Guide to High Paying Jobs for 18-Year-Olds

Guide to High Paying Jobs for 18-Year-Olds

You’re a young adult with no job – pretty much everyone has been there.

At this point you’re probably wanting to buy your own food, clothes, video games, makeup, or maybe even a car. You can’t do that with no income.

Finding a job is stressful and with added peer pressure and parenting pressure, no thanks. It doesn’t have to be hard.

We’ve created the ultimate list of jobs for a teen that can be easily obtained right out of high school and most pay well for having no experience. We are talking like you can be making $30,000 or more per year straight out of high-school.

Note: Many of the jobs listed are obtainable starting at 16 years old. If you’re looking for high paying jobs for 16 year olds, you’re in the right place.

Continue reading for the list of the best jobs for teens.

What types of jobs can a teen get?

There are many jobs available to someone who is 18, or even younger. The hardest part is finding them. It has gotten a lot easier to find jobs in and out of your area that pay well and allow teenagers to work.

The industries that are the easiest for a teen to get a job in:

  • Retail or Customer Service
  • Factory or Warehouse
  • Hotel and Hospitality
  • Restaurants and Fast Food

Where do I find a job?

This is probably the most daunting part of the job-hunting process for a teen. The real answer to this question lies in the type of job you want to find.

The general process of finding a job goes like this:

  1. Locate Job Listings
  2. Narrow Down Your Search
  3. Building Your Reputation and Portfolio
  4. Connect with Your Contacts
  5. Use Job Search Apps and Tools
  6. Create a List of Companies You Want to Work For
  7. Create a Targeted Resume
  8. Prep for Interviews
  9. Follow Up with Applications

Don’t let this list scare you. Since you’re just starting out you probably won’t have everything outlined above in the process and that’s ok. A lot of these things you’ll gain or build as you move through your career. Hiring managers usually don’t expect a teenager to have all of this.

If you don’t have the process down above, you’re not alone and there are options. We would suggest that you at least build a resume and learn how to hunt for a job.

A few specific places a teen can find a job are:

  • Online Job Websites
  • Trade Unions
  • Local Businesses

Does volunteer work count as work experience?

Yes, depending on the type of work it can count as work experience. However, even though you have volunteer work it may not always relate to the job you’re applying for and you should take heed and probably not include it if it doesn’t.

Keep in mind, you should list all relevant job experience first and then fill in the gaps with volunteer experience if it relates to the job, or the company’s philanthropy.

Entry-Level or Starter Jobs for Teens

If you’re looking for your first job as a teen, start nowhere else but here. The best type of job you can get is one that’s catered to people who are just entering the workforce. These may not be the highest paying jobs, but they can lead to higher paying jobs in the short future if you stick to them.

If you’re trying to get a job as soon as possible, keep in mind the peak hiring time for teenagers is summer. A lot of companies hire during the summer (outside of school hours) and retain employees that work hard.

Camp Counselor

 Average Starting Pay: $11-13/h
 Best Time to Apply: Late Winter, Early Spring
 Degree Needed: Not Always
 Places to Check: Local Summer Camps, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts

A camp counselor is what we would call a fun job. These counselors are responsible for the supervision of the campers and typically assist in the activities that happen around the camp. While you’re living in the camp you typically have your living arrangements and food covered meaning you can pocket that sweet cash all summer and never feel like you’ve worked a day!


 Average Starting Pay: $11-13/h
 Best Time to Apply: Late Winter, Early Spring
 Degree Needed: Not Always
 Places to Check: Facebook Marketplace or City Groups,, etc.

A babysitter is often the first job many teenagers get since it’s so easy to babysit a loved one or a family friend’s kids. This is a great starter job, similar to a Fast Food Worker, and can lead into others like being a full time Nanny which would pay more long term. Especially when working for someone you know, you might have the option of getting paid cash or under the table.

Fast Food

 Average Starting Pay: $11-13/h
 Best Time to Apply: Late Winter, Early Spring
 Degree Needed: Not Always
 Places to Check: McDonalds, Burger King, Arbys, etc

A fast food worker often carries a negative stigma, but it’s a great entry job into the workforce. A lot of people don’t realize that fast food workers can bring in a decent weekly check and even have room to grow within the companies.


