Summer jobs for many high schoolers (myself included) was a right of passage, where we stuck our toe into the adult work-a-day world for a brief period before returning to school for more education. Arguably, our summer experience helped us decide to continue our learning into college, apply for trade school, join the military, or something else.
If you’re helping students select a summer job for next year and they want one that works better than this year’s choice, check out these ideas from the Ask a Tech Teacher crew:
6 Best Summer Jobs For High School Students & How To Land Them
With summer always seeming like an endless expanse of time for high school students, you might be wondering how to make productive use of it.
Getting a summer job can be a great solution. Not only will it provide an income, but also crucial skills and work experience that look great on college applications.
From babysitting to retail jobs, from lifeguarding to internships, there’s something suited to every student’s preferences. With this amount of choice, it’s worth exploring each opportunity in detail, so let’s do that together.
If you’re a strong swimmer and enjoy being outdoors, consider lifeguard positions. These summer jobs usually offer competitive pay above minimum wage and the chance to develop important skills like CPR and first aid.
Not only do these roles provide responsibility but they also foster discipline, problem solving, teamwork, and quick decision-making abilities.
Retail Job Opportunities
Retail jobs are ideal for high school students looking for flexible work schedules during the summer. Shops often need more hands due to increased customer traffic in the hottest season.
Usually, no special skills are required, but it helps if you’re sociable and have good communication abilities.
Retail jobs can also teach you cash handling, time management and customer service skills valuable for your future career paths. And some retailers are respected for the quality of the experience they offer employees.
Restaurant and Fast Food Work
Jobs in restaurants or fast-food chains are a fantastic addition to any well-formatted high school student resume. They usually offer flexible hours and don’t require prior experience.
Here, you’ll get the chance to develop crucial people skills dealing with diverse customers daily. Navigating busy shifts also helps build resilience, coordination, multi-tasking abilities and teamwork strategies, so it’s much more than just serving food.
Babysitting and Tutoring Services
If you love working with kids, babysitting might be your ideal summer job. It allows flexible hours and competitive pay rates.
Similarly, if you excel in certain subjects at school, consider tutoring younger students. Not only can this earn you some extra money but it’s also an opportunity to hone your communication skills, patience and creativity as you find different ways of simplifying complex concepts for the little ones.
Landscaping and Yard Care Jobs
Embrace the great outdoors with a job in landscaping or yard care. These positions require hard work and physically active job duties but they offer fresh air, exercise, and decent wages.
You might mow lawns, plant flowers, rake leaves, or carry out basic maintenance tasks. This type of work is perfect for energetic individuals who enjoy seeing tangible results from their efforts.
Internship Experiences in Your Field of Interest
An internship is an excellent way to gain real-world experience while still in high school. Seek out summer internships related to your potential college major or career path.
These positions might not pay as well (or at all), but the knowledge, skills and networking opportunities you acquire can be invaluable. Plus, having an internship under your belt sets you apart from other applicants for future jobs or college applications.
Mastering the Job Application Process
Now we come to the crucial part, which is of course actually getting out there and securing one of these prized summer jobs. Here are a few strategies you can use:
- Tailor your application: Adjust your resume and cover letter toward the specific job listing. Each position requires different skills, so highlight relevant experiences.
- Practice interview responses: Prepare answers to common questions, like explaining why you’re interested in that position or how well you handle responsibility.
- Show enthusiasm: Employers appreciate candidates who show genuine interest in their organization and role on offer.
It’s not just about landing a job. You’re also building skills for future employment opportunities. For example, learning to submit polished applications with properly formatted resumes is essential.
Moreover, attending interviews fosters personal growth. You’ll be leaving positive impressions and expressing your potential effectively, but only if you hold your nerve.
Also, don’t get discouraged by rejections, as it’s a normal part of job hunting. Keep improving applications based on feedback when possible, and persistently apply until you get an opportunity worth celebrating this summer.
The Last Word
As we’ve discussed, summer jobs offer high school students a fantastic opportunity to earn money, build skills, and gain experience in the working world.
Your perfect summer job might be right around the corner, so don’t hesitate to apply. And it’s not just about the money or the career prospects, but also the memories you’ll make with your co-workers and customers along the way.
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Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, contributor to NEA Today, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.