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Best Summer Jobs for All Ages Through AD 2025

Updated on April 11, 2019
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Ms. Inglish is a successful employment & training pro, setting Midwest regional records with tens of thousands placed in gainful employment.

Many Groups Are Looking for Summer Jobs

Several groups look for temporary summer jobs every year or for seasonal work during other months that can lead to rehiring in subsequent summers or even to regular full-time employment.

When an individual in America looks for summer employment, he or she may not be aware of the competition from these various groups - youth, high school, college, adults, Welfare-to-Work, diversity groups, challenged groups, and Senior Citizens.

One group not considered intensely in recent past years is the group of returning veterans from the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. This group includes thousands of individuals that need full-time employment may begin with summer jobs until appropriate career-level positions open for them.

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March 2019: Ivanka Trump announces she will lead a new campaign for 'good paying jobs,' and to fix education in America.President Obama announces Summer Jobs+, a call to action to American businesses, nonprofits and government entities to put young people to work in 2012.
March 2019: Ivanka Trump announces she will lead a new campaign for 'good paying jobs,' and to fix education in America.
March 2019: Ivanka Trump announces she will lead a new campaign for 'good paying jobs,' and to fix education in America. | Source
President Obama announces Summer Jobs+, a call to action to American businesses, nonprofits and government entities to put young people to work in 2012.
President Obama announces Summer Jobs+, a call to action to American businesses, nonprofits and government entities to put young people to work in 2012. | Source

Largest Clusters of Summer Work of All Kinds

New York City:
New York, NY, USA

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Chicago, IL, USA

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Washington DC:
Washington, DC, USA

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Dallas TX:
Dallas, TX, USA

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St. Louis MO:
St. Louis, MO, USA

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San Francisco:
San Francisco, CA, USA

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Top Summer Jobs in America

Spring-Summer 2019

  1. Lifeguards: Any place that has a public or club-related pool.
  2. Construction and Landscaping: Project managers, engineers, crew.
  3. Hospitality: Hotels, motels, country clubs, etc. Front desk clerks, housekeeping, wait staff/food service, valets.
  4. Office Help: All sorts of desk-bound work that includes computer entry, filing,etc.
  5. Recreation: Summer camps, amusement parks, and others need lifeguards, counselors, coaches, instructors, cooks, and even nurses.
  6. Tourism: City and attraction visitor centers, tours, and travel companies need customer service people, tour guides, and other staff.

Spring-Summer 2014 - 2018

  1. Engineering Internships
  2. Marketing Internships
  3. Pharmacy-related Internships and Technician training
  4. Aerospace-related Internships
  5. Life Guards
  6. Tech Support Advisers
  7. Leasing Assistants
  8. Summer Nanny

While competition for summer jobs increased during the Great Recession, the nature of summer employment and internships has shifted toward higher technological training for new skills across the country.

Spring-Summer 2012 - 2013

  1. Summer Nanny
  2. Lifeguard
  3. Engineering Internships - growing in numbers fastest of all summer jobs.


Adult Summer and Full-Time Employment

Examples of State Operated Jobs Services


Summer Jobs Increased 250%, 2006 - 2013

These increased occurred during the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations.
These increased occurred during the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations. | Source

Check These Non-Internet Jobs Postings

  1. Public Library bulletin boards, especially in the workforce reference areas where you will find resume workbooks and computers.
  2. Organizations in your city that are on Facebook.
  3. Summer Camps and Tourist Resorts - apply early in the year.
  4. College and university bulletin boards.
  5. Grocery store bulletin boards.
  6. Book Store bulletin boards.
  7. Social Service Agency, Community and Recreation Center bulletin boards.
  8. Houses of Worship bulletin boards.
  9. Weekly Community Newspapers and Neighborhood Newsletters.
  10. Non-posted: ask at golf courses, tennis clubs, swimming pools, movie theaters, craft stores, restaurants, hotels, etc. Also look for job flyers hung on your door with the weekly grocery ads.

