The summer season means many things for students - a much appreciated break from teachers and school, more free time to spend relaxing with friends, and lots of spare time to pursue whichever activities one pleases. These are all great characteristics of the annual summer break; yet, many teenagers find themselves bored with the lack of structure that summer possesses when compared to the school year.
Teenagers also tend to desire extra spending money for things that they would like to own, such as cars, sporting equipment, and events they would like to attend, such as concerts, movies, and sporting events.
Summer jobs are a great way for teens to re-gain some of the structure that they experienced throughout the school year, while also pocketing some of that desired extra spending money. Traditional jobs are sometimes impractical for individuals of this age, as they may have athletic camps or other activities that conflict with the scheduling that accompanies jobs at local businesses.
The following is a list of jobs that teenagers can pursue on their own time to increase their summer earnings without compromising their already scheduled obligations.
1. Lawn Care. Everyone who owns a home has a lawn. Some are much bigger than others, yet very few home owners enjoy spending the 1-3 hours necessary to mow and maintain their lawn on a weekly basis. The skills necessary to mow and maintain lawns are minimal, as an individual simply needs to be self motivated (to find and schedule clients) and hardworking (pulling weeds, etc. can be less than fun). Wages are negotiable, and the time commitment can be as minimal or intensive as desired.
2. Odd Jobs. The position of "odd jobs specialist" will no doubt bring in many requests for hire from neighbors. Individuals throughout the town may be looking for someone to clean their gutters and mow their lawn, or simply help them clean out their attic and vacuum their floors. Finding someone who is willing to help complete their ever-growing "to-do" list, for a reasonable wage, is incentive enough for many people to call the number on an advertisement or accept an offer for hire. Regardless of the duties sought, people will pay a decent wage for hard labor that they can count on.
3. Tutoring. There are many summer school sessions offered in every school district, as well as specialized classes offered only throughout the summer. Students that are skilled in areas such as reading, writing, and arithmetic should consider connecting with the school district in their area as a tutor. Not only does a tutoring position provide a decent wage, it also provides the extremely rewarding experiences of teaching and improving younger children's educational skills.
4. Pet Care. Countless families own pets. Cats, dogs, fish, and all other domestic animals must be cared for constantly. When owners leave town, or are simply gone for extended periods of time throughout the day, they want to know that their pets will be comfortable. Options for services to offer include letting pets outside during the work day, daily walking and feeding, and even bathing and grooming services. Oftentimes, there is a wide array of services that pet owners are interested in hiring someone to help them with.
5. House-sitting. Some families do not have pets, but instead need someone to watch over their house while they are away for an extended vacation. Duties for house sitting may include mowing the lawn, bringing in the mail and daily newspaper, and watering plants and flowers. Though it is difficult to find enough clients to meet an entire summer's financial needs, when paired with other work opportunities, house-sitting can be a wonderful source of extra income.
5. Baby-sitting. This job will require a decent amount of certification, as many parents, and rightly so, want their sitters to be CPR certified and/or to have taken babysitting classes or workshops. Nevertheless, babysitting can be a fun and rewarding summer job. Working nights is a great way to start out, followed by daily nannying if the option presents itself.
7. Paper carrier. Early mornings are a requirement for this position, but the job pays well for the number of hours that must be worked (usually only 1-2 daily). This option is great for individuals that will be in town all summer and don't mind very early mornings. It is even possible to deliver papers and then go back to sleep for a couple of hours. This very nicely meets the needs of teenagers with busy morning or afternoon schedules, as paper delivery usually occurs between 5:00 and 7:00am, when virtually nothing else is scheduled. The only down side of paper delivery is that it occurs daily, greatly restricting options for travel. Finding a reliable sub, or even partner for working the route, is a great option to improve summer travel flexibility.
The hardest aspect of many of these jobs is building a client list and finding opportunities that allow for multiple visits (such as finding a family that will allow you to mow their lawn all summer); however, once a strong client list is built, it is often easy to retain the members for an entire high school career.
By advertising in local papers, handing out business cards, posting flyers throughout the neighborhood, and simply spreading the word via networking, it is definitely possible to build a lenghty and profitable client list.
Furthermore, there are very few expenses associated with any of these jobs. Gas for a mower, and a car if driving is the transportation of choice, are nearly the only reasons that money will need to be spent while pursuing one of these summer jobs.
Perhaps the greatest benefit of these self-employment summer positions is that they pay a much higher hourly wage than many traditional jobs. If a home has a lawn that takes one hour to mow, the owner of the home will usually still pay $15-$20 per visit, which is over double the amount that a minimum wage job would pay!
With a good level of motivation and a strong work ethic, earning money throughout the summer can be easy and enjoyable.