Personal Finance

25 Best Part-Time Jobs for High School Students in 2016

teen working mop cashGet a job! You’ve probably heard your parents bark those words at you since freshman year, but now they really mean it. It’s time you got out there and found a part-time job, whether it’s something for the summer or a little bit more long term on afternoons and weekends. Luckily, you have a wide range of options before you with positions in just about every possible industry. If you find yourself about to enter the job market for the first time, think about what it is that excites you and then see if there are any opportunities available in that field. For the rest of you who aren’t quite sure what it is you want to do yet, we’ve got 25 great ideas that might just interest you.

1. Retail

This is one of the most common part-time jobs most high school students take first. These types of gigs usually pop up right around the summer time and again near the holiday season – both when high school students have some extra time on their hands and when demand for retail items soars. Depending on which type of store you work in, the job can be very easy. If it’s a small retail shop, you’ll likely hang behind the cash register and ring up purchases, maybe clean up around the store and just be generally helpful. If you’re working at a large retail department store like Target or Best Buy, then you could find yourself doing anything from stocking shelves to customer service.  If you excel on the sales floor, then you could even be on a management track and able to earn more impressive leadership experience.

2. Attendant

This one varies as well. As an attendant you could work valet and park cars, you could be a restroom attendant and hand paper towels to people, or you may choose to be a host or hostess at a restaurant. The title of “attendant” has a lot of possibilities which bring with them varying degrees of responsibility. Most of them are pretty easy gigs, though, and don’t require a lot of training. The pay isn’t too bad, as many attendants get can paid some base salary in addition to tips from satisfied customers.

3. Waiter/Busboy

The food service industry is always hiring and if you’re planning on being an actor some day this might be good training for your future endeavors. If you’ve ever eaten in a restaurant before, then you know the drill. You take customers’ orders, you bring them their food, refill their glass of water, and so on. These jobs can pay well if you’re at the right restaurant because you’ll be getting tips on top of your base salary and that will definitely start to add up.

4. Babysitting

Do you get along well with kids? Are you someone that most people would characterize as responsible? Then you may want to get a part time job babysitting. If you have any younger siblings that you’ve been in charge of before then you already have on the job training and that will make you a more attractive hire to prospective clients. This kind of work is most commonly done on the weekends and evenings, but you can also find plenty of working parents who need someone to watch their child during the week as well.

You may want to start working for friends and neighbors to start building a client base that you can rely on for referrals and recommendations to other clientele outside of your immediate circle. But once you get a reputation for being dependable, great with children, and available on short notice, the jobs can really start to pour in.

5. Dog Walker/Pet Sitter

Do you love animals? Then you’ll love this job. It’s just like babysitting, but these charges are often cuter and more agreeable. Dog walkers can make good money doing something that is very easy yet requires high levels of responsibility. For some people, their animals are like their children, so don’t go into this job casually as you will be safeguarding another living thing that doesn’t speak English. Pet sitters who are watching animals in a client’s home can also make some good money as your services may require staying in that home for a day or two.

Sometimes you can even bring the pet to your home and make money that way too. Cats don’t require much work other than feeding them, making sure they have enough water, scooping out the litter box twice a day, and playing with them if they so choose. You may find it to be the easiest money you’ve ever made and you get to play with animals!

6. Animal Shelter Worker

If you love animals, then maybe you’d rather work with some that are less fortunate than those with homes and you can work at the local animal shelter caring for dogs and cats that are looking for a forever family. The job requirements will have you cleaning a lot of kennels, administering medicines, and giving a lot of love to some animals who really need some.

There is one occupational hazard though; you’ll want to bring all of them home with you, but that’s just not possible. One thing to keep in mind, however, not every shelter is a “no-kill” facility which means that some of the animals that have been in the shelter for the maximum amount of time may have to be put down because the shelter has no more room. This can be very difficult and emotional for many people to deal with.

