Summer Jobs for Teens: Finding Work & Earning Money

Summer jobs for teens - be a barista.

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Is your teen looking for a summer job? There are companies hiring AND lots of out of the box earning opportunities. 

We’ll give you tons of practical ideas to help your teenager find work this summer, and into the rest of the year. 

1. Paying Summer Jobs for Teens

There are lots of jobs for teens in the restaurant industry and others. Here’s a short list of the types of jobs a young person can get near home.

Courtesy Clerk at a Grocery Store

Joe's first paycheck from a job as a courtesy clerk at a grocery store.

Our son Joe did this and worked his way up into helping promote his store’s weekly $5 Friday Deals. Many grocery store chains will hire kids who are 15 years old AND special needs kids. If the manager of the store is good, this could be an awesome way to earn money during the summer.

Car Dealership

Comedian Jay Leno worked as a car washer and detailer at a car dealership when he was in high school. Starting with a menial job at a dealership could lead to lots of other opportunities in sales, car repair, business management and more.

Fast Food Restaurant

Ice cream in an ice cream shop - jobs for teens.

Working at McDonalds, Chipotle or Chick Fil A could be a good experience for a teen. They’ll learn teamwork, customer service, how good franchise systems operate and much more. Two of our kids worked at ice cream shops and really enjoyed it. They not only got a limited amount of free ice cream, but they also earned tips. And since these places are busier during the summer months it qualifies in the category of good summer jobs for teens.

Full-Service Restaurant

When Steve from MoneySmartFamily was in high school he worked at a gymnastics camp as a kitchen crew member and dishwasher in exchange for camp fees. Washing dishes or being a bus person at a restaurant is a good way for teens to earn some extra cash.

And if dishwashing and busing tables aren’t for you, some restaurants will hire well-spoken, mature teen girls as hostesses. 

Movie Theater Jobs

If your teen loves movies, check out nearby theaters to see what jobs they have for the summer. Most theaters run special discount programs for kids during the summer, so staffing needs will increase.

It may not be the most luxurious job, but learning customer service skills and how to make and serve popcorn could earn your teen some extra money. Plus, most movie theaters are nice and cool, and for Arizona residents, that’s a great kind of place to work during the summer.

Plus one of the perks of working at many movie theaters is getting some extra movie passes to give to your friends and family member. That kind of perk always made kids we knew very popular.

Construction Jobs

If there are homes being built near you, there’s a possibility that the contractors doing the work could use the help of a teen to do some “grunt” work. Things like sweeping, vacuuming, raking, cleaning windows, and removing construction debris all need to be done to complete the job. Companies will pay minimum wage and possibly more for this kind of help that keeps their higher-paid employees doing more skilled work. 

One bonus to getting a job with a contractor is that your teen could learn some valuable building or carpentry skills that could be used in your home.

Golf Caddy

Many private and public golf clubs often hire teens as caddies for their members and guests. If your teen is respectful and helpful and knows a bit about golf, this could be a great job. 

And it’s a great opportunity to meet some adults who could become work contacts in the future. Plus, if your teen is a good enough caddy there are great opportunities to receive monetary tips from the people they caddy for. 

2. Side Hustles/Self-Employed Opportunities

With changes in our economy and new online companies being created like scooter and bike rental companies, there are virtually unlimited opportunities for teens to be their own boss.

Clean Houses Nearby

Mop bucket for cleaning houses

If you live in an area where there are lots of Airbnb homes or rooms rented, getting a job cleaning could be an easy way to earn money as a teen.

Just use the Airbnb website to see what listings are in your area. Then reach out to the host through the Airbnb message portal.

RELATED ARTICLE: Airbnb Hosting Tips from a 7 Year Super Host

Many other families are eager for help keeping their own homes clean. But traditional cleaning services be really expensive. If your teen is a hard worker this could be a good option. 

Just help him or her make up a flyer that can be distributed in your neighborhood.

Include a list of what types of cleaning jobs you’ll do. For example, I’ll clean bathrooms and kitchens. I will dust and vacuum.

Our son Joe did this one summer to earn money for playing in a baseball tournament. 

Be Safe: Even though your teen may want to be totally independent, as a parent, you’ll want to help them check out potential opportunities to ensure that they are safe and protected.

Sell Things Online

A person holding ebay shopping bags

If your teen is good with a cell phone camera and can list things online, there are plenty of opportunities to earn money. 

Rob at started buying NordicTrack’s at garage sales when he was 16 years old. He bought them for between $30 and $50 each. He would clean them up and repair them, then list them on eBay. And sell them for between $300 and $500. 

Read Rob’s story in our Retail Arbitrage article. Rob & his wife Melissa earned more than $80,000 last year buying and selling things they bought at flea markets and garage sales.

Baby Sit 

Are there families with young kids in your neighborhood? If your teen is responsible and caring, this could be a great earning opportunity for her and a way to save money for a family.

This could even become a long-term job as a nanny or work throughout the year.

With the cost of daycare being thousands of dollars per month, babysitting teens can make $10 to $20 an hour or more. 

If your teen wants opportunities beyond friends and family, check out is a database listing available babysitters in specific areas. If your teen is under 18 years old, a parent will need to give permission to be listed on the website.

Elder Companion

Being a helper to someone who is older or perhaps housebound could be another way for a teen to earn money. not only has babysitting opportunities but also companionship and senior care jobs.


Is your teen a good student and a good, patient communicator? There are lots of opportunities for tutors and several good online sites to help them get their tutoring business started. Many high school kids have extra time during the Summer so this would qualify as one of the best Summer jobs for teens.

