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July 1, 2013 at 8:00 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Top 5 Summer Jobs for Teens and Tweens

By Rachael Ellen More Blogs by This Author

They’re starting to get restless. Young adults between the ages of 13 and 17 are in the awkward years of unemployment: they desperately want to work and make some money, but many places won’t hire young kids who either can’t drive or aren’t considered legal adults. What is a kid to do?

Parents, this is where you fly to the rescue! At this stage in your child’s life, they are going to be discouraged, as they feel an unquenchable independence that they can’t fuel. The solution, Mom and Dad? Help your child find a summer job. For some kids, the want is there, but the opportunity seems to be lacking. That’s when connections come into play. Parents need to be encouraging their child by sparking ideas like calling family friends and relatives, scanning their community for openings,  and keeping a lookout for “Help Wanted” signs. Slowly, the pursuit for employment will reap a harvest, but having the patience and determination to hunt for the opportunity will really be the greatest pay-off. To help in your search, here are the Top 5 Summer Jobs for Teens!

Top 5 Summer Jobs for Teenagers:


Starting as young as 14, kids are able to begin babysitting. Parents need the extra help with their little ones once summer creeps up, and many hire babysitters and nannies. For those who are applying for a position, it is an asset to bring with you a resume with some references. Also, possible employers love to see candidates who have taken community training courses offered through local organizations like the Red Cross. It’s unusual for kids under the age of 16 to acquire full-time nanny positions, but diversifying the potential families you could work for helps keep your summer busy and profitable.

Safety Concerns: Each job that your child takes needs to be looked into first. Make sure that, when they go to meet their future employer,  you accompany them. Ask the detailed questions about wages and hours, but also get to know if the employer is trustworthy. Use your resources, make phone calls, and go the extra mile to make sure that your child will be working in a safe environment over the summer. Being too careful isn’t a possibility. If they don’t have one already, send them along with a cell phone in case of emergencies.


Don’t get hung up on being a waiter/waitress. The food service industry, especially the more formal, sit-down joint, has many more opportunities other than simply becoming a server. Restaurants need hosts and hostesses, bussers, dishwashers, line cooks, and for those that

have a salad bar, a salad bar attendant. Another common option is a little cooler. Many teens and tweens love spending their summers scooping some dairy treats at the local ice cream shop! The seasonal position offers a great escape from the heat. All of these positions can be filled by minors and would make a great addition to your summer repertoire!

Safety Concerns: When working in a food service environment, it is important to invest in some good, non-slip shoes. These positions require employees to be on their feet for hours on end, and a good pair of shoes will be a much needed comfort!


Great for subdivision and suburb dwellers, mowing lawns and weeding gardens for neighbors and families friends ties in the quintessential aspects of summer: dirt and sunshine. The plus? You’re being paid to enjoy the great outdoors!

 Safety Precautions: Every child needs to be trained to use any kind of mechanical equipment. Walk through the process with them, and reiterate that lawn mowers, hedge trimmers, and rakes are not a toy, they’re a tool. Each one needs to be used carefully. Also, every outdoor project requires close-toed shoes


 The fuzzier version of babysitting, pet sitting has become a common substitution for pricey kennels when families decide to travel. For young adults, watching pets is a great, short term, money-making gig that requires responsibility and a few Scooby Snacks.

Safety Precautions: Before taking care of an animal, children and their parents need to learn about the client’s pet. Most pets never mean to cause any harm, but small changes in environment and routine can become an irritating and dangerous situation with an animal. Be sure to ask about personality traits and habits that the pet possesses, and make sure that they are able to be around young children and other pets if you plan on taking them on walks.


Another residentially supported summer job, a newspaper boy/girl wakes up early, hops on their bike, and begins their route. The job stays close to home and isn’t opposed to hiring a younger group of kids.

Safety Precautions: Parents should become familiarized with the neighborhood that their child is assigned to. Each child, especially one that is on bike, needs to be wearing close-toed shoes, a helmet, and a reflective vest for their early morning routes. Also, it is wise to carry a whistle in case of any emergencies.

Hopefully we’ve started a discussion. Opportunities are out there, we just have to keep an open mind. Teens and tweens, unite!

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