High Paying Jobs for 18 Year Olds
You’re 18. You want a job but the market isn’t fair to you – right? You’re an adult now so it’s time to start acting like one. You want to start building your credit at 18, building your financial future, and you need a lasting income to support that. Finding a career is a lot different than a job. If you have a high school diploma you’re well on your way to starting your first job, if you don’t have one already. You can leave mowing the lawn, babysitting the neighbor, and cleaning your grandma’s house alone. As you’ll learn going through adulthood you have to make decisions and these decisions will carve your path in life, it can be a smooth trip or a rough ride. You can start off with college, take time off (a mistake), or focus on building a career. Your parents didn’t land their dream job when they hit 18, you most likely won’t either. But you can start jobs that will serve as building blocks for your future career. Being 18 years old means you have opportunities that can grow at an exponential rate, get some of the best paying jobs for 18 year olds below to start your next career.
Any Limitations to Working at 18?
Probably the first thing on your mind is – what can I not do? Listen, you’re an adult now. You’re not governed by the child labor laws anymore. You can work in nearly every industry that will have you. There are a couple things to watch out for, though. Since you’re only 18 employers are legally allowed to pay you the youth minimum wage, which is $4.25/h. That’s crap right? This is why making the right decision at 18 can be critical to your future. Most employers tend to pay the federal minimum wage of $7.25 to avoid any issues. Each state does have their own set of laws that govern minimum wage as well, it’s best to check with your government to make sure you’re not being paid less.
The only other limitation at 18 is your experience. When you’re just starting out you have no experience to back your skills. You can say all day how good you are at building porches but without an actual work experience history – you have no proof. Most higher paying jobs will require you to have at least a few years of experience before they’ll take you on. There are alternatives though, like being a tradesman that pays pretty good right out of the gate and trains you on the job.
10 Best Paying Jobs for 18 Year Olds
These are not the only jobs but these are some of the best jobs you can get at 18 years old when you want to make the most money for your time.
Here are the 10 best paying jobs for an 18 year old:
- Sales Associate: They make on average $9/h depending on where you go or work. This job is not for everyone and customer service is pretty stressful, especially around the holidays.
- Trade Apprenticeship: Learning a trade position (construction, electrician, mechanic, etc) can be a VERY lucrative skill to gain. Teen Finance Tips suggests, if you’re up to it and not going to school, this be your choice for a career path. They usually start around $15/h and the pay will increase as you train and get experience.
- Web Design: Having advanced skills in computers can allow you to start building websites. Most of these jobs, depending on the agency, start around $15/h and go all the way up to $22/h depending on where you are. This is definitely a great job for an 18 year old if you have the computer savvy skills to back it up.
- Waiter or Waitress: Waiting tables is most likely the first job an 18 year old gets as there is little to no barrier to enter. They usually work long hours and make around $9/h after they handle taxes. Your paycheck can either be very large or minimum wage, typically. It all depends on the restaurant and how busy it is.
- Receptionist: This is a job that many 18 year olds can get away with, all you need is some computer skills and ability to be outgoing with people. A receptionist starts around $13/h.
- Pizza Delivery Driver: A pizza delivery driver is not everyone’s dream job, but it does pay – especially when people tip. They usually make $7.25/h and get some of their mileage covered so it’s not the greatest hourly pay. However, if you have 5 deliveries per hour and you get $2-3 per delivery you can easily be averaging $15/h or $20/h by the end of the night.
- Trucking: A truck driver can be a very good position if you’re interested in hauling cargo. A lot of these jobs require you to have some sort of schooling behind but many pay for that schooling if you sign up with them to drive for them. You can also pay for the schooling yourself and doesn’t actually take that long to do. These positions start at $15/h and go up depending on how badly the company needs you to drive. After you’ve gotten out of a probationary phase you may even start to get paid per mile instead.
- Child care: Working in child care can be pretty lucrative and almost always leads to you running your own child care center or out of your house. A child care working can start around $12/h.
- Bank Tellers: A bank teller may be harder to get due to most positions requiring experience to prove you’re trustworthy. You’re handling money and people’s finances all day so banks want to be sure you are a good worker. A bank teller starts around $11/h.
- Administrative Assistant: This is a great starting position for an 18 year old as it will allow you to make a break into an industry you may be interested in. It will allow you to be close to the key players to learn what they do. An administrative assistant starts around $14/h and can go all the way up to $20/h.