Best Jobs for 15-Year-Olds: Opportunities, Laws, and Tips for Teen Employment

June 25, 2024 0 Comments

Are you 15 and itching to earn some cash? 

Maybe you’re dreaming of buying that latest gadget, saving up for a trip, or just craving a bit of independence. Starting your first job is more than just a way to fill your wallet—it’s your ticket to new skills, making friends, and building experiences that’ll stick with you. 

But where do you start?

From part-time gigs at local stores to online opportunities, there’s a world of jobs out there waiting for you. 

This guide breaks down everything you need to know about finding the right job, understanding the laws, and making the most of your first steps into the working world. Let’s dive in!

Laws Around Working at 15 in the US

Working as a teenager comes with a unique set of rules and regulations aimed at ensuring your safety and well-being. In the US, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets out specific guidelines for young workers. [1]

Work Hours Restrictions

  • School Days: 15-year-olds can work no more than 3 hours on a school day and 18 hours during a school week. [2]
  • Non-School Days: They can work up to 8 hours on a non-school day and 40 hours during a non-school week.
  • Work Hours: Generally, work must be done between 7 AM and 7 PM (extended to 9 PM from June 1 through Labor Day).

Permissible Jobs

15-year-olds can engage in non-hazardous jobs. This includes roles like retail, food service, and certain office work. However, they are prohibited from tasks like operating heavy machinery, mining, and manufacturing due to safety concerns. [2]

How Much Do 15-Year-Olds Get Paid?

Wages for 15-year-olds can vary widely depending on the type of work and location. 

Under the FLSA, employers may pay workers under 20 a youth minimum wage of $4.25 per hour during the first 90 consecutive calendar days of employment. [3]

Generally, the minimum wage laws of each state apply. 

Here’s a breakdown:

StateMinimum Wage (as of 2024)
Federal$7.25 per hour
California $15.50 per hour
New York$14.20 per hour
Texas $7.25 per hour
Florida$12.00 per hour
Source: US Department of Labor

Most states also allow for a youth minimum wage, which is typically 85% of the regular minimum wage, for the first 90 days of employment. [3]

List of Best 25 Jobs for 15-Year-Olds

There’s a variety of jobs you can pursue as a 15-year-old, each offering different experiences and opportunities:

#Job RoleDescription
1.Retail AssistantHelp stock shelves, organize displays, and assist customers in stores.
2.Grocery Store ClerkBag groceries, collect carts, or stock shelves.
3.Fast Food WorkerTake orders, prepare food, and maintain cleanliness in fast-food restaurants.
4.BabysitterProvide childcare for families in your neighborhood.
5.Pet Sitter/Dog WalkerCare for pets while owners are away or walk dogs.
6. Yard Work/GardenerMow lawns, rake leaves, plant gardens, and perform other yard maintenance tasks.
7.LifeguardSupervise swimmers at pools or beaches (requires certification).
8.Camp CounselorAssist with activities and supervise children at summer camps.
9.Library AssistantOrganize books, help with shelving, and assist with library programs.
10.Freelance WriterWrite articles, blogs, or social media posts.
11.Online TutorTutor younger students in subjects you excel in.
12.Social Media ManagerHelp small businesses manage their social media accounts
13.Tutoring Elementary School StudentsProvide homework help and study support for younger students.
14.Graphic DesignerCreate designs for posters, websites, or social media.
15.Fitness Center AttendantHelp maintain the fitness center, clean equipment, and assist members.
16.Assistant Sports CoachHelp coach youth sports teams or assist at sports camps.
17.Theme Park AttendantHelp with rides, games, or concessions at amusement parks.
18. Photographer’s AssistantHelp set up shoots, organize equipment, and assist photographers.
19.Ice Cream Parlor WorkerServe ice cream, manage the cash register, and keep the shop clean.
20.Farm HandAssist with tasks like picking fruits or vegetables at local farms.
21.Car WasherWash and detail cars in your neighborhood or at a car wash.
22.Warehouse HelperAssist with packing, organizing, and shipping items in a warehouse setting.
23.Craft SellerCreate and sell handmade crafts at local markets or online platforms.
24.Golf CaddyCarry golf bags, clean clubs, and assist golfers on the course.
25.Coffee Shop BaristaPrepare and serve coffee, tea, and other beverages.

