10 Summer Job Ideas for Teens

Yesterday, my dad and 13 year-old sister were talking about summer plans. The conversation went as follows:

Sister: I am really excited for summer, I am thinking of going to cooking camp!
Dad: When I was your age I got my first job.
Sister: I am too young, I just want to have fun this summer.
Dad: Getting a job will teach you to manage money, it will be good for your college applications, plus then you can buy yourself the things you keep asking me for.
(same talk dad gave me)
Sister: But dad, I have been going to summer school and I really want to just do something fun and easy.

I agree with my sister. Maybe this is because I was in the same situation with my dad at one point. But, looking back I had a few summer jobs, a few summer classes and a few summers where I just had fun and went on programs.

I actually think I learned way more, got more developmentally and was certainly happier the summers I did programs/camps/had fun. I already did a post on finding activities for the summer…because no matter if it is fun, work or academic your teens need to have something to do to keep them out of trouble.

Here are some of my job ideas which range from super serious to might as well be at camp fun, but will help keep your teen preoccupied and busy (out of your hair and out of trouble).

*Disclaimer: I consider the structured volunteer opportunities jobs because they are application builders and would be listed on under jobs on a High Schoolers Resume

1. Camp Counselor

2. Tutor
-It is a skill to be able to teach others, your teen can offer to tutor neighborhood kids in a summer Spanish camp, 2nd grade math or even study skills.

3. Intern in a Favorite Industry
-Shadow a fashion exec for a few months, intern in a PR firm, offer to file legal documents.

4. Teacher (art school, Para Los Ninos schools)
-Again, teaching is a great way to work and it doesn’t have to be in an actual summer school (although it could) I know many kids art schools hire teens, non-profit summer schools like Para Los Ninos in Los Angeles are always looking for other helpers and teachers. Your teen can also run their own local classes for neighborhood kids: learn how to knit, Soccer Camp…Whatever your teen’s hobby is, they probably want to practice and can make some money doing it while learning responsibility.

5. Lifegaurd

6. Candy Striper (hospital work)
-If your teen wants to be in a medical field, volunteering or even working at the local hospital can be a good option for leaning the industry and making contacts.

7. Full Time Volunteer
-There are so many great causes in every city around the world. Maybe your teen wants to travel to do a volunteer program volunteer doing administrative work in a non-profit or offer to help wash dogs at a local shelter.

8. College Department Lab Rat
I know at Emory they were often looking for anyone to come in and help them in the labs. If you have a science geek, definitely check out local colleges and see what they have to offer. One of my friends from High School got a great job helping a professor research for a book when she was a senior and got an amazing recommendation and a mention in the book!

9. Babysitter

10. Regular Old Counter Job
I put this one last because it is my dads favorite. A teen can always work at the local Micky D’s, Taco Bell or Dairy Queen…although this is not my favorite option (my dad think it builds character, but blessedly never enforced his theory on us).

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4 Responses to “10 Summer Job Ideas for Teens”

  1. Charlie A. Roy
    March 25, 2008 at 5:01 pm #

    May i suggest grocery store clerk. There is something about herding silver buffalo (shopping carts) and hosing down the walls of the meat room that builds character in young people. I fondly remember my days at the good old Eagle Country Market.

  2. ari
    June 15, 2008 at 1:46 pm #

    well… i’m a teen. and i make TONS of money babysitting. i’m also a camp counselor at this overnight camp for like 4 weeks out of my summer – so much fun. great way to meet people. these 2 jobs are awesome for teens who love kids. and i’m thinking about looking into being a lifeguard next summer.

    another good job idea is working at an ice cream parlor. fun, free ice cream, and you get to meet people!! =)

  3. virtual worlds for kids
    April 16, 2009 at 1:50 am #

    i remember working at a hotdog parlor.. it was nice, got to meet lots people and made connection. thx for the article, i should try another job next time, looks interesting!

  4. mikayla
    February 22, 2011 at 10:04 am #

    I am about to turn 13 on May 20, and I want a summer job so I can help out my family money wise, and so I go to acting school. I want to thank you for the great ideas for a summer job.

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