20 First Job Ideas for Teens

20 First Job Ideas for Teens

Jan 31, 2020Joey Cipriano

          There will finally come a day when it’s time for teens to start their first job and start earning their own money. With many families not financially able to provide an allowance to their kids to give them pocket money, kids and teens need to use their free time to make the pocket money they need if they want things their parents can’t afford.

          Of course, teens won’t do just any kind of work. Some kids want to have “cool” jobs and not just anything they can do, but it’s important to explain to them the value of an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work, whether that’s working in a fast food restaurant or doing odd jobs for people around the neighborhood.

           A teen getting a job is the first step in teaching kids how to budget their money and making responsible financial decisions. Once they have these basic skills and a steady form of income, they’ll receive a ton of satisfaction when they make their first big purchase all on their own.

           But before getting a job, it’s important to review the laws in your state to make sure your teen is legally able to work. Many states have age requirements and specific conditions of how many hours a teenager may work in a week or a day so they still have time for school. It’s also important to consider how they will get to and from their job. If they will require a ride to and from their job, parents will need to make it part of a daily routine to pick them up. Or, teens may have to find their own method of transportation, whether it’s taking the bus, using a ride share, walking, or riding a bike.

The Job List

  1. Barista – Coffee shops like Starbucks and community coffee shops are incredibly popular. Teens can learn to make a great cup of coffee and make a few bucks.

  2. Grocery Store Cashier – A grocery store job is an incredibly common job for teens and young people. Working as a cashier is a big responsibility and requires learning to count money and use a cash register.

  3. Front Desk Receptionist – At places like the gym or small offices, a front desk person’s job is usually to great guests, answer phones, and a few other office tasks. It’s usually not exciting and requires a lot of sitting.

  4. Retail Store Associate – While the job might be a bit stressful, working in retail like at a clothing or home improvement store is a great option for a first job or even a summer job.

  5. Grocery Store Stocker – Bagging groceries is probably the first job many people ever have as well as helping to restock items on grocery shelves.

  6. Hostess or Host – Have a friendly personality? A host or hostess job is perfect for a teen who likes interacting with customers and is a natural leader.

  7. Lifeguard – The job of a lifeguard is a popular summertime job for kids who love swimming and being out in the sun. Check with your city to see what kind of training is necessary.

  8. Movie Theater Cashier – For people who prefer to pay at the box office, a movie theater job is just the thing for teen movie buffs.

  9. Babysitter – Professional babysitting has become a popular job in the last few years. But if your neighbors trust you and you build a reputation, you could build a list of clients and make quite a bit of summertime money.

  10. Teaching Assistant or Tutor – If you’re great at a subject like math or science, offering your services as a tutor for an hourly rate is a great option to make extra cash.

  11. Camp Counselor – Working with young kids while they participate in recreational activities and making sure they’re safe is a big part of this job role.

  12. Fast Food Delivery – If you have a car and some time on your hands, consider delivering food like pizza for a few extra bucks a week. You can also make tips on top of your hourly wages.

  13. Dog Walker – If you love dogs and don’t mind a good walk, walking dogs for your neighbors is a great way to combine your love of both.

  14. Dishwasher – Another classic job of many teens, restaurants always require someone to wash dishes and keep plenty of clean plates and glasses ready.

  15. Server – If a host or hostess job isn’t for you, there’s always the option of being the server and taking orders from customers and serving food.

  16. Landscaper – Teens with a green thumb or love working with their hands might enjoy landscaping yards for homes and businesses.

  17. Prep Cook – A natural transition after being a dishwasher, a prep cook prepares all of the ingredients chefs need to prepare a meal.

  18. Golf Caddie – Golfers can’t be bothered carrying around their own bags so they hire young people to do the heavy lifting for them so they can concentrate on their game. It’s also important to know a bit about golf and the clubs so you can make suggestions if the golfer asks you.

  19. Fast Food – Working a burger joint like McDonalds is another classic job of many people.

  20. Start a Business – While it might sound difficult, starting an online business is easier than ever. Print on demand websites like Teespring allow people to upload graphics to be printed on t-shirts. Places like Etsy allow you to sell your artistic creations. If you market well and create a following, your summer job could become a career.


          Whatever way your teen decides to make money, make sure you’re also giving them budgeting tips to make sure they’re not spending their money all in one place. Make sure they’re putting money away for a rainy day while also saving for a larger purchase while still having money to spend for themselves.

          Consider helping them to open a bank account so they can use banking apps to track how much they’re making and spending. And make sure to provide them with as much help when it comes to making the best financial decisions possible.

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