What jobs are available to help teens make money this summer?

Teen Summer Jobs

by Dollar Stretcher Contributors

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Teen Summer Jobs

My 16-year-old daughter needs to make some money this summer. She rolls her eyes when I mention things like fast food restaurants or baby-sitting. She claims that's not what her generation does. What do teens like her do to make some part-time money? I don't want her spending the entire summer on Facebook and Twitter. So any ideas that a teen could use to make some money would be helpful.

Speak to High School Counselor

Have your daughter check with her high school counselor for summer jobs. They have information on government-sponsored jobs for the summer. Both my girls got jobs working at either their school doing clerical work or the public library sorting books. You might have to qualify financially, but many young people often overlook this opportunity.

Impact Later Career

I had several teen jobs that proved to be useful to me in my later career. I worked at a women's clothing store at the mall, and I really learned a lot about merchandising, clothing, and sales. Maybe that job would seem "cooler" to your teen. I also worked with disabled children at a summer camp. I didn't get paid for that job, but it was certainly educational for me! Maybe your teen could get paid to work at a summer camp. I became a teacher, partly because of that experience. It wasn't an easy job, but it was very rewarding.
Emilie in Indiana

Consider Tech Work

I have a cousin who made money by setting up iPods for some of the older teachers at school. He has also helped a couple of people set up simple websites. Another option is to ask around and see if churches, day cares and senior care places in the area would like a Facebook page set up and maintained. Your daughter could set the pages up and could either get calls or newsletters mailed to her with information to add to the page.

Yes, she would still be on the internet, but it would be teaching her to use skills she already has. It also saves on gas and the cost of buying and maintaining uniforms with her being able to work from home.

Forming Entrepreneurial Skills

What about having your teen sit down and list her skills? This way, she would be using her talents and earn money at the same time. She could utilize her skills as a gardener, guitar player, computer geek, cake baker, jewelry maker, etc. and then advertise in the local paper, bulletin board, or senior center. In this way, she could teach others, sell her crafts, or assist the elderly while learning to be an entrepreneur. Another benefit is she would learn to design her schedule, market her talents, and set goals.

Set Some Boundaries

When I was 18, I moved home for a little bit after an exciting job working in national parks for a summer. I needed a job for a few months before college and boasted to my dad that I didn't do fast food. He said that was fine, but that he wouldn't be giving me any money so whatever I came up with was fine.

As it turned out, I wound up working fast food, so I could put gas in the car and afford to hang out at the lake with my friends. I am really grateful he taught me that lesson. If she needs money, she will get a job. If she doesn't, then she won't. But I don't see why you should be working harder to provide her with luxuries. Maybe you could let her know your generation doesn't pay the way for perfectly capable people of working age? I wouldn't "force" her to work fast food, but if you stop paying for some things, she may be more motivated. In the long run, I bet she will appreciate you for it.

Start by Volunteering

My son started by volunteering. He also needed volunteer hours to graduate. He volunteered at our local children's zoo. He was then hired to work grounds and concession. He also volunteered at our local hospital. He completed nursing assistant training at his high school and was told when he graduates this June that they would love to have him as a nursing assistant for $12 per hour. That will help with college expenses. I think it is important for teens to also see just how tough many other "teens" have it.

Go to Camp

I work at a camp and retreat center. We have a summer staff of high school and college age kids who do a variety of jobs like cleaning cabins, kitchen work, and lawn maintenance. They also work as facilitators for activities such as paintball, zip line, and the ropes course, along with working as lifeguards for water activities. While the cleaning and kitchen work is probably not always their favorite area, it helps to expand their skills. Check in your area for camps that need summer help.

Possibilities for Teen Summer Jobs Are Endless

Places like amusement parks, museums, outdoor theaters, and other seasonal venues often require seasonal staff. Places like day camps need staff, overnight camps need counselors, and swimming lessons need instructors. Paper routes often need relief staff for carriers gone on holidays. Even in this economy, people still pay to have their lawns mowed, their dogs walked, and their pets watched when they go on vacation. Every year, student painting companies start up and need house painters with no experience necessary. If they play a musical instrument, weddings and funerals need musicians. Can they craft, do art, bake, or sew? Farmers markets abound in the summer, and there are ready customers who would purchase some of that type of merchandise.

The possibilities are endless. All they need is a little drive, some creativity, and a willingness to do whatever it takes. If that means flipping burgers or being a nanny for the summer, so be it. It's all good experience, can fill out a resume, and help them make some cash.

Check to see if you have a local youth employment center. They can help create a resume and give good leads on jobs. If nothing paying comes along, encourage your teen to take a volunteer job for the summer. Often they can turn it into paid employment down the road, and it will look good on a resume for next summer when they'll be looking for work again.

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