Should my teen have a summer job? What are the benefits of teens working?
If your teenager is old enough to apply for employment, it’s time to encourage to get a summer job. There are many benefits to part-time summer work, and you may discover most teens will want to start earning their own money. As they get older it is time to take on more responsibility and learn about accountability. If your teen is driving, we all know the costs for a car — including insurance and gas can add up quickly.
According to YouthFirst.org, having a summer job is linked to an increase in the chances of youth graduating from high school and reducing the risk for involvement in criminal activity and the juvenile justice system.
Benefits of summer jobs for teens:
Earning money. Make no mistake, the the most obvious is your teen earning their own money. This is a great benefit and gives them a sense of accomplishment. From earning to spending to saving, they’ll learn important lessons in money management. They will also feel more independent and empowered. Working part-time is a great way for your child to transition into making their own money and learning to manage it effectively.
Learning important skills. High school students who work learn good time-management skills and organization. They learn important communication skills and how to work on a team. They develop a work history and can take those skills with them to the adult working world.
Building character. Working teaching kids responsibility and accountability. They can also learn to take initiative, function independently, and keep commitments. Working entry-level jobs is also a good way to develop discipline by taking orders from your supervisors. Just like doing smart things with your money early on will put you on the fast track to wealth, becoming humble and developing a work ethic when you’re young will help you rise in your career later in life.
Less time to get into trouble: If your teen heads straight from school to a job, it shortens the amount of free time they have to engage in risky behaviors. They’ll be less likely to be bored when a job keeps them busy. (It’s probably one of the best reasons to have a summer job).
Life skills: A job could instill self-confidence and independence in your teen. If they work with customers, it can teach them how to handle difficult situations and improve their communication skills. This can be a priceless lesson at this age that they can bring with them into their future.
Learning what you like to do: A good job can give your teen valuable insight into what they may want to do after high school. They may discover they enjoy working with people or they might decide that they want to own a business. If nothing else, a part-time job gives your teen valuable work experience that they can list on future job applications. This helps both their college and employment resumes.
Summer job ideas for teens:
Keep in mind, summer jobs are not forever jobs — however it’s about the life lessons and the experiences that they will learn from them. Here are some ideas for your teen to start with:
Lifeguard: Many teens enjoy working as a lifeguard at their local pool or beach. Although they must go through a special training program to be certified, many teens find this position rewarding, especially if they enjoy being outdoors (of course, indoor pools also hire lifeguards, if your teen is looking for work beyond the outdoor swimming season).
Grocery store: Grocery stores very often hire teens to stock shelves as well as check out or carry out groceries. Some stores even hire teens as young as 14 years old. If you apply to a major chain, they might be able to go back during seasonal times over school holidays.
Receptionist: Teens looking for consistent employment in an office setting may want to search for receptionist or customer service representative positions. Rates vary depending on the employer, but most teens can expect to make at least minimum wage.
Veterinary assistance or dog boarding services: For teens who love animals, they may want to check with local veterinarians or dog boarding services to see if they hire teens. Often, these offices will hire teens to clean kennels or walk dogs. They may also ask teens to assist them by calming pets while they evaluate them.
Restaurants: Especially during the summer months, many are hiring bus people to clean tables, dishwashers and if they don’t serve alcohol, sometimes teens can be servers. Applying at fast-foods should also be on their list.
Retail stores: Many kids enjoy working in retail, especially if they have an interest in marketing, retail planning, or fashion design. This is a great way to learn about customer service, possibly merchandising, ordering and more.
Lawncare and landscaping: This can be a busy time during summer months. Cutting lawns is a time-honored teen job. If your teen doesn’t want to try to drum up business in your neighborhood, they also can look into working for lawn care and landscaping companies where they will do everything from weed and put down mulch to cut grass and trim.
Keep in mind, no one job is good for all teenagers. But a good, safe job that fits well with your teenager’s schedule can teach them responsibility as well as giving them some new freedom.
Check with the Department of Labor for age requirement for teens in your state.