15 Best Summer Jobs for Teens

summer jobs for teens

The temperatures are rising throughout the country, indicating that summer is just around the corner. If you’re looking for a summer job as a teenager, there are many opportunities.

From traditional jobs to side gigs and more, teens have plenty of options to choose from that can help them pad their bank accounts.

Whether you want a structured schedule or a more flexible opportunity, you’ll find some of the best summer jobs for teens below. 

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Top Summer Jobs for Teens

Before you start your job hunt, consider how you want to spend your time during the summer. You’ll find a wide variety of job opportunities with different schedules and demands. 

For example, if you want to spend time outdoors, consider looking for a camp counselor or gardener job. Or, if you are looking for flexibility, freelancing might be more up your alley. 

Here’s a look at the top summer jobs for teens, from the highest average pay to the lowest.

1. Housesitter

As summer vacations ramp up, you can offer house sitting services to your friends and family. If you do a good job, you can ask them to share your services with others so you can find more work. 

When house sitting, the details of the job vary based on the house. In general, you’ll make sure that the house is secure while the owners are away. 

For most house sitting jobs, you’ll stay at the home so that it doesn’t look empty. In other cases, you’ll just pop by regularly to make sure nothing is amiss.

A few tasks you might do include:

  • Bringing in the mail
  • Watering the plants
  • Monitoring the property
  • Picking up the newspaper
  • Bringing in packages
  • Turning lights on or off

You’ll need to be reliable when watching out for someone else’s home since you are responsible for making sure the home stays safe while the homeowner is away.

One of the best benefits of this gig is that you can often do it simultaneously with other summer jobs since it doesn’t require you to actually be at the home 24/7. This allows you to increase your earnings.

Average Pay: $34 per hour 

Source: https://www.ziprecruiter.com/Salaries/House-Sitter-Salary


  • Fairly easy tasks
  • Can stay in cool homes
  • Work other jobs simultaneously


  • A lot of responsibility
  • Can get lonely

2. Freelancer

Regardless of if you are a teenager, freelancing is a flexible way to earn an income while building skills. Depending on your experience level and expertise, you can build your freelancing hustle into a lucrative income stream. 

A few different types of freelancing gigs include:

  • Writing
  • Social media
  • Graphic design
  • Data entry

But you can freelance with many different types of skills. Plus, it gives you the opportunity to learn different skill sets while earning a paycheck. 

If you want to give freelancing a try, consider getting started with a platform like Upwork or Fivver to find clients. 

Keep in mind that once you build a portfolio, pitching individual clients will likely land you better pay.

Average Pay: $28 per hour

Source: https://www.ziprecruiter.com/Salaries/freelancer-Salary


  • Choose your clients
  • Build your skill set
  • Flexible schedule
  • Can work year round


  • Finding clients can be hard
  • Potential platform fees

3. Tutor

Do you excel at a particular subject? Tutoring jobs could be the perfect opportunity to turn your knowledge into cash. 

Although teaching children is easier said than done, it’s manageable for most one-on-one instructors. 

If you want to offer tutoring services, then consider sticking to one or two subjects. The more experience you have in one area, the more you can charge. 

You can find clients by asking around your community. Another good way to find clients is to post fliers near schools and churches. 

Once you have a student, make sure to track their progress and work towards their educational goals during every single session. 

Average Pay: $22 per hour

Source: https://www.ziprecruiter.com/Salaries/Tutor-Salary


  • Share your expertise
  • Can work year round
  • Get to help kids


  • Teaching can be challenging
  • Pay depends on experience

4. Golf Caddy

As a golf caddy, you’ll carry around golf bags for the day. Plus, you can offer players tips about a particular golf course. 

Golf caddy programs are typically found at private courses with an established tenure. However, it can be difficult to find these jobs listed online. Instead, you’ll either have to know someone or ask around to find out about these opportunities. 

It can be tough work to follow players around all day with a heavy bag of golf clubs. Fortunately, there are often substantial tips involved. 

Consider stopping by your local golf course to ask about this potential summer job.

Average Pay: $19 per hour

Source: https://www.ziprecruiter.com/Salaries/Golf-Caddy-Salary


  • Increase earnings with tips
  • Be outdoors


  • Physically demanding
  • Hard to find work

5. Item Flipper

Flipping an item means buying it for less than you sell it for. As a flipper, you’ll buy or find free items to sell for a profit. 

The earning potential for retail arbitrage varies dramatically. Depending on how much time you have to commit, you could make thousands of dollars each month. Otherwise, you might just make a couple of bucks here and there. 

