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Great Jobs for Teenagers

Updated on February 5, 2013

Are There Really Great Jobs Out There for High School Students?

At some juncture - usually around the time they hit high school - teens realize that their parents are not these bottomless pits of money that they can just dip their buckets into whenever they want. They recognize that parents have to earn the money that they spend. More to the point, many teens often realize that if they want anything more than what they're being given as an allowance, they'll have to earn it themselves.

With that in mind, there arises the question of what types of jobs are available for teenagers. There are indeed lots of options - not just for the summer, but year-round in some cases - but we're going to try to focus on those that are likely to give you the most bang for your buck.

Lawn Service: A Great Job for Teenagers

One of the quickest, easiest and most profitable jobs for teenagers is to start a lawn service. Many teens will already have the requisite equipment (basically, a lawn mower and edger/weedeater), so it's merely a matter of getting customers.

Getting people to hire you may sound like a chore, but it really isn't. Here's what one kid did in my neighborhood a few years back, and it's a sure-fire method that will get a fair number of people on board for your services: In essence, he put a flyer on a lot of homes in the neighborhood saying that he was going to be cutting grass during the summer to raise money for college, so if anyone needed lawn service he'd appreciate their business. That was it. Of course, everyone wants to help out a kid going to college, and he ended up with tons of customers. (This will even work for 14-year-olds and 15-year-olds, provided the bulk of the money is going towards their college fund.)

However, let me emphasize this: Do not lie to get customers. If you aren't going to college or won't be using any of the money for your education, don't advertise as if you are. (And just for the record, you don't necessarily have to go to college in order to be a success in life. For instance, there are numerous Jobs Paying $100,000 Without a College Degree.) You may not get as many customers, but you will still get some. (Plus, as shown below, you don't need that many customers in order to have a booming business.)

Finally, if you're concerned about how much money can be made doing this, let's run the numbers. For my own yard (which I consider on the small side, but it's average for where we live), a single person can usually cut and edge it in about 20 minutes, and definitely within 30. For this, I usually pay about $20. For thirty minutes of work, that equates to about $40 per hour. Thus, cutting about 10 yards per week (which equates to maybe 5 hours of work) will let a teenager gross roughly $200 per week. Not too bad - especially when their friends are slaving away at McDonalds and such for minimum wage.

Thus, as you can see, a lawn service can be a pretty lucrative job for a teenager.

Tutoring: An Excellent Student Job

If you've got the mental chops, another nice job for high school students is working as a tutor. It really isn't that difficult (I mean, you've presumably already got an "A" in the subject matter), but you do need to be able to relate to people and explain difficult subjects and concepts in a way they'll understand.

Again, this is a job that pays handsomely. You can charge what the market will bear - I'd say at least $10 per hour. (You can probably charge even more, but something like $20 per hour would probably be pushing it.) Moreover, it's a cushy indoor job, which is always a plus.

Church Musician: An Easy Job for Teens

Now, if you really want a well-salaried job and have some musical ability, try being a church musician. Even when I was a kid, this was a high-paying gig. Back then, the daughter of one of our neighbors was getting $100 per week for playing piano at a local church (and that was a lot of money at the time).

These days, being a church musician pays like a full-time job. One of my friends previously belonged to a small church (congregation of about 50), and he told me that the cheapest they could find any musician for - guitarist, drummer, piano player, what have you - was $500 per week. That's $2000 per month! And it only requires going to rehearsal once or twice per week (not to mention practicing at home) and playing in church on Sunday! Needless to say, most jobs for 15-year-olds or 16-year-olds will not pay this well - especially for the minimal amount of time involved.

(And if your child doesn't play an instrument, it's never too late to start. After all, music lessons are one of the things you can do if you're wondering How To Make Your Child Smarter. Plus, you're giving them a potential money-making skill that can last a lifetime.)

Poll on Jobs for Teenagers

What job do you thin would be best for a teenager to have?

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Summary of Jobs for Teenagers

In truth, there are lots of jobs that teenagers can do. Although what's been suggested here are jobs that will probably allow teens to earn something above the average wage, there are always the traditional avenues they can resort to: fast food restaurants, retail, etc. (In fact, anyone interested in positions of this nature can visit my hub on Where To Find Online Job Applications.) There are also some other traditional teen jobs that may pay well - babysitter, dogwalker, lifeguard, etc. - but may not be as consistent or have other drawbacks.

Simply put, jobs for teenagers are plentiful. However, teens should try to find something that's going to give them the maximum benefit for their efforts. (And if they've got a bit of entrepreneurial spirit, they might try Earning Passive Income With A Vending Machine Business.)


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    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 5 years ago from San Francisco

      in my time, i worked in a candy store, hence my control.

    • Hypersapien profile image

      Hypersapien 5 years ago

      I've only known a handful of people who were volunteer musicians at church. I've known some who would offer a discount, but almost all of them were paid. In fact, I knew a guy in high school who was absolutely awesome on the piano. He was so good that when he graduated from high school he already had (and accepted) a full-time job offer to play piano for a huge church in a big city.

    • profile image

      chrisinhawaii 5 years ago

      Dang, what am I doing here on HP? I should be mowing lawns!

      Every church I've played for, we were all just volunteers, but if they can get paid, that's awesome! Retail is popular, but they'll end up spending e whole check at the store (if it's a clothing store, like where my wife used to work).

      Lawn service gets my vote. I think it's great for a teenager to learn the value of hard, honest work. Plus, his next job might be so much easier than cutting grass that he'll end up appreciating it more...

      Good hub, Hyper. Up and useful! Aloha