Summer’s here, and with it comes the opportunity to step into the working world. As a teenager, finding the right summer job can offer more than just pocket money; it’s a chance to learn, grow, and prepare for the future. In this guide, we’ll explore a range of summer jobs for teens, highlighting their value and sharing tips on how to land one. Let’s help you make the most of your summer!

Why Should Teenagers Consider a Summer Job?

Stepping into the working world might seem a bit daunting, but the rewards can be more than worth it. Even a simple summer job can open the doors to experiences and lessons you wouldn’t get anywhere else.

Let’s dive into some compelling reasons:

1. Gaining Practical Experience and Skills

One of the immediate benefits of a summer job is the paycheck. It’s not just about the amount, but the independence it brings. 

With your own earnings, you can manage your personal expenses, be it for that concert ticket you’ve been eyeing, the latest gadget, or even just hanging out with friends. 

Furthermore, a summer job instills a sense of financial responsibility early on. You get to decide if you want to spend, save, or maybe even invest. 

This hands-on financial experience can be a stepping stone in understanding the value of money and building smart money habits that last a lifetime.

2. Building a Strong Work Ethic and Responsibility

Summer jobs can often be a teenager’s first taste of professional responsibility. Being entrusted with tasks, showing up on time, and meeting job expectations teach the importance of commitment and reliability.

It’s not always about the big tasks; even the small day-to-day responsibilities contribute to shaping a disciplined and dedicated attitude. 

This strong work ethic, once cultivated, doesn’t just stay confined to summer jobs. It spills over to academics, personal projects, and eventually, future career endeavors. 

By embracing these responsibilities early on, you set yourself up for a mindset that seeks growth and understands the value of hard work.

3. Preparing for Future Career Opportunities

Lastly, a summer job isn’t just about the present—it’s a window into the future. Think of a summer job as a sneak peek into the vast world of careers. It provides a practical lens through which you can understand various professions, industries, and work cultures. 

While the job itself might be temporary, the insights and connections you gain can have a lasting impact. Interacting with colleagues, supervisors, and customers can broaden your perspective and help you identify what you enjoy and where your strengths lie. 

Moreover, these early work experiences can give your resume a boost, showcasing your initiative and eagerness to learn. 

By the time you’re ready for a full-fledged career or a part-time job in college, you’ll have a leg up with real-world experience under your belt.

According to our chart you have to work 66 hours to be able to buy the new Iphone 15.

According to our chart you have to work 66 hours to be able to buy the new Iphone 15.

Traditional Summer Jobs For Teens

There are a variety of traditional summer jobs that teens have been taking up for years. These roles offer unique experiences and can even shape future career aspirations. Let’s delve into some of these classic summer job options:

1. Summer Camp Jobs

Camp Counselor

  • Primary Duties: As a camp counselor, your main role is to guide, supervise, and ensure the safety of camp attendees. This could involve organizing activities, leading group sessions, or offering support to individual campers.
  • Skills Required: Good communication, leadership, patience, and enthusiasm are essential. It also helps if you have a knack for outdoor activities or specific hobbies that can be shared with the campers.
  • Minimum Age: The minimum age can vary depending on the camp, but many hire counselors from 16 years old.
  • Average Salary: The pay range can differ based on location and specific camp type, but on average, camp counselors earn around $15.92 per hour. Some camps also offer room and board as part of the compensation.

Camp Leader

  • Primary Duties: Camp leaders have a more senior role, overseeing the entire camp operation, managing camp staff, and handling conflicts or issues. They also liaise with parents and other stakeholders.
  • Skills Required: Strong organizational and management skills are essential. Leadership, conflict resolution, and decision-making abilities are also crucial. As a leader, you’ll need excellent communication skills to interact with campers, parents, and staff effectively.
  • Minimum Age: Given the higher responsibility, many camps require leaders to be at least 18 years old, but some might even prefer individuals who are in their early 20s.
  • Average Salary: The average hourly rate for camp leaders is around $14.97 per hour. This may vary based on camp size and specialized nature. Many also provide room and board.

Activity Leader

  • Primary Duties: Activity leaders are in charge of specific activities or programs within the camp. This could be anything from arts and crafts, sports, and music, to outdoor adventures. Their tasks include planning, setting up, and supervising these activities to ensure they’re both fun and safe for campers.
  • Skills Required: Depending on the specific activity, the skills can vary. For instance, a sports activity leader should be proficient in the specific sport they’re overseeing. Essential skills for all activity leaders include good communication, adaptability, and the ability to engage and motivate young campers.
  • Minimum Age: Typically, Activity Leaders are 16 and older, but this can vary based on the complexity and responsibility associated with the specific activity.
  • Average Salary: Activity Leaders earn an average salary of $16.99 per hour, but this varies based on the camp, the location, and the expertise required for the activity. 

