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Teens Entering the Workforce

Entering the workforce as a teenager is an exciting step, filled with opportunities for personal and professional growth. This guide aims to help you find the perfect job without having to sacrifice your school and social life.

What Makes a Good Job Opportunity for a Teenager?

Work-Life-School Balance

The best teen job offers flexibility, fitting around your school schedule and allowing time for relaxation and studies. It’s important to find a role that doesn’t conflict with things like clubs or after school activities.

Aligning with Your Interests

Choosing a job that matches your interests can make work more enjoyable, and could even spark ideas for future career paths. This is a great time to find passions and discover what you want to pursue as a career (or, alternatively, what you do NOT want to pursue as a career).

Learning and Growth Opportunities

Look for jobs where you can acquire new skills. Whether it’s communication, teamwork, or problem-solving, these skills are vital for anything you may want to do in the future. Having a job as a teenager isn’t just about making quick cash; it’s about developing skills and gaining experience that you can add to your resume.

The Benefits of Having a Job as a Teenager

Earn Money

Earning your own money is empowering. It teaches you the value of money and the satisfaction of earning money yourself. Plus, your parents will also be happy that you no longer have to bug them for extra cash!

Building a Work Ethic

Working as a teenager helps you develop a strong work ethic. You get the chance to learn about responsibility, punctuality, and commitment, which are essential qualities in any career.

Gain Experience for Your Resume

Early work experience can be a valuable addition to your resume. It demonstrates to future employers that you are capable and motivated. The best jobs for teenagers are ones that they can talk about in future job interviews to land bigger jobs!

Developing Interpersonal Skills

A job allows you to interact with different people. Customers, coworkers, bosses, the chance to build connections and meet people different from yourself is crucial. Plus, working on your communication skills can only help you make meaningful connections that last.

Choosing the Right Job as a Teenager

Consider Part-Time or Seasonal Work

You should begin your job search by thinking about your availability. Are you looking for jobs during summer break in high school? Are you looking for jobs that you can go after school hours during the school year? Your availability will greatly impact what types of jobs you look for.


A job close to home or school is convenient, especially if you have limited transportation options. You don’t want to spend a ton of time commuting to your first job. A lot of people get their first job to save up for a car, so chances are, you don’t have a car for long commutes yet. Start your search by looking for opportunities in your local community.

Balance is Key

Your education should remain a priority. Choose a job that respects and accommodates your need to focus on school. Jobs that require too many hours, or late-night shifts, might not be the best for teenagers who need to balance school work and a job.

Best Jobs for Teenagers

Educational and Tutoring Jobs for Teens

  1. Library Assistant or Page: Perfect for book lovers; promotes organizational skills in a serene environment.

  2. Tutor: Ideal for those excelling in a subject; enhances teaching and communication skills.

Animal and Nature Care

  1. Pet Sitter/Dog Walker: Great for animal enthusiasts; offers outdoor activity and flexible hours. While teens cannot sign up for a dog walking service like rover until they’re 18, nothing is stopping them from finding jobs the old fashioned way by asking neighbors!

  2. Lawn Care/Gardening Assistant: Suitable for those who enjoy outdoor work; teaches about nature and responsibility.

Retail and Customer Service

  1. Grocery Store Clerk: A good start to learn about customer service and money handling.

  2. Retail Sales Associate: Offers experience in customer interaction and sales, suitable for those interested in fashion or technology.

Food and Beverage Service

  1. Concession Stand Worker: Teaches customer service in a lively atmosphere, often in theaters or sports venues.

  2. Fast food worker: Provides opportunities to learn customer service, responsibility, and a whole host of other practical skills while offering flexible hours.

  3. Barista: Perfect for learning about food service and customer interaction in a friendly coffee shop environment.

  4. Ice Cream Shop Employee: Provides a delightful work experience, particularly as a summer job, teaching about food service and customer interaction.

Creative and Artistic Roles

  1. Craft Store Employee: Excellent for artistic teens, surrounded by creative materials and techniques.

  2. Florist Assistant: Great for those who appreciate nature and creativity, learning about plants and flower arranging.

  3. Photography Assistant: Ideal for photography enthusiasts, offering a chance to learn about camera equipment and photo editing.

Technology and Digital Media

  1. Social Media Manager: Suitable for tech-savvy teens, involving creativity and digital marketing skills.

  2. Computer Technician Assistant: Provides hands-on experience in computer repairs and troubleshooting.

  3. Junior Web Developer: Offers practical experience in website building and maintenance. You can start building your own portfolio by working with small local organizations.

  4. Junior Graphic Designer: A fantastic way for design-oriented teens to gain real-world experience.

Health and Fitness Jobs for Teens

  1. Gym or Fitness Center Attendant: Gyms always need more support. Whether it is working the front desk, or wiping down equipment, there are various positions available at local gyms. They might even let you work out for free!

  2. Pool Lifeguard: Requires training and certification, teaches life-saving skills. Being a lifeguard is one of the best summer jobs for teenagers.

  3. Aquatics Instructor Assistant: If your local pool offers aquatic activities, perhaps they’re looking for an assistant instructor! This job enhances leadership skills and knowledge about water safety for strong swimmers.

  4. Youth Sports Referee: Exciting for sports enthusiasts, teaching about game rules and fairness. If you participated in youth sports, you should try reaching out to the leagues and seeing if they have positions open for referees!

Hospitality and Tourism

  1. Camp Counselor: Develops leadership skills in a fun, active outdoor setting.

  2. Restaurant Host/Hostess: An introduction to the hospitality industry, focusing on customer service and multitasking.

  3. Theme Park Attendant: Do you live near a theme park? Ask them if they have any positions available for teenagers! This job can be exciting for those who enjoy fast-paced environments and diverse interactions.

  4. Travel Agency Assistant: Travel agencies require a lot of organizing, so chances are they could use an assistant. If you love the idea of traveling, reach out to some local travel agencies and see if they could use some help.

Culture and Community

  1. Local Museum Guide or Assistant: Ideal for art or history lovers, developing public speaking skills.

  2. Music Store Staff: Enriches knowledge about music genres and instruments.

  3. Local Theater Crew: Offers a peek into theater production for those interested in drama and performing arts.

  4. Art Gallery Assistant: Teaches about different art forms and curation.

  5. Children’s Museum Staff: Great for interactive learning and working with kids.

  6. Cinema Projectionist Assistant: Unique for those interested in film’s technical side

Business and Administration

  1. Office Assistant: Provides valuable experience in a professional setting with tasks like filing and phone etiquette.

  2. Junior Event Planner Assistant: Enhances organizational skills and offers insights into event planning.

  3. Local Government Office Intern: Provides valuable insight into government operations for those interested in public service.

Skilled Trades and Craftsmanship

  1. Hardware Store Clerk: Ideal for learning about tools and home repair.

  2. DIY Workshop Assistant: Great for crafting and building enthusiasts.

  3. Apprentice in a Trade (e.g., Carpentry, Electrical): Offers practical experience and mentorship in skilled trades.

  4. Junior Landscaper: Suitable for gardening enthusiasts, teaching about plant care and landscape design.


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