List of Good First Job Ideas for Teens

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Are you looking for your first job? When you're just starting out, the best job to look for is one that doesn't require formal skills and experience. There are plenty of jobs available for those just starting out in the workforce, especially if they are willing to work minimum wage jobs in order to gain valuable work experience.

Most appropriate jobs for someone who hasn't worked before will require very little, if any, experience.

Employers of young job seekers are willing and accustomed to training their employees.

In fact, training is usually part of the orientation program that employers provide to new hires.

Here's information on where to get hired, first job options, what you need to get hired, and how to find your first job.

Where to Get Hired

There are two ways to start working. Many young people start out with informal jobs like baby sitting, pet sitting, mowing lawns, or shoveling snow. The best way to find a job like this is to check with your friends and family. Also check with your school guidance office, coaches, trusted neighbors, and just about anyone else you know. The more people you ask, the better chance you will have of finding someone to hire you.

When you want to start getting formal work experience, the common industry sectors that hire workers without experience include hospitality, recreation, camps, food service, retail sales, and landscaping.

The peak season for hiring is the summer. If the summer job you land works out, you may be able to continue working part-time in the fall when you're back in school.

Another option would be to learn about and apply to student apprenticeship programs that may be available in your area. For example, Microsoft offers a number of apprenticeships to teens (older than 16) who live in Seattle or King County, Washington.

You can learn more about apprenticeships for teenagers by visiting your own state’s Labor Department website.

Review these tips for finding a great summer job to get started on a job search.

What You Need to Get Hired

Do keep in mind that for some jobs and in some locations you will need an employment certificate (also known as working papers) if you are under 18 to show an employer that you are old enough to work.

In addition, if you are under 16, there are some jobs that you are not allowed to work at, such as bar tending or jobs considered hazardous by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Others, especially if you are working for family, friends or neighbors, don't have restrictions. 

Here's a list of companies that hire high school students. Most require you to be 16, but some hire 14 and 15 year old employees. Details about requirements for being hired will be posted on the company website, so check before you take the time to apply.

First Job Options for Teens

Here is a sample list of titles for first jobs:

A - E

  • Activities Assistant
  • Amusement Ride Attendant
  • Babysitter
  • Bagger
  • Baseball Umpire for Little League
  • Basketball Referee for Juniors
  • Busser
  • Camp Counselor
  • Camp Counselor in Training
  • Car Detailing
  • Car Wash Attendant
  • Cashier 
  • Child Care Assistant
  • Cleaner
  • Concession Worker
  • Counselor In Training
  • Counter Worker - Food Service
  • Customer Service
  • Dishwasher
  • Dog Walker
  • Drugstore Cashier

F - M

  • Editing
  • Farmhand
  • Fast Food Worker
  • Food Prep Worker
  • Food Server
  • Food Service Worker 
  • Golf Caddy
  • Household Chores
  • Kennel Assistant
  • Landscaper
  • Lawn Mower
  • Lifeguard
  • Merchandiser
  • Mother's Helper
  • Music Reviews
  • Music Teacher for Young Children

N - Z

  • Nursery Worker
  • Office Workers
  • Packing and Moving
  • Paper Delivery Person
  • Pet Sitter
  • Programmer
  • Proofreader
  • Receptionist
  • Restaurant Hostess/Host
  • Retail Store Sales Clerk
  • Social Media Specialist
  • Soccer Referee for Juniors
  • Stocker
  • Swim Instructor
  • Ticket Taker
  • Tutor (in-person or online)
  • Waiter/Waitress

With a little initiative – and the willingness to work conscientiously at jobs that initially only pay minimum wage – you can begin to establish your reputation as a competent and dedicated employee while earning some extra money.

This work experience, as well as the positive references you can collect from employers who are satisfied by your performance, will help to ensure that future employers will be interested in you as an attractive job candidate.

Read More: How to Find Your First Job | How to Get Working Papers | Jobs for 14 Year Olds