pocket cash on the latest Mangas, YA dystopia novels, or nonfiction, they’ll likely love working in a bookstore, making around $12.71 per hour on average.
5. Bowling Alley Attendant
In this case, having some strikes is a good thing. According to Lending Tree, bowling alleys are one of the best places to find summer jobs for teens, with 20% of employees being between 16 and 19 years old.
Many restaurants hire teens as bussers to tidy, clean, and prep tables between customers. Depending on the eatery, bussers can make around $13 hourly on average.
7. Camp Counselor
Your teen will have food and lodging covered as a camp counselor, as well as the opportunity to make new friends their age — as well as inspire and mentor younger kids. If they love children and the outdoors, this is a fun summer job that can provide some lifelong memories. Hourly rates for camp counselors vary by location and individual camp but average in the $15 range.
8. Cart Attendant
Teens can make a little over $12 per hour on average as cart attendants at most stores. If the retailer has a union, they may also be eligible for extra pay on Sundays and holidays as well.
9. Clothing Store Associate
Teens may love working in a clothing store that suits their personal style. In addition to a steady check (at around $14 per hour on average), they may be eligible for employee discounts and can get valuable customer service experience, and they may have opportunities to help style customers and mannequins to boot. For example, Gap hires workers at age 16 and offers 50% off regular-priced merchandise at Old Navy, Gap, Banana Republic, and Athleta for employees.
10. Concession Stand Worker
Sell peanuts and Cracker Jacks at ball games or overpriced bottled water at concerts. Your teen can expect to make around $14.45 per hour on average, and some concessions accept tips as well.
11. Delivery Driver
If you have an older teen with a driver’s license (and a good driving record), delivering pizzas or from other restaurants can be a great way for them to earn cash at around $17 per hour.
12. Dog Walker
Your teen can get some steps in and make four-legged friends as a dog walker. They can offer to walk dogs in your neighborhood, for family and friends with pets, or sign up for a service like Rover to find new clients. Dog walkers make an average of $17.40 per hour, but that rate can vary by number of dogs, their size, your location, and other factors.
13. Fast Food Attendant
Is it glamorous? No, but fast food restaurants are almost always hiring, and there isn’t necessarily a steep learning curve. Many fast food restaurants are offering somewhat higher wages now than they have been before, with the average hourly rate being about $12.50.
14. Fiber, Yarn, and Thread Mills
Seemingly random? Yes. Oddly specialized? Also yes. But it’s a great way for teens to make money, netting nearly $900 ($887) per week on average.
If you have a teen with a green thumb or just a great eye, working at a local florist can help them exercise their creativity and gardening skills. Do note that florists require some specialized skills to do the job successfully, but if your teen finds a shop willing to teach them, this could be a lovely opportunity and pays about $15.58 per hour on average.
16. Footwear Manufacturing
We know, it may be hard to find footwear manufacturing jobs near you, but stay with us: Lending Tree reports that while only 3.4% of footwear manufacturing workers are between 16 and 19 years old, the average wages for teens in the industry is a whopping $998 per week. If you have a child saving for college or a car, this can be huge.
17. Front Desk Clerk
Whether at a hotel or a resort, summer is typically peak travel season. Teens can expect to make around $14 working at the front desk to check guests in and out.
18. Golf Caddy
Whether at a country club or a golf course, being a caddy is a good job for teens over the summer, especially (and obviously!) if they’re golf fans. Caddies hold golf bags, clean golf balls, rake, and handle other small but important tasks on golf courses and greens.
19. Grocery Bagger
Depending on where you live and what stores are nearby, some grocers expect customers to bag their own items or bring their own bags. However, many stores still need grocery baggers, and because many grocery store employees are in unions, this could be a great first job for a teen, making about $13.45 per hour.
20. Grocery Store Cashier
Grocery stores are almost always hiring, especially right now, with a starting rate of about $14.59 per hour. In addition to a steady paycheck, many grocery chains have unions, which can offer your teen extra job security as well as benefits like guaranteed breaks, extra holiday and Sunday pay, and even health insurance in some cases.
21. Grocery Stocker
If dealing with customers isn’t your teen’s thing, fret not. Plenty of grocery stores need help stocking shelves, too, and if they have a union, they’ll still be eligible to join it. Stockers also earn slightly more than cashiers at an average of $15.27 hourly.
22. Host or Hostess
If your teen is a little too clumsy to wait tables, hosting at a restaurant may be a good option. They’ll still have to be comfortable on their feet but won’t have to worry so much about dropping trays of food or spilling drinks. Hosts and hostesses can expect to make between $13 and $14 per hour depending on the restaurant and location.
23. House Cleaner
If you have one of the rare teenagers who actually doesn’t mind cleaning their room, they may be able to help others clean theirs. Housecleaning pay rates vary by location and depend on whether your teen works independently or with a company, but it’s a great way for them to earn some cash over the summer, to the tune of $16.87 per hour.
24. House Sitter
Have neighbors who are going on vacation? Offer to have your teen house sit, water plants, take in mail, and make the property look lived-in and not vacant, all for around $13.50 an hour. Some may expect their sitter to stay in their house while they’re gone, while others will just ask their house sitter to check in on the grounds periodically.
25. Ice Cream Shop Associate
It’s often a lower-pressure gig than some other food service or retail jobs. Check out Cold Stone Creamery, which hires 16-year-olds and offers food and meal discounts to employees.
26. Kids’ Party Entertainer
Whether your teen dresses up as a Disney princess, spins some “Baby Shark” remixes, or hosts some games to keep little ones busy, entertaining kids at parties can be a fun way to make extra cash (and they may even score some cake).