7. Grocery Store Clerk

This job is another instance of working in retail, but the job description is a bit different. You’re still dealing with a lot of customers but you’ll be bagging their groceries, changing out produce, stocking inventory, and maybe even wrangling all of those shopping carts that are strewn about the parking lot. But the cool thing about it working as a grocery store clerk is that when you’re done for the day, you can pick up a few items for dinner without making another stop on the way home.

teen girl pizza delivery8. Food Delivery

Do you like to drive? Then this job may be for you. It’s pretty simple really – you take a pizza or a bag of Chinese food, you put it in your front seat and drive it to a home or office that’s usually located near the restaurant. You’ll get tips from happy customers and you won’t have to drive far, so refilling the gas tank won’t be a common occurrence. It’s an easy job that you can do anytime.

9. Courier

This one will have you behind the wheel a lot longer. Couriers can make good money depending on how fast something has to be brought to a destination and how far you have to drive. You’ll need a dependable car that runs well because you’ll often be driving from one end of the city to the other for the duration of your shift. Some of the drawbacks of this kind of work include traffic jams and filling up your gas tank more than usual. But, much like food delivery, if you enjoy driving then you might dig this gig.

10. Car Detailing

Maybe you love cars but don’t want to drive around a lot in one. If this is the case, you can get a job at the local car wash or a detailing service cleaning vehicles. This can range from wiping cars down after a wash to waxing the exterior to vacuuming the interior. You’ll need a keen eye for detail as most services do a thorough job both inside and out of the car so the vehicle looks showroom-new again.

11. Camp Counselor

You might have been to camp when you were a kid. If you loved the experience of spending the summer in the Great Outdoors, then a camp counselor job might be a great idea. It’s another job where you really have to love kids (or at least feign tolerating them) but it’s a terrific alternative to being cooped up inside behind a cash register or a mop for the summer.

12. Tutor

This is a job you can do year-round both during the school year and in the summer working with kids who are going to summer school. If you had exceptional grades in a particular class or subject and you feel confident your knowledge could help a child understand that subject better, then becoming a tutor can be a lucrative and rewarding part-time job. It’s usually a gig you can do after school or on weekends, so the flexibility can be a plus as well.

13. Personal Assistant

This type of job might require more of a commitment depending on who you are working for each week. Personal assistants can take on a whole list of jobs, whether it’s picking up dry cleaning, grabbing coffee, typing, answering phones, sending emails, or just about anything else – being a personal assistant is never dull. But it can be time consuming and could lead to a full time position if your boss realizes he or she can’t live without your help.

14. Receptionist

Every office needs a receptionist. From law offices to dental practices to corporate offices, receptionists are the first person visitors see when they enter. They can also be responsible for answering phones, grabbing coffee and lunch, distributing mail, and so on. It’s sort of like a personal assistant job but you get to sit behind a desk all day and talk to a wide variety of people. The pay isn’t bad and it’s a low impact gig, but you do need strong people skills.

15. Lawn Cutting/Landscaping

Maybe you don’t want to be sitting behind a desk all day and you like getting your hands dirty. Then try cutting lawns for the summer. It’s a pretty easy job, you get to spend your days outdoors, and if you like playing in the dirt then you’ll have a blast pulling weeds and maintaining shrubs and bushes. You could work for a service that does these jobs or branch out on your own and offer your assistance to the neighbors on your street. Most of them probably have their own equipment which they’ll let you use, so you don’t necessarily need to buy your own gear.

16. Painting Houses

Working as a house painter is another summer job that is low-maintenance and anyone can do. Painting houses and other structures requires some attention to detail, but it’s a relatively easy job so don’t worry if you’ve never painted anything before. You can seek out an opening with a professional painting company and they’ll train you before they let you touch a brush to the side of a house. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll find yourself up on roofs and perched on top of ladders – so if you have a fear of heights just ask them to work on the garage doors instead.

17. Mover

No one likes moving and asking your friends to help can sometimes do more harm than good, that’s if they’re even around that weekend. For a more professional transition from one home to another, many people hire a moving company to do the work. You’ll be lifting a lot of heavy boxes, carrying fragile items and you may need to figure out how to get that couch up and down the stairs, but it’s a good way to build muscle without going to the gym and put some bucks in your pocket in the process.

18. Warehouse Distribution Assistant

This job is just like working as a professional mover, but you won’t be working in people’s homes. Instead, you’ll be stationed at a warehouse moving things on and off of delivery trucks and storage containers. If you’re lucky, you’ll even get to drive a forklift as you move pallets from one end of the warehouse to the other. The pay is pretty basic and you shouldn’t expect many perks, but it’s another job where you can pump some iron while you’re making some cash.

