10 Exciting Job Opportunities for Young Teens

Finding jobs at the age of 14 or 15 may seem challenging, but there are several ways for young teens to gain valuable job experience and develop essential career skills. While it’s true that job opportunities for younger teens are not as widespread as those for older teens, there are still companies that hire individuals as young as 14. However, it’s important to note that employment laws vary from state to state, so eligibility for employment as a 14- or 15-year-old depends on your location.

One valuable tip before embarking on a job search is to have a resume in hand. Virginia Franco, a professional resume writer, emphasizes the advantage of having a resume in high school, as it sets young individuals apart from their peers. Crafting a resume may initially seem challenging for high school students due to a lack of professional work experience. However, they can leverage their skills and extracurricular activities to impress potential employers.

Top 10 Fascinating Jobs That Hire at 14 and 15

Salaries for 14- and 15-year-olds typically start at minimum wage, which is $7.25 per hour according to federal regulations. However, some cities and states have set higher local minimum wages, reaching up to $15 per hour. Due to federal regulations, young teens are restricted from working more than three hours per school day and more than eight hours per non-school day, meaning they cannot work full-time hours.

When considering jobs that hire at the age of 14, young teens should also explore opportunities that go beyond traditional formal employment. For instance, they can venture into freelance work and create their own job opportunities.

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1. Barista

A barista is a skilled professional who prepares delicious coffee and espresso beverages at cafes, coffee shops, or restaurants. While there are limitations on the types of machinery and equipment that 14- and 15-year-olds can operate, they are still allowed to work with coffee preparation equipment. On average, baristas earn $12 per hour.

2. Busser

As a busser, young teens can gain valuable experience by clearing tables and cleaning up at restaurants or cafes after customers finish their meals. Bussers typically earn an average of $12.49 per hour, and in some establishments, they may receive a share of the tips collected by the servers and kitchen staff.

3. Cashier

Becoming a cashier at a store or restaurant offers young teens an opportunity to work at the register, assist customers, and handle payment transactions. Cashiers also perform additional tasks such as stocking shelves or carrying out custodial duties. On average, cashiers earn $13.11 per hour.

4. Dog Walker

For animal lovers, becoming a dog walker can be an excellent option. Young teens can establish their own independent dog walking business, setting their own rates and schedule. The average hourly rate for dog walking services is $13.81.

5. Grocery Bagger

Working as a grocery bagger in a supermarket involves assisting cashiers in packing purchases into bags. Baggers may also offer support by carrying bags or bulky items to customers’ cars. On average, grocery baggers earn an hourly wage of $14.58.

6. Restaurant Host

As a restaurant host, young teens can welcome diners, guide them to their tables, and ensure that each server receives an equitable number of customers throughout the night. The average hourly wage for restaurant hosts is $11.83, although it can vary depending on the location.

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7. Lifeguard

For those who enjoy swimming and ensuring the safety of others, becoming a lifeguard offers an exciting opportunity. However, federal law prohibits anyone under the age of 15 from working as a lifeguard, and specific training is required. Lifeguards earn an average hourly wage of $14.27.

8. Tutor

Tutoring provides young teens with the chance to assist schoolchildren or teenagers who may be struggling with their studies. Tutors often have the flexibility to set their own hours and rates, with average hourly fees ranging upwards of $15. However, rates may vary depending on the subject and location.

9. Camp Counselor

Working as a camp counselor involves overseeing children’s activities, creating schedules, and leading engaging programs. Younger teens can start as junior camp counselors, gaining valuable experience under the supervision of more senior camp leaders. Camp counselors and junior camp counselors can earn an average hourly wage of $14.27, with potential for growth as they progress in their roles.

10. Babysitter

Babysitting offers young teens the opportunity to care for young children while their parents or guardians are away. It allows them to set their own rates and schedules, and babysitting can be conducted at either the client’s or the babysitter’s home. On average, babysitters earn $13.22 per hour, but top earners can charge over $17.99 per hour.

Companies Offering Opportunities to Young Teens

Some national and regional companies provide job opportunities for 14- and 15-year-olds in states where it is legally permissible. However, it is essential to note that employment laws vary, and while 14 or 15 may be the minimum legal age for work, many companies still have age restrictions beyond that. Here are a few employers that offer job opportunities for young teens in areas where local laws permit the hiring of individuals at this age:

  • Publix: 14-year-olds can join as cashiers, floral clerks, or service desk clerks at over 1,300 grocery store locations.
  • Baskin-Robbins: With around 2,400 U.S. stores, Baskin-Robbins often hires employees as young as 14.
  • McDonald’s: This fast-food chain has around 14,000 U.S. locations where 14-year-olds can find opportunities in serving, cooking, cleaning, and other positions.
  • AMC: With more than 600 theater locations, select AMC branches may hire individuals as young as 14 for ticketing, food preparation, or cleaning roles.
  • Safeway: This grocery store chain has over 900 locations across the U.S., and some stores hire 14-year-olds for roles such as cart runners or grocery baggers.
  • Arby’s: Known for roast beef sandwiches, Arby’s has over 3,400 locations that hire teens for positions like cashiers, cleaners, and food preparers.
  • Burger King: With over 7,000 locations in the U.S., Burger King offers positions such as custodial work, cashiering, and cooking for 14-year-olds.
  • Dairy Queen: This fast-food and ice cream chain has approximately 4,000 locations and hires individuals as young as 14 for roles like cashiers or cooks.
  • Pizza Hut: With parental permission, 15-year-olds can work as cashiers or bussers at nearly 7,000 Pizza Hut locations.
  • Rita’s Italian Ice: This chain serves Italian ice, gelato, and ice cream with over 500 locations across the U.S. Jobs for 14-year-olds include tasks like cash handling, serving, and cleaning.
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Wrapping Up

In summary, young teens looking for job opportunities at the age of 14 or 15 must navigate federal and local employment laws that regulate the type and duration of work they can undertake. While traditional jobs are restricted at this age, young individuals can explore self-employed options such as babysitting, tutoring, and dog walking. Additionally, some companies do hire younger teens; however, their available hours and job duties may be limited due to age restrictions. By understanding the opportunities available and their own skills and interests, young teens can embark on a rewarding journey towards gaining valuable work experience and building a strong foundation for their future careers.

(Reporting by NPD)