2. Lifeguard

  • Primary Duties: Lifeguards are responsible for ensuring the safety of swimmers at pools, beaches, or water parks. They monitor water activities, respond to emergencies, perform first aid or CPR if necessary, and maintain the cleanliness and orderliness of their designated areas.
  • Skills Required: Strong swimming skills are a must. Lifeguards also need to have sharp observational abilities, quick reaction times, and good communication skills. Knowledge of first aid and CPR is often essential.
  • Minimum Age: The majority of places require Lifeguards to be at least 15 or 16 years old. However, higher responsibility areas like beaches might require older Lifeguards.
  • Average Salary: The pay can vary based on the facility and location, but Lifeguards typically earn between $11 to $20 per hour.

3. Swim Instructor

  • Primary Duties: Swim Instructors teach individuals, often children, the fundamentals of swimming. This includes techniques like floating, treading water, and various strokes. Instructors ensure lessons are both educational and safe, tailoring their teaching methods to accommodate the abilities and fears of each student.
  • Skills Required: Mastery in swimming and a thorough understanding of different techniques are essential. Patience, excellent communication skills, and the ability to work with children are also crucial.
  • Minimum Age: Generally, Swim Instructors are at least 16 years old, but this can vary depending on the facility and the level of responsibility.
  • Average Salary: Swim Instructors earn between $13 and $54 per hour in the United States. However, this may vary depending on the location and facility as well as experience.

4. Surf Coach

  • Primary Duties: Surf Coaches instruct individuals on the techniques and safety measures required to surf. They focus on teaching skills like paddling, reading waves, standing up on the board, and improving balance. Additionally, they ensure students understand ocean safety, wave etiquette, and tides.
  • Skills Required: A deep understanding of surfing, strong swimming skills, and a comprehensive knowledge of ocean conditions are imperative. Additionally, patience, the ability to communicate effectively, and adaptability to cater to different learning speeds are crucial.
  • Minimum Age: Typically, Surf Coaches are at least 18 years old, but younger teens with significant experience and certifications might also be considered.
  • Average Salary: Depending on the location, reputation, and individual experience, Surf Coaches can earn anywhere from $12 to $37 per hour, sometimes more for private lessons.

5. Retail Assistant

  • Primary Duties: Retail Assistants play a vital role in ensuring customers have a smooth and pleasant shopping experience. They assist shoppers in locating items, handle cash registers, stock shelves, maintain store cleanliness, and sometimes manage product displays.
  • Skills Required: Good communication skills, basic math abilities for handling transactions, and a friendly disposition are crucial. Being attentive to detail and having the ability to multitask, especially during peak hours, is beneficial.
  • Minimum Age: Most retail positions require employees to be at least 16 years old, but some stores may hire younger teens for specific roles or with work permits.
  • Average Salary: Retail Assistants typically earn between $10 to $21 per hour, though this can vary based on location, store type, and experience.

6. Food Service – Ice-Cream Shops & Restaurants

  • Primary Duties: Employees in food service, especially in ice-cream shops and restaurants, cater to customers by taking orders, preparing and serving food, ensuring cleanliness, and often handling cash transactions. In ice cream shops, they might make cones, sundaes, or smoothies, while in restaurants, roles can range from busboy/girl, host/hostess, to server.
  • Skills Required: Customer service skills are paramount. The ability to multitask, work efficiently under pressure, especially during peak hours, and maintain a pleasant demeanor are also essential. Basic math skills for handling cash transactions are beneficial.
  • Minimum Age: The minimum age typically starts at 16, but some establishments, especially local ones, might hire younger teens, especially for roles like busboy/girl or host/hostess.
  • Average Salary: Pay can vary greatly based on the specific role and location. On average, employees in these roles can expect to earn between $9 to $28 per hour, with the possibility of tips in some positions, especially servers in restaurants.

