Summer Jobs for Teens

Best Teen Summer Jobs

What are the best summer jobs for teenagers? This page provides ideas and resources for finding the best teen summer jobs.

Summer Teen Jobs - First Things First

summer jobs for teenagers

The first step is simply determining whether a teen is old enough to be employed in the first place, based on the age requirements at both the federal and state levels.

Check out the How Old Do You Have to Be to Work page for more information.

If eligible for work based on age, the second step is to think about other limitations or advantages.

For instance, many of these student summer jobs may require that the employee have his or her own transportation. This should definitely be considered ahead of time during the initial teen job search.

Also, don't forget that the focus should be on finding work that's enjoyable or engaging rather than emphasizing the pay over everything else.

Finally, when it's time to actively begin working to land a specific job, check out these tips and ideas on how to get hired.

Summer Jobs for Teenagers - Ideas

Here are some ideas for suitable and engaging teen summer jobs:

  • Local amusement park. If you're fortunate enough to live near an amusement park, it's likely that these jobs are very much sought-after summer jobs for teens. They provide a steady schedule and paycheck, and since the park probably has lots of teens working in the summer, an amusement park position can be a very fun place to work. These jobs definitely require transportation and some physical stamina since most employees will likely be on their feet outdoors most of the time. The season for amusement parks is longer than some other summer options, but it is still limited so it's unlikely that this would turn into a year-round job.
  • Local pools or waterparks. Most of these jobs are usually as lifeguards, but there can also be limited work in the snack counter or front office. Lifeguards require training and specific skills, so this may not work for everyone. Plus, unless there are also inside facilities or you are in the Sunbelt, these jobs have fairly limited seasons.
  • Golf courses or driving ranges. It used to be that country clubs were the only place for golf courses - and the jobs there were limited to the kids who had parents as members. Not anymore. There are a number of public courses that don't even have members...anyone can play. Owners need help maintaining the course, stocking pro shops or snack bars and taking fees from golfers. Perfect summer jobs for teens.
  • Local banks or other professional businesses. Often these business offer temporary summer employment that help them cover the vacations of their regular employees. In some cases, these are called internships (which can be paid positions or not) which are great student summer jobs. They usually offer work in an office environment that can give you exposure to many parts of the business. Pluses here include regular work hours and the possibility of carpooling with co-workers if you don't have your own car. The downside may be that the job is 40 hours per week.
  • Retailers. This includes everything from Wal-Mart to shops in the mall to your local grocery store. The best part? They are usually air-conditioned stores - a blessing in 100 degree heat. The downside? Teens may find themselves simply being the summer fill-in for the regular staff to take vacations. That means that there may not be a great deal of flexibility on the schedule, or on the number of hours worked. A better option? Focus on small, local retailers. Not only might the schedule or the hours be better, but there may also be more opportunities to learn more of the business.
  • Fast food restaurants. The teen summer job classic - and not as bad as it sounds. The advantages are more flexible scheduling along with direct experience in customer service and the opportunity to learn a strong work ethic (both of which will be invaluable later on in life). An important tip: only apply at places with friendly staff and good management. Not all work environments are healthy or friendly. The environment of a business can be often be determined just by paying attention as a customer or having quick conversations with friends or acquaintenances who happen to work there.

Of course, these aren't the only options. There may other choices in your area that are unique to where you live.

Keeping an observant eye open and having conversations with older teenagers who have already gone through the summer teen job maze can be invaluable.

Also, it's a good idea to review the worst summer jobs for teenagers page along with all the jobs for teens pages and resources on this site.