Best Paying Jobs for Teens: 15 High-Paying Options to Consider

by | Apr 18, 2024 | Advices | 0 comments

As summer approaches, many teenagers eagerly anticipate the opportunity to earn extra money during their break from school. With a wide variety of industries hiring temporary workers, teens have numerous options for finding well-paying summer jobs. From classic roles like babysitting and lifeguarding to more unique positions in retail, food service, and outdoor recreation, there’s no shortage of opportunities for motivated teens to gain valuable work experience and build their savings.

Top 15 High Paying Summer Jobs for Teens

When it comes to finding the best paying summer jobs, teens have a range of options to choose from. Some of the most lucrative positions include babysitting, lifeguarding, and working as a camp counselor. These roles often offer flexible hours and the potential to earn well above minimum wage, making them attractive choices for teens looking to maximize their earnings.

Other high-paying summer jobs for teens include working in retail sales, food service, and outdoor industries like landscaping and pool cleaning. While these positions may not offer the same level of flexibility as babysitting or lifeguarding, they can still provide teens with valuable work experience and the opportunity to earn a steady paycheck.

1. Babysitting

Babysitting is one of the most popular and flexible summer jobs for teens, with hourly rates ranging from $15 to $26 depending on factors like location and the number of children being cared for. Teens who enjoy working with children and have a responsible, nurturing demeanor can excel in this role, which often allows for a great deal of scheduling flexibility.

To increase their earning potential, teens can consider obtaining certifications in child care, first aid, and CPR. Building a strong reputation and client base can also lead to consistent work and higher pay rates over time.

2. Lifeguard

Lifeguarding is another classic summer job that offers teens the chance to earn good money while soaking up the sun. With some areas paying more than $20 per hour, lifeguarding can be a lucrative option for strong swimmers who are comfortable working in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment.

To become a lifeguard, teens typically need to meet minimum age requirements that vary by state, as well as obtain certification in lifeguarding and CPR. Lifeguarding can be a rewarding job for teens who enjoy being outdoors and want to play a crucial role in keeping swimmers safe.

3. Camp Counselor

Working as a camp counselor is a popular choice for teens who love spending time outdoors and engaging in a variety of activities. With over 12,000 summer camps in the United States contributing $70 billion to the economy each year, there are plenty of opportunities for teens to find work in this field.

Camp counselors typically earn a competitive salary while gaining valuable leadership skills and forming lasting friendships with fellow counselors and campers. This role is ideal for energetic, outgoing teens who enjoy working with children and want to make a positive impact on their lives.

Flexible Part-Time Jobs for Teens

In addition to traditional summer jobs, many teens seek out flexible part-time positions that allow them to balance work with other commitments like family vacations, summer classes, or extracurricular activities. Online jobs, tutoring, and freelance opportunities are just a few examples of the adaptable work arrangements available to teens.

These positions often allow teens to set their own schedules and work from home, making them an appealing choice for those who value flexibility and autonomy. While pay rates may vary depending on the specific job and the teen’s level of experience, part-time and online jobs can still provide a steady source of income and valuable work experience.

4. Pet Sitting & Dog Walking

Service Average Hourly Rate
Pet Sitting $10 – $25
Dog Walking $10 – $60 per walk

Pet sitting and dog walking are flexible, part-time job options that are perfect for animal-loving teens. With hourly rates ranging from $10 to $25 for pet sitting and $10 to $60 per walk for dog walking, these jobs can be quite lucrative for teens who are able to build a strong client base.

To succeed in these roles, teens should be responsible, reliable, and comfortable working with animals of all sizes and temperaments. Building positive relationships with clients and their pets can lead to consistent work and excellent pay over time.

5. Tutor

Tutoring is another flexible part-time job that allows teens to share their knowledge and skills with others. Whether they specialize in a particular academic subject, musical instrument, or foreign language, teens with strong communication skills and a passion for teaching can excel as tutors.

Tutoring rates can vary widely depending on the subject matter, the tutor’s level of expertise, and local market demand. However, with the ability to set their own schedules and rates, tutoring can be a highly profitable part-time job for qualified teens.

6. Freelance Writer

For teens with strong writing skills and an entrepreneurial spirit, freelance writing can be a lucrative and flexible part-time job. Freelance writers can work with a variety of clients, crafting content for websites, blogs, marketing materials, and more.

Pay rates for freelance writing can vary depending on factors like the writer’s experience level, the complexity of the project, and the client’s budget. However, skilled teen writers who are able to market themselves effectively and deliver high-quality work can potentially earn a significant income through freelance writing.

Outdoor Summer Jobs for Teens

Many teens enjoy spending their summers outdoors, soaking up the sun and staying active. Fortunately, there are plenty of outdoor summer jobs available that allow teens to earn money while enjoying the beautiful weather.

From landscaping and pool cleaning to working as a golf caddy or camp counselor, outdoor summer jobs offer teens the chance to build valuable skills, get some exercise, and earn a paycheck all at the same time. These positions can be particularly appealing for teens who love being in nature and don’t mind a little hard work in the heat.

7. Golf Caddy

For teens who enjoy spending time on the golf course, working as a golf caddy can be a fun and profitable summer job. Golf caddies typically earn minimum wage plus tips, with the potential to earn a higher income at high-end country clubs or resorts.

The main duties of a golf caddy include carrying players’ golf bags, providing advice and assistance on the course, and maintaining a positive attitude throughout the game. Teens who are knowledgeable about golf and have strong customer service skills can excel in this role.

