Teen Jobs That Pay Well

Check out these top jobs for teens.

If you’re a teenager or a college student, there’s a good chance you will have a job this summer. If you look at the Bureau of Labor Statistics, during July 2022, 55.3% of young people — persons aged 16 to 24 — were employed.

So what’s realistically out there for a teenager looking for work? Probably a lot of the types of jobs you might expect, but also a few occupations that you may have not considered.

Keep reading to see eight jobs for teens that are worth considering applying for. National wage data comes from the BLS.

Restaurant Team Member

Median hourly wage in 2022: $12.49 per hour

This is the type of job that is a rite of passage for many teenagers. Restaurants need workers year-round, but the summers are often a busy time, with kids being out of school and people on vacation. You could probably nab a summer job working as a server, host, dishwasher or a restaurant cook.

How much you will earn depends on your exact duties, but there is the potential to make a good income, especially if there are tips involved. Overall, food and beverage service and related workers had median wages of $12.49 an hour last year.

Warehouse Team Member

Median hourly wage in 2022: $14.58 per hour

This isn’t exactly a traditional teenage job — your parents probably didn’t work in a warehouse — but online shopping has become such a force over the years that warehouses are actively, aggressively advertising positions as a terrific summer job for teenagers.

It isn’t glamorous work. You might be stocking shelves, organizing products or cleaning the warehouse. You could be asked if you want to work a night shift. But it might be a good fit for you if you don’t want to work in customer service, and it might be some good experience for a future career in warehouse management, such as working as a logistician (they often are overseeing the warehouse). And as you can see, the money isn’t too bad. Keep in mind that $14.58 an hour is median pay for last year; odds are, with inflation, you’ll probably find something higher.

Food Delivery

Median hourly wage in 2022: $17.62 per hour

Yes, you could be a pizza delivery driver. Or you might work for a food delivery service like Grubhub.

You’ll want to think about this carefully, however. First of all, most pizza chains will only hire teenagers to drive and deliver pizzas if they are 18 years old, and so if you’re younger, this may not be a good fit. Second, you’ll want to ask yourself if you want to put a lot of wear and tear on your car (or your parents’ car) this summer. Third, sometimes there are news stories about delivery drivers who are robbed. Especially if you work at night, it may not be the safest job out there.

On the other hand, you may live in a pretty safe community and enjoy being on the road and feel that the tips offset any of the downsides.

Delivery Truck Drivers

Median hourly wage in 2022: $17.62 per hour

This may be a good job for some teenagers, but it depends on the business. Generally, it can be a difficult job to get for a teenager under 18 or even 21, depending where you’re driving to. For instance, if you’re under 21, you typically can’t drive a commercial vehicle from one state to another.

Still, maybe there’s a local business, like a furniture store or a pharmacy, that could use some summer help with deliveries.

Learn more about delivery truck drivers.


Median hourly wage in 2022: $12.49 per hour

We all need our coffee. If you like the idea of working at a coffeehouse and (probably) getting copious amounts of free or discounted caffeinated and noncaffeinated beverages and snacks, and you like the energy created when a long line of customers are clamoring for their favorite drink, this could be a fun gig. If you’re working with other teenagers and pulling in tips, it could be even more fun and profitable.

And then when you’re a little older, like 21 or older, you might want to consider becoming a bartender, which is where the tips can really add up.

Retail Salesperson

Median hourly wage in 2022: $14.03 per hour

Another classic in the annals of teenage summer jobs. Retail can be thankless, and it can be really satisfying, or a bit of both, depending on where you work, who you work with and what you’re doing. It’s also often a great summer job. Stores often need help in the summer when families seem to be out and about more and spending freely.

It’s a position and career that entails getting to know a store inside and out. If you’re a people person, you’ll thrive, since customer service is so important. You’ll likely handle a cash register. You may be in the store room organizing shipments. Of course, if you really love this job, this could be the first step to someday having a career in retail and becoming store manager, regional manager or something even bigger than that.

You could also think a little outside the box and work in retail somewhere other than a shopping plaza or mall and go somewhere with a really dynamic energy. For instance, if there’s an airport near you, those have stores. If you live near an amusement park or zoo, they have stores, too.

Learn more about retail salespersons.


Median hourly wage in 2022: $14.40 per hour

These are typically front desk jobs where you’ll be answering the phones and welcoming guests to the business. Similar to retail, you’ll wind up getting to know a lot about the company you’re working for. It can be an excellent way to start off at a business that you may want to work for long term, or just a way to earn extra cash over the summer.

So what types of places hire receptionists? Just about anywhere. A car dealership, your local community center, a doctor’s office and basically any company open for business. How many of them hire teenagers? That’s a harder question to answer. You can call and ask or look for ads at job sites. You could also try working for a temporary agency, which might send you to work as a receptionist at various companies in your community, to fill in when the regular receptionist goes on a summer vacation.

Learn more about receptionists.

Recreation and Fitness Worker

Median hourly wage in 2022: $14.27 per hour

For some teenagers (or seasoned adults, for that matter) this could be a dream job. Many recreation and fitness workers work at community centers like the YMCA, public pools, parks, gyms and nursing facilities.

Depending on your interests and experience, you could be a lifeguard at a swimming pool, a summer camp counselor or work at a nature center. All day, you’re helping people get exercise or improve their horizons — maybe at a nursing facility, you’ll teach art to senior citizens — and in the process, you get to do pretty much the same stuff and get paid for it.

Learn more about recreation and fitness workers.

Teen jobs that pay well:

— Restaurant Team Member

— Warehouse Team Member

— Food Delivery

— Package Delivery

— Barista

— Retail Salesperson

— Receptionist

— Recreation and Fitness Worker

More from U.S. News

The Best Creative Jobs

8 Best Tech Jobs

Best Remote Working Jobs

Teen Jobs That Pay Well originally appeared on usnews.com

Update 04/21/23: This story was published at an earlier data and has been updated with new information.

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up