28 Good First Jobs for Teens and Kids

Getting a first job is exciting and has so many benefits for your teen. That means that you’re going to need to help them find some good first jobs to choose from.

These first-time job ideas are the perfect way for your child to step into the working world and get some great on-the-job experience.

teenage girl babysitting and playing with two young kids

Most Common First Jobs

When coming up with ideas for a first job for your teen, thinking about common jobs is a good place to start. And thanks to Facebook, you can help your teen work through a list of common first jobs.

Using the hashtag “#first7jobs,” users listed their first seven jobs to help the social media platform compile a list of the most common first jobs of their users. The list included these 20 first jobs:

  1. Babysitter
  2. Cashier
  3. Lab assistant
  4. Newspaper delivery
  5. Teacher
  6. Camp counselor
  7. Retail
  8. Dishwasher
  9. Receptionist
  10. Manager
  11. Waiter/server
  12. Hostess
  13. Intern
  14. McDonald’s
  15. Student
  16. Barista
  17. Store clerk
  18. Pizza delivery
  19. Lifeguard
  20. Research assistant

Let your teen check out this list of jobs to get them started on their hunt. Or keep reading to see some other great first job options for your teenager to consider.

teenage male delivering pizza

Food Service Jobs

Working in the restaurant industry is a great way for your kid to get started on the job market. And since many restaurants hire young workers for entry level positions, they can get experience and earn money at the same time.

There are a variety of great positions your teenager can take on while working in the food service industry, including:

  • Waiter or server: Serving food to customers at a sit-down restaurant is a great option for a first-time job because it allows your teenager to practice their communication and customer service skills as they work
  • Bus person: While cleaning tables may not be a glamorous job, it gives your teen a chance to learn the ropes and possibly move up in the chain as the continue to work
  • Dishwasher: Like working as a bus person, taking a job as a dishwasher will give your teen a chance to learn more about working in the kitchen of a restaurant, making it another great first job
  • Line cook: Learning to cook is a skill your teen should have. Why not learn the skill while making some money at their first job?
  • Fast food cook: In addition to working in the kitchen of a traditional restaurant, working as a cook in a fast food restaurant is another great first job option
  • Fast food cashier: Practicing customer service skills and counting money is a great benefit of getting a job as a fast food cashier
  • Host or hostess: Since hosts and hostesses need to have great communication and organization skills, this first job has some benefits that your teen can take with them as they move on to more advanced positions
  • Barista: Teens who love coffee will enjoy working as a barista, where they get to make drinks and work with customers throughout the day
  • Ice cream shop server: Serving ice cream is another fun first job idea for teenagers who enjoy sweet treats and working with customers
  • Delivery driver: Put your teen’s driver’s license to good use by helping them get a job as a delivery driver for a local restaurant
  • Concession stand cashier: When working at a concession stand, your teen can serve food and enjoy watching a game or listening to a concert

With so many positions to choose from, your teen can pick the job that’s right for them.

And when they start at an entry-level position in their first job, they can work their way up the ladder at their restaurant to learn about different jobs in the industry.

Image of teen boy working in a grocery store that says "the best first jobs for teens."

First Jobs in the Retail Industry

The retail industry is another place where entry-level workers are welcomed. That means that it makes a good first job for many teens.

If your teenager is looking for a new job, finding employment in the retail industry is another good option.

These entry-level retail positions are a great choice for anyone looking for their first job in a retail setting:

  • Sales associate: Learning sales techniques in a retail setting is a great skill your teen can take with them in other jobs down the road.
  • Customer service representative: Customer service skills are another valuable quality your teen can use as they expand their job search after their first job.
  • Stocker: Stocking shelves at a retail store is the perfect entry level job for any teen. It will allow them to gain some responsibility while learning more about the retail industry.
  • Bagger: Another great entry-level job, working as a bagger will give your teenager a chance to interact with customers and learn about other positions in the store.
  • Cashier: Interacting with customers and handling monetary transactions are great learning experiences your teen can get while working as a cashier at a retail store.
  • Inventory clerk: Keeping track of a store’s inventory is a big job. But it’s also simple enough for a teen to take on as their first job.
  • Warehouse worker: Similar to working as a stock clerk, working in a warehouse for a large retail store can allow your teen to get some on-the-job experience in an entry level position.

On top of having their choice of position within the retail industry, first-time job seekers can also choose between a variety of job locations.

With so many different retail stores available, your teenager can have their choice of work locations. These retail stores are a great option for a first job:

  • Clothing stores
  • Grocery stores
  • Pet shops
  • Salons and spas
  • Jewelry and accessory stores
  • Delis and butcher shops
  • Bakeries
  • Antique and second-hand stores
  • Home décor shops
  • Healthcare and health food stores
  • Bookstores
  • Art galleries
Smiling teen male with green apron working in a grocery store

Good First Jobs for the Summer

Getting a job during the summer months is the perfect time to start working for the first time. And these summer jobs make great first jobs for your teenager to consider.

  • Camp jobs: Working at a camp is the perfect summer job for teens who love the outdoors. Jobs as camp counselors are a great way for your teen to enjoy time at a summer can and get some working experience when they’re off school for the summer months.
  • Golf course jobs: Another great way for your teen to earn money during the summer is to get a job at a golf course. Your teen can work as a caddy, on the grounds maintenance crew, and in the clubhouse.
  • Jobs at parks: Amusement parks are very busy during the summer, which means they always hire extra help. And since there are a variety of entry-level jobs at parks, your teen is sure to find one they qualify for as their first job. When looking for park jobs, think about the different types of parks in your area, like theme parks, water parks, and trampoline parks.
  • Lifeguarding: With the weather warming up, pools and waterparks are open in the summer. And that means getting a job as a lifeguard is easier than ever. If your teen is a good swimmer and has their first aid certification, working as a lifeguard would be a good first job for them. To find a lifeguarding job, look at local pools, waterparks, beaches, and recreation centers.
  • Recreation jobs: In addition to looking for jobs at parks in your area, finding jobs at recreation centers is another great option for a first job. There are so many choices when it comes to recreational jobs your teen could get in the summer. Look for job opportunities at arcades, bowling alleys, and children’s gyms.
Teenage male working as a lifeguard

Good First Jobs for Kids

When coming up with good job ideas for kids that are under the age of 14, you’ll need to get a little more creative.

