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20 Fantastic Summer Jobs for Teens & College Students

This article examines 20 summer jobs that are perfect fits for teens in high school and college students. We’ve sifted them by those most suitable for high school students and those that are a better fit for college students. All of the jobs are super ways to build your job experience over the summer break. There are even a few that would be suitable for part-time work during the school year.

What is a summer/seasonal job? 

Seasonal jobs are short-term positions. They can be found any time of the year, but they are the most common in summer. They employ available workers who have time off from school. That can include students and teachers or even retired people working to supplement their income.

Summer jobs are often full-time positions at 40 or more hours per week. They can also be part-time jobs or even temporary jobs helping fill in vacancies for regular workers who are taking vacation time.

What are the benefits of a summer job? 

Summer jobs offer good pay and extra cash that can help with college tuition, paying student loans, car payments, and anything else that’s needed. But the benefits don’t stop there.

You’ll also gain valuable experience in both the work itself and in working with others, including supervisors. Plus, any job experience can look great on your resume as you apply for jobs after high school or college.

Yet another benefit is that you’ll get firsthand experience in the world of work, which can help you determine what type of work you’d like for your career path. Some students even turn a summer job into a full-time job after school. All this adds up to a great way to spend our summer months.

What is the best summer job for a high school student?

We’ve identified 10 summer jobs that are ideal for high school students. They are also excellent first jobs. For each position, we provide the expected hourly pay and a brief description of the work. The average salary has been provided by Payscale.

1. Babysitter

National Average Pay: $11.87/hour

Primary Duties: Babysitters provide childcare often in the children’s home. It’s typically part-time work in the evenings or during the day when the parent needs to be away. Babysitting involves organizing activities for the children and possibly preparing meals as well as cleaning up. This is a perfect summer job if you need part-time work rather than full-time.

2. Lifeguard

National Average Pay: $10.29/hour

Primary Duties: Working at a beach, water park, or pool, lifeguards monitor activity and ensure swimmers’ safety. It’s often outdoors and requires certifications in life-saving techniques and first aid. You’ll also need to be in excellent physical shape.

3. Barista

National Average Pay: $11.16/hour

Primary Duties: Working in a coffee house, the position takes orders, prepares coffee, and serves customers. The skill of making various drinks is often learned on the job. Customer service is a key requirement of this job. It’s an excellent job within the foodservice industry.

4. Camp Counselor

National Average Pay: $10.04/hour

Primary Duties: Camp counselors work with children during summer camp. Depending on the camp, the activities can be outdoors or indoors, often working with crafts and games. You’ll need to be creative, enjoy working with children, and be very patient.

5. Clerk or Clerical Assistant

National Average Pay: $14.46/hour

Primary Duties: Clerical assistants answer and route phone calls, type documents, sort and distribute mail, and file records. Experience with word processing and spreadsheet software is required. This type of position can lead to full-time work after high school.

6. Cashier

National Average Pay: $10.68/hour

Primary Duties: Operates a cash drawer, takes customer orders, and handles receipts. Payments include cash, check, and credit/debit cards. They will provide change as needed. Customer service skills are essential.

7. Swimming Instructor

National Average Pay: $12.41/hour

Primary Duties: Teaches students how to swim and help more advanced students gain speed or learn new strokes. The job is physically demanding, requires strong swimming ability, and a high degree of personal interaction with students of all ages. This is a great summertime job.

8. Grocery Stocker / Bagger

National Average Pay: $12.17/hour

Primary Duties: This position involves shelving groceries, moving products, checking inventory, adjusting signage, setting up displays, and cleaning the store. Hours can vary, including day, night, and late-night shifts.

9. Pet Sitter / Dog Walker

National Average Pay: $15.05/hour

Primary Duties: Dog walkers take dogs out for a walk for busy pet owners. It’s on-call and on-demand. Pet sitters take care of the pets when the owners are away. They need to feed and care for the dog throughout the day.

10. Landscaping

National Average Pay: $14.57/hour

Primary Duties: Working with lawnmowers, trimmers, weed whackers, leaf blowers, rakes, and shovels, this is a physically demanding job done outdoors. It also often requires travel to each location. 

Those are a few attractive jobs for teens this summer. To learn more about finding those jobs, see our article Here’s How to Find Summer Jobs for Teens.

What is a good summer job for a college student?

We’ve also identified 10 good summer job opportunities for young adults and college students. Every one of these jobs can provide extra money and excellent work experience. They can also provide insight into a possible future career.

1. Library Page or Clerk

National Average Pay: $13.27/hour

Primary Duties: Library clerks work with patrons, assisting them in locating books, movies, and music. They also help with research requests. It requires strong computer skills and good communication skills.

2. Tour Guide

National Average Pay: $14.56/hour

Primary Duties: If public speaking is your thing, this could be an ideal job. It requires guiding guests on a tour and explaining features along the way. It requires strong customer service and communication skills.

3. Administrative Assistant

National Average Pay: $16.54/hour

Primary Duties: Strong computer and interpersonal skills are required for this job. The tasks can range from secretarial duties to accounting and cover data entry, billing, record-keeping, and correspondence. Hours are typically a 9-to-5 business day.

4. Nanny

National Average Pay: $15.45/hour

Primary Duties: This job involves caring for children in a private home. Tasks range from supervising and entertaining children to cooking meals, shopping, housekeeping, and transporting children to school or events. Enjoying working with children is a must.

5. Car Detailer

National Average Pay: $12.69/hour

Primary Duties: Cleaning automobile exteriors and interiors are at the heart of this job. Washing, vacuuming, and polishing are the primary tasks. It’s a physically demanding job.

6. Car Valet

National Average Pay: $10.97/hour

Primary Duties: This job starts with greeting customers, opening doors, and issuing ticket stubs. Then you’ll park and retrieve the cars, collecting payment at the end. Customer service skills are essential, as well as a driving license.

7. Retail Sales Associate

National Average Pay: $11.50/hour

Primary Duties: These positions are typically found in large retail stores when they work with customers to address product questions and act as cashiers. Customer service skills are essential and often taught on the job.

8. Mover

National Average Pay: $14.72/hour

Primary Duties: This is a physically demanding job where you’ll be loading and unloading items from furniture to appliances to boxes. It also involves setting up homes and offices with the moved items. Customer service skills are helpful, as are teamwork skills.

9. Delivery Driver

National Average Pay: $15.60/hour

Primary Duties: Delivery drivers transport goods to customers or businesses. It requires driving and navigation skills and the strength for unloading materials. Some positions may require the driver to supply their own vehicle.

10. Start Your Own Business

National Average Pay: To be determined

Primary Duties: The business you start can be as simple as a lemonade stand, but that may not be enough earnings to justify the effort. But there are quite a few options for launching your own business. It takes time and effort, as well as an entrepreneurial spirit.

You might also be interested in gig work. This can include restaurant delivery, grocery shoppers, rideshare driving, and even work as a freelance writer or in graphic design. See our article Don’t Be Tied Down This Summer for more insight.

The bottom line

That’s a high-level overview of 20 great summer jobs for teens and college students. There are a lot of options available. The first step is to determine your goals and match your skills and experience with potential jobs. Then seek out help with your job search.

You can do that with Snagajob by getting up to speed on interviews, resumes, cover letters, and career advice, all in preparation for your summer job. Find work you’ll love, fast.

Katy Boyles |
Katy (she/her) is our Social Media Manager at Snagajob, where she loves talking to hourly workers and employers all day long. Her first hourly job was as a hostess.