10 Great Teen Summer Jobs

Whether terrifying or terrific, awesome or awful, everyone remembers their first summer job. I worked as a teller at a credit union and hated it. Fortunately, two summers later, I was hired as a reporter and photographer at a local newspaper. Thirty-four years later, I’m still on assignment.

Working Mom Helper
Photo credit: Lynne Conner

The school year is almost over, and teens everywhere will be looking for work. Getting a summer job is an adolescent rite of passage that provides a taste of grown-up freedom while providing financial incentives and teaching accountability. Young workers looking for a unique summer job experience may want to consider these:

Part 1:

1.  Mother’s Helper, Pet Sitter/Walker, Lawn Mower–These jobs are perfect for young teens because they provide exposure to work without extended hours. I can’t imagine any new mother who wouldn’t welcome a paid visit from a responsible, baby-loving middle school-aged neighbor. Lawn mowing jobs involve little more than old clothes, attention to safety, and an eye for accuracy. Teens should determine ahead of time if they need to bring a mower and gas or if the customer will provide the equipment. “Helper” jobs allow young teens to build life skills, earn a little money, and learn responsibility in a supervised environment. They also help build a student’s first resume.

Park District Job
Photo credit: Lynne Conner

2. Country Club or Members Only Club–Some local country clubs will hire students with worker’s permits. Benefits of these jobs include the chance to try a variety of roles (golf caddy, food runner, busser), the opportunity to learn how a business operates, and the flexibility of manageable hours. Private club jobs also offer tips for motivated teens and a more sophisticated work environment. Both of my kids have worked country club jobs and appreciate the professional contacts they have made. Our daughter is pursuing a business degree in college and works as a leasing agent after getting to know a realtor through working at the club.

3. Temporary Services Agency–Adaptability and access to a reliable car are necessary when working for a temp agency. Students who are quickly bored with repetition could be well-suited for this job. Teens who have successfully worked various temp jobs can build experience-rich resumes in a shorter time frame. Additionally, teens who thrive on the versatile nature of this work can more easily navigate the rigors of college and future job expectations. Temp work is a great way to learn about different careers in diverse industries.

4. Park District/Outdoor Recreation–These positions score high in job growth potential and community involvement! The executive director of my local park district and several other professionals in my hometown started their careers as summer employees. Park district jobs promote local attractions and allow teens to work with peers in an active, outdoor setting. Many park districts suspend their regular programs during Memorial Day weekend and the Fourth of July, so teens won’t have to work on summer holidays. Recreation work appeals to teens’ interests, shares their talents with others, and offers various job types.

Teen summer job
Photo credit: Lynne Conner

5. Factory Work–Teens who prefer a set schedule and routine may be a good fit for factory work. These jobs can be repetitive, involving a short process of steps to perform the work, but the dependability of factory work may appeal to some students. Since industrial positions have set shifts, teens do not necessarily need their own car for this job and can coordinate rides with family members. I worked on the paint line of a local toy factory before my first year of college. This was not my first choice for a summer job, but the experience taught me the value of hard work and perseverance. I started college with a greater appreciation of the opportunities that lie ahead.

Coming next week: Part II of Ten Great Teen Summer Jobs

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