19. Barista

If you’re someone who can’t get their day started until they’ve had their morning coffee, then you know how important a barista can be to millions of people every day. You can fill that role, whether it’s at a local coffee house or among the many who don the green apron at Starbucks every day. The work can get a bit stressful as the lines can get quite long during the morning and afternoon rushes, and if you’re working the morning shift you’ll have to be up very early in the day, but if you really like coffee you’ll be able to drink as much as your heart desires.

20. Intern

Okay, so this job may not actually pay you any money (or if so, very little) but it’s a golden opportunity to get your foot in the door of an industry where you want to start your career some day. Intern positions allow you to get the hands-on training in a field that interests you and, despite the minimum amount of financial gain, many of them do offer credit towards college. It also looks great on a college transcript and professional resume. So if your high school graduation is looming in the next year or two, then finding that right internship position can do wonders for your professional career down the line.

21. Movie Theater Usher

Do you love movies? Do you want to see a lot of them for free? Then you may consider working at your local movie theater. The work is pretty simple, they may have you in the box office, you could be ripping tickets, or cleaning the auditoriums after each show. You may even be working behind the concessions counter, so if you love the smell of buttered popcorn you could be in for a real treat. Did I mention the free movies? Theater employees often get to see the latest releases first and it won’t cost you a dime. With movie tickets approaching $20 in some cities, this may be the perfect place to spend your extra time.

lifeguard22. Lifeguard

Another mainstay of summer employment, lifeguards are in high demand at local beaches and public swimming areas. For some people, there is no better gig than hanging out at the beach all day, looking out at the water and getting a tan. Of course, you do need to know how to swim and administer CPR as well as some other First Aid necessities. So if you have this type of training, or you’re currently taking a course, then you may want to look into this popular summertime gig. Just be warned, it’s not the kind of job where you can goof off all day, you’ll need to be on high alert in case someone is actually drowning out there, so there is a lot of responsibility involved.

23. Web Design/Information Technology

If you’re one of those whiz kids who knows his or her way around computers, code, and web design, then this could be a great part time gig for you. Web design and IT are both fields that are in high demand due to the fact that everything is now online and digital these days, so it’s an industry that is always looking for new people. The gig is also good training if it’s a career path you want to follow, and the best part for many high school students is that you can work from the comfort of home. Talk about a win-win.

24. Golf Ball Retriever

This is one of those niche jobs that can be fun for the right person. Someone has to go retrieve all of those golf balls from the local driving range and it usually requires getting into a fortified retrieval cart and driving it around to pick them all up. If you do it while there are people at the tees, then you’ll likely be pelted with balls the whole time, the impacts reverberating all around you against the caged windows. But it’s easy work and you can probably get some free lessons or rounds of mini golf in before you head home for the day.

25. Start Your Own Business

Maybe you’re the entrepreneurial type and have far loftier goals than just filling your spare time for a few bucks an hour. Being your own boss can be great and it can offer a wealth of knowledge about how to run a business. Instead of working for a house painting company or landscaper, you can start your own service. There is a myriad of obstacles to navigate, drumming up clientele, acquiring any necessary bonds or insurance, or if it’s a product idea you have then you’ll have to manufacture that item for sale to the general public. This can be an exciting and rewarding endeavor that will prepare you for the real world while also generating some revenue.

Our Final Thoughts

A part-time job while still in high school is an ideal way to introduce yourself to the workforce for the very first time. It fosters responsibility, commitment, and teaches teens the value of a dollar. Nothing is more satisfying than buying something you want with money you earned yourself. You’re going to be required to hold down steady employment for a majority of your life – it’s better you get started now while you’re still in high school or approaching graduation. It provides the aforementioned benefits of promoting values but it can also help those who are still undecided about what it is they ultimately want to do with their lives when they’re out of school.

Trying out a few odd jobs here and there could prove quite useful to your long-term career outlook and aspirations, and the money you make won’t hurt either. Those of you who already have distinct career goals can start on the road to pursuing those dreams now, as the more experience you gain at an early age can help lay the groundwork to apply for that highly sought after position later. So get started on branching out on your own now, you’ll be happy you took the initiative and your parents will be thrilled too.

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