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The summer job. Most of us can remember those long hours, toiling away at a fast food joint, a swimming pool or a garden center.
Having a summer job gives a kid something to do during their downtime, a sense of responsibility, and most of all, cash.
Best Summer Jobs For Kids
The good news is that there are a lot of jobs available for kids. No matter your child’s ability or interest, there is probably a suitable summer job.
The following list offers jobs that are tried-and-true as well as some you might not have already considered.
Related: Should My Kid Get a Job?
1. Fast Food Service
Fast food restaurants have high turnover rates, which makes them excellent choices for teens looking for summer jobs.
Most fast-food restaurants will hire teens as young as 15 though it is legal for fast-food places to hire 14-year-olds for certain jobs.
Working as a server is a difficult gig. It requires excellent customer service, long hours walking and the ability to diffuse difficult situations.
In addition, tipped employees make a lower minimum wage than non-tipped employees.
However, waitressing is also an excellent life experience and can lead to a decent income when tips are good.
3. Supermarket Clerk
Supermarkets are slowly but surely removing cashiers from their checkout lines.
Nearly half of the checkout lines at supermarkets are now self-checkout.
Still, clerks are needed for the remaining stations, to assist customers, to gather carts and to work in areas that require customer interaction like the deli, bakery or floral shop.
4. Shelf Stocker
Stocking shelves will always need to be done. Whether at a supermarket, a department store or a discounting chain, stockers are a necessity.
This job requires that your child be able to lift and carry heavy loads so it is best suited for older teens.
5. Custodial Work
Housekeeping and janitorial work is hard work with high turnover.
Teens can get jobs doing custodial work in private homes, at hospitals, in offices, in hotels, at entertainment venues – basically any location that gets dirty and needs to be clean.
A groundskeeper job is a popular choice for teens in the summer. Some teens start their own lawn mowing businesses.
Others join an existing lawn maintenance company.
Yet another option is to apply for a job as a groundskeeper at an office park, amusement park, country club or residential area.
Being a lifeguard is the ultimate summer job for a teen. Starting at age 15, teens can become lifeguard certified.
They need to be strong swimmers and have the ability to withstand the hottest summer days. In exchange, they get to spend their entire summer at the pool.
Those teens who don’t pass lifeguard certification can still get a job at the local pool as a cashier or pool cleaner.
Babysitting is an excellent choice for teens who love children.
Kids with a lot of patience can make a decent amount of money while also performing a valuable service. Babysitting doesn’t require certification, but it does help.
Any teen interested in becoming a babysitter should, minimally, pass a first aid and CPR certification course.
9. Private Sports Coach
My son’s first job was as a private football coach. He dearly loved teaching a younger child how to catch, throw and run drills.
Likewise, I have hired a private dance coach for my daughter. The teen had all of the skills and love of dance needed to be a successful teacher.
If your teen is skilled in a particular area, they may find sports coaching to be a great option.
10. Private Music Coach
Music instruction is valuable. Your gifted teen can teach an instrument or provide vocal lessons to others who wish to improve.
Singing lessons typically cost anywhere from $50 to $100, which is a decent amount of money for a teen.
11. Dog Walker
The great news about being a dog walker is that your child can start this job at practically any age.
My son was walking our dog when he was about eight. My neighbor’s 12-year-old daughter has a successful dog walking business with more customers than she can manage.
Your child just needs to have a strong voice, a hand that can firmly grasp a leash and a love of dogs.
12. House Sitter
Summer is the time most of us take vacations. A good house sitter is invaluable when a home will be sitting empty for two weeks or longer at a time.
Your child can offer basic house sitting services that include bringing in mail, accepting packages and watering plants.
This could even be combined with pet sitting for an additional charge. A house sitter should be old enough to be responsible on their own, which varies according to the child.
I know 13-year-olds that I would happily hire as house sitters but I also know 17-year-olds who I wouldn’t trust to take care of a hairbrush.
13. Theatre Worker
My son decided he wanted to work at the local cinema. They were hiring clerks to perform “miscellaneous duties.”
