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.
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.
- 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
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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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