Seasonal Employment in Tourism

1. Leisure and Theme Park Attendants

  • Primary Duties: Leisure and Theme Park Attendants ensure guests have an enjoyable and safe experience at parks. They operate rides, oversee attractions, manage queues, and provide guidance and information to visitors. Their roles might also include checking height and age restrictions for certain rides and assisting in emergency situations or evacuations.
  • Skills Required: Strong communication skills are paramount, as is the ability to work well under pressure, especially during busy times. Attendants should be vigilant, have a keen attention to detail, and be able to enforce park policies courteously.
  • Minimum Age: Most theme parks require attendants to be at least 16 years old, though some positions or parks might have an 18-year minimum age requirement, especially for roles with more responsibilities.
  • Average Salary: Leisure and Theme Park attendees typically earn between $14 and $22 per hour, depending on the park, location, and specific responsibilities.

2. Tour Guide

  • Primary Duties: Tour Guides provide informative and entertaining tours to visitors, often highlighting historical, cultural, or significant sites in a city, museum, or attraction. Tour Guides also manage the pace of the tour, ensuring that all participants can enjoy the experience without feeling rushed.
  • Skills Required: An in-depth knowledge of the tour site and its significance is crucial. Excellent communication skills, public speaking ability, and patience are also essential. Tour Guides should be energetic, enthusiastic, and have a friendly demeanor to interact with diverse groups of people.
  • Minimum Age: While some positions might be available for teens as young as 16, especially in smaller or local attractions, many professional tour positions might require guides to be at least 18 years old.
  • Average Salary: Tour Guides can earn anywhere from $10 to $46 per hour, depending on the location, nature of the tour, and tips, which can significantly boost earnings.

3. Tourist Attraction Employee

  • Primary Duties: Tourist attraction employees wear many hats, depending on the nature and scale of the attraction. Duties might include ticket sales, guest services, maintaining cleanliness, assisting visitors with directions or information, and possibly overseeing specific attractions or exhibits.
    Skills Required: Strong communication and interpersonal skills are paramount, as interaction with visitors is a constant part of the job. Problem-solving abilities, patience, and a friendly demeanor are also essential, as they often handle queries, concerns, or complaints from guests.
  • Minimum Age: The typical minimum age for a tourist attraction employee is 16, but certain roles or attractions might require employees to be at least 18, especially if the role involves handling money or more complex tasks.
  • Average Salary: Tourist attraction employees can earn $22 per hour on average, depending on the location, specific role, and the popularity of the attraction.

4. Festivals and Big Event Workers

  • Primary Duties: The duties of workers at festivals and big events can range from ticket checking, providing directions, setting up and breaking down stages or booths, managing queues, assisting performers or guest speakers, to ensuring cleanliness and safety protocols are maintained. Their role is to enhance the experience for attendees while ensuring the event goes off without a hitch.
  • Skills Required: Adaptability is crucial as big events can be unpredictable. Strong communication and interpersonal skills are essential, given the direct interaction with attendees. A problem-solving mindset, the ability to work in a fast-paced environment, and teamwork are also key attributes.
  • Minimum Age: Most festivals and big events usually require workers to be at least 16 years old. However, for roles that involve longer hours, handling of alcoholic beverages, or late-night shifts, the minimum age might be set at 18 or even 21 in some instances.
  • Average Salary: Festival and big event workers can earn between $12 and $27 per hour. The rate can vary based on the nature of the event, the specific role, and the location. Some events might also offer a flat rate for the entire duration of the festival or event.

Gig Economy Summer Jobs For Teens

1. Online Tutoring

When school’s out for the summer, not everyone puts away their books. Some students want to catch up or move ahead, and they need tutors. 

If you’re strong in a particular subject—be it math, science, or English—you can help these students by tutoring them online. 

Using platforms like Skype or Zoom, you can interact with students, explain concepts, and answer questions. With the rising demand during summer, online tutoring can be a rewarding and profitable gig for teens. In fact, depending on the subject and their experience level, online tutors can often earn between $12 to $25 per hour.

And the bonus? It feels good to help someone understand something they found tough. With the rising demand during summer, online tutoring can be a rewarding and profitable gig for teens.

2. Writer

If you have a way with words and can articulate thoughts well, consider writing. Many websites, magazines, and blogs look for fresh content, especially during the summer when readers have more free time. 

As a writer, you can contribute articles about your experiences, hobbies, or any topic you’re passionate about. Depending on the platform and your level of expertise, you could earn anywhere from $17 to $42 per hour, or even more for specialized content. Plus, it’s a flexible job; you can write whenever you feel inspired, be it early morning or late at night. 