Don’t have any money to get started? That’s okay. Start with freebies that you find on Craigslist or on the side of the road. You can sell them on Facebook Marketplace to kickstart this hustle. 

As you gain experience, you’ll find out what will sell quickly in your area. Then, you can use this knowledge to maximize your income.

Average Pay: $18 per hour

Source: https://www.ziprecruiter.com/Salaries/item-flipper-Salary


  • Flexible
  • Can work year round


  • Has a learning curve
  • Highly varied pay

6. Babysitter

Babysitters offer childcare help to parents. Depending on the situation, you might babysit the kids while their parents are at work. Or, you might pop in to watch the kids for a few hours while their parents enjoy a night out. 

As a babysitter, you’ll be in charge of making sure the child is safe while their parents are gone. It’s a fun opportunity for those that love kids. 

The difficulty level of this job depends on the child. Be prepared for a workout as you play with the kids. Also, don’t forget to bring your creative juices to help keep them entertained. 

You can find opportunities by asking around or looking at listings on Care.com

Average Pay: $17 per hour

Source: https://www.ziprecruiter.com/Salaries/Babysitter-Salary


  • Fun job with kids
  • Year-round opportunity


  • A lot of responsibility
  • Work can be inconsistent

7. Gardener

If you like spending time outside, becoming a gardener for the summer is a great option. The work can be very labor intensive, but the ability to work with your hands might be a nice change of pace from your schoolwork. 

You can choose to go it alone as a gardener. However, you’ll need access to lawn care equipment. Plus, it can take time to drum up some business. 

The other option is to work for a landscaping company. These companies already have clients, but they need extra hands to get the work done.

On average, you can expect to make more if you find your own clients. To find clients, start by asking around your neighborhood or putting up flyers. 

Average Pay: $15 per hour

Source: https://www.ziprecruiter.com/Salaries/Gardener-Salary


  • Be outdoors
  • Work with your hands
  • Many work opportunities


  • May need equipment
  • Labor intensive

8. Movie Theater Employee

Movie theaters might be making a comeback this summer. If you are a cinema buff or just like the smell of popcorn, a movie theater gig could be the perfect fit for you.

Typically, a movie theater attendant scans tickets and sells snacks. The most difficult part of the job is likely cleaning up after a showing. But it could all be worth it when you get to watch free movies after work.

Better yet, it’s a nice quiet place to work without venturing out of the air conditioning. 

Average Pay: $15 per hour

Source: https://www.ziprecruiter.com/Salaries/movie-theater-attendant-Salary


  • See movies for free
  • Cool environment
  • Quiet place to work


  • Rushes can be stressful
  • Cleaning up isn’t fun

9. Summer Intern

Any job is a productive way to spend the summer. Nevertheless, a summer internship can help you open the door to future career opportunities. 

Typically, you’ll need to find an internship program that aligns with your experience and goals. Depending on your field, that can be easier said than done. 

Consider asking around campus to find the best summer internship opportunities.

Pay can vary substantially based on your field and level of education. Some internships are even unpaid. That said, the greatest compensation can be gaining experience in the industry you hope to work in after college.

Average Pay: $15 per hour

Source: https://www.ziprecruiter.com/Salaries/Intern-Salary


  • Get job experience
  • Build your network
  • Potential college credit


  • Potentially low (or no) pay
  • Can be competitive

10. Retail Customer Service Associate

What if you could work at your favorite store? It’s possible to do this as a retail customer service associate. Although it might not be thrilling work, you can tap into big discounts on top of your paycheck. 

Typically, you’ll need to stock shelves, help customers and run the checkout line. That said, the responsibilities vary based on the store. 

One downside is that you might get stuck working weekends, nights and holidays. The flexibility is a bit limited since you work when you are scheduled.

If you are comfortable with lots of customer interactions, then this job could be the perfect fit for you. 

Average Pay: $14 per hour

Source: https://www.ziprecruiter.com/Salaries/Retail-Customer-Service-Salary


  • Discounts at stores
  • Social job


  • May work unideal hours
  • Lacks flexibility

11. Housekeeper

Cleaning houses might not be the most exciting work. Nevertheless, it’s a flexible way to earn an income this summer. 

You can either work for an existing cleaning company or find your own clients. 

In most cases, you’ll earn more if you find your own clients. However, it can be easier to find work if you sign up with a service. 

As a housekeeper, it can be difficult to know what you are signing up for before you jump into cleaning a house. Some houses just need a little bit of work, while others need a ton of elbow grease. 

