As kids grow into teenagers, the list of gifts and gadgets they want becomes longer and more expensive. For most families, teens will have to at least help pay for the things they want by earning their own money with a part-time job. If your teen is dreaming of a car or simply wants to have extra cash for hanging out with friends, encourage her to find a job that will use her skills or interests. In addition to earning extra money, part-time jobs for teens also give them valuable work experience and skills they can put on a resume for future job opportunities.
Traditional Teen Jobs
Your teen can look for teen-friendly employment in various neighborhood establishments. Fast food restaurants are one of the biggest employers of teenagers, giving many their first work experience. Although it can require long hours on their feet, teens gain experience handling money, cooking, teamwork and multi-tasking. Some fast-food chains even offer part-time benefits and ample opportunities for advancement. Other restaurant jobs your teen should consider include being a host or busser at sit-down restaurants, or a delivery person for a pizza parlor or Chinese food restaurant. Teens can also find jobs at retail stores in the mall, or as stockers or baggers at grocery stores. Teens who enjoy spending time with kids can look for babysitting gigs, or if they have experience with pets, can pet-sit.
The summertime gives teens the best opportunity to earn full-time income, as school is out. Your teen could get a job as a camp counselor at a day or sleepaway summer camp. Sleepaway camp counselors earn more money, as they are responsible for campers 24 hours a day. Teens with a specialized skill in a particular sport or in the arts can be youth instructors at all types of summer camps. Your teen can train to be a lifeguard at the local public pool or at the beach, if you have one nearby. Amusement parks fill out their staff with plenty of teenagers for the summer. If you live in an area with a country club, your teen has several opportunities to consider, including waiting tables in the dining room, being a caddy on the golf course or greeting club members at the front desk.
Start a Business
Entrepreneurial teens who want to be in business for themselves can offer their skills and services to the community. Your teen could put flyers up in the neighborhood to mow lawns in the summer or to shovel snow from sidewalks and driveways in the winter. If your teen is business savvy, he might consider hiring other teens to help him do more jobs, taking a percentage for procuring work for them. Other services your teen could offer as his own business include moving services, basic handyman services or dog-walking services. You can help your teen come up with a business plan or encourage him to take a summer business course at a local community college to develop stronger business skills.
For the most outgoing and highly-motivated teens, direct selling is a route to consider. Although most direct selling companies require people to be at least 18 to start, some have junior level programs specifically for younger teens. For example, Avon's makeup company geared toward teens, Mark, allows teens as young as 16 to be represented. Teens must go through training and can set their own hours for selling the makeup products. Another company, Origami Owl, sells locket jewelry and allows teens as young as 14 years of age to sell their jewelry, with the consent of a legal guardian. Teens earn a percentage of sales and learn how to invest in their businesses early for the sake of bigger income opportunities in the future.