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According to recent statistics, the number of teens that have a job or want to get a job has fallen dramatically.
In 2000, half of those aged 16 to 19 were looking for a job or had one. Last year, only a third of teens were in the same situation. And by 2024, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that only a fourth of teens will be actively seeking work.
Experts believe that many teens aren’t interested in getting a job, often because they’d rather focus on their schooling (or their parents would prefer this).
However, even though college degrees have become increasingly important for getting a job, work experience is still a crucial element to succeeding later on in life. College doesn’t give someone exposure to a working environment and it doesn’t instill the same discipline that’s required in an office.
That’s why for many years, part-time jobs for minors have been an integral part of the “coming-of-age” experience that’s so important in America.
So how do we stop this lack of enthusiasm for getting a job while still ensuring our teens are getting enough time to focus on their studies?
Below, we take a look at some of the best jobs for high schoolers that won’t heap too much pressure on them during term time:
For many teens, babysitting is the best way to earn some extra cash without too much effort. And as the majority of babysitting takes place at the weekend, it still gives them plenty of time to get on top of their homework/studies during the week.
Babysitters are also very well paid, especially if your teen becomes CPR-certified. 80% of parents said they’d be happier to pay more for a babysitter who’s gone through this training, which is available through the American Red Cross.
2. Camp Counselor
If you’re not keen on letting your teen work during term time, why not encourage them to get involved in a summer camp?
Summer camps are among some of the best places that hire teenagers, allowing them to spend time outdoors while learning essential leadership skills. It also means they need to spend time away from home, which can greatly add to their independence.
3. Car Wash Attendant
Car washes are another prime place for part-time jobs for minors, and again, these places are perfect for summer jobs. They’ll always be busy so there’s no chance for them to be bored, and washing cars is one of the best ways to keep cool during warmer summer weather.
Even though most car washes will pay minimum wage, there is the opportunity to earn some extra tips and have your car cleaned for free!
If your teen is really focused on what they want to do when they leave college, or they’re keen to explore certain roles to see if they’re right for them, a summer internship could be the best way forward.
Despite many of these internships often being unpaid, the knowledge and experience they gain will be invaluable on their résumé. They could target a company of their choice to ask about these potential opportunities, or their high school guidance counselor may be able to point them in the right direction.
5. Retail or Restaurant Jobs
For a steady source of income, good jobs for high schoolers can often be found in your local retail shops or restaurants. Shop assistants and waitresses are always needed, and not just during the summer, so your teen could get a part-time job here for as long as they wish.
Furthermore, during their time there they’ll learn some important skills, including money management, responsibility, customer service, leadership, and multi-tasking skills. And if they enjoy this environment, there may even be the opportunity to progress into a management role.
As we’ve already seen, parents are keen to help their children get as far ahead as possible when it comes to their education, which is why they’re willing to pay good money for tutors.
So if your teen is a whizz at mathematics or is in the throes of writing their own novel, they might be the perfect tutor for a child in their neighborhood. There are companies you can use to find work like this but you may find your teen is just as successful at securing some work by advertising in the local area.
Tutors can expect to earn as much as babysitters, if not more, and it’s also great for flexible working hours and progressing their teaching skills.
These are just some jobs for teens that can help boost their finances and their skills, without there being too much interference in their studies.
Encourage your child to focus on a part-time job that utilizes their existing knowledge or teaches them a new skill set. Whatever they choose to do will add real kudos to their résumé, demonstrating a sense of commitment and enthusiasm that sets them apart from other candidates.