 Average Starting Pay: $12-18/h
 Best Time to Apply: Spring
 Degree Needed: Not Always
 Places to Check: Local Companies, Job Sites, Social Media

A landscaper handles mowing lawns, laying stone, cleaning up yard waste, seeding, and more. It’s pretty labor intense and you’re in the heat of the summer quite often but for the short few months you’re working you can make a decent amount of summer cash. If you prove yourself throughout the season, many landscaping companies offer work throughout the Autumn and Winter as well in areas needing leaf cleanup and snow removal. Landscaping could also provide a great first step to a specialized career in landscape design, masonry, or something else if you end up loving it!


 Average Starting Pay: $9/h-12/h
 Best Time to Apply: Any Time, Spring
 Degree Needed: Not Always, First Aid & CPR Certifications
 Places to Check: Local YMCA, City Parks and Rec

A lifeguard is basically someone who watches people swim and ensures their safety in whatever body of water they are in, typically a local or city pool or the beach. A lifeguard is first aid trained and CPR certified and must be ready to act in extreme circumstances as lives are in your hands.


 Average Starting Pay: $9-15/h
 Best Time to Apply: Any Time
 Degree Needed: Not Always
 Places to Check: Restaurants, Social Media, Job Sites

Contrary to popular belief, servers actually can make great money. You may have seen posts trending with checks less than $10 but what that doesn’t include is the amount of money they make in tips! If you find a popular restaurant and work the busy nights you can easily pull in a few hundred per night.

High Paying Jobs for Teens

In many cases a high paying job for a teen is really just a full-time job. There are many full-time jobs out there that an 18-year-old can acquire.

Bank Teller

 Average Starting Pay: $14-16/h
 Best Time to Apply: Any Time
 Degree Needed: High School Diploma or Higher
 Places to Check: Job Sites, Local Banks, Bank Websites

A bank teller is a harder position to land but is a pretty good one if you can land it. This job opens up the world of finance and is the starting point of many people who dive into the finance world. This position typically starts out at a decent wage and grows pretty well.

Administrative Assistant

 Average Starting Pay: $14-20/h
 Best Time to Apply: Any Time
 Degree Needed: High School Diploma or Higher
 Places to Check: Job Sites, Local Businesses

As an administrative assistant you’ll be helping your supervisor with everyday tasks around the office, answering phone calls, scheduling appointments, and possibly some data entry. Depending on your industry you could make more money than others.

Delivery Driver (Manufacturing)

 Average Starting Pay: $15-17/h
 Best Time to Apply: Any Time
 Degree Needed: No, but you may need more than a standard driver’s license.
 Places to Check: Job Sites

A delivery driver for a company like UPS, FedEx, or even a local machine shop can make pretty good money. These types of drivers tend to earn more than your pizza delivery driver but they have some more restrictions and requirements placed on them, such as obtaining a commercial driver’s license (CDL) or permit. You’ll most likely work in pretty bad weather depending where you live but it can be a pretty fruitful career path.


 Average Starting Pay: $12-17/h
 Best Time to Apply: Early Spring, Any Time
 Degree Needed: Not Always
 Places to Check: Job Sites, Directory Specific Sites (

A nanny typically cares for one or two children and can be a live in nanny or just someone who is there for a large portion of the week. You’ll have to pass a background check and be willing to work with and take care of kids but you can start out making good money. We wouldn’t compare this to your standard babysitter, most nannies end up working more hours and are a lot more involved with the children’s lives and development.


 Average Starting Pay: $13-15/h
 Best Time to Apply: Any Time
 Degree Needed: Not Always
 Places to Check: Local Businesses, Social Media, Job Sites

A receptionist job can be pretty hard to get since most places want you to have a bit more than just a high school diploma. If you are able to land one, you could be looking at making well over minimum wage for some light office and clerical work.

