The old lemonade stand no longer has the paycheck it used to for teens looking for a summer job. However, if you are saving for college, or putting money back for an apartment, a summer job can be a great way for teenagers to stock a savings account. Here are some ideas:
This was my favorite job all through high school. You set your own hours and you have the ability to say no if you already have plans. This can be as intense as a 5-days-a-week position or a standing Tuesday night gig. You set the pace. Take the time to get CPR certified and learn first aid and you can charge top dollar.
2. Mom’s Helper
This is the perfect option for young teens. I remember doing this as young as fifth grade when I watched two kids while their mom painted the bedrooms upstairs. This is a great beginner’s level job for those looking to gain babysitting experience.
3. Kid Transporter
If you prefer kids in small doses, consider hiring yourself as a kid transporter. All that you need is a driver’s license and a good driving record to qualify. Offer to take kids to basketball camp or piano lessons (any daytime activities) for kids with working parents. Consider these days your training for being an Uber driver—only those passengers can probably tie their own shoes.
4. House Sitter
House sitting is the easiest way to make money. When I was in college, it was the best way to get off campus for a weekend, sleep in a real bed, have a television to myself and not have to share the bathroom with three roommates. Some families will want you to stay at the house, but others just want you to check in once a day and perhaps water the plants.
5. Day Camp
Day camps are a great employment opportunity for teens who love kids. Local YMCAs, church groups, and some schools provide day camps for parents to use for childcare during the summer months. If you love working on crafts, playing kickball and impacting kids as a positive role model, working at a day camp could be just the job for you.
6. Summer Camp
I had the privilege of spending three summers of my teen years working at a church camp. Our days were filled with working with kids, playing outdoors, canoeing, playing paintball and a high and low ropes course. Also, with an overnight camp you do not have opportunities to spend your money, except on your day off, so the majority of the money you make stays right in your bank account.
Do you get all As on your report card? You could earn money helping kids over the summer. Many parents want to keep their kids engaged in academics over the long break and others use it to get their child ahead in a subject he or she has struggled with in the past.
8. SAT/ ACT Tutoring
All of your hard work to score well on the SATs could also get you some cash. Buy a test prep book and make flash cards, practice quizzes, and more to help your peers succeed.
Check with your local YMCA or natatorium to find a lifeguard training program. I spent one weekend in training and had a well-paying job for my senior year of high school. Working for an indoor pool can last year round, but an outdoor pool gives you a summer in the sun. When I worked at a summer camp, I even got a higher pay for using my lifeguarding skills.
10. Swimming Lessons Instructor
If you are working at a pool and you want more interaction with kids—not just yelling WALK for the four thousandth time—teaching swim lessons can be a great option. You get to be in the water and working with kids, sharing a skill you already have. Most pools have an itinerary set, so if you can follow the lineup and keep kids safe and engaged, the job is likely yours.
11. Baseball/Softball Umpire
There is a way to make money while watching the game you love. Commit to making the right calls and you could have a job for many summers to come. Grab some gear and hit the local Little League. Plus, you can still get a free snow cone after the game.
12. Kids Party Magician
Locate your beloved magic kit from childhood, wipe the dust off and put it to work for you. Buy some new props and dazzle kids at birthday parties. Magicians are the cooler—and less creepy—alternative to a clown, so if you do a good job, parents are sure to tell their friends about you.
13. Art Teacher
Find a neighborhood with kids who want to learn to paint and start a class. If you can get the parents to purchase an easel and you bring the supplies, you could make a nice profit teaching kids a skill you love.
14. Music Lessons Teacher
If you have skills with an instrument, summer can be your time to get paid to help develop the love of music in other kids. Offer lessons for kids in younger grades and help keep them sharp over the summer months.
