7 top jobs for teens

In this post I have gathered some opinions and experiences of parents of teens from some social media groups and had a hunt myself for some information to come up with the 7 top jobs for teens.

Has your teen declared that they can no longer survive on the meagre allowance that you give them and have decided to make their own fortune because you are clearly a descendant of Ebenezer Scrooge? Or, have you decided that you can no longer afford to fund their extravagant lifestyle? If they want a pair of Nike Air Max they will have to pay for them themselves because you’re happily walking around in a 5 year old pair of boots from Asda!

Sound familiar? This is the sort of conversation that precedes many teen job hunts but what happens next is not so clear.


Jobs for Teens

Teens working – a good thing?

Teens earning money was universally regarded as a good idea but not all teens have jobs. Some teens simply do not have enough hours in the day to fit in a job. Those that are pursing sports or music to a high level could be included here. You don’t get to be a world champion athlete or a concert pianist without putting the hours in!

Parents thought that getting a job taught their teen valuable life skills such as commitment, punctuality and team work. It also teaches them the value of money. There is no doubt that they value money that they have earned themselves more. They have the independence to spend it on what they want. They earned it; they make the choices. You may still not approve of the Nike Air Max but it is their money – their decision.


Employing teens – the legal bits

We all want our teens to be safe in their new job and get a fair pay check at the end of the week. I found some guidance on the laws relating to employing teens here.

There are legal restrictions on the number of hours that they can work, the breaks that they need to have and the type of jobs that they can do. In some local authority areas an employer needs a permit to employ a school age child. Also, health and safety legislation requires the employer to take into account the inexperience, lack of awareness of risks and immaturity of young persons when they are assessing risks.

The 7 top jobs for teens

Below are the top jobs for teens that are typically allowed by local bye laws. However, that does not mean that they are available for all or even any teens under 16. You will need to check with the local authority and each business.

    1. A paper round. This is a traditional first job for teens. My research found that the wages are very variable to say the least. It seems that 10p per paper is considered a good rate although many are getting a lot less. You make more money where the houses are packed together and do not have long driveways! Delivering a large number of papers, several days a week, could add up to a reasonable sum. It also gets teenagers out in the fresh air and is good exercise. On the other hand, there are obvious safety concerns especially in the dark evenings and mornings and in bad weather so it may be sensible to invest in some High Intensity Grade Lime Reflective Tape 25mm x 2.5m
    2. Shop work. In practice, the opportunities are limited for younger teens who are likely to be stacking shelves or cleaning and tidying. Many retailers won’t consider taking on younger teens at all. However, once they are in sixth form or college, there is a great choice in supermarkets and shops and even decorating cup-cakes in bakeries!
    3. Sports related jobs. This seems to be very popular these days and ties in nicely with future careers in sport and coaching. I was told about young people working as referees, riding stable assistants, lifeguards and swimming teachers, selling football programmes and in gyms and sports camps. These are great places to earn some money and get something to write about on your personal statement.
    4. Private tutoring. Who better to teach GCSE History than someone who has just sat it themselves! I was aware that this was a popular choice in the USA but it seems that it is catching on in the UK too. Teens charge a lot less than qualified tutors but it make sense if parents are close by.
    5. Hospitality sector and entertainment. There are plenty of opportunities for casual work in hotels and restaurants especially during busy seasons. There will be restrictions on selling alcohol and in relation to health and safety in kitchens. Many teens also sell programmes etc in theatres.
    6. Babysitting. This is another traditional option.  There is no legal minimum age and many start at 14/15 years of age. However, NSPCC guidance suggests that 16 should be the minimum. It would be sensible to get a basic first aid qualification and start with family and friends before branching out. You will have to work out how they are going to get home at night.
    7. Dog walking and pet sitting. This depends on how they feel about animals. It would be sensible to get some experience and start with family and friends first.



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  44 comments for “7 top jobs for teens

  1. Nige
    March 7, 2017 at 10:29 am

    This is a great post you have to pay for things in life and the earlier teens learn this the better. All three of my older children have had part time jobs though school and it was good for them to learn the value of money really good read thanks for hosting#tweensteensbeyond

  2. Daydreamer Mum
    March 7, 2017 at 10:55 am

    We’re just searching for jobs currently with the eldest. Looking like supermarket being the best option for now I think. The tutor idea is a clever one though #TweensTeensBeyond
    Daydreamer Mum recently posted…The 6 stages of a parent’s weekend away…. My Profile

    • March 12, 2017 at 7:48 pm

      I’ve been told that supermarkets employ over 16s only but I could be wrong. Yes I like the tutoring idea too! Thanks so much for commenting. #TweensTeensBeyond

