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Summer Jobs for Teens

A guide for parents to help their teens find summer jobs.

If your teenager is looking for something to do this summer, you might consider allowing them to get a summer job. Research has shown that working teens see many benefits later in life, such as increased income, better time management skills, and improved work ethic.

Knowing the Teen Workforce

If your teen is looking for a summer job, make sure they know what resources are available to them. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has many tools for young workers to help them understand their rights. Teenagers are limited in the types of jobs and number of hours they can work.
The DOL recommends that young workers learn what their employers can and cannot require of them before they start a new job. Every state has laws specifically designed to deal with youth labor issues. It is recommended that you and your teenager become familiar with the laws and rules in your state

Summer Job Ideas

One challenge teenagers face when trying to find a summer job is the time constraints of the school year. It can sometimes be difficult for youth to find jobs that have a set start and end date and fall in line with the summer months. Indeed ranks these as the 10 best jobs for teens in 2021:
  • Fast food attendant (National average salary: $9.29 per hour) 
  • Car wash attendant (National average salary: $10.17 per hour) 
  • ​Kennel assistant (National average salary: $10.54 per hour) 
  • ​Grocery store cashier (National average salary: $10.55 per hour) 
  • Daycare assistant (National average salary: $11.19 per hour) 
  • Concession stand worker (National average salary: $11.35 per hour) 
  • Restaurant server (National average salary: $11.42 per hour) 
  • Restaurant host/hostess (National average salary: $11.55 per hour) 
  • Barista (National average salary: $11.59 per hour) 
  • Lifeguard (National average salary: $11.81 per hour)

The Summer Job Search

If your teen is having a hard time finding summer employment, seasonal positions and locally owned businesses are a great place to start. They can also filter jobs by "teen summer" on Indeed.com, in conjunction with the location they are searching in, to find employment in their area. Indeed also allows job seekers to search by age, so teens can filter out jobs they do not qualify for.

Summer Jobs & Co-Parenting

In a co-parenting situation, it is important for both parents to be on the same page when it comes to the teen's summer job. Make sure you discuss what type of work your child will be doing, what hours they will be working, and how they will get there.
You and your co-parent should agree on your teen's employment and its terms. It is important for both parents to feel comfortable with the child's job and the employer. It can be beneficial to sit down with your co-parent before your teen starts their job search, so you can come to an agreement on what types of work your teen is allowed to do.
Co-parents should also discuss what hours the teen will be at work, especially if one or both parents will be providing transportation. Getting a plan in place ahead of time can save everyone time and confusion down the road. This can also save you and your co-parent from getting into a potential scheduling conflict.
If your child will be relying on you and your co-parent for transportation, it is best to set a schedule or guidelines beforehand. If your teen plans on driving to their summer job, this should also be discussed with your co-parent. It is important to make sure both parents feel comfortable with how the child will be getting to and from work, and how late they will be commuting.

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