Seven Good First Jobs for Your Teen

The first job a teenager has can be a life-changing experience. A summer or part-time after school job may be helpful to your teenager in a variety of ways. For example, money earned from such a job can be put towards college tuition. Also, the training and skills that teenagers learn from their first jobs can make career advancement easier for your child in the future. Additionally, the social skills your child learns while working can be beneficial later in life. Some first jobs also have added benefits that may be advantageous to your child, such as increased physical activity. However, not all jobs are appropriate for working teenagers. For example, working alone at night may not be safe. As a parent, you must suggest first job ideas which will be socially and monetarily beneficial without being hazardous. Below are seven good first job ideas to discuss with your teenager.

Working as a Home Assistant

Being a home assistant may encompass several responsibilities, depending on the person hiring your teenager. Babysitting, pet sitting, light housecleaning and cooking are all possible skills your child will learn when he or she takes on such a position. If your child has a driver’s license, then running errands for neighbors may also be a possible source of extra income.

As a parent, you may be able to closely monitor your child when he or she takes on a home assistant position. You can meet with your neighbors to discuss guidelines and be available to your child in case of emergencies. Therefore, your child will be able to take on some responsibilities while still having a safety net.

Working in a Grocery or Retail Store

Your child may enjoy working in a grocery or retail store because both environments offer a lot of social interaction. At the same time, he or she can learn beneficial skills and habits. For example, he or she will learn how to greet and interact with customers, count inventory and handle money. Working in such environments also teaches social skills and how work as part of a team, as well as think quickly and solve problems as they arise. Many grocery and retail stores are willing to allow flexible schedules for teenagers.

Working in the Food Service Industry

Serving food may not sound glamorous to your child, but he or she should carefully consider fast food jobs. Many fast food chains offer college scholarship opportunities. It is also important to note that not all food service jobs involve serving fast food. Your child could take a position working as a server at a restaurant, a food delivery driver or a dishwasher. If working in a restaurant setting does not appeal to your child but he or she does like working with food, other options include working at a bakery, catering company or ice cream stand.


Tutoring can be both a lucrative job for your child and one that is emotionally rewarding. Your child can use his or her knowledge of a given subject to instruct younger children. Tutoring is also an activity that can make your child’s college applications stand out in a positive light.


One of the easiest summer jobs for teens in most areas is mowing lawns. Elderly people are particularly in need of lawn care services when it is too hot for them to do such tasks themselves. Therefore, your teenager may find it lucrative to start his or her own lawn mowing business.

A second option is for your teenager to apply to work for a well-established landscaping company. Such companies provide more than just lawn mowing services. Your child may be called upon to help build water features and rock walls, dig trenches or plant flower gardens when working for a professional landscaping company. Such tasks provide time outdoors and physical activity, which builds strength. Being a landscaper can also give your child a sense of community involvement, which may encourage him or her to engage in local government or activism later in life.

Becoming a Golf Caddie

If you live near a golf course then you may want to encourage your child to become a caddie. As a golf caddie, your child will get fresh air and sunlight. Caddying will help your child build physical strength, as well as learn to work well with other people in one-on-one and small group settings. The pay earned from caddying can assist with college tuition costs. Scholarships for caddies may also be available.

Becoming a Lifeguard

If you live near the ocean, then an obvious choice for your child might be to become a lifeguard. Lifeguard positions are also available at lakes, ponds and community pools. Hotels and water parks may also require lifeguards.

It takes physical strength and mental commitment to become a lifeguard. Your child must pass several first aid courses and tests in order to become certified and get hired. The first aid techniques that a teen learns during lifeguard training may help him or her to save lives both as a lifeguard and later in life. He or she may even decide to go into the medical field.