  3. March 7, 2017 at 11:15 am

    I totally agree with teens having to earn their money so they learn the value of it. One of my daughters babysits which is great but I’m certainly going to have to explore other avenues with my son- the GCSE tutoring one is an excellent idea once they are in 6th form – will definitely look into this as is the sports ideas too though obviously if he’s playing rugby for England that could prove tricky! I jest! Loving this linky! Seriously well done #TweensTeensBeyond
    justsayingmum recently posted…This Social Media World I’m InMy Profile

    • March 12, 2017 at 7:49 pm

      Haha looking forward to welcoming him to Cardiff when he plays for England! Thanks so much for joining us Helen, really appreciate your support. #TweensTeensBeyond

  4. March 7, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    My girls have all been working for us since we started our Taekwon-do company. They are such an integral part of our team and get great feedback. It’s so important that they learn all the important job related skills: punctuality, leadership, teamwork, professionalism and so on. Also, that you don’t just get given something, you have to earn it. Both my step daughter and now eldest daughter were/are life guards. They never stop these teens and good for them. I do worry about them leaving enough time for schoolwork though! A really good post for inspiration. Alison x #TweensTeensBeyond
    Alison (MadHouseMum) recently posted…Women on fleekMy Profile

    • March 12, 2017 at 7:51 pm

      Wow they are really busy and yes they have to set some time aside for school work too. Thanks so much for joining us for our #TweensTeensBeyond linky

  5. March 7, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    Having a job isn’t just about earning money although for many teens that actually everything it’s about, they are actually learning life lessons and that’s invaluable at this age. I can’t wait for Hollie to start her first step into the working world !

  6. March 7, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    When I was a teen, there was no question. My brothers and I had to work in our family restaurant: in addition to school work, sports activities and other things. I think it went miles to teaching us responsibility. We’re a little way off our daughter being old enough but she shows quite an entrepreneurial bent so I wouldn’t be surprised if her teen job fell under the category of self-employment. It seems like lots of teenagers these days are developing their own good ideas and making their money that way. I applaud that spirit!
    Alisa recently posted…In My Heart Children’s Meditations. Review and Giveaway!My Profile

    • March 12, 2017 at 7:53 pm

      So do I! There are loads of them making good money in their own businesses and internet helps in that way a lot. Thanks so much for commenting #TweensTeensBeyond

  7. March 7, 2017 at 3:06 pm

    another option is becoming a lifeguard. My oldest qualified at the age of 16, so now aged 18 at Uni, she already has 2 years experience under her belt. It’s something for the back pocket too. Something you can always fall back on, or add to your skills moving forwards.

  8. March 8, 2017 at 2:32 am

    ours worked briefly as hostess at a local restaurant, but it didn’t work out. Currently worrying about school more, but she knows she needs to get back looking soon #tweens/teens

  9. March 8, 2017 at 6:15 am

    Some good suggestions here and very relevant right now. My son does his GCSEs this year and definitely wants a job in the summer. He’s very young though and will still be 15 when he finishes his exams. It feels to me that kids these days (or their parents) are less keen to do paper rounds and just want to hang on until they can get a shop job?
    Sarah MumofThree World recently posted…Buying my daughter’s birthday presentsMy Profile

    • March 12, 2017 at 9:23 pm

      My daughter has the same problem – doesn’t turn 15 until August so she’s getting very impatient! Thanks so much for commenting 🙂

  10. March 8, 2017 at 9:56 am

    I enjoyed reading this postm, very interesting. My eldest daughter who is 16 washes up in a Pub on a Sunday. She wanted to work to earn extra money (she still wants pocket money as well though!). She not only earns money, she is interacting with people in a workplace, she values the money she earns and takes great pleasure in watching her bank balance rise! She is setting an example to my younger 3 children. Its not as easy for them to gain employment these days as it was when I was a teen, and some of the wages her friends are on is shocking but still they work. I am hopeful my teenage son will be as keen to work, but I wont hold my breath! #TweensTeensBeyond

    • March 12, 2017 at 9:24 pm

      I was worried about the wages as well but hope it will be reasonable! We have never really sorted out pocket money properly in this house! Thanks so much for joining us at #TweensTeensBeyond

  11. March 8, 2017 at 10:45 am

    This is a great post with lots of good advice. My 14 year old son is currently looking into getting a paper round job, I think it it’s great for teens to get little jobs. #TeensTweensBeyond
    Sharon Powell recently posted…Comment on My new baby nephew  by teentweentoddlerMy Profile

