The truth is, it’s hard to balance schoolwork and after-school activities but to add a job on top of that? It can seem daunting. Luckily for you, more and more businesses are opening their doors for teenagers and are more willing to work around schedules.

As a teenager you’re at a pivotal point in your life where you will soon have to make some scary decisions about your future. You don’t have to have a definitive decision on what you want for a career but some of the starter jobs we list below can often lead you into a high-paying career over time.

Below you will find some of the best jobs for teens and an explanation into what these roles are and what makes them so good for teenagers.

Best Types of Jobs for a Teenager

As a teenager, your time is likely pretty limited and you still want to make sure you have time to be a teenager as well. You’ll want to find a job that doesn’t take all of your nights and weekends.

The best types of jobs as a first-time job hunter is to find ones that work with your schedule and typically offer work for nighttime or weekends. Keep in mind, as a teenager in school there are some laws and regulations around how often and when you can work.

The most common areas teenagers work for their first job are:

  1. Food Service
  2. Retail
  3. Camps
  4. Teaching or Tutoring
  5. Landscaping
  6. Technology & Creative Arts
  7. Hospitality

List of the Best First Jobs for a Teenager

Below you’ll find a list of all jobs in each industry that work well for teenagers. These jobs can be done part-time and can even be considered career starters for a teenager.

You should be able to find most, if not all, of these jobs in your local area. You may need to extend your search to the nearest major city.

The perk of nearly all of the jobs listed below is that they all require little to no experience and most can be started with $0 in investment making them very easy for a teenager to pursue.

Food Service Jobs for Teenagers

The food service industry is massive and where many teenagers get their first job. There is a wide range of jobs in the food service industry so you don’t have to worry about being a “burger flipper” but you’d be surprised at how much that burger flipper can make over time.


Examples of Food Service Jobs:

  • Dishwasher
  • Bartender
  • Waitress or Waiter
  • Busperson/Janitorial
  • Barista
  • Prep Cook, Line Cook or Head Chef
  • Cashier
  • Management

Examples of Businesses:

  • Fast Food Restaurant
  • Local Restaurants
  • Coffee Shops
  • Ice Cream Parlors
  • Bars (for College Students)

Retail Jobs for Teenagers

The retail industry is expected to continue growing, along with Food Service. If you work in these two industries you can almost guarantee your job security. Of course it depends on where you live and the economy of that area but if you’re in a prominent area or a tourism heavy area, you can expect to have a job for a long time.


Examples of Retail Jobs:

  • Salesman or Saleswoman
  • Cashier
  • Customer Service Representative
  • Stocker
  • Truck Unloader
  • Janitorial
  • Manager, Floor Manager or Store Director

Examples of Businesses:

  • Home Furnishing Stores (Art Van, HomeGoods, etc.)
  • Grocery Stores (Costco, Walmart, etc.)
  • Home Improvements Stores (Lowes, Home Depot, etc.)
  • Clothing Stores (Victoria Secret, Coach, etc.)

Camping Jobs for Teenagers

There are summer camps, band camps, boy scout camps and even girl scout camps in nearly every major city or area. These types of camps are perfect for finding a summer job that you can do in between school years or as a college student. These are great seasonal jobs that even help build real-world skills you can take beyond the summer camp.


Examples of Camping Jobs:

  • Counselor
  • Kitchen/Cooking
  • Camp Director
  • Program Staff
  • Lifeguard
  • Janitorial

Examples of Businesses:

  • Boy Scout Camps
  • Girl Scout Camps
  • Local Area Summer Camps
  • Band Camps

Teaching & Tutoring Jobs for Teenagers

A good way to show your understanding of a topic is to teach other people! The key here is that if you’re able to teach others then it is assumed you’re adept at whatever you are teaching. You don’t have to be in a university or have several years of experience to tutor either.


Examples of Teaching Jobs:

  • Online ESL Tutor
  • Math, English or Science Tutor
  • Test Preparation
  • Sports Assistance
  • Substitute Teacher

Examples of Businesses:

  • Elementary, Middle and High Schools
  • Local Community Centers
  • Local Community Colleges

Freelance Jobs for Teenagers

Everyone loves the idea of working for themselves. Not having to report to anyone and having full control over your schedule and workload can be a dream for many. It also can be a great way to build a portfolio and add to your resume. The term freelancer basically means you’re free to work with whoever and wherever you please. Typically a freelancer takes on contract jobs with local businesses and over the internet.