If you aren’t sure what you are walking into, try to set an hourly rate instead of a project rate. You might even be able to increase your rate if you offer additional services, like home organization. 

Average Pay: $13 per hour

Source: https://www.ziprecruiter.com/Salaries/housekeeper-Salary


  • Many work opportunities
  • Can offer additional services
  • Could work year round


  • Can be gross
  • Potentially labor intensive

12. Food Service

Teenagers can find plenty of job openings in the food service industry. Although this is not usually the most glamorous work, it’s useful job experience to add to your resume. 

You could look for a fast food job that includes cooking, cleaning, food prep or manning the register. Alternately, you could get a job as a server. 

The best option for you will depend on your skills and personality. If you don’t want to interact with customers, then clearing or food prep is the better option. 

Visit a restaurant of your choice to see if they are hiring today. 

Average Pay: $12 per hour

Source: https://www.ziprecruiter.com/Salaries/food-service-Salary


  • Get free or discounted food
  • Potential for tips
  • Could work year round


  • Customers can be challenging
  • Not very glamorous

13. Lifeguard

Lifeguarding is one of the quintessential summer jobs. With countless pools across the country open for the summer and many people headed to beaches and lakes, lifeguards are in high demand. 

Although you’ll be outside enjoying the sun in your raised lifeguard chair, this job comes with a lot of responsibility. You’ll need to be on the lookout for potential problems in the water. 

It might be more challenging than you think to keep a pool, lake or ocean of swimmers safe. With that, you’ll need to pass certification before you get started. 

Check out the American Red Cross for more information about this standard certification course. 

Average Pay: $12 per hour

Source: https://www.ziprecruiter.com/Salaries/Lifeguard-Salary


  • Work outdoors
  • Many opportunities


  • Certification required
  • Low pay

14. Pet Sitter

If you love animals, then pet sitting might be your dream job. After all, someone is willing to pay you to hang out with a furry friend. It doesn’t get much better than that. 

Plus, this is usually a flexible opportunity that you can work around your other obligations. 

You can find clients through word of mouth or using a platform like Rover.

The amount you can earn varies. But, generally, it starts to add up when you are watching the pets for an extended period of time. 

Consider adding a personal touch like sending pictures to the pet parents to earn repeat customers and referrals.

Average Pay: $12 per hour

Source: https://www.ziprecruiter.com/Salaries/PET-Sitter-Salary


  • Work with animals
  • Can work year round
  • Flexible


  • A lot of responsibility
  • Low pay

15. Camp Counselor

Summertime means that numerous camps open up for young children. Although this can be a demanding option, it can also be very rewarding. You’ll have the chance to impact every child that passes through your camp group. 

Depending on the camp, you might be in a beautiful location. Many camps even offer accommodations and food to their counselors. 

However, if you are working for a local summer camp, that won’t be an option. 

When you are considering a camp counselor job, look for themes that align with your interests. For example, you could be a counselor for an environmental learning camp, sports camp or even an art camp.

Average Pay: $10 per hour

Source: https://www.ziprecruiter.com/Salaries/CAMP-Counselor-Salary


  • Work with kids
  • Might get accommodations


  • Low pay
  • Can be demanding


Not sure which summer job for teens is the best option for you? These answers might be able to help you choose the perfect gig to put some extra cash in your wallet.

What are the best-paying summer jobs for teens?

The best-paying summer jobs for teens include freelancing, tutoring and being a golf caddy. 

While the hourly pay for house sitting is high, the number of hours required per day is low, making it less lucrative than some of the other opportunities.

Which summer jobs for teens don’t require previous experience?

Typically, you can get a job in food service, customer service or at a movie theater without any previous experience. However, your position could be less glamorous and your pay might be lower.

What job opportunities for teens are the most flexible?

When it comes to flexibility, freelancing and item flipping are the best options. Teens can do these in their free time without having to commit to regular hours from a traditional job or clients.

Which jobs could teens turn into their own side hustle?

There are many opportunities for teens that can turn into a side hustle or actual business. Freelancing, item flipping, gardening and housekeeping are just a few examples.

That said, it takes time and effort to turn these into businesses that offer a living wage.


As a teenager, a summer job can be your first taste of financial freedom. Luckily, there are many opportunities teens can pursue to earn some extra cash.

With a little bit of money in your pocket, it can be tempting to spend it all on your favorite things. But if possible, try to save or even invest at least some of your paycheck.

Even a little bit can add up to major savings in the future.

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