    • March 12, 2017 at 9:27 pm

      Thanks Sharon and good luck to him for his paper round. Thanks so much for joining us at #TweensTeensBeyond

  12. March 9, 2017 at 3:18 pm

    I think it’s a great idea for teens to earn some money of their own. Once they realise how hard it is to earn they may be better at managing it. Paper rounds and working in shops were the traditional way when I was young.
    Bear and Cardigan recently posted…7 Rules for a Grandmother ShowerMy Profile

  13. March 9, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    My eldest teen is doing A Levels, and works in a clothes shop one night a week + a few hours over the weekend. My youngest teen has a paper round and earns over £100 a month!! The youngest just spent a lot of money on a fancy phone which my hubby was a bit against, but I think the best way to learn about the value of money is to earn it and spend it. Suddenly budgeting and thinking about what you’re spending comes in to play, and at the end of the day it’s their money – so spend-away-baby-o lol!! #TweensTeensBeyond

    • March 12, 2017 at 9:33 pm

      Haha that is so true. If they earned it they get to choose. Thanks so much for joining us at #TweensTeensBeyond

  14. hannah
    March 9, 2017 at 10:20 pm

    Finding a job at that age is really important, although it isnt easy. Finding a job at any age is difficult these days x

  15. Jenna Newell
    March 9, 2017 at 10:34 pm

    I loved my paper round – it helped me gain a bit of independence too!

  16. Jenna Newell
    March 9, 2017 at 10:34 pm

    I loved my paper round – it helped me gain a bit of independence too!

  17. March 10, 2017 at 2:22 pm

    It is so important that our teens learn the value of money and that they have to earn it to spend it . Our eldest has helped at a lot of holiday sports camps and last year took a Coach Support Worker course for cricket and worked there all summer. He is about to blow it all on a holiday with his mates but has signed up to do some more coaching work this summer so he has something in his pocket for University. #TweensTeensBeyond
    Jo (MotherofTeenagers) recently posted…Tweens,Teens & Beyond #No.1My Profile

  18. March 10, 2017 at 4:20 pm

    I’m going to be needing this in a few years when my tween hits the stage where she needs more spending money and also to get her to learn to save and budget her own money. Thank you! It’s been a while since I was a teen needing extra cash! #tweensteensandbeyond

  19. March 11, 2017 at 6:27 am

    This is a great post. I think it’s great for teenagers to have jobs if that works for them and their families. I worked from
    the age of 14 as a Saturday girl in my local hairdressers and it was great to give me a bit of independence and money of my own.

  20. March 11, 2017 at 5:23 pm

    Really good post on options for teenagers to earn money as it’s important for them to realise that they can and they should if they want to spend money. It doesn’t grow on trees as the old saying goes – I remember my parents saying it, and now I cringe as I hear myself saying it. My kids aren’t at the age yet where earning is an option but I’ll be encouraging it when they are. #tweensteensandbeyond

    • March 12, 2017 at 9:55 pm

      Haha I use that saying too and to be fair it is true!! Thanks so much for joining us at #TweensTeensBeyond

  21. March 11, 2017 at 8:25 pm

    This is a great and very informative post. My 10-year old can’t wait to be old enough to have a job. I suspect Nike Airmax may have a lot to do with his motivation too! Or a drone, or Segway! But at least he realises he can’t just ‘expect’ these things, which is a good start I guess! #TeensTweensBeyond
    Cal at Family Makes recently posted…Tasty Dog Food For Your Faithful FriendMy Profile

    • March 12, 2017 at 9:57 pm

      Haha it sounds as if he is going to have to earn quite a bit! I have a teen who thinks the same! Thanks so much for joining us at #TweensTeensBeyond

  22. March 29, 2017 at 8:40 am

    I worked in a fast food chain when I was a teenager and I had a blast. I encourage every mom out there to let there child do the same. It will not only earn them money but more valuable lessons like time management, accountability and responsibility.
    Linda recently posted…Don’t Fall Victim to These 6 Baby Stuff TrapsMy Profile

  23. April 4, 2017 at 2:11 pm

    This post is a great resource for any teen who is considering a job. The process of finding a job itself is a great learning experience for teens. I got my first job at a job fair for teens. I became a recreational aid for the summer at a Rec. Center at 15 years old. I had a great time! Great post.

  24. April 4, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    Enjoyed reading this. My eldest daughter currently washes up in a local pub on a Sunday. Its hard work and non-stop but she is lucky to earn a good wage plus they include her in the tips they receive. She is very good with money, always has been and when they earn it for themselves they think even more before wasting it….well my daughter does, not sure if my son will be quite the same lol.
    Sharon recently posted…13 – Unlucky for Mum!My Profile

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