14 Good Jobs For Teens

By Jeff Gillis

You are sixteen and the world is your oyster. Options abound!

For all too many teenagers, following the crowd is a top priority. These kids hang out in fields, arcades, or parties. They tip over defenseless cows, post endless sagas about their high scores on social media, or swoon over a latest crush.

Youth has softly ended, but adulthood has not yet began. Only the most savvy are beginning to think: are there jobs for teens near me?

Your teen years are not the time to get a full-time job, but school takes up an increasingly small chunk of your time-pie. It is the perfect opportunity to pick up a part-time job. Working even ten or fifteen hours a week in a teen job will give you pocket money, pad your resume and prepare you for adulthood without taking too much away from your remaining childhood.

You might wonder… Are there teen jobs near me?

Yes! Jobs for teens are right there waiting for you.

Think about it: do you really want your very first job to be one that really counts?

Here are fourteen jobs for teens to get you started down the path towards teen employment.

1) Babysitter

Babysitting is the an interesting mix of very-real-job responsibility with potentially low commitment.

Being sole provider and minder for tiny, vulnerable people requires the utmost attention. This is especially true if you find yourself watching infants or toddlers. They are carnage waiting to happen. You are literally the only thing preventing them from suffocating, drowning or falling head-first off a bench onto a slab of concrete.

For your trouble you are blessed with tiny smiles and the joy that is nap time. Older kids need less life-saving, but require a greater variety of inputs. Depending on the specific job you may be helping Johnny with his homework, or helping him kill zombies on a screen with little more than a remote to guide you.

Perk: Generally easy work and good pay

Con: Requires unwavering dedication and provides little, if any, job stability

2) Tutor

Did you ace first semester physics? Does algebra make you jump up and down like a gleeful child about to meet Santa? Do you enjoy helping others to understand complex topics?

If you answered yes to these questions, my friend, then tutoring may be the job for you. Tutors generally help kids or younger teenagers to master their studies at their parents’ behest. This may be as simple as going through homework assignments or as complex as lesson planning.

The more you put into it, the more you’re likely to get paid and referred for additional work.

Perk: Generally easy work and good pay

Con: Requires special skills, intermittent work

3) Coffee Barista

Making coffee can be a sweet gig. The hours are versatile, rush goes by quickly, and slow periods leave ample time for chatting with coworkers. Of course, you’ll likely have to run the cash register before they let you play with the big coffee machine, but no pain no gain.

Perk: Free coffee, decent pay, job stability

Con: Must perform repetitive, uninteresting tasks, people are grumpy before they’ve had their coffee

4) Lifeguard

Remember how I said that babysitters are literally the only thing standing between tiny tots and disaster?

Multiply that by one hundred.

The vast majority of the time lifeguards can basically work on their tans, basking in the glory of sunlight while they survey the pool. If they are needed for any other work, however, their job can quickly become a matter of life and death. It is a lot of responsibility for a good tan!

Perk: Sunshine, nice atmosphere

Con: Responsibility, boring

5) Dog Walker

Do you love dogs? Of course you do, who doesn’t love dogs!

Do you love them enough to earn your money waling them about the neighborhood park? If the answer is yes than dog walking may be the job for you. It’s a simple gig: walk the dog, get paid. In some cases you may need to reinforce some basic training, but it won’t be anything too arduous.

Perk: Exercise

Con: Exercise

6) Camp Counselor

It is a time honored tradition, teens and summer camp counselor jobs. Though you can easily go the route of least resistance – canoeing, camping and slumber partying your way through this summer job – today there are a number of specialty camps from which to choose.

Always wanted to learn to sail? Are you recently dive certified and falling in love with underwater worlds? Do you fancy art camp, baseball camp, or ninja camp? Whatever your poison, there is a camp out there for you. Just make sure you can handle the kids, as that will be your real job.

Perk: Fun activities

Con: Seasonal work

7) Fast Food Server

It is easy to overlook this industry when hunting for a teen job. When people talk about flipping burgers for a living it is rarely with prideful glee.

