Now that the summer is coming into full swing, teenagers might be looking to make some extra spending cash or starting to think about saving up for college. The good news is- there’s an abundance of jobs hiring right now, with no sign of slowing down. Whether you only need a summer position now that school is out, or you want something year-round, there’s a broad range of positions open to exploring. This blog will guide you through some popular jobs that are hiring 16-year-olds!
Even if you don’t need a paycheck right now or would rather spend your summer at the beach or touring colleges, you might benefit more from a job than you think. You can actually include any jobs you’ve had in high school on your college applications, and the sooner you begin to build your resume, the better. Plus, if it’s a job you’re thinking about as a future career, you can form mentorships, get recommendation letters, and gain experience and insight into the field.
Jobs are also great at teaching transferable and versatile skills, like time management, professionalism, and work-life balancing. It shows parents you’re responsible and serious about being independent as well. All of these come after a steady paycheck as well, which has its own self-explanatory perks.
The classic summer job for any teenager. Scoop ice cream (or make it!) for a few hours a week, and earn tips along with an hourly wage (usually minimum wage). A great way to meet people, get a good arm workout and gain experience in the service industry. Plus, you might even get to bring a sweet treat home with you!
Lifeguarding is a job that attracts many high school swimmers, and for an obvious reason– you have to be a strong enough swimmer to maintain water safety. However, even if you’re not on a swim team, certification programs only require that you meet certain minimum requirements. Nationally, lifeguarding makes $12/hour, but in Massachusetts, it averages $15.
The biggest challenge is remaining alert (meaning, you cannot use your phone or other distractions while on duty). This also shows a great deal of responsibility and maturity. Some places, like beaches, hire seasonally, while other indoor pools are open year-round as well.
Clothing stores are another popular option for younger adults, as they offer flexible hours and may offer employee discounts. Places like malls are always a great place to start looking, but you could also find something at small businesses in your local area. They can train you to work a cash register, do inventory, and keep the sales floor tidy. These also tend to be steady, year-round jobs that you can maintain throughout high school.
Similar to clothing stores, this is another customer service job that’s experiencing a big hiring boom. Most offer minimum wage, but, like with scooping ice cream, will also often have tip jars. Make sure you’re okay with the smell of food on your clothing before you apply!
Supermarkets and grocery stores offer a versatile range of departments for teenagers, working as a stocker, cashier, cart pusher, or bagger. Some departments like the bakery or deli section also require an extra hand now and then if you prefer to be in the background rather than face-to-face with customers.
If you’re feeling confident in your school knowledge, check out tutoring! Many parents will hire high school students for their younger children to get extra help in a specific subject area. Pay rates are often subject to the parents’ discretion. Sometimes, the public school system will also have opportunities for tutoring, including a writing center, though many are volunteer-based.
Another great job working with kids and families is babysitting! These are often found by word of mouth, social media posts (ask your parents to put something on Facebook), or even high school bulletin boards. Again, parents will usually determine how much they want to pay you, but in general, base rates might start at $10/hour and go up based on the age of the children, how many kids you’re looking after, or any special care requirements. You can also look into pet sitting, as many families will ask their babysitter to look after their furry friends as well.
Often, local gyms and fitness centers have diverse hiring opportunities for teenagers. Positions can include anything from a receptionist to an assistant instructor if the gym offers classes. It’s a good way to get a workout in, and you will likely have a free membership just by working there! Places like Lifetime Fitness Center or Planet Fitness are always looking for new hires and typically pay minimum wage or higher!
In the same vein as academic tutoring, consider seeking out private lessons in areas like sports or music if you’re skilled in those areas as well. Younger children who are just starting to learn a new hobby might benefit from extra lessons.
Parents may also want to trial with a less experienced teenager for a few months at cheaper rates than professionals. While that may not sound steady, it can be a great way to make cash on the side if you’re not looking for anything long-term.
You may remember going to after-school clubs like the YMCA or the Boy’s and Girl’s Club as a kid, or maybe even still utilize their many resources and activities as a teenager. These organizations need a lot of helping hands, so you’ll have a variety of positions open, like working at the front desk, cleaning up, running activities, or administrative work.
For bookish teenagers, the library is a great spot to look for a job. Libraries often hire teenagers for low-skill positions like returning books to shelves, keeping spaces clean, or organizing displays. Since they’re a public institution, salaries are based on minimum wage.
Hours will likely be flexible during the school year, with afternoon or evening shifts. While you won’t be reading on the job, it’s a great way to learn how books are organized and meet people from your community.
If in-person isn’t your style (and who can blame you after a year of social distancing?), there’s plenty of online options as well. JobGet has a whole article dedicated to a range of options for teenagers, many of which are great for quick cash. Online jobs allow for a very flexible schedule as well, so you can choose how often you work and how many gigs to have at one time. They can also be supplemental to other jobs on this list if the minimum wage isn’t cutting it for you.
A great way to start working with animals is at shelters or pet stores (just make sure you don’t have any allergies!). The ASPCA has thousands of locations across the country and is always in need of volunteers, but will also hire teenagers for more regular hours of behind-the-scenes work like walking dogs, cleaning cages, organizing merchandise, and even playing with lonely animals.
Be okay with getting your hands a little dirty for this job, though! Pet stores may also have employees working the register and taking inventory. If working with people isn’t that appealing to you, try looking into this!
As thrifting grows in popularity across the internet and lockdowns have people plenty of time to go their unwanted stuff, thrift stores may be feeling overwhelmed by the demand to organize and sell their donations quickly, and that means lots of new hires. Apply for jobs as a cashier, stocker, or sorting through donations. You could also get an additional discount on already low thrift prices. Minimum wage is expected.
If you enjoy cosplaying or working with kids, consider applying to be a kids’ entertainer! Many character companies will hire teenagers to dress up as popular children’s characters, especially princesses, and attend different parties and functions.
They will provide the costumes, wigs, and makeup artistry, all you have to do is stay in character. Most companies pay minimum wage or higher and will likely need weekends open for parties. Hours may be limited based on bookings and the number of employees as well, but this has the potential to be a unique and fun job!
Once you’ve thought about what kind of job you’re looking for, or even how many, you might be wonder how to apply to them.
Once you’ve applied, all that’s left is to wait until you get that “you’re hired!” phone call or email, which is easier said than done. Remember, the jobs you have in high school are stepping stones towards your future, not a concrete path. Take time for yourself and your schoolwork too, and learn as much as you can from your jobs, even if they only last the summer. We hope you explore these jobs that are hiring 16-year-olds now!
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