Due to federal labor laws, kids under the age of 14 aren’t allowed to work in a traditional job setting. But that doesn’t mean they can’t start working right now.

These first jobs for kids are a good way for your child to get some working experience without getting a part-time job.

  • Newspaper delivery: While most part-time jobs are off-limits for young kids, there is one exception – newspaper delivery. That makes working as a delivery person a popular first job for kids.
  • Family business: In addition to working as a newspaper delivery person, your child can also work at the family busines if they are under the age of 14. If you or someone in your family owns a business, consider hiring your child to work for them as their first job.
  • Babysitting: Taking care of kids is a popular way for your child to start earning money at their first job. Older kids can watch children on their own, while younger children can watch kids while the parents are at home.
  • Pet sitting: If your kid enjoys being around animals, pet sitting is another good first job option. As a pet sitter, your kid can walk dogs, clean up after pets, and feed the animals.
  • House sitting: Taking on household duties while friends and families are away is a simple job that younger kids can do. While house sitting, your child can do light cleaning, bring in the mail, water plants, and take care of pets.
  • Tutor: Kids who are good at school can start working as a tutor for other kids their age. Helping with homework and test prep are a great way for your teen to start working and earning money.
  • Landscaping: Taking care of the lawns of your neighbors is another great job option for kids. Mowing grass, watering gardens, and spreading mulch are all simple jobs any kid could do for their first job.
Young girl walking a dog on a leash

How to Help Your Teen Get Their First Job

Once your teenager decides what type of job they want to get, it’s time to start preparing for their job hunt! With these simple tips, you can help your teen snag their first job.

Put together a resume

While most entry level jobs won’t require your teen to submit a resume, the act of putting it together will be a great exercise for them.

Since they probably don’t have any job experience, they’ll need to think critically about the different activities and experiences in their life they can use to show off their knowledge and skills.

Consider these options when outlining past experience:

  • Extracurricular activities: Thinking about their experience in afterschool activities is one of the best ways to come up with skills and experiences to uses on their resume and job applications.
  • School honors and awards: Highlighting your teen’s knowledge and experience during school is another great way for your teen to show off their skills to future employers.
  • Leadership positions: Holding leadership positions in clubs and organizations is another plus for your teen’s job hunt.
  • Odd jobs: While your teen may not have had any on-the-job experience, working odd jobs for friends and family could be a great choice for resumes and job applications.
  • Lessons learned: In addition to activities, thinking about lessons learned through past experiences at home and school is a great way for your teen to come up with ideas for their resume.

Find places to apply

After your teen has had a chance to look over their qualifications, it’s time to start finding places for them to apply.

There are a few different methods your teenager can use to start coming up with first job ideas, like:

  • Looking online: Checking online job sites is a great place to start when it comes to finding job options. Sites like Monster.com and indeed.com are great ideas for a first-time job search.
  • Checking with friends and family: Using your network is another simple way to help your teenager find their first job. Ask friends and family if their company is hiring or if they know of any open jobs in your area.
  • Listing your teen’s favorite places: Checking for job openings at your teen’s favorite places in town is another great idea. They’ll definitely have more fun working at a place they love.
Teenage girl working in a flower nursery

Start applying

Finding places with job openings can be tricky if not many places are hiring when your teen is looking for a job. But that doesn’t mean that they can’t apply at locations who aren’t openly hiring right now.

After they have a list of potential job locations, let them hit the road and start applying.

Ask for applications at your local location or visit the location’s website to download an application. Then, help your teen fill out the form and proofread it for them to ensure there aren’t any mistakes.

After the applications are filled out, your teen can drop them off themselves.

Be ready for an interview

When your teen is ready to drop off their applications, make sure they’re prepared for an interview.

Many entry-level positions may require an interview on the spot, which means your kid should be prepared ahead of time.

These tips will ensure your teen is ready to go when they drop off their application:

  • Dress to impress. Dressing in nice clothing is a great way to make a good first impression. Make sure your teen is wearing clean, wrinkle-free clothing and combs their hair before they leave.
  • Practice interview questions. Before heading out to deliver applications, take a few minutes to practice some common interview questions with your teenager. This will help them be prepared for anything and give them time to come up with some great answers.
  • Demonstrate respectful behavior. Show your teen some common things they’ll need to know to show respect to their future employer. Making eye contact while they speak and shaking the interviewer’s hand are common interview tactics your teen could use.
  • Follow up after the interview. Another great way to show your teen’s future employer they’re serious about the job is for them to make a follow-up call after the interview. If your kid doesn’t hear anything from the employer within a few days, remind them to call the store and speak with their interviewer. Thanking them for the opportunity and allow them to ask follow-up questions will help your teen show the interviewer they’re ready to get to work.

Be ready for rejection

The truth about applying for their first job is that your teen is likely to get rejected along the way.

Preparing them for rejection is just as important as preparing them for their interview. It’s a life lesson and will help them to learn not to take it personally.

Talk them through different scenarios and help them to keep their spirits up during their job search if they face rejection.

Most of all, ensure your teen that good first jobs are worth searching for and will be worth the wait.

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