Not only do you earn from your articles, but you also build a portfolio that might help in future endeavors.

3. Editor/Proofreader

If you have an eye for detail and catch grammar mistakes easily, consider becoming an editor or proofreader over the summer. Many writers need someone to review their work before it’s published. 

Depending on the complexity and the clientele, you can expect to earn anywhere from $22 to $32 per hour as a starting editor or proofreader.

You can help polish articles and other materials, ensuring they’re clear and error-free. It’s a job you can do from home, and it offers flexible hours. Besides, you’ll also improve your own writing skills while earning some cash.

4. Social Media Management

Many small businesses and influencers want a strong online presence, especially during summer when people are more active online. 

If you’re familiar with platforms like Instagram, TikTok, or Twitter, consider offering your skills to manage accounts. You’d post updates, respond to comments, and maybe even design content. 

It’s a chance to turn your social media know-how into a job, work from home, and earn during your break. On average, most social media managers earn between $22 to $36 per hour, though rates can increase with experience and specialization.

5. Graphic Designer

If you have a knack for creating visuals, graphic design might be your summer calling. Businesses always need logos, flyers, and online graphics, especially in the summer for promotions and events.

Using tools like Photoshop or Canva, you can design these. It’s a way to showcase your creativity, help businesses stand out, and earn money. Depending on your experience and the client’s budget, you could earn anywhere from $12 to $35 per hour. 

Besides, every design you make adds to your portfolio, setting you up for future opportunities.

6. Transcriptionist

Do you type quickly and accurately? Transcription might be a fitting summer job for you. Many companies and individuals need audio files converted to text, from interviews to video content. 

As a transcriptionist, you’d listen to these files and transcribe what’s said. It’s a job that lets you set your own pace, work from home, and earn based on how much you transcribe. On average, transcriptionists earn around $21.29 per hour, though rates can vary depending on the complexity of the audio and turnaround times.

It’s a straightforward way to make money while improving your listening and typing skills.

7. Pet Sitter / Dog Walker

Families often go on vacation during the summer and need someone to care for their pets. If you love animals, this is a perfect job for you. 

Whether it’s feeding cats, taking dogs for walks, or just spending time with them, you ensure pets are happy while their owners are away. Additionally, it’s a chance to spend time outdoors and bond with furry friends. 

Depending on the region and specific services, pet sitters and dog walkers can earn anywhere from $9 to $27 per hour. With more families traveling during the break, there’s a higher demand for pet sitters, making it a busy and rewarding summer gig.

8. Babysitter

With parents looking to enjoy summer outings or evenings out, the demand for trusted babysitters rises. If you’re responsible and good with kids, babysitting can be an ideal summer job. 

Not only do you earn money, but you also build important life skills like patience and problem-solving. Rates vary, but babysitters can often make between $13 to $32 per hour, depending on the number of kids and location.

9. Car Washer

Summer is the time when people want their cars to look their best for road trips or weekend drives. 

If you’re up for some hands-on work and enjoy seeing immediate results, consider starting a car washing service. It doesn’t require much to start, just some cleaning supplies and elbow grease. 

Moreover, with every shiny car you return, there’s the satisfaction of a job well done and a pocket full of earnings. On average, a car washer earns anywhere between $10 to $20 per hour. 

10. Gardener

Many homeowners seek help with mowing, weeding, and other garden maintenance tasks during the summer months. As plants grow faster with the warmth and sun, gardens demand more attention. 

If you have a green thumb or just enjoy being outdoors, offering gardening services can be a fulfilling and profitable summer gig. You help homes look their best while soaking up the sun and working with nature.
Depending on the area and the type of service, you could earn anywhere from $11 to $28 per hour or even charge by the project.

11. Food / Parcel Delivery Driver

With people enjoying the summer from the comfort of their homes or hosting parties, the demand for food and parcel deliveries often surges. 

If you have a reliable mode of transport and know your way around town, becoming a delivery driver can be a great way to earn. On average, food and parcel delivery drivers can earn between $11 to $29 per hour, not including tips which can significantly boost earnings.

It’s flexible, allowing you to choose your hours, and with each delivery completed, you’re adding to your summer savings.

Related Article: For a more comprehensive guide on these gig economy jobs and how to pursue them year-round, check out our article on Side Hustles for Teens.