Additionally, jobs like cleaning (in restaurants, houses, and movie theaters), lemonade stand operator, and newspaper delivery person are also considerable options, if you can find time and are comfortable doing them. 

Each of these jobs offers a unique set of experiences and opportunities for learning. Whether you’re looking for something close to home or eager to explore the digital world, there’s a job out there that’s perfect for you!

Other Things You Need to Know

Before you start working, there are a few important things to keep in mind:

  • Work Permits. Some states require minors to obtain a work permit. Check with your school or local government office to see if this applies to you.
  • Balancing Work and School. It’s important to manage your time effectively to balance your job and school responsibilities. Prioritize your education and ensure you’re not overworking yourself.
  • Building a Resume. Even if you don’t have much experience, you can create a resume highlighting your skills, any volunteer work, and relevant activities. This can make a great impression on potential employers.

How to Find Jobs as a 15-Year-Old

Finding your first job might seem a bit overwhelming, but it’s a lot more exciting than you might think. 

Let’s explore how you can find a job that matches your interests, fits your schedule, and gets you on the path to earning your cash and learning new skills. There are several avenues you can explore:

  1. Online Job Boards

Websites like Jobera.com (cross-check this, we don’t post jobs for 15-year-olds I guess),  Indeed, and Snagajob are good places to start looking for part-time jobs.

  1. Networking

Ask family, friends, and neighbors if they know of any job openings. Sometimes, personal connections can lead to opportunities that aren’t advertised.

  1. Local Businesses

Visit local stores, restaurants, and community centers to inquire about job openings. 

  1. Community Centers

Look for job listings or volunteer opportunities at local community centers, libraries, and churches.

  1. Social Media

Follow local businesses on social media. Many posts about job openings or upcoming hiring events.

  1. Job Fairs

Attend local job fairs or teen job expos. These events often have a variety of employers looking for young workers.

  1. Volunteering

Consider volunteering to gain experience. Many volunteer positions can lead to paid jobs or provide valuable skills for your resume.

  1. Cold Calling

Choose a few businesses you’re interested in and call them to ask if they are hiring. Prepare a short introduction about yourself and why you want to work there.

  1. Internships

Look for internship opportunities, especially those designed for high school students. Internships can provide valuable experience and sometimes lead to paid positions.

  1. Summer Camps

Apply for summer camp positions. Camps often hire teens to help with activities, supervision, and maintenance.

  1. Online Freelance Platforms

Join freelance platforms like Fiverr or Upwork to offer services like writing, graphic design, or social media management.

  1. Online Marketplaces

Use platforms like Etsy or eBay to sell crafts or items you create.

  1. Ask Directly

Don’t be afraid to walk into businesses and ask if they are hiring. Dress appropriately and be ready to introduce yourself.

FAQs

What types of jobs can 15-year-olds do?

15-year-olds can work in various fields, including retail, food service, babysitting, yard work, and online jobs like freelance writing or graphic design. They are generally limited to non-hazardous jobs.

Are there any laws regulating the work of 15-year-olds?

Yes, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and state laws regulate the hours and types of work 15-year-olds can do. They typically cannot work more than 3 hours on school days, 8 hours on non-school days, and are restricted from hazardous jobs.

Do 15-year-olds need a work permit?

In many states, 15-year-olds need a work permit to be employed. Requirements vary by state, so check with your school or local labor department.

What skills can 15-year-olds gain from working?

Working at 15 can help develop time management, communication, and financial literacy skills. It also provides a sense of responsibility and can give insight into potential career interests.

What are some good summer jobs for 15-year-olds?

Good summer jobs for 15-year-olds include being a camp counselor, lifeguard, retail assistant, or working at an amusement park. These jobs often offer more hours since school is out of session.

What should a 15-year-old include on a resume?

A 15-year-old should include any volunteer work, extracurricular activities, skills, and academic achievements on their resume. Highlighting responsibility and willingness to learn is also important.

Conclusion

Getting a job at 15 is a significant step towards independence and personal growth. It offers a chance to earn money, learn valuable skills, and gain experience that will be beneficial throughout your life. 

Remember to check the laws in your state, create a resume, and manage your time wisely to ensure a successful and rewarding work experience.

Source

  1. US Department of Labor – YouthRules!
  2. Dol.gov. Child Labor Laws And Young Workers 
  3. US Department of Labor. Minimum Wage