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Here's how to find the best jobs for teens in 2022

Here's how to find the best jobs for teens in 2022

Teenager standing next to a register crossing his arms Credit: Getty Images / kali9

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Job hunting can feel like a daunting task, especially if you're joining the market for the first time. If you're searching for the best jobs for teens, you've picked a good time—according to the 2022 Summer Job Outlook for American Teens report released by the Drexel University Center for Labor Markets and Policy, teen employment in 2022 is expected to rise as Americans continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and face rising inflation rates.

So if you're looking for your first job, where do you start? What do you prepare? How much money can you ask for? We've researched the best job hunting sites you can use, places you can find online jobs for teens, which jobs are best suited for teens, and some job hunting tips that can help you take your search to the next level.

Where to find jobs for teens

Whether you know exactly which industry you want to work in or you're open to just about any job, you'll need a place to start searching—the most obvious being job search sites. But if you want a job with a local mom-and-pop shop or working for your neighbor's lawn service, those big sites won't serve you as well. Here are four places you can start your search for jobs for teens.

1. Online job hunting sites

ZipRecruiter screenshot
Credit: ZipRecruiter

Job hunting sites can help you find local jobs for teens near you.

A quick Google search of "jobs for teens" will pull up dozens of open job listings you can apply for. But blanket searches like that can lead to inaccurate results (like jobs for Pottery Barn Teen), which is why we recommend using job hunting sites tailored to your specific needs. Our favorites are ZipRecruiter, Indeed, and LinkedIn, but there are also a number of teen-specific sites, like Teens4Hire. Here are some online job hunting sites to kickstart your search:

  • ZipRecruiter: ZipRecruiter is one of the largest hunting sites out there. It's free to use, and when we tested, we found that its search capabilities were excellent. It's an excellent place to start if you're hunting for your first job, as the site allows you to connect with an actual recruiter who can help you discover what you want and apply for the best jobs for you.
  • Indeed: Indeed boasts the highest number of open jobs—you can search through millions of open roles—which can be both a blessing and a curse. The site has an expansive range of part-time, full-time, and online jobs, but the sheer number of jobs can feel overwhelming at times. Still, it's an excellent resource for job hunting and provides job alerts for specific key terms, if that's helpful for your search.
  • LinkedIn: Creating a LinkedIn profile is a must, even if your experience thus far has just been with school and volunteering. Through LinkedIn, you can find part-time, full-time, hourly, and contract jobs suited to their needs. You can also connect with your friends, teachers, family, and co-workers to start building out your professional network.
  • Teens4Hire: Teens4Hire is a website built specifically for teens hunting for professional opportunities, including jobs and internships. Teens4Hire works with companies across the world to pair teenagers looking for professional experience. The company stresses that it focuses on preparing teens for the job market, meaning they provide coaching on resume-building, job skills, and job readiness. The site is specifically geared toward teens ranging from 14 to 19 years old.
  • HireTeen: HireTeen compiles companies that hire teenagers and presents all applicable job openings on its site. If you're a teen and don't know what kind of job you'd enjoy, the site compiles the most popular jobs for teens and breaks them down by city, so you can pick a job best suited for your interests and location. This is a great place to start if you're overwhelmed by the prospect of job searching.

2. Friends, family, neighbors

Woman sitting with a teen boy and a clipboard
Credit: Getty Images / Valeriy_G

Family, neighbors, teachers, and counselors can help teens find their first jobs.

There is no shame in asking your mom's best friend for a job. Sometimes the easiest way to find a new job as a teenager is by asking those around you what openings their companies have or what kind of services they'd be willing to pay for. Know what you're looking for when you ask friends and family for recommendations—if you're looking for a temporary job, like a summer gig or weekend work you can complete around schooling, look for something with flexible hours or a virtual job you can complete on your own time.

There are also a number of specialized services you can advertise among your neighbors and friends. If you're particularly good at mowing the lawn, shoveling snow, cleaning homes, petsitting, or babysitting, consider putting out feelers among your neighbors and offering your services. Before you start, make sure you do your research for each role, including exactly what services you'll provide, how long your services will take, and how much you will charge per hour.

3. Local businesses

Woman holding a tray of coffee cups
Credit: Getty Images / GrapeImages

Local businesses, like coffee shops and retail stores, are great places for teens to work.

While online search sites are excellent for finding open jobs, they won't always include the smaller businesses in your area. This includes your favorite local coffee shop or that florist you love driving by every morning. The best way to find jobs at local businesses is by checking directly with the company. Small businesses are more likely to post openings directly on their websites or social media networks since these postings are free, so be sure to check there if you're interested in a specific company. You can also physically drop by the business and ask for a job application.

4. Social media

Hands typing on a computer
Credit: Reviewed

Social Media sites, including Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, often post jobs that could be available for teens.