Want a great workout plus fresh air and a steady paycheck? Landscaping is a great summer job for teens, with 5.1% of landscaping workers being in the 16- to 19-year-old age range, per Lending Tree. Just make sure that they don’t forget sunscreen and that they stay hydrated!
28. Lawn Care
If full-on landscaping isn’t an option for your teen, basic lawn care can be a great way for them to make some cash. Mowing lawns, raking, and pulling weeds are chores most adults would rather not deal with, and many would be happy to throw your kid a few bucks to get this particular line of yard work out of their hair. Depending on whether your teen works for a company or independently, they can make around $17.66 hourly.
29. Library Clerk
If you have a teen who loves reading, working at the library means having the opportunity to find some hidden gems among the shelves for around $13 per hour.
If your teen is a good swimmer, a lifeguard job is a great opportunity: They can protect everyone in the pool and get paid for it. Ideally, they’d never have to leave their stand — but they’ll be a hero if they do. Hourly pay for lifeguards varies by location, with the national average clocking in at around $14.
Your teen can practice their sleight of hand at parties. They can invest in a basic magic kit for as low as $20 and wow kids and more gullible adults.
Depending on where you live and how much you can lift, you may be able to work for a moving company for a little over $18 per hour, plus potential tips. This is best suited for physically strong teens, and safety precautions should always be taken when lifting and moving anything heavy or large.
33. Movie Theater Associate
Teens can tear tickets, sell concessions, inform visitors what theater number their showing is in, and enjoy the air conditioning! They may also get employee discounts on movie tickets, which for some cinema buffs can add up to basically being a small bonus in every check in addition to an average hourly wage of $13.64.
34. National Park Worker
The National Park Service offers a Pathways Program with jobs just for teens. If you’re lucky enough to live near a national park, this could be a great addition to your child’s resume (and their college applications, too!).
35. Personal Assistant
From grabbing coffee and picking up dry cleaning to returning phone calls, a personal assistant’s job can run the gamut. If you have a teen who can drive and who can stay organized, a personal assistant position may be great for them and pays a national average of $14.84 per hour.
36. Pet Shop Associate
Animal-loving teens may enjoy working in a pet shop for the summer. They’ll get retail experience and may get to interact with some furry friends at the same time for an average of $14.42 hourly.
37. Pet Sitter
While some people go on summer vacation, they’re forced to leave Fido behind. Pet sitting pays an average of a little over $13 per hour and gives your teen a chance to bond with cute critters. They can sign up with a service like Rover or just offer services to family members and friends with pets.
38. Photographers’ Assistant
If your teen is skilled with a camera and Photoshop, they may be able to make extra cash this summer photographing special events, engagements, and the like for loved ones or others in their network. If they’re still building their resume and portfolio, becoming a photography assistant is a great way to gain experience at about $14 per hour.
39. Pool Attendant
Your teen can collect and hand off towels, serve refreshments, and more as a pool attendant for an average of $13.37 hourly.
40. Pool Technician
Your teen can skim leaves, scrub algae, vacuum liners, and adjust shock and chlorine levels as a pool technician for an average of $17.89 an hour. It can sometimes be hard work, so you’ll want to recommend this role to teens who are in relatively good shape (or who are eager to get there).
If your teen is a people person with good balance and a good memory, waiting tables can be a great gig for them. Just remember that they’ll need comfortable shoes and that most shifts will be on nights and weekends, so they may have to adjust their social calendar to get the best tips. Server wages vary depending on tips, eatery, and other factors but average out to about $15.49 per hour.
42. Shoe Store Salesperson
Whether your teen is a sneakerhead, a flip-flop fan, or has a heel collection that would rival that of Imelda Marcos, shoe stores employ a lot of teenagers over the summer. In fact, Lending Tree reports that a whopping 19.7% of employees at shoe stores are teenagers making about $14.49 per hour.
43. Social Media Assistant
No one is more social media savvy than teenagers. Social media assistant positions are great summer job opportunities for teens that they may well want to continue into the school year, thanks to the potential for remote work as well. Whether they work for a larger company or just help a small local business craft posts and build a following, they can expect to make around $16 per hour.
45. Swimming Instructor
If your teen is great in the pool or in the surf, they may want to consider teaching swimming lessons for beginners. Check with local hotels with pools, community pools, or recreation centers to see if they’re hiring instructors, or have your teen offer lessons privately to people in your community. The average hourly rate for swimming instructors is $24.27 per hour, making this a particularly lucrative line of work for teens.
46. Theme Park Worker
Have a teen adrenaline junkie in the house? They may be able to get discounts on their favorite thrill rides and learn the inner workings of roller coasters working at a local theme park. Ride attendants can expect to make around $13 hourly.
Your teen can help younger kids or classmates with the subjects that they know best and make their own hours as a tutor. Most teens can make close to $25 per hour as a tutor, and the flexibility is an added bonus.
Older teens who’ve proven to be good drivers (and obviously who have their license!) can valet at restaurants and catering halls. In addition to hourly wages of around $14.45, they can also earn tips.
49. Virtual Assistant
Does your teen know their way around Asana, Google Calendar, Microsoft Teams, and very busy people? They may be a great candidate for a virtual assistant job, which usually pays a little over $22 hourly.
50. Youth Sports Referee or Umpire
Youth sports referees can make around $14 per hour blowing whistles and making calls for kids’ teams. The added bonus to this job is that, depending on the league and location, referees may have to be under 18 to work games.