How to Secure a Summer Job

The quest for a summer job can be thrilling but a bit daunting for teens. Here’s a quick guide to help you get started:

Resume and Cover Letter: Your First Impression

  • Gather Your Experiences: Include school projects, volunteer work, or clubs you participated in. These can demonstrate skills like teamwork, leadership, and commitment. Check out some of these previous work experience examples to help you get started. 
  • Tailor to the Job: Customize your resume and cover letter for each job application. Highlight the skills and experiences most relevant to the job you’re applying for.
  • Proofread: Eliminate typos or grammatical errors that can overshadow your qualifications. Ask your parents, a teacher, or a guidance counselor to review your documents. Learn more about the common mistakes to avoid in your resume.
  • Use Action Words: Words like ‘achieved’, ‘managed’, or ‘created’ can highlight your responsibilities and achievements. Here is a list of 80+ verbs and power words to use in your resume. 
  • Contact Information: Ensure your phone number and email address are correct. Use a professional-sounding email – your name or variations of it work best.
  • References: Consider teachers, coaches, or community leaders who can vouch for your skills and character. Always ask them before listing them as references. Learn how to provide references for a job in more detail.

Remember, a well-crafted resume and cover letter can significantly improve your chances of securing your desired summer job.

Taking time to craft a comprehensive yet concise resume and cover letter can dramatically increase your chances of landing those coveted summer jobs for teens.

Maximize Your Online Job Search

The digital age offers various platforms for your summer job search. Here’s how to make the most of it:

  • Start with a Clear Objective: Before you dive in, know what you’re looking for. Do you want a remote job or something local? Are you looking for a full-time summer commitment or just a part-time gig? Setting clear goals will help you refine your search.
  • Teen-Specific Platforms: There are numerous job platforms tailored specifically for summer jobs or teen opportunities. Check out websites like  Snagajob,, or TheBestSummerJob
  • Local Community Boards: Websites like Nextdoor or your local community’s webpage often post job listings that are perfect for teens looking for summer work.
  • Libraries and Community Centers: They often have bulletin boards with job listings.
  • Niche Job Portals: If you have a specific interest, like writing or graphic design, websites like Behance or Upwork can help.
  • Network Online: Join groups on platforms like Facebook or LinkedIn that are dedicated to summer job opportunities or teen employment. 

Utilize these digital tools to tap into a diverse range of summer job options.

Inquire at Local Businesses

When it comes to landing summer jobs for teens, sometimes the direct approach can be surprisingly effective. Local businesses, especially family-owned shops, restaurants, or cafes, might not always advertise job vacancies on public platforms. 

Taking the initiative to walk into these establishments, introduce yourself, and express interest in any potential openings showcases both your enthusiasm and proactiveness. 

Additionally, having face-to-face conversations gives business owners a chance to gauge your demeanor and attitude firsthand, which can leave a lasting impression. 

By inquiring locally, you not only demonstrate initiative but also tap into opportunities that might not be listed anywhere else.

Seek Guidance from School Counselors

Your school’s guidance or career counselor can be a goldmine of information when it comes to summer jobs for teens.

They often have knowledge of local opportunities, employers who have reached out to the school in the past, or even specific programs tailored for students. Beyond just job leads, they can also provide invaluable feedback on your resume or interview techniques.

Prepare for Interviews

When it comes to summer jobs for teens, the interview is a crucial step. Whether it’s your first interview or you’ve had a couple before, here are some easy-to-follow tips to set you up for success:

  • Learn About the Job: Before your interview, research the place you’ve applied to. Familiarize yourself with their main tasks and any history. This shows you care and are eager to be a part of their team. You can start by understanding the common interview question “What Do You Know About Our Company?“.
  • Anticipate Questions: Think of common questions interviewers might ask, like “Why do you want this job?” or “Tell me about yourself.” Having answers ready can make the conversation smoother. You can prepare yourself with these “Top 40 Interview Questions and Answers“.
  • Dress Appropriately: First impressions matter, and how you present yourself can make a difference. If you’re unsure about what to wear, our guide on how to “Dress for Success” can provide useful insights.
  • Prepare Your Questions: It’s good to have a question or two in your pocket. Maybe ask about daily tasks or how a typical day looks. For more unique question ideas, consider these “38 Unique Questions to Ask an Employer“.
  • Stay True to Yourself: The interview is not just about the job specifics; it’s also about getting to know you. Be honest in your answers and let your genuine interest shine through.

Interviews can seem daunting, but remember, every interview is a learning experience. With preparation, you can navigate them with confidence and come one step closer to that perfect summer job.

Ammar Ahmed

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