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Written by Paul DruryPaul Drury

15 Top Jobs for Teens — and How to Apply for Them

8 min read
15 Top Jobs for Teens — and How to Apply for Them
Artwork by:Varya Schuka
Since the dawn of the paper round, teenagers have been entering the workforce well before they have finished their secondary school education. What are some of the most popular jobs for teens?

No teenager really wants to go out to work. Let’s face it, it is a struggle for any parent to get them to clean their room every week. However, when faced with the prospect of leaving home and having to join the real world at some point, most teenagers realize that they have to bite the bullet and get their first real job. 

Many then enjoy the sense of responsibility and the money trickling into their bank accounts, so they go on to enjoy a range of roles as they progress through their teenage years. In this blog, we look at some of the most popular jobs for teenagers. 

  • 14 of the best job for teens
  • Useful advice on how to apply

Certain roles may have age restrictions, such as working in a pub, but others are open to a broader age range. The requirements for fruit picking are very different from a customer service role. There should be a job for any teen — so long as they have the right attitude.

Expert tip

How do you find jobs as a teenager?

There are plenty of job sites and agencies that offer jobs for teens. Although you can only join LinkedIn when you are 17, asking a parent to get in touch with local business owners through the networking site is also a great way of making connections and testing the water.

14 of the best jobs for teens

Every career needs to start somewhere. Most experienced professionals will have learned their earliest career lessons in one of the following roles. There are countless jobs for teens, so we have decided to focus on a selection of the 14 most popular.

1. Babysitter

Babysitting has long been a popular job for teens. Having first aid training and past references can enhance this teen career. For those with younger siblings, the tasks of care and education come easily, making it both rewarding and enjoyable. It may take a leap of faith for your first babysitting employer to trust you, but when you have good references this can be a worthwhile job.

2. Shop assistant

Shop roles like cashiers are often filled by young people. Retail, characterised by its high-turnover, benefits from a steady influx of teen workers, especially in busy seasons. Good rapport with management offers flexible working hours and there are a lot of soft skills that can be learned as you serve customers and work with colleagues.

3. Barista

Customers come into a coffee shop for a drink and an experience. The youth and energy of a young barista can make all the difference when someone is looking for a pick me up. The role demands a high level of physical fitness, and it is often teenagers and students that take on this demanding role. Many of the top coffee chains offer excellent training programmes — having Costa or Starbucks on your CV is a mark of high potential.

4. Fast food employee

While working in fast food may not be the most glamorous job, the ubiquity of certain franchises means that most teenagers live near a McDonald’s, Burger King, or other brand. When you do not have a car, it can be hard to get to a variety of workplaces. For teens who want a regular and stable wage, there are few roles that are more dependable. Once you have this basic hospitality experience, other doors will fly open for you.

5. Parcel / food delivery

For a teenager who is at home on a bike or a moped, the proliferation of home delivery roles in the larger towns and cities offers a great way of keeping fit and earning some money at the same time. You will need a strong sense of responsibility and a compulsion to be on time, but otherwise this isn’t the most demanding of roles. With the number of willing teenagers out there, those little delivery robots won’t be taking over just yet.

Expert tip

Be quick to apply for a popular job.

Speed matters. Once a hiring manager has a certain number of applications, they will close the process. Make sure that your CV is ready to go and check your emails for any swift interview requests. These teen roles will come and go quickly, so you need to be ready to react.

6. Social media management

While most teens would love to be a social media influencer, the reality is that there is plenty of grunt work to do in the industry. Creating content for others is a reliable source of income and it is increasingly aided by generative AI software to speed up the process. Managing social feeds and engaging with an audience is something that cannot always be automated — there is money to be made for an enterprising teenager.

7. Customer service

Customer service roles may be more suited to the older teenager, but there are plenty of medium-sized companies who do not wish to outsource this vital activity to a far-away land. Teenagers with a customer-first attitude and a good internet connection can learn many important skills that they can later deploy in a people-related career.

8. Summer camp employee

Working in a summer camp is a common activity for many teens and it can be a lot of fun. Getting away from their parents when they stay onsite in these roles often means that they work alongside people of a similar age. The experiences that they have at these summer camps will stay with them for a lifetime, although the hours can be incredibly long, and they may not always be able to relax when they feel like it.

9. Theme park worker

There are few more enjoyable jobs for a teenager than working in a theme park. They might not be screaming along on the rides, but the requirement to join in the general atmosphere of fun is something that most teens would relish. Being around a load of visitors who are having a great day out cannot fail to be enjoyable. Of course, you always get the odd challenging person, but learning to deal with them is a great life lesson.

10. Lifeguard

If you are a competent swimmer, working as a lifeguard at a pool or lido is a great job for a teenager. You may not be able to be a lifeguard on a busy beach as that entails a whole different degree of responsibility, but sitting next to a pool and making sure that the little kids behave isn’t such an onerous job. If you are lucky enough to work at an outside pool, it is a perfect job to be able to work on your tan.

12. Tour guide

If you live in a tourist hotspot, it is likely that there will be plenty of seasonal roles on offer. Whether you are guiding tourists around the maze of an ancient castle, assisting in a car park, or working in a hospitality concession, tourism provides plenty of jobs for teenagers. If you are a good communicator, this job may be right up your street.

13. Fruit picking

Fruit picking remains a popular job for the youngest teens. You will need bundles of energy and a solid work ethic as your earnings will depend on the quantity and quality of your work. If you are ready to get amidst the strawberries, farmers will be falling over themselves to hire you. Obviously, not everyone lives in proximity to a farm, but if you want a workout for the summer this is a great option.

14. Junior coaching

If you have played sports in your teenage years, your proficiency may reach a level where you can coach others to follow in your footsteps. Adult coaches are often volunteers who would welcome an extra pair of hands and eyes. The youngest children certainly benefit from a teenager to look up to and sports coaching definitely looks great on a CV.

15. Junior umpiring

Professional umpires will not get paid a lot for umpiring junior sports, so gaining umpiring qualifications to work with the youngest participants is also a great way of remaining involved with a sport that you love. Teenage junior umpires should be ready to mediate conflicts, make difficult decisions and take the inevitable abuse.

Key takeaways

  1. Try to take on several roles as a teenager to learn different skills.
  2. Challenge yourself by venturing outside your comfort zone.
  3. Make sure that you focus on improving your soft skills.
  4. Enjoy the money rolling in and get in the habit of saving some.
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