Have your parents been egging you on to find a job? As annoying as it might seem, they have a very valid point: sooner, rather than later, you’ll need to find one.
The good news is – as daunting as finding and keeping a part-time job in high school seems, it’s something teenagers have been doing for a long, long time. And that means there’s a wealth of knowledge available to help you balance school, social life, and work.
But before you get started, you might need to fill out some paperwork. It all depends on which state you’re living in and how old you are.
Your high school guidance counselor can help point you in the right direction – and the U.S. Department of Labor has lots of information on youth labor laws.
In the meantime, we’ve put together a list of 20 viable part-time jobs for teenagers in high school to help you get your thinking cap working.
1. Retail Jobs
Retail jobs might not seem a glamorous option, but one’s first job rarely is. However, retail jobs do have everything else one looks for in a first job.
Other than dealing with the occasional difficult customer, it’s a fairly easy introduction to the life of an employee. Common responsibilities include helping customers find items, answering their questions, working the cash register, setting up product displays, and keeping the store tidy.
There’s no formal education required and prior experience is hardly ever a must-have. Most retail jobs offer training and might even prefer to have first-timers who don’t have any bad habits to unlearn.
While retail jobs are an ideal option in all other regards, the major downside is you might be required to work weekends.
Chances are, you probably had a tutor when you were younger – or knew someone who did. High school is a great time to pass on that baton of knowledge – and parents tend to pay good money.
The good news is, you don’t have to have any special training to become a part-time tutor. While some training would certainly be advantageous, it’s typically expensive and requires a high school diploma.
This does mean you won’t be able to charge top rates, unfortunately. But if you enjoy helping others learn – and especially if you’re particularly passionate about a subject – then accepting a little less money is an easy trade-off for getting to set your own hours.
3. Animal Shelter Worker
If you love animals (and who doesn’t?), then becoming an animal shelter worker is probably going to be right up your alley.
It’s a low-paying job, as animal shelters typically don’t have a lot of funds to begin with. And it can be a messy, smelly, and often a heart-wrenching job.
But if you truly love animals – and especially if you have aspirations of becoming a veterinarian one day – then take a look at Career Match’s Animal Shelter Worker Salary and Career Advice guide for more information.
4. Bank Teller
This might seem like an odd one, but a lot of people believe everyone should work as a bank teller at least once in their lives.
It’s a job with a lot of responsibility, but one that will help pave the way for a brighter career path in the future – even if you don’t end up as a banker.
Plus, you’ll pick up a lot of financial information that will help you manage your own income and expenses a lot better than most.
5. Arts and Crafts: Production and Sales
The holidays are the perfect time to get started on the production and sales of any arts and crafts you enjoy making. Schools and churches tend to hold a lot of arts and crafts fairs in the winter months – and Christmas shoppers are always eager to buy.
It’s a great way to get started and build momentum, so when the summer art festivals start rolling in, your production and sales methodology is honed to a T.
To be fair, booth and table rental costs aren’t always cheap. But if you have a friend, family member, or even a neighbor who also has items to sell, you can split the cost halfway.
One way to get around the sporadic nature of craft fair and festival sales is to move online with an Etsy store of your own.
6. House/Office Cleaner
Like retail, becoming a house or office cleaner isn’t the most glamorous way to make your debut on the job market. But it’s honest work that isn’t too difficult and offers some decent money.
Plus, it’ll give you good practice for when you have your own home one day.
7. Start an Online Business
Online is where it’s at these days. David Karp started out this way, working from his bedroom at the age of 15. He ended up selling Tumblr to Yahoo! in 2013 for $1.1 billion.
The possibilities are nearly endless. Even if all you do is start a blog and monetize it through affiliate marketing, you can start earning a decent part-time income with very low start-up costs.
Whatever your online business idea is, you’re going to need a website. We recommend Bluehost’s $2.75/month hosting package to start with.
For many teens, babysitting a younger sibling – or a younger kid in the neighborhood – is a rite of passage.
Most babysitters tend to work on Friday and/or Saturday evenings, leaving the rest of the week open for completing homework and studying. Some babysitting jobs might even give space for doing any necessary schoolwork while on the job!
Babysitters are typically well-paid for their time – especially if they’re CPR-certified.
9. Car Wash Attendant
If you live in an area with a warm climate (or only want a part-time summer job) and enjoy being outdoors, then becoming a car wash attendant could be the perfect solution for you.
While the pay is minimum wage and you can expect to get soaked more often than not, you’ll be guaranteed business. Tips are also common practice – especially if you do a good job.
10. Car Detailing
Car detailing is a more involved version of being a car wash attendant.
Most of the time, if you’re operating a typical car wash service, you’re only cleaning the outside of the vehicle. With car detailing, on the other hand, you’ll be cleaning them either to the dealership’s specifications or to the customer’s standards.
That more often than not means cleaning the inside too – vacuuming, steaming and deodorizing. And you’ll probably be asked to buff and wax the exterior while you’re at it.
