If you want to earn extra money and you are 14 and older, it might be the time to find your first job. Whether you are looking for great summer jobs or something to do in a school year, this guide will cover all the best opportunities. Here are the top jobs teens can get from 14 years old.
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Before you dive into jobs for 14-year-olds, it is essential to note the legal regulations in this regard. The federal child laws are enforced and regulated by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Divison. The rules cover who can hire teens, how many hours younger teens can work, and what is the minimum wage for them.
According to FLSA, the minimum age for employment is 14 for non-agricultural jobs. So if you are already 14 years old, it is good news. You are right at the age when businesses can hire teens. Although the state labor laws could differ, the federal law sets 14 years old as a limit.
In terms of hours, jobs for 14-year-olds are limited. First of all, younger teens might be permitted to work only in the restaurant industry or retail occupations. Secondly, young teens can only work after school hours. It means at most 3 hours on a school day and 8 hours on a non-school day.
On a school week, young teens can work up to 18 hours. On non-school weeks, young workers can work up to 40 hours.
Also, teen jobs should be in the range of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. except for June 1st and Labor Day. On those holidays, teenagers can work till 9 p.m.
Federal and state laws affect the employment opportunities for teenagers. Young adults under 18 can not work in hazardous roles. Those include construction, mining, manufacturing, or working with dangerous machinery.
There are also limitations to what teenagers can do in retail and food service jobs. For example, you can stock shelves, work at a cash register, or bag groceries. But you won’t become a Burger King manager at such a young age because it involves more responsibilities.
The vast majority of jobs for 14-year-olds are in retail stores or the food industry. A lot of companies and food chains hire teens for their first job. It allows them to practice customer service skills and earn money.
So, starting your job search in the retail sector makes sense.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, 55% of working teenagers were employed in retail in 2016. This specific industry is very open to hiring younger teens for beginner-level positions.
Retail assistance is one of the most common opportunities for younger teenagers. It involves serving customers, processing sales transactions, and arranging products or merchandise.
For instance, you can work in an ice cream shop where you scoop ice cream, take payments, and organize stock. Other businesses that gladly hire teenagers are:
Young people could also check theme parks, golf clubs (you may organize and maintain golf bags or golf balls), or a local movie theater for work opportunities. Working in a fast-food restaurant is a common choice because such a job is easy to get. However, it might not be everyone’s favorite. It requires not only customer service skills but also stress resilience.
Both food service and retail provide jobs for 14-year-olds at a cash register. It might be one of the best teen jobs in terms of accessibility and flexibility. You can work part-time, which helps you easily manage your time and responsibilities. Also, it is easy to find jobs in this sphere.
This role doesn’t require prior experience. But you need attention to detail and discipline to perform well.
Other options include becoming concession workers who greet customers when they enter a restaurant and take orders.
Another industry that offers a lot of decent jobs for 14-year-olds is services. You can either work for a business and go through the hiring process or work for yourself, offering service individually.
If you are good with younger kids, babysitting might be an excellent option. In such a case, you can be your own boss and offer services to family, friends, and neighbors.
It is one of the best jobs for 14-year-olds because it offers decent pay and flexible hours. And it can be pretty exciting, too. Also, during babysitting, young teens can finish their homework or do something they enjoy.
Among the best jobs for 14-year-olds is a pet sitter. If you have pets at home and experience with caring for them, it might be a significant role to look into. As babysitting, you will be your boss who decides on schedule, salary, and clients.
But you’ll need to do the job search yourself, meaning you’ll have to find clients independently. The work duties are pretty simple – you’ll need to sit with a pet, feed them, walk them, and ensure they are safe and sound.
Another reason it is one of the best jobs for 14-year-olds is that you’ll have plenty of time to do your own thing while the pet rests. Dogs usually require more attention than cats.
Those who prefer physical labor and the outdoors could look into other duties.
Lawn maintenance is a widespread job for teenagers. It is very accessible, and often, it doesn’t require going through the recruiting process. One can start by offering yard work services to their neighbors.
As for tools, you can ask for them from clients or take them from home. On this job, you can decide how much you charge. And as soon as you are done, you are free to go. There are no fixed work hours, which is also a benefit.
It can be very useful for those who want to become a landscape laborer in the future or even open their landscaping business later in life. You’ll get first-hand experience and your first returning customers.
It is one of the classic jobs for 14-year-olds. It has been available for decades and still goes strong. You’ll need to pick up papers and distribute them according to a set route on this job. You can walk or take a bike to make it faster.
The downside is that there might not be many jobs in this sphere in some areas. And unlike working in a food service, there are no tips. But if you want to find a job in newspaper delivery, check out local newspapers for openings. Look into small ones as the competition might be lower there.
We live in a gig economy, which, besides other things, offers plenty of opportunities to make little money online. Some manage to make significant income as well. If working in amusement parks, fast food restaurants, or babysitting does not sound exciting to you, you can always find a job online.
Such opportunities have several benefits. First of all, you’ll be doing your job at home remotely. Secondly, you can do creative work as well. For instance, sell your artwork or crafts on Etsy or offer digital design services on Upwork. Thirdly, you’ll be responsible for your schedule, workload, and salary. An online job can be flexible and well-paying.
But you’ll need to look for opportunities yourself. Getting customers and promoting your services might take a decent amount of time. Sometimes, it might be challenging to balance it out with other duties.
One of the easy ways to make some money is to take surveys online. However, it is not a job that will provide a considerable income. Note that those surveys that offer unbelievable amounts of money are probably scams.
Yet, it is also an option if you need some extra cash and do not want to look for fast-food jobs. Here are some of the best sites to find paid surveys online:
Another job opportunity is freelance writing. It is a good option for those who are good with words and want plenty of flexibility. Overall, there are various openings and postings. The best way to find more jobs for 14-year-olds is to look through freelance sites like Upwork, Fiverr, TaskRabbit, and Toptal.
The downside is that it might take a while to find first customers. At the same time, 14-year-olds can establish their rates and earn a decent amount of money.
You must consider several important factors when you decide to find a job or freelance gig. First, check with the state law and federal labor laws regarding what rights and obligations you have according to your age.
Secondly, decide what type of job works best for you. Some are good with customer service skills; others prefer working from home. Whether you want to sell ice cream or take surveys is up to your interests.
Also, you can work seasonally, for instance, assisting at a local amusement park in the summer.
The primary consideration for teenage work is balancing all the responsibilities at once. You must still perform well in school and keep up with the curriculum.
Make sure you have your priorities straight and work on your time management skills. Create a schedule that has some flexibility. Also, remember to plan time for rest and hobbies. The job you find should not interfere with the educational process. But it also should not take all of your free time.
Do not take on more responsibilities than you can handle. And if you feel like you start struggling with your job, school, or both – consult with your parents on what to do.
Some jobs for 14-year-olds might require a work permit. And all of them require parental consent. If you are taking surveys online, you might not tell parents about it. However, it is always best to let them know about your desire to work and employment opportunities.
Tell them why you want to work. Together, you could discuss the options and choices you have. Your parents could help you find babysitting or dog-walking clients among their friends.
If you are 14 or older, you can start looking for your first job. Of course, the options are limited compared to adults. But there are still many valuable opportunities to pursue. Always check with the law and regulations. And make sure your employment is not in the way of your education.