Among these duties are selling tickets, taking tickets, working behind the concessions stand, ushering, managing birthday parties and cleaning.
The job is a good one with decent pay for a teen but it does require that he wear many hats.
The best part, according to him, is the ability to watch as many free movies as he wants.
14. Office Work
Even in the digital age, filing still needs to be done.
Other office jobs might include answering phones, greeting customers, scheduling appointments, reading and responding to emails, managing social media interactions or serving as an assistant to the boss.
When I was young and worked as an assistant, my duties included but were not limited to getting my boss strawberry milkshakes every day at two, driving to her house and picking out clothing for important meetings, shopping for clothing when she didn’t own anything she liked and, my favorite, sorting rubber bands by color and size.
It may not be inspirational work but it pays.
15. Car Washer
Most car washes are automatic or self-serve. Car detailing shops are few and far between.
However, your teen can get a job as a car washer at a local car lot. The cars on the lot need to be shiny and new-looking every day.
16. Nursery Worker
Does your teen have a green thumb? Do they love being outside? Working a nursery may be ideal.
They can spend their days tending to plants and spend their nights with friends. Most nurseries don’t stay open past dark so you don’t have to worry about your teen being scheduled for late-night hours.
17. Youth Coach
Summer leagues are often looking for coaches who can help corral younger kids and teach them the game.
Many of these jobs are non-paying but spending time with kids and teaching them healthy activities can be its own kind of reward.
18. Youth Referee
Youth sports need referees and there never seem to be enough. Your child will probably need to go through a training program before they can begin.
For most youth leagues, the program lasts no longer than one day. After they have gone through all of the rules and regulations, they are available to start!
19. Retail Worker
Retail comes in many forms. Some kids prefer working in big box stores with a lot of employees to lighten the load.
Others prefer smaller retail shops that offer a more intimate environment. Working at a local mall is particularly pleasant for outgoing teens who want to earn money while also socializing with friends.
20. Parks and Rec Employee
Your city’s Parks and Recreation department will have seasonal jobs available each summer.
They will be looking for part-time and full-time summer workers to provide park maintenance, help out at city pools and run city-owned facilities, among many other responsibilities.
The bad news is that the Parks and Rec office in your city may have strict age guidelines. For instance, in my city, all employees must be at least 18.
21. Construction Worker
Construction work is not for the faint of heart. Building, moving and hauling is hard work. It can also be very dangerous.
For this reason, only older teens should consider working construction. The good news is that the pay is often excellent. The average construction worker makes about $3,000 per month.
Even if your teen made half that amount they would have nearly $5,000 by the end of summer.
22. House Painter
Painting houses is labor intensive and not for everyone. Those who like to work with their hands may find that house painting is a wise choice.
Some teens attempt to start their own house painting businesses but it is probably wiser to join an existing crew.
The new house painter can learn by apprenticing with someone who is already seasoned and they can benefit from having a built-in set of customers.
23. Roofer Apprentice
Like other forms of manual labor, being a roofer is very difficult and can be extremely dangerous.
Climbing atop a house in temperatures that can exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit on a hot, summer day can lead to serious injury.
You might not want that for your teen, but your teen may love the work and the pay that comes with it once they have completed the apprenticeship. Have a serious talk with your teen before allowing them to work as a roofer.
Also, pay attention to local laws as many will not allow a teen to apprentice until age 18.
24. Entertainment Venue Worker
Amusement parks, bowling alleys and mini golf courses are busiest in the summer.
They need seasonal workers to help run the equipment, work with customers and keep the venue clean.
If you have the good fortune to live near an amusement park, they should consider applying.
25. Camp Counselor
Camp counselor is a job that can only take place in the summer. Most counselors are older teens who have previously attended the camp.
If your teen loved their summer camp, suggest they apply to return as a paid counselor.
There are a lot of employment options for kids who want to earn some money and experience. Are you looking for a job for yourself?
Check out our job boards! Do you know of a great summer job that wasn’t listed here? Share in the comments!