15. Dog Groomer
Many career centers offer courses in animal care. A love of dogs, plus a class in that field may qualify you to groom dogs. Pick up some cute bandanas from the dollar store and you will add a terrific finishing touch. Use the pet owner’s bath tub (and do a good job cleaning the tub up afterwards) and bring your own shampoo and nail trimmers. Dog grooming is another low start-up cost option that can bring in the money.
16. Pet Sitter
Many families want care for their pets without the expense of a kennel. You can be the perfect middle ground. If you can take a dog on a walk around the block, feed the fish, and clean out a litter box, this is the job for you.
17. Dog Walking
Many dog lovers live busy lives; as a result, their pups are probably in need of some time outdoors. Grab a leash and hit the streets. You can be outside racking up steps on your Fitbit while getting paid.
18. Birthday Party Photographer
If you took a photography class last semester, you can put your knowledge to work. Want to capture candid moments and give moms a great keepsake from their child’s party? Start taking pictures! Allow your first few customers to be guinea pigs and build your portfolio so parents can see how great your work is.
19. Family Picture Photographer
Summertime is a great month to get the family together for a formal portrait. Tag along for the first hour of a family reunion and you may even stir up more business when you impress them with your skills. State parks, downtown buildings and family estates make great (and free) backdrops for family pictures.
20. Lawn Mowing
You can quickly start a thriving business with access to a mower and a good pair of legs. A job well done will catch the neighbors’ eyes and is sure to lead to great referrals.
21. Weed Pulling
Take a walk around your block and you will easily identify the people like me, the ones who hate to pull weeds. Whether busy schedules, family vacations or because no will to see the job through, you will definitely find someone who needs help keeping their flower beds clean. Combine it with lawn mowing and you will be busy all summer.
22. Landscaping Projects
You will have a great summer of work ahead of you if you find homeowners looking to add curb appeal. Your services can include tree removal, edge work, planting, watering and anything that keeps the yard looking great.
23. Car Washing
If you can get your hands on a hose and a bucket, your start-up costs will be very low. After a good scrub, add in a wax for even more cash. This is a great outdoor option as you can work on your tan but keep cool with the hose all summer long.
24. Car Detailing
When you finish the outside of the car, go one step further and add the inside. A thorough vacuuming will lead to happy customers. Add some Armor All and Windex and you will have the car shining.
25. Cleaning Houses
This is another job where attention to detail can keep you in business. If you already dust the corners for cobwebs and clean all the baseboards, start hiring yourself out! Be sure to talk with the homeowners about what they expect before you start the job, so you do not miss anything important to them.
26. Home Organizer
If you have great organizing skills, ask friends and family members to employ you to organize their basement, shed, or pantry. Do the first few for free and take some before and after pictures and then use social media to show off your awesome work and ask friends to spread the word.
27. Garage Sale Organizer
Ask families if you can help them organize a garage sale while you are cleaning out closets. Pricing items with a roll of masking tape and a Sharpie can be an overwhelming task when you look at a mountain of all the things you want out of your house. A pair of fresh eyes and a paycheck to motivate a finished job can help families clear out their unused items; everybody walks away with money!
With an eye for detail and strong shoulders, you will make an excellent painter. Shutters, fences, bedrooms—any space you have the determination to finish well enough to make the homeowners proud will keep you in business.
29. Seamstress or Tailor
If sewing is your passion, start charging for your handiwork. Hemming pants is a quick and easy task, but people will pay decently for your thirty minutes of work. Sell your own creations on Etsy and you can reach a broader market.
30. Event Musician
Use your musical skills to make money. Many brides and grooms need a pianist for their big day Call your friends from orchestra, work on a few numbers and you can form a string quartet for weddings or special functions. A few hours on stage can bring in a big paycheck.
31. Retail Worker
Working in retail can expand your wardrobe and save you money on your favorite clothes. Most stores give an employee discount, so your closet and your savings account can grow.
32. Fast Food
“Now hiring” signs fill almost every fast food restaurant’s window in my town. Prove that you can show up on time, smile at customers and follow cooking and cleaning instructions and this job could last you well through college, and maybe even transfer if you go to a university in another town.