It is common for tutors to earn between $20 and $30 per hour.
Check out these opportunities:

Pet Sit/Dog Walk

Dog Walker in a part- Great summer jobs for teens.

If your teen loves pets, then pet sitting or dog walking could be a great side hustle during the summer and year-round.

When families go on vacation and need to kennel their pets, it can cost between $20 and $40 per day. A teen could easily undercut the professional market and still make some money and save a pet-owning family some cash.

Two of the top online pet-sitting services that you could work for are:

RELATED ARTICLE: Free Educational Websites for Kids

Earn Money Online

Swagbucks is a great website where you can earn money for watching videos, browsing the internet, taking surveys, and more.

This won’t earn a teen a lot of money, but it could be a good source for a little extra spending all year long. 

The points you earn are put into a “bank” and can be redeemed for gift cards to be used on Amazon or at local and online stores such as Walmart, Target, and Old Navy. You can also get gift cards to PayPal.

Mow Lawns/Yard Work

Lawn mower on green grass - a great summer job for teens.

With professional lawn services charging $100 to $200 per month, a teen with a mower and some motivation could really make some cash. 

If your teen picked up 5 to 10 regular lawn mowing clients he could be making between $1000 and $2000 per month.

Mother’s Helper

When Annette & Steve from MoneySmartFamily adopted 2 kids and had a baby within 4 months of each other, they needed help. They went to a nearby Christian college and posted a listing on a job board for a Mother’s helper. Over a period of a couple of years, they had 2 different girls who came and spent time with their older kids while Annette took care of the baby or did other household duties. 

If your teen is responsible and helpful, this could be a great way to earn money and help a young mom survive. Check with people at your church or other community groups to see if any of them need help.

Referee or Umpire

If your teen is a sports star or just loves the game, there are opportunities for him or her to officiate. Many YMCAs and local parks and recreation departments have summer sports leagues. Every league needs refs or umps.

You may not be called upon to officiate events for older kids, but T-Ball, beginner soccer, and volleyball all need to have officials, and your teen could be the one earning $10 to $30 per game.

Summer Jobs for Teens - a girl working as a barista at a coffee shop.

3. Summer Jobs That Start with Volunteer/Community Service

Many high schools require a good number of community service hours before graduation.

Why not help your teen find a job in an industry they are interested in and encourage them to volunteer?

They can provide free help to a business and get to know if that type of work is something they would like to pursue as a career.

It’s especially helpful if you have a relationship with someone at the business where your teen wants to volunteer.

Often a volunteer position can turn into a paying job. It also looks good on your resume. The possibilities are endless, here are just a few that we’ve investigated:

Recreational Assistant

Volunteer at a nursing home or timeshare (as an activities director’s assistant).


Volunteer at a hospital or doctor’s office. Knowing the office manager or one of the lead physicians could open the door for this experience. Learning about filing, records management (there may be HIPPA regulations prohibiting volunteers from seeing or handling records), and running an office could really clarify if your child’s interest in healthcare is a good fit.

Animal Care

 Volunteer at a vet’s office (our daughter Becky did this). Or assist at an animal shelter or rescue group.

Volunteer at a law firm. Of course, your child’s maturity and people skills will have to be top-notch, but this could open the door for any number of career choices.

Horses, Live Stock and Agriculture

Volunteer at a ranch or riding school (Becky did this also). Farms and Ranches are the perfect place for a child with an interest in animal husbandry or agriculture to test their interest. There is an experimental organic farm near our home — what a great place to learn about growing things.

Sound Engineer

A sound board at a church for controlling music.

Our eldest son, John, started volunteering to run the soundboard for the high school group at our church when he was still in high school. That turned into a part-time job during his college years and then a great full-time job later on.

He worked at a large church for 10 years after college and then moved to one of the largest AV companies in Arizona where he is now a project manager.


Volunteer for a local state representative or senator. Or participate in an election campaign for any number of people running for public office: judges, representatives, justice of the peace, treasurer, mine inspector, school board and the list goes on and on. These political campaigns are all about finding volunteers to put up signs, work phone banks and help with events.

Read about a couple of young men who did volunteer on a political campaign and it led to a best-selling book (Do Hard Things) and thousands of changed lives.

Retail Volunteer

Our daughter Becky volunteered one day each week for a small thrift store that benefited an adoption agency.

She learned a number of skills including customer service, building product displays, restocking, checkout, and more.

When she was ready to look for a paying job, this experience was on her resume and opened the door for her.

Job Shadowing

If you have a friend who works in the industry that your child has expressed an interest in, ask the friend if their company allows a student to shadow them for a day or two.

Exposure to a real-world work environment is really valuable. And the relationships your kid can make could turn into a real job.


Many companies have internship programs. Some are paid, and others are unpaid. Either way, statistics prove that college seniors who have internship experience are 60% more likely to get a job once they graduate than those who don’t.

And even if your child isn’t in college yet, an internship could land them a higher-paying job during their college years.

Final Words About Summer Jobs for Teens

As you can see there are limitless opportunities for your teens to work, earn and learn. As a parent, you’ll want to help your teen research opportunities, prepare for interviews, and even check out the character of the people he’s working for.

Managing Money

Joe managing his budget with cash envelopes

Also, you’ll want to encourage your kid to set up a budget for managing the money they earn. Hopefully, they’ll have a goal of saving for college, trade school, or a car.

We have two budget systems we use in our family:

Both of these budgeting systems have helped our family accomplish some pretty amazing things financially.

Learning to work, save, manage and spend money wisely is a great step toward financial independence for you and your teen.

For a great blog about teens and credit scores, click here.
And for another blog about giving teens cars, check this out!

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