That first summer job is often a rite of passage for many teens. It's the signal that you're on your way to adulthood, and it's also a method for earning money to pay for activities, interests or to stash away for post-secondary schooling. However, the type of summer job any teen opts for should be based upon his or her current and desired skillsets and on his or her ultimate career goals, thus proving that it's never too early to start considering the future.
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Are you interested in leadership? For teens that are natural leaders or educators, a summer job as a camp counselor is an ideal pick. This job will allow older teens to spend time outdoors, mentor younger kids and help them to develop new skills. A great perk of this job, aside from being paid to spend plenty of time outdoors, is that you will be developing loads of transferable skills that will be useful throughout life, such as leadership abilities, communication and conflict resolution skills. This job also requires teens to live away from home, which can help them to become more independent as they transition into adulthood.
Perfect for teens that enjoy spending time in the great outdoors, caddying can be a great choice of summer job. This job does require an understanding of the game and some physical endurance, as there is a lot of walking involved as well as carrying a weighty bag of golf clubs. However, the pay certainly isn't bad considering that you can expect to earn anywhere between $50 and $100 for about four hours of work. Many of the more generous golfers may also reward their caddies with a tip.
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Perhaps one of the more diverse job options for teens, retail sales offers a great deal of opportunity for teens that are looking for work. This type of work can pay anywhere in the range of $11 to $13 an hour depending upon the duties involved. Inventory, stocking shelves, product demonstrations, handing out samples in grocery stores, customer service or operating a cash register are all options when it comes to retail sales. This type of work can be great for teens that are particularly sociable, as they will often have to interact with the public in addition to working as a part of a team.
SEE: The Non-Academic Qualities Job Seekers Need In 2012
Here's an opportunity to develop social skills while earning an income. A job in the food service industry is a natural fit for sociable teens that enjoy interacting with the public. This job allows employees to work as a part of a team while learning about following instructions and conflict resolution. This job also comes with an opportunity for high earnings since food service jobs usually come with an hourly wage of about $9 or $10 per hour. Many restaurants also allow their staff to earn tips. Keep in mind that food service jobs are not only limited to wait staff either. There are also jobs available as hosts or hostesses, busboys or busgirls, and cooks. Regardless of the position, the team needs to function properly in order to keep the business moving, so teens will learn valuable life skills in this type of job.
This presents an ideal option for teens that are already on course toward a particular career. This will assist with gaining real industry experience that'll look great on a resume. Even though many of these types of positions are unpaid, the experience that can be gained from completing an internship could be priceless when you consider the professional experience that can be gained. Teens can locate internship opportunities through their high school guidance counselors, or by being bold and approaching their target companies directly.
A great choice for teens who are strong swimmers, life guarding can be a challenging position that comes with a fair share of responsibility. Completion of certification courses is required to be a life guard and is typically limited to those who are over the age of 15, so a bit of pre-planning will definitely be required if this type of job appeals. This job requires a high level of maturity and professionalism, but it is a rewarding job that can help teens to develop their decision-making skills and confidence while earning somewhere between $9 and $10 dollars per hour.
Teens with a nurturing spirit who enjoy children could consider taking on a summer job as a nanny or babysitter, a position which is in high demand during the summer months when working parents need to secure childcare for their young children. This job requires someone who is highly responsible and can resolve conflicts. Though this job pays reasonably well, generally in the range of $10 to $15 dollars hourly, it can also require a great deal of patience. This is a great choice for teens who wish to pursue a career in teaching, child care, social work or any other field that makes use of social skills or requires interaction with kids.
Though teenagers may be often viewed as having a difficult time keeping their bedrooms clean, there are some teens that do well in the housekeeping field. This type of work can bring in about $10 an hour and will allow teens to learn responsibility and develop their organizational skills. This job is also in demand in a variety of industries and settings. The summer sees an upswing in the tourism industry, so hotels are often looking for dependable housekeeping staff, and malls and parks often need people to assist with keeping public areas clean and organized as well.
Whether you join a landscaping business, or set out to offer your landscaping or lawn care services yourself, this seasonal job is a great choice for teens who love to spend time outdoors. Since many people don't have time to care for their lawns, this job is often in high-demand through the summer months. Teens who aren't afraid to get dirty can cash in on this demand and they'll also be getting some physical activity while lining their wallets with cold, hard cash.
SEE: Can't Get A Summer Job? Be Your Own Boss!
Teens that are particularly bookish or aspire to work as a teacher might enjoy spending their summer months tutoring. Kids that are in summer school often need the extra help, and this presents a real opportunity for teens that are particularly talented in certain subject areas. Tutors that are proficient with computers could also teach adults computer skills. Teens that opt to take on a job as a tutor can earn about $15 an hour when they first start out, though this rate can increase depending upon their skills and experience.
The Bottom Line
Finding the perfect summer job will require planning. You should examine the opportunities that are readily available to you, and you must also consider what you hope to get out of the position. Working as a landscaper isn't much fun if you hate getting dirty, while being a nanny won't bring much joy if you don't like kids. Keep in mind that many summer jobs provide workers with transferable skills that come in handy later on in your career, so there are plenty of reasons why it's a wise idea to start building up your resume while you're still in school – and earning a little extra spending cash never hurt anyone either.
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