Competition For Jobs

The various groups of summer job seekers can include:

  1. Teenagers - This is one of the largest primary groups that look for American summer jobs in the private sector and in government-subsidized programs. Federal and county funding often provide Summer Youth Employment Programs for a number of youth from ages 14 through 21, provided they meet certain income and other guidelines. Most entities that provide the related soft skills training (work readiness) and job placement too these teens write grants for available funding and often limit the ages of youth they will serve to ages 14 through 18 or 19. Announcements of openings in these subsidized programs often begin on radio, television, and internet sites in January, February, or March. Slots are often filled before April, but many of these young workers quit their jobs after a few days or a week into the summer season, because their families move away or for other reasons. This opens up a short re-hiring season in mid-June.

The overrun of teenagers that can be accommodated by the subsidized job programs turn to the private sector for summer employment. While few jobs in private business are available for ages 14 and 15, teens age 16 and older are often in competition with adults for the same positions. Youth ages 11 - 13 can usually find volunteer positions and programs to train and certify them for babysitting (American Red Cross and others).

2. College and Graduate Students - These older students look for work in their college towns are their hometowns and sometimes compete with the teenagers and with adults for the same work, especially in states that lost the most jobs during the Recession of 2008 - 2010. However, some of these older students are more qualified to accept jobs in the International market on cruise ships, tourist ranches, eco-farms in Europe, and other venues.

3. Teachers that are off for the summer - Some K-12 teachers look for part-time or full-time work during the summer season.

4. Displaced Workers - Workers that are downsized, terminated, in plant closings, etc. County core and intensive jobs services offer programs for these individuals, but some take summer work while waiting for a placement.

5. Displaced Homemakers - Usually single parents whose spouse or partner left or more typically, older women that are divorced but have never worked and still have several years left until retirement age. County core jobs services can help these individuals, but some try part-time summer work as a trial run.

6. Welfare to Work or Welfare Reform Clients- Non-profit organizations offer soft skills training and job placement, but often with the same employers that accept the teenagers for subsidized summer work, setting up competition for the same jobs. A single employer can open up only a limited number of job slots, even if subsidized.

Since Welfare Reform began under the Clinton Administration in America (1993 - 2000), teens and adults have competed for the same summer jobs in subsidized programs and in some private businesses that have been able to participate under certain grant funding. Teenagers in subsidized Summer Youth Employment Programs of several types can earn a higher hourly wage than adults hired for the same jobs and this causes conflict in the workplace, even if company policy states that employees are not to reveal their wages to one another. People sometimes find out anyway.


7. Transient Workers - These individuals travel from town to town, often seasonally, while following waves of open jobs. Many transients sought work during The Great Depression and in the 2010s, America has a number of these as well. Summer seasonal jobs on farms and in orchards are one sort of job open for them. Temporary Employment Agencies may have short-term full-time work as well. Some permanent residents of communities feel like transient workers, because they work 2, 3, or part-time jobs each week.

8. Retired Senior Citizens - Many seniors find the financial need to return to work at least part-time during summers and sometimes, year round in the private sector. Government subsidized programs offer Seniors part-time to full-time work as well. See Senior Job Bank and Senior Service America.

9. Foreign National Refugees (adult) - Non-profit organizations offer ESL/ESO classes, soft skills training and job placement, but often with the same employers that accept the teenagers for summer work, so these adults compete with the teens in government subsidized work programs and sometimes in the private sector.

10. Migrant workers - These individuals and families usually work on farms during harvest seasons and return home for the winter, but some displaced workers might be competing for jobs with them.

11. Undocumented Workers/illegal aliens - We hear much about stolen Social Security Numbers and payment under the table (non-taxed). The juncture at which these individuals may be taking jobs from adult workers in America include restaurants (especially kitchens), factories, and some other work sites (see Smithfield Hams).


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Patty Inglish MS


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