The Best Jobs for Teens: 27 Ideas + How to Apply

May 25, 2021 | Baby and Kids, Make Money

It's never too soon to encourage your kids to start earning and saving money! While it's not always easy to find a job for a 14- or 15-year-old, there are plenty of companies hiring young teens. Check out these jobs for teens and join the #RaisingCapableKids movement!

teenage girl working in a coffee shop, from Fun Cheap or Free

What was your first job? Maybe you babysat your neighbors, mowed lawns, or sold lemonade. Young teens these days are often ready to join the working world, but navigating the rules for the under-16 crowd can be a bit tricky.

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We've done the research and rounded up a list of companies that hire 14- and 15-year-olds. With the holiday season right around the corner, many businesses need extra help, so now's the perfect time to encourage your teens to apply for their first job! Bonus: we've also brainstormed some side-hustles that are a great way for teens of all ages to make extra money.


Here are some general rules to keep in mind that apply to younger teens, specifically. The Fair Labor Standards Act outlines specific guidelines for teenagers under the age of 16. If you have a teen who's looking for work, here's what you should know:

  • Age Requirements – 14 is the minimum age for non-agricultural employment in the United States.
  • Hours During the School Year – 14- and 15-year-olds are not allowed to work during the school day. While school is in session, they're only allowed to work a maximum of three hours per day, Monday through Friday. The maximum number of total hours per week is 18.
  • Hours During School Breaks – During school breaks, teens under the age of 16 can't work more than 40 hours per week or more than eight hours per day. Work may only be performed between the hours of 7:00 AM and 7:00 PM, except between June 1 and Labor Day, when young teens can work as late as 9:00 PM.
  • Pay – In most cases, businesses are required to pay teens the national minimum wage, which is currently $7.25 per hour.
  • Work Permits – Many states require teens to obtain a work permit before they can start a job. Check with your department of labor to find out if this rule applies to where you live.

It's important to note that hiring policies vary from state to state (even within the same company). It's always a good idea to check directly with the business before submitting an application!


referee at a soccer game, from Fun Cheap or Free

If you follow us on social media, then you know we're all about raising capable kids! If not, warning: we're going to hop on a soapbox here for a minute. It's SO important to teach kids the value of a dollar at a young age, and there's no better way to do that than by letting them work for their own money.

Maybe your teen wants to save money for a car or needs to earn money to afford sports or extracurricular activities. Allowing them to put their own money toward those things teaches them how to budget and plan!

Too many adults struggle with budgeting and finances, in part because they never learned how to manage money. (If that's you, no judgment. We totally get it, and we can help! If you want to learn to whip your wallet into shape, our Budget Bootcamp is for you. )

Helping set your kids up for future financial wellbeing is one of the greatest gifts you can give them! Can we get an amen?

Okay, sermon over! Ready to help your teenager land their first paid gig? We've got some ideas!


young girl working at ice cream shop, from Fun Cheap or Free

Fast food restaurants are the perfect place for teens! They offer perks like free food and have locations pretty much everywhere. We bet you've got at least one of these businesses right around the corner.


  • Baskin Robbins – Ice cream lover? Policies vary by location, but many hire teens 14 and up. Check the Baskin Robbins careers page for all the deets. Now get to scoopin'!
  • Ben & Jerry's – Cherry Garcia, anyone? This ice cream chain hires 14- and 15-year-olds at most of their stores! Find out if they have openings by visiting Ben & Jerry's jobs page.
  • Dairy Queen – America's favorite spot for dipped cones is teen-friendly! Many Dairy Queen locations hire 14-year-olds, so go check out the DQ careers page.
  • Rita's Italian Ice – They serve the yummiest frozen treats and also hire 14- and 15-year-olds at many locations. Apply to work at Rita's Italian Ice!


Looking for jobs that don't require a hairnet? Retail may be a better fit!


Bagging groceries is an easy way to make a few bucks! Here are a few national chains that hire young teenagers:

Looking for something that appeals to the artsy/creative teen? We've got ya covered!


teenage girl working at movie theater concessions, from Fun Cheap or Free

How fun would it be to land your first job at a movie theater or amusement park?! These jobs are sure to appeal to movie buffs, thrill-seekers, and born entertainers:

  • AMC Theaters – This nationwide theater hires teens 14 and up to work the ticket booth and concession stands. Head to the AMC jobs page for all the details.
  • Palace Entertainment – This amusement company owns more than a dozen parks across the country, from North Carolina to Hawaii. Many locations hire teens under the age of 16. Check Palace Entertainment's job openings to look for opportunities near you!
  • Santa's Helper – Check with your local mall on this one! In many areas, teenagers 14 and up qualify to be Santa's elf. This is the dream gig for a teen who loves kids and is looking to save up some money for holiday shopping!
  • Six Flags – Talk about a dream job! Apply to work at Six Flags, and find out about hiring policies at the location nearest you. (Most locations will hire young teens to work the games or serve ice cream.)

If you have local entertainment venues or theme parks, check with them too! Seasonal jobs, in particular, are perfect for younger job seekers.


teenage girl babysitting two kids, from Fun Cheap or Free

Last but not least, we've gathered a few jobs for teens who want to build their own side hustle. Find a way to take their favorite boredom buster and turn it into a paid gig:

  • Babysitting – Even young teens can make up to $8-$10 per hour babysitting. Not only is the job flexible, but it also pays better than minimum wage and teaches valuable life skills! Who needs a Girl Scouts badge?!
  • Car Washing – Here's the perfect way to make a little cash over the summer! Setup a neighborhood carwash, or gather a few friends and organize a church or school-wide wash.
  • Crafting – Get in touch with your artistic side, and sell your creations online! Etsy is a great spot for budding creators to earn a little extra money.
  • Elder Care – This is the perfect option for an aspiring nurse! Spend a few hours each week cleaning their house, running errands for them, or just spending time with elderly members of the community.
  • Lawn Care – Get outside and get paid to do it! All you need is a lawnmower (or neighbors who'll let you use theirs) to start making some serious cash.
  • House Sitting – Water plants, bring in the mail, and get paid to do it! It doesn't get much easier.
  • Pet Walking – Calling all animal lovers! TONS of people need someone to walk or feed their canine companion. This is the perfect after school job.
  • Tutoring – Great at math? Writing? History? Help out a younger kid in the neighborhood and earn some spending money.

Pro Tip: Parents, you can start your own side-hustle, too! Here's a huge roundup of ways to make money from home.

What did we miss? What have been the favorite jobs for teens in your family? Leave us a comment below!

Image with text that reads "the very best jobs for teens ages 14-15" from Fun Cheap or Free

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Happy job hunting!


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