Summer Job Opportunities for High Schoolers:
The Pros & Cons
It might seem like summer is still painfully far away, but there are only a few months until school’s out. For many high school students, this means it’s also time to start scrambling for a way to make money (and get your parents off your back). We’ve gathered five of the most common summer job opportunities for high school students and broken down the pros and cons of each.
Babysitter: It seems like this is one of the most common summer job opportunities, and for good reason. Little kids are out of school for the summer, and parents desperately need childcare.
Pros: You get to do all the fun stuff you used to do when you were a kid! From hanging out by the pool to chasing down the ice cream truck, you can channel your inner 8-year-old for an easygoing summer. You’ll be able to negotiate a reasonable rate (and parents are usually willing to pay fairly for trustworthy childcare). Plus, there’s no dress code.
Cons: You won’t necessarily get along with the kid(s) you’re stuck with for the summer, which can make the days feel like weeks. You might spend half your summer disciplining them or telling them to turn off the X-box, which gets old pretty fast.
Camp Counselor: If you loved being a camper, why not become a camp counselor?! Whether it’s a sleep-away camp or a day camp, you can relive your glory days.
Pros: Like we said above, you get to relive those amazing days when you were a camper. As a counselor, you’ll get to partake in fun activities with your campers, and get paid for doing it. If you love kids, you’ll get to spend your whole summer with them, acting like one!
Cons: This is not an easy breezy job. You’ll be on your feet all day keeping a whole pack of kids in line. Quite frankly, that can be exhausting! If you work at a sleep-away camp, you’ll be “working” from sun up to sun down, and your free time will be limited for the summer.
Tutor: You have marketable skills just by being a student. Get paid to tutor elementary and middle school kids over the summer, helping them while helping your bank account.
Pros: There won’t be any extensive training… you already know how to do lower level stuff. It’s rewarding to watch students grow and improve while you teach them. Additionally, tutoring looks great on a college application.
Cons: It might feel a bit like school. You’ll be indoors, working through workbooks. If you don’t have patience, you might find this job exhausting or frustrating.
Food Service: Lots of local restaurants will employ students for the summer. Becoming a waiter, waitress, host, or hostess is a great opportunity to look into.
Pros: If you’re a “people person,” you might find this job really fun. You’ll get to talk and connect with all types of people – and great conversations can lead to great tips! This is also an excellent job for someone who likes being busy and working on their feet.
Cons: If you’re not a people person, this job might be particularly draining. You won’t always deal with the nicest people. Working in the food service industry is also notoriously hard work, and you’ll often be juggling a lot of tables and orders at once.
Retail: Whether it’s a clothing boutique, a candy shop, or a shoe store, retail positions are a great way for a high school student to get a paycheck.
Pros: If you’re able to get a position in a store you love, you’ll enjoy getting to learn more about the inventory, talking about the products to customers, and maintaining the store. You’ll get to meet and chat with all types of people, so it’s great for the social butterfly. Also, you’ll probably get hooked up with a nice discount.
Cons: Working in retail can get monotonous, so people with short attention spans or thrill-seeking tendencies might prefer one of the other summer job opportunities. In retail “the customer is always right,” which can be pretty challenging for those without a filter!