That said, jobs like this were designed for teenagers. It is low responsibility and low risk. A mistake is easily correctly and, lets be honest, not incredibly important. So Mrs. Smith got a cheeseburger instead of a double cheeseburger. So what?

At the same time you’ll be working a cash register, engaging in customer service daily and earning a paycheck to boot. Not bad.

Perk: Flexible hours, year-round work

Con: Boring, monotonous work

8) Retail Worker

Retail work is a little less flexible than working at a fast food joint. It is also a little less greasy. You can expect to tidy up, stock items, and help customers.

Like the food industry, you will earn points for great customer service skills and becoming a master cash handler. As an added bonus workers usually get a discount, just make sure you don’t spend your whole paycheck at work!

NOTE: Check out our retail interview questions article.

Perk: Year-round work, retail discounts

Con: Boring, monotonous work

9) Movie Theater Worker

If cinema is your preferred past time, perhaps working at a movie theater will feed your fire. The skills are transferable – customer service and cash. The perks are specific – movie tickets. The job is simple, though I’ve heard people complain that they end up seeing the ends of movies as they wait to clean the halls.

Perk: Year-round work, free movie tickets

Con: Boring, monotonous work

10) Grocery Store Worker

Bagging groceries is the job most often touted as appropriate for teens, but many large grocery stores will consider young workers for other jobs. Running the cash register, working at the bakers, or overseeing self-service are all possibilities.

Perk: Year-round work

Con: Boring, monotonous work

11) Ebay/Etsy/Shopify Seller

With the advent of ebay, Etsy, Shopify and other online selling platforms, it has never been easier to make money online. This job requires investment and the spirit of entrepreneurship. The investment, however, can be quite small. You can buy in bulk to sell piecemeal, create your own or even purchase items from your local good will to sell at a profit.

Perk: A big part of your job is essentially shopping, flexibility, control

Con: No assurance of success, risky

12) Writer

The internet has made working a beginning writer significantly easier, though it has also depressed prices.

First and foremost, you need to be a good writer. Beyond this, it often takes published writing samples to get into the field.

Submit several pieces in your field of interest to a blog or magazine as a volunteer writer. Then register at a freelancer site such as Upwork or Freelancer. Also begin by applying for internships.

Perk: Enjoyable work, flexible

Con: Requires upfront investment of time and energy for little reward, no assurance of success

13) Web Developer

Though the internet is connecting web developers to clients at a faster rate than ever before, it is also connecting web developers worldwide to these opportunities. Unlike writing, impeccable English is not a requirement. That said, if you have the skills you can find work.

Put together a portfolio, create a killer github account, and then take to freelancing sites and put yourself out these

Perk: Enjoyable work, flexible

Con: Requires upfront investment of time and energy for little reward, no assurance of success

14) Entrepreneur

Becoming an ebayer or freelancer is the very outskirts of entrepreneurial activity. If you’re ready to go farther, you should. The sky is the limit and the specifics of this job depend entirely on you. What are you skills? What are you passions? How do they intersect with a market need?

Perk: Requires upfront investment of time and energy for little reward, no assurance of success

Con: Requires upfront investment of time and energy and possibly money for little reward, no assurance of success

JEFF’S TIP: Check out our other post for teen jobs: Top 14 Best Online Jobs For Teens

Putting It All Together

Being a teenager doesn’t have to get in the way of employment. There are plenty of traditional opportunities for teens, and it is never too early to start building the independent career that you hope to one day achieve.

The experience of working through high school will follow you longer than you know. It shows maturity, responsibility, and gumption at an age when all too many young people are sorely lacking in these attributes.

Save a cow. Get a job. You’ll be glad you did.

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About The Author

Jeff Gillis

Co-founder and CTO of TheInterviewGuys.com. Jeff is a featured contributor delivering advice on job search, job interviews and career advancement, having published more than 50 pieces of unique content on the site, with his work being featured in top publications such as INC, ZDnet, MSN and more. Learn more about The Interview Guys on our About Us page.