Best Summer Jobs for Teens

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Lifeguards at workSummer has arrived, and that means that teenagers are looking for a way to make more money. Summer is a great time for teenagers to switch to full time work. High school students can learn a lot from a job, and summer time offers the chance for teens to make even more money, since they don’t have to work around school and extracurricular activities.

If your teenager is trying to figure out how to make a little more money, here are some ideas for great summer jobs for teenagers:


This goes at the top of my list because my sister and two of my brothers worked as lifeguards. You have to go through proper training to get your certification, but it’s worth it. You can work on your tan, while doing a job that pays decently. Lifeguarding isn’t all sitting in a cool chair and blowing the whistle at rowdy kids, though. You will probably have to help clean the pool and the locker rooms as well.

You can also teach swim lessons. As good lifeguard can branch off to teach private lessons as well as group lessons, and get paid for that as well.

Restaurant Server

I loved being a waitress. One of the great things about being a restaurant server is that you always have cash from your tips. It can be hard work, since you are running around on your feet, but it can be a great job that results in good pay if you are able to charm those you wait on. Plus, in some restaurants you get perks like free or discounted food.


From working at a fast food restaurant to cashiering at a local craft store (like I did for my first job), this is one of the more common jobs. It helps to be able to count change, and do simple sums in your head. You might also have to do light cleaning. Try to develop a good manner with customers, and you could find yourself with a job as a cashier.

Sales Person

It’s also possible to make money as a salesperson. In some cases, you can work on a base wage plus commission. This is a great way for teens to learn how to hustle to make sales. Performance is rewarded with a bonus, so it’s a great way to earn extra cash. The better you do as a sales person, the more money you make over the summer. Learn how to develop rapport with customers, and you could make a great sale that boosts your stash of cash for a good long while.

Start a Business

Anymore, it’s possible for almost anyone to start a business. Teens in my neighborhood have a flag business. For a yearly subscription fee, they come around and place a flag in front of your house on holidays. It’s also possible to start lawn care businesses, babysitting services, and engage in other activities that can earn money. There are even teenagers who make money online. I learned firsthand that I wanted to work for myself after I spent time teaching piano lessons. Summer might be the perfect time for teens to get a start on entrepreneurship.

What are your ideas for teen summer jobs?

(Photo: wve)

{ 6 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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6 Responses to “Best Summer Jobs for Teens”

  1. DIY Investor says:

    My 3 kids waited tables among their first jobs. I thought it was great training. They have to take orders, deal with the public etc. They can go just about anywhere in the country, get a job and have money in their pocket that the same night. Furthermore, it is a setting where a lot can be learned about business and economics if you keep your eyes and ears open. i recommend it to all young people.

  2. I served when I was in college and also loved it. It was definitely hard work but taught me important people skills as well as how to handle intense pressure. Plus, I was able to eat for free and made good friends from my college while working at the restaurant so it was also fun and helpful for my food budget.

  3. Shirley says:

    I have found thst working with the public creates some basic life-lessons that every young person should know. It can be a real mind opener to understand attitudes from ‘both sides of the counter’. Learning to affably and respectfully deal with all types of people is a lesson that will serve you a lifetime.

  4. Phil says:

    I think you need to add one more (or at least a “class” of job): farm laborer. Most teenagers do not appreciate what it means to work a manual labor job. Working for a farmer for a summer will open up many realizations for them, such as just how difficult manual labor is, how sensitive our food supply is to things out of our control (such as drought), and, how good it feels to know, physically and emotionally, you have earned your pay. And, just as importantly, they will have the opportunity to appreciate their college degree that much more. I have an engineering degree and worked a couple of summers for a custom bailer. It was difficult work, but I still look back with some fond memories and much appreciation for farming, as well as my own career.

  5. Sam says:

    Shirley, I couldn’t agree with you more! Once you’ve worked in a customer service (or related area, like serving at a restaurant) you gain a deeper respect for someone who has the patience to do the job well.

  6. Kiboo says:

    Summer jobs are a great way to get some extra cash while you’re off from school. However, you may want to think about getting an internship. They’re a great resume builder, can help you get into college and some of them pay pretty well.

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