It’s harder work, but you’ll be rewarded with slightly better pay than a regular car washer.
11. Document and Photograph Archival Services
Scanning, storing, and archiving documents and photographs is a considerable task most people need done but don’t have the time to do themselves.
Enter you – a motivated, tech-savvy teen looking for gainful employment.
There aren’t many traditional employer-types for this kind of work. But you can start your own part-time archival services hustle by networking with your parents’ friends and neighbors. Print out posters to pin up on local jobs boards and check online for anyone in the area with this kind of work for you.
A good pay range to charge would be $0.25 per photograph plus DVD storage and $0.35 per document page, uploaded to Google Docs.
12. Grocery Store Employee
Grocery stores are an easy target for part-time jobs, as they’re almost always hiring. Shifts are typically short and the tasks easy enough: packing grocery bags, stocking shelves, mopping floors, and possibly working the cash register.
One thing to bear in mind is, cash register operators are almost always unionized, so they tend to pay a bit more than minimum wage.
However, union dues will put a dent in that income – and if the grocery store is unionized, there’s no way to avoid paying your dues.
13. Landscaper/Lawn Care
Doing landscaping or lawn care work is an age-old summer job for high school students. It used to be an easy way to boost pocket money – now, people tend to pay a small fortune for weekly lawn care services.
If you can snag five customers at $175/month for after-school landscaping, you’re practically set – especially when summer rolls in and you have more time on your hands.
And if you’re in a colder climate, never fear: just about everyone is willing to pay someone else to shovel snow for them. You could be that someone.
14. Pet Walker/Sitter
Becoming a pet walker or sitter is another great part-time work opportunity for teens who love animals.
A good place to look for work is on the Rover app. You can pick your own schedule, specify what type of services you can offer, and even the type of dogs you’re willing and able to care for.
Depending on your available services, schedule, and number of clients, you could make up to $1,000/month.
15. Pizza Delivery
If you have a car and your driving record is clean, you could do pizza deliveries.
The pay isn’t great, but you’ll get to keep tips – and listen to your own music while driving your own car.
One word of caution, though: depending on your area, pizza delivery drivers might be the occasional target of a robbery.
16. Packing and Moving Services
It’s grueling work, especially when temperatures soar. But if you can find part-time work with an a la carte packing and moving service provider in your area, it’s honest work.
Plus, you’ll be helping the type of people who can’t afford the extra expense of full-service moving companies – so you’ll have plenty of work.
Just remember to stay hydrated and that tips need to be split among everyone working the job.
17. Personal Assistant
Personal assistants are in high demand, so even if you only charge $10/hour, you should be able to make good money.
If hired (hand out flyers and scope out the local and online jobs boards), you’ll be asked to perform a variety of tasks, depending on the client’s needs. Dog walking, running errands, wrapping gifts, even sorting out mail – these are all things you can expect to do.
It can be a thankless job, but once you graduate, you’ll have some experience under your belt. That experience can be used to leverage a more lucrative Virtual Assistant job.
18. Restaurant Wait Staff
Show us the person who’s never worked at a restaurant and we’ll show you someone who probably relied on their parents’ money all the way through college.
It’s not the greatest job on earth – most restaurant wait staff get paid less than minimum wage for long shifts spent on their feet and dealing with difficult customers. Sometimes the tips make it worth it, sometimes not.
But it can also be the most fun you’ve ever had, especially if the restaurant owners and managers don’t have superiority complexes.
Becoming a waiter – or, at the very least, a runner – is rewarding work. You’ll build a lot of lasting connections, with your fellow waitstaff and even with your regulars.
Scheduling is usually fairly flexible for high schoolers and you can expect to get as many shifts as you can handle.
19. Warehouse and Distribution Jobs
If you’re not afraid of some hard labor doing fairly monotonous work, then you could try landing a warehouse and distribution job.
For the most part, all it entails is moving some boxes around – either from the truck to its appropriate storage shelf, or the other way around.
Sure, it’s not the most exciting work and you can only expect to earn minimum wage, but you’ll save on gym membership fees.
20. Web Designer
Web design is a huge market to tap into. All it takes is some computer savvy, technical skills, and an eye for design.
Even if you have zero prior experience, there are some great online courses available that will teach you everything you need to know.
Coursera is a great option: most of the courses are available to “audit” for free, meaning you can learn without having to pay a cent. If you want to receive a certificate of completion though, it’ll cost you $49.
This is a great part-time business to start for yourself. With a solid portfolio behind your name by the time you graduate high school, you might even be able to skip the expense of college by simply going full-time.
We all have different motivations for finding a part-time job while in high school.
For some of us, it’s simply to gain work experience and boost our spending money. Others need their part-time jobs to help make ends meet or save up for college.
Whatever your reason, we hope you found your solution in this guide. Hit the comments and let us know what part-time job you plan on going for!