Social media is another excellent—and free—place to find job openings or one-off opportunities. Here's how you can leverage the following sites for jobs for teens:

  • Facebook: You may not have an active Facebook profile, but many of your neighbors, relatives, and potential employers are posting there daily. When it comes to job hunting, Facebook groups are your best bet for finding openings. There are groups for specific roles (like writing) and specific cities. If you live within a community or neighborhood, join your local groups and look for open petsitting, babysitting, or lawn care roles posted by your neighbors. Be careful as you job hunt on Facebook; if you're working directly with a person (instead of a company), have your parents or a trusted adult help you vet the gig before you accept or show up to complete work. Indeed has excellent advice on how to tell if a job posting is a scam.
  • Twitter: When job hunting on Twitter, you'll want to follow specific accounts or hashtags that aggregate openings you may be interested in. Search for your specific location or desired field, like writing, design, marketing, etc. You can also follow specific people on Twitter who are prominent in the field you'd like to break into—often, they'll promote Tweets with job openings or post their own you can take advantage of.
  • LinkedIn: LinkedIn is both a job hunting site and an excellent social media network. LinkedIn is rife with career openings, but it's also an excellent place to work on building out your professional network. Don't be shy about connecting with people in your desired field—HBR has great tips for how to connect with people outside of your network on LinkedIn. Messaging people who work in your dream field (or have your dream job) is a great way to build connections and learn from seasoned professionals about how they grew in their fields. It's also a great way to get your foot in the door for any upcoming internships or hourly jobs you may be a great fit for.

Best jobs for teens

Camp counselor standing with three kids in a kayak
Credit: Getty Images / kali9

These are the best jobs for teens, including camp counselor, retail associate, lifeguard, and babysitter.

The best job for you will depend on your skills, transportation ability, salary needs, availability, and desires. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the most popular jobs for teens in 2022 are in the leisure and hospitality sectors, retail trade, education and health services, and professional and business services.

There are hundreds of jobs suitable for teenagers, but we've taken a look at compilations from Indeed, Monster, SimplyHired, and ZipRecruiter to see which are the best jobs for teens in 2022.

1. Tutor

Average pay: $23/hour (ZipRecruiter)
Responsibilities: Tutors tend to make higher salaries, but that's because their work is more tailored to one-on-one work with students on a specific subject. To be a successful tutor, you must be well versed in an area of study or skill, like math or guitar. Tutors can work through an after-school program or work directly with parents for coordination and payment.

2. Construction

Average pay: $20/hour (ZipRecruiter)
Responsibilities: Construction is a popular (and well-paying) job option for teens, according to the BLS. Construction jobs may vary from carpentry to building work, depending on whether you find a gig with a major company or local handyman. This may be a great job for teens looking to go into a trade or those who enjoy working with their hands as it requires manual work.

3. Babysitter

Average pay: $17/hour (ZipRecruiter)
Responsibilities: Babysitter tasks may vary depending on what kind of gig you're taking on, and for those babysitting more than one child, the rate tends to increase (so about $21 per hour per child). Babysitters are responsible for watching children, playing with them, and often transportation or feedings.

4. Delivery driver

Average pay: $16/hour (ZipRecruiter)
Responsibilities: There are hundreds of companies that employ delivery drivers, from Amazon to DoorDash. Hours tend to be flexible, meaning you can pick up shifts around your school schedule. Companies like Instacart and Shipt may add personal shopping to delivery as well, increasing your hourly rate.

5. Dog walker

Average pay: $15/hour (ZipRecruiter)
Responsibilities: Dog walkers can make a solid hourly fee, but hours may interfere with classes (especially for teens still in high school). There are many apps where you can sign up for local dog walking jobs, like Rover and Wag! As you build up your customer base, you can book recurring dog walking gigs at similar times each day. Pet sitting is another great job for teens, but may pay less (more around $14 an hour).

6. Retail worker

Average pay: $13/hour (ZipRecruiter)
Responsibilities: Retail work is one of the most common jobs teens can get. Teens can set hours around their schedules and pick retailers based on their personal interests. As you climb the retail ladder (and head up to managing or supervising roles), your rate increases, as well. Retail workers may be responsible for stocking products, acting as cashiers, bagging goods, and working with customers.

7. Camp Counselor

Average pay: $13/hour (ZipRecruiter)
Responsibilities: Camp Counselors typically work during the summer months, but there are a few camps that run throughout the year. Counselors are responsible for conducting outdoor activities, like creek walking, horseback riding, kayaking, tree climbing, and more. Overnight camp counselors tend to make marginally more than daytime counselors.

8. Lifeguard

Average pay: $13/hour (ZipRecruiter)
Responsibilities: Lifeguards are responsible for monitoring waterways and ensuring the safety of all their swimmers. Lifeguards undergo extensive training to ensure they're well prepared for work, including CPR certification.

9. Fast food attendant

Average pay: $13/hour (ZipRecruiter)
Responsibilities: Fast food attendants may be responsible for preparing food, working a cash register, cleaning dishes, bussing tables, and customer service.

10. Barista

Average pay: $11/hour (ZipRecruiter)
Responsibilities: Local coffee shops (and sometimes bookstores) employ baristas to make craft drinks and pastries. Your hourly rate may depend on whether you're going with a local business or major chain, but the responsibilities should be similar—making drinks, taking orders, working a cash register, working a drive-thru, cleaning, and customer service.

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