About 30 percent of Americans aged 16 to 19 hold down summer jobs, typically as cashiers, servers, and retail sales clerks. Whatever type of work a teen takes on during the summer, the work can supply much more than a paycheck.
“Work experience provides young people with social skills like learning to work in an adult context with other staff and supervisors, meet and deal with adult customers, and develop relevant skills to negotiate these relationships at work,” says Drexel University’s Center for Labor Markets and Policy.
In addition, the center says, summer employment — when teens typically are out of school — helps keep kids out of trouble
So, where can teens gain that valuable experience and stay busy? We’ve compiled a list of six of the best summertime work opportunities for teens.
- Get an internship.
A summer internship — a paid one, preferably — is a fantastic way for a teen to test the waters in a career field that interests him or her.
According to TeenLife.com, summer internships help teens explore career tracks, network with professionals, and find mentors. Fortunately, lots of employers look for young, talented summer interns every year to supplement their staff and recruit future employees.
Curious about accounting? Check out an internship at an accounting firm. Want to learn more about health care as a career? Find an internship at a hospital. Hoping to work in construction? Learn the construction trade as an intern at a construction firm.
Check out TeenLife.com for national teen internship opportunities or search online for a teen internship in your city to discover local offerings.
- Mow the lawn.
Mowing lawns in the neighborhood can be an awesome marriage between enjoying the outdoors and being an entrepreneur.
Not only does mowing lawns require hands-on labor, but it also demands business skills like marketing, accounting, and customer service. Those skills can come in quite handy down the road. Plus, a teen can rake in a pile of cash keeping the neighborhood lawns tidy. Above all, a summertime lawn-mowing job teaches a teen the importance of reliability and dependability, according to HuffPost.
“Work experience at this stage in life is critical, and people who spend a large share of their young adult life unemployed have a hard time finding and keeping a job later in life,” Renée Ward, founder of job website Teens4Hire.org, told HuffPost.
- Work in tech.
Tech jobs continue to be among the most in-demand jobs in the U.S. So why not get a head start on a tech career by taking on tech work during the summer?
Website design, app development, coding, and social media are among the tech areas that teens can enter during the summer (and continue into the school year). On top of that, this sort of work can be done from home, from Starbucks, or from anywhere else with an internet connection.
- Watch the dogs (and cats).
More than 140 million dogs and cats live in U.S. households. And that means there are millions of purr-fect opportunities to be a dog walker or a cat sitter, particularly during the busy summer vacation season.
In this type of work, you can make money AND make a new furry friend.
If you’re 18, consider signing up for Rover.com, which connects you with pet parents in your city that need dog walkers and sitters. Under 18? Create flyers with your services, prices, and contact information, and pass them out in your neighborhood.
- Get a government gig.
Many government agencies offer summertime employment for teens, particularly agencies that run city, state, and federal properties like parks and pools.
To find these positions, such as campground attendant, life guard, day-camp counselor, sports-field maintenance worker, or ride operator, search online for openings in your area.
- Share your knowledge.
School may be out for the summer, but that doesn’t mean the learning stops.
Other students might need a summertime refresher in math or need help preparing for tests like the SAT and ACT. This is where a teen tutor can really come to the rescue! Many tutoring companies, like TutorCare, welcome high school students to apply to be tutors.
Or maybe you’re a teen with special talents, such as playing the piano or creating artwork, and can share those talents with people willing to pay for lessons.
What other ideas do you have for ways to make money over the summer? Let us know in a comment below and follow Direct Auto & Life Insurance on Facebook and Twitter for more great ideas. Now, let’s get the money-train rolling!