8. Landscaper

Landscaping is another popular outdoor summer job that allows teens to stay active and earn a steady paycheck. Landscaping duties may include mowing lawns, planting and maintaining gardens, trimming trees and shrubs, and installing outdoor features like retaining walls or irrigation systems.

To succeed as a landscaper, teens should be physically fit, detail-oriented, and comfortable working outdoors in all types of weather. Some landscaping positions may require teens to have their own transportation and basic landscaping tools, so it’s important to research the specific requirements of each job before applying.

9. Pool Cleaner

For teens who love being around the water, working as a pool cleaner can be a fun and lucrative summer job. Pool cleaners are responsible for maintaining the cleanliness and safety of swimming pools, which may involve tasks like skimming the surface, vacuuming the bottom, and testing and adjusting the water chemistry.

While some pool cleaning jobs may require specialized training or certification, many positions are entry-level and provide on-the-job training. Pool cleaners typically earn more than minimum wage, with the potential for higher pay rates and tips from satisfied clients.

Retail & Food Service Jobs for Teens

Retail and food service industries are popular sources of summer employment for teens, offering a wide range of entry-level positions with varying pay rates and scheduling options. From working as a sales associate in a clothing store to serving up delicious meals at a local restaurant, these jobs provide teens with valuable customer service experience and the chance to earn a steady paycheck.

While some retail and food service jobs may pay minimum wage, others offer competitive hourly rates or the chance to earn tips. Teens who excel in these roles are typically outgoing, reliable, and able to work well in a fast-paced environment.

10. Retail Sales Associate

Working as a retail sales associate is a classic summer job for teens who enjoy interacting with customers and have an interest in fashion, electronics, home goods, or other consumer products. Sales associates are responsible for assisting customers, processing transactions, and maintaining the appearance of the store.

Retail jobs can be found at a variety of businesses, from small local boutiques to large national chains. While many positions pay minimum wage, some retailers offer competitive hourly rates, employee discounts, and opportunities for advancement.

11. Restaurant Server

Restaurant server positions are a popular choice for outgoing teens who enjoy working in a fast-paced environment. Servers are responsible for taking orders, delivering food and drinks, and ensuring that customers have a positive dining experience.

While server positions typically pay minimum wage, the opportunity to earn tips can significantly increase a teen’s earning potential. Successful servers are typically friendly, attentive, and able to multitask effectively in a busy restaurant setting.

12. Barista

For teens who love coffee and enjoy interacting with customers, working as a barista can be a fun and rewarding summer job. Baristas are responsible for preparing and serving a variety of coffee drinks, as well as maintaining a clean and inviting café environment.

While barista positions typically pay minimum wage, some coffee shops offer competitive hourly rates, tips, and employee discounts. Teens who are passionate about coffee culture and have strong customer service skills can excel in this role.

Unique High Paying Jobs for Teens

While traditional summer jobs like retail and food service are popular choices for many teens, there are also a variety of unique, high-paying opportunities available for those who are willing to think outside the box. From starting their own business to building a following on social media, enterprising teens have the potential to earn significant income while pursuing their passions.

These unconventional job options may require a bit more initiative and creativity than traditional summer jobs, but the payoff can be well worth the effort. Teens who are able to identify and capitalize on their unique skills and interests may find that they can turn their summer job into a lucrative long-term career.

13. Entrepreneur

For teens with an entrepreneurial spirit, starting a summer business can be a challenging but rewarding way to earn money. From mowing lawns and washing cars to selling handmade crafts online, there are endless opportunities for teens to turn their skills and passions into a profitable venture.

While starting a business requires a significant amount of hard work and dedication, successful teen entrepreneurs have the potential to earn a substantial income while gaining valuable experience in areas like marketing, financial management, and customer service. With the right idea and a solid plan for execution, enterprising teens can lay the foundation for a successful long-term career as a business owner.

14. Social Media Influencer

In today’s digital age, social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube have created new opportunities for teens to earn money through sponsored content, affiliate marketing, and other forms of online influence. Teens with a large and engaged following on one or more social media platforms can potentially earn a significant income by partnering with brands and creating compelling content.

While becoming a successful social media influencer requires a great deal of time, effort, and creativity, teens who are able to build a strong personal brand and connect with their audience can turn their social media presence into a lucrative summer job or even a full-time career.

15. Photographer

For teens with a passion for photography and an eye for capturing special moments, working as a freelance photographer can be a fun and profitable summer job. From snapping photos at local events and weddings to selling stock photography online, there are many ways for talented teen photographers to turn their skills into a source of income.

While building a successful photography business may require an initial investment in equipment and marketing, determined teens can potentially earn a significant income by honing their craft and building a strong portfolio of work. With the rise of social media and online marketplaces, it’s easier than ever for teen photographers to showcase their talent and connect with potential clients.


As the summer job market heats up, teens have a wide range of opportunities to earn money and gain valuable work experience. From classic options like babysitting and retail to more unconventional choices like starting a business or building a social media following, there are high-paying jobs available to suit every teen’s skills and interests.

By exploring the various options and being proactive in their job search, teens can make the most of their summer break and set themselves up for long-term financial success. Whether they choose to work as a camp counselor, freelance writer, or something in between, teens who are willing to work hard and think creatively have the potential to turn their summer job into a lucrative and fulfilling career.

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