Examples of Freelance Jobs:

  • Photographer
  • Web Designer
  • Writer
  • Programmer
  • Virtual Assistant
  • Translator
  • Search Engine Optimization Expert

Examples of Businesses:

  • Marketing Agencies
  • Local Businesses
  • Online Marketplaces (Fiverr, Upwork, etc.)

Creative Jobs for Teenagers

If you read creative you’re probably thinking of a graphic designer or something with art. That’s not always true. If you’re a creative person there are loads of jobs available that you can tap into your creative side with. Many of these jobs, and others, allow you to extend your creativity beyond your day to day work to truly make an impact.


Examples of Creative Jobs:

  • Graphic Designer
  • Floral Arrangement
  • Interior Decorator
  • Newspaper Writer
  • Makeup Artist
  • Hairdresser
  • Social Media Specialist

Examples of Businesses:

  • Hair Salon
  • Marketing Agency
  • Local Community Center
  • Spa
  • Flower Shop

Hospitality Jobs for Teenagers

Like the food and retail industries, the hospitality industry isn’t going anywhere. This one will probably be a bit more focused on larger cities than smaller and more rural areas but there are still tons of jobs out there in this industry. For the most part you’ll be taking care of customers in the form of housing, travel and in some cases food.


Examples of Hospitality Jobs:

  • Event Planner
  • Cruise Ship Attendant
  • Flight Attendant
  • Host/Hostess
  • Valet or Parking Attendant
  • Hotel Receptionist or Hotel Manager

Examples of Businesses:

  • Hotels
  • Airports
  • Cruise Ships
  • Travel Agencies

Tips for Teens Looking for a Job

If you’re just starting out looking for a job as a teen you’ll want to follow these 9 tips to help you land that first part-time, or full-time, job.

  1. Prepare for the Job Hunt. You need to be mentally ready for the job hunt. If you’re only applying for a job because mommy and daddy said so, you’re not ready. You have to want to work to show up every day and be a model employee.
  2. Create a Simple Resume. Before you even apply anywhere you should create a simple resume that lists your work experience and any volunteer experience. You’ll want to have one handy for employers.
  3. Dress to Impress. You should dress in your finest clothing as well as dress to match what you’d wear on the job. You don’t need to show up in a tuxedo if the standard employee wears jeans and a t-shirt. You should expect to wear at least a nice pair of dress pants and a collared t-shirt or a business casual dress.
  4. Network for Job Leads. You’d be shocked at how many of your friends or friends’ parents can get you in the door somewhere. You should look at where your friends work, their parents, family members and so on. If you know someone who works somewhere they can possibly push up your application or even get you hired in.
  5. Research Local Companies. The best way to enter the workforce is to find a local company hiring full-time, part-time or even seasonal. These are the easiest jobs to get as most companies need general labor and aren’t looking for specialized training, making it even easier.
  6. Prep for Interviews. Take some time and run through some mock interview questions. Have one of your friends or family members quiz you on some questions to improve your response. The more you prepare for an interview the easier it will be.
  7. Be Confident. Showing the employer that you’re confident in yourself and your abilities will go a long way. You should keep your head up and maintain eye contact in every interaction. You should practice your handshake and make sure you have a firm handshake. As soon as you walk in the door to a potential employer you’re being judged, try to make the best impression.
  8. Follow Up with the Employers. Don’t just submit an application or resume and then go MIA on the employer. They are busy and often don’t get to applications on the same day. If you haven’t heard back from them within 3-5 business days you should follow up and see if you’ve made it to the next round in the process.
  9. Be Prepared for Rejection. Not everyone gets in the first time. You’ll probably be stuck filling out several applications before you finally get in the door to even interview. You can’t just submit a resume or application and assume you’ll get the job. Be prepared for this rejection and use it to your advantage. Try to understand why you didn’t get the job and see how you can improve.