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Job Options For Teenagers

Updated on April 12, 2014

In the United States, the minimum age for employment is set at 14. Each state and province has its own requirements related to the employment of minors. Some states require an age certificate, or "working papers" to be obtained prior to employment. There also exists restrictions on the time of day and hours that can be worked by teen's ages 14 and 15. The only restriction set forth for 16 and 17 year olds is that they may not work in jobs considered to be hazardous. At the age of 18, teenagers are considered adults and no work restrictions exist.

Job Options for Teenagers of All Ages:

Learning the value of money: how much work it takes to earn money, and how much money things cost, are valuable lessons that need to be taught to children from a young age. This understanding helps promote financial responsibility throughout life.

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  • Parents can give their children odd jobs such as washing the car, doing yard work, laundry, dishes etc... and provide them compensation. This paid task should be something above and beyond any chores that they must do. Chores are often viewed as the child's responsibility to help out the family. It is each family members responsibility to pitch in without the expectation of payment.
  • Young teens can offer to help an elderly neighbor with shoveling snow or raking leaves for a small fee.
  • Babysitting remains a viable option for teens wishing to bring in some money. Rates range anywhere from $5-$12 dollars per hour, for sitters with 0-1 year of experience. And it is common to charge more on weekends, and add an additional fee per child. Send out for some business cards or make a flyer. Consider getting trained in CPR and parents will pay these prices.
  • Teenagers are very creative and resourceful. If your teen has a hobby such as making friendship bracelets, cutting up t-shirts, customizing clothing, taking pictures, sewing... They can sell their items on eBay and earn some money.
  • Walking dogs, or pet sitting, with parents consent of course, could be another money making option.
  • Tutoring other children is a great way for a teenager to make money; which also gives them the chance to give back and help others. Yet another great value to have.
  • If you live in a state with a recycling plant, collecting cans at 5¢ per can might be something to consider.

Job Options Increase With Age

At the age of 14 job options increase to include businesses. During the summer these teenagers are permitted to work from 7am-9pm, and 7am-7pm during the rest of the year. They may work 3 hours/day and no more than 18 hours/week during the school year, and up to 8 hours/day and no more than 40 hours/week during the summer. Businesses that often hire teens include:

  • Super markets
  • Grocery stores
  • Businesses at malls and shopping centers
  • Fast food companies
  • Summer Youth Employment Programs
  • Online research and surveys

The only restriction for 16 and 17 year olds is that they can not work in jobs that are considered hazardous, such as mining, manufacturing, or jobs in which the use of hazardous materials or heavy machinery is practiced. At this age teenagers are also able to drive, further increasing available work options. Additional opportunities to consider include:

  • Summer camps
  • Golf/Country clubs
  • Movie theatres
  • Amusement parks
  • Home health aides working with the sick or elderly
  • Internships
  • Telemarketing

Be Prepared

Parents, send your teens out there with the right tools to succeed at obtaining a job. With the state of today's economy, teenagers face increased challenges in getting a job. Take the time to discuss proper interview attire and etiquette. Enact an interview with your teen and go over it until they are comfortable. Help your teenager prepare a resume. even if it is his or her first job, include volunteer work, club and team associations, and odd jobs he or she may have had.


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    • aDayInMyLife1 profile image

      Amanda S 5 years ago from CA

      @Esther Strong thanks for the comment. I truly believe that it is important to get teens involved and foster their growth into adulthood by giving them goals and jobs and responsibilities.

    • Esther  Strong profile image

      Esther Strong 5 years ago from UK

      Some interesting facts and ideas here - particularly liked the one about tutoring (great for increasing the teen's confidence I would say)

      Thumbs up and useful - thanks.