Trade Apprentice

 Average Starting Pay: $12-15/h (6 months), $20/h+ (12 months)
 Best Time to Apply: Any Time
 Degree Needed: High School Diploma
 Places to Check: Local Unions, Job Sites

A trade position is a great job for someone who doesn’t see college in their future. Typically these jobs are in construction, electrician, mechanic, plumber, or HVAC. These jobs usually pay fairly well out of the gate but after you’ve completed training your pay tends to grow quite a bit and you’ll avoid having any student loan debt. You may even luck out and be able to find a company that offers tuition reimbursement for training courses within your trade.

Web Design

 Average Starting Pay: $15/h-30/h
 Best Time to Apply: Any Time
 Degree Needed: High School Diploma or Higher
 Places to Check: Job Sites, Local Marketing Businesses

A web designer has the opportunity to make a boat load of cash right out of high school. It isn’t that easy since most places will require at least a portfolio showing previous work. However, if you have an extensive portfolio this is a great career to get into.

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Online Jobs for Teens

The lure of working from home and having passive income channels drives a lot of people to attempt working online right off the bat. We don’t think this is a bad course if you’re able to handle it, but it’s not always the easiest path to take to finding a job and will take a lot of portfolio and experience building before companies will trust you.

We are in the age of the internet and young adults searching for jobs are making it easier and easier for companies to push for a remote workplace, allowing teenagers to work from home. The biggest issue teenagers will have with finding a work from home job is their lack of experience in various tech related industries and the “entry level” online gigs tend to pay very low.

You should always be aware of potential scams as with the ever growing internet, the scams are showing up just as fast.

A list of online jobs for teens:

Customer Service Rep (CSR)

 Average Starting Pay: $8/h-12/h
 Best Time to Apply: Any Time
 Degree Needed: High School Diploma
 Places to Check: Job Sites, Company Sites

A customer service representative basically takes phone calls and handles customer communication on behalf of large corporations. Companies like U-Haul hire people to take calls from the comfort of their own home.

Survey Sites

 Average Starting Pay: $2-3/h
 Best Time to Apply: Any Time
 Degree Needed: None
 Places to Check: SurveyJunkie, Jingit, Harris Poll

It may sound lame filling out surveys and providing your opinion but in as little as an hour you can submit 6-8 surveys and make a few bucks here and there. It’s definitely not a way to pay bills but if you have some down time it doesn’t hurt to submit some surveys for cash that will build up over time.

Graphic Designer or Website Developer

 Average Starting Pay: $15/h-30/h
 Best Time to Apply: Any Time
 Degree Needed: Not Always, Portfolio Is a Must
 Places to Check: Fiverr, Upwork, Freelancer

A graphic designer, web developer, or really any creative freelancer has the opportunity to make very good money selling their skills on websites like Fiverr. You basically just put up the skill you have and the price attached to it and people buy your services. There have been many self made millionaires who have worked through various platforms to build their own brand. It is also a great way to build a portfolio to apply at a formal company.


 Average Starting Pay: $10/h-15/h
 Best Time to Apply: Any Time
 Degree Needed: High School Diploma
 Places to Check: Fiverr, Samespeak, ESL Sites

Tutors are actually sought after quite a bit to help other people or even younger kids learn basic skills, primary schooling, or even a new language. The easiest one to break into is helping to teach someone English. The money in this field is in how many classes you can book, the more you book, the more you make.

Data Entry

 Average Starting Pay: $9/h-12/h
 Best Time to Apply: Any Time
 Degree Needed: High School Diploma
 Places to Check: Job Sites, Clickworker

A data entry person has a pretty tedious job and you’re basically just entering data into a CRM or database all day. This isn’t the most fun job but it’s one of the easiest to access in a work from home standpoint. It’s a great job if you’re just starting out or looking for something to supplement.

What documents are needed to get a job?

In some cases the required documents may be different but for the most part there are a few you’ll see routinely as you look for jobs and apply. It’s important to be aware of the different documents and what they mean before, during, and after you’ve accepted a position.

The documents you may want to find before applying for a job are:

  • Resume
  • References (2-3)
  • Drivers License or State ID

Having the above will kick the process off but there are several documents that you’ll run into after you’ve applied so it’s good to brush up on what those are as well before you apply.

The documentation and requirements will change if you decide to try and take the working-for-myself route with some of the online or less formal jobs that are not through a company as a W2 employee. Make sure you do your research ahead of time and know how to handle taxes being self-employed.