33. Ice Cream Stand Worker
Many small towns still have their own ice cream shop and they use teens to staff them. This job means smelling ice cream all the hours you are at work and keeping cool no matter how high the thermometer reads.
34. Waiting Tables
If you have a good memory and great people skills, waiting tables could be a natural fit. Remembering my drink order and keeping me from seeing an empty cup leads to excellent tips at my table. Get yourself a comfortable pair of shoes and get to work.
35. Country Club
Country clubs offer a plethora of employment opportunities. Landscaping, bussing tables, and caddying can provide an hourly rate and opportunities for tips.
June first officially kicks off wedding season, and because they are in high demand, catering companies are working hard to fill their summer staff lists. This job can involve passing hors d’oeuvres, clearing tables, refilling drinks and cutting cake. It will eat up many Fridays and Saturdays, but it will usually leave your weeknights free.
37. Gas Station Attendant
This is a typical teen job that can last all year. You will learn how to work a cash register, stock shelves and interact with customers, skills that transfer to many other jobs.
38. Paper Delivery
Delivering the newspapers is a classic teen job. If you are a morning person, you can enjoy getting all of your work done while the sun rises and have the rest of the day to yourself.
39. Movie Theater Attendant
The ability to work a concessions stand or collect ticket stubs could score you a summer of free movies. If you can stomach cleaning sticky movie theater floors, the perks are pretty nice.
40. Amusement Park Staff
This job is a no brainer if you live near an amusement park and do not mind the heat. You could help people with games, serve up funnel cakes or help keep the park clean. Getting in early may even score you a job running your favorite coaster in the next few years.
41. National Park Worker
The National Park Services offers many job opportunities for teens. There are jobs that could lead to year-round positions and create a pathway to a job working for the National Park Service.
42. Fruit Picking
There is likely an orchard of some type near you, no matter where you live. If you want to be outdoors and on your feet when you work, fruit picking will bring you months of happiness. In many fields you start your day early (before the heat sets in) and work until so many rows have been picked, and then you go home. You can make good money and work on your tan.
43. Milking Cows
We live in the country and the biggest job the teens at our church have is milking. It requires very early hours, but many teens find the schedule complements keeping up with the summer hours of their sports teams. Find a farm close to you and start raking in the cash.
44. Baling Hay
For those looking for physical labor, baling hay and moving the hay to the barn can provide that kind of work. Combine that with some milking and you will have a full day’s work.
45. Electrician Assistant
Taking classes to learn to be an electrician can also put you ahead in the summer marketplace. Find a local electrician and see if they need an assistant for the summer months. Prove yourself handy, and you could earn a better paycheck plus job skills that will get you ahead after graduation.
46. Plumber Assistant
Connect with a plumber who owns his own small business, and offer yourself as an assistant. If you enjoy working with your hands and want to learn a new skill, this job could easily turn into a career.
47. Construction Worker Apprentice
Helping a construction company could be a good fit if you know your way around the hardware store and enjoy working outside. Some contractors have age requirements, but smaller family businesses may be willing to let a teen tag along for training.
48. Administrative Assistant
One teen I know worked for a national bank to help them digitize their archived records one summer. It involved scanning document after document, but the pay was good and she could listen to music or watch movies while she worked. Check with your parents and their friends; an office near you may have a job that pays well and builds your resume. That same girl now has a nice office working for the same bank today—only no more scanning.
49. Computer Tune-Up and Repairs
Computer work can provide a great income if you know how to take apart a computer and put it back together. Cleaning out computers, updating software and simple repairs are services all family computers can use.
Do you know what career you want to pursue? Investigate and see if you can arrange an internship in that job. Propose a summer of helping a company while also gaining knowledge in your future career. Experience is a great teacher.
So whatever job you choose, get to work!