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Being a teenager can be a costly business, but you can’t always go to mom or dad for extra cash.
Whether you want to save money for college or simply pay for your own things, you’ll need a job.
Unfortunately, jobs for teenagers can sometimes appear hard to come by; you’ll need a job that is not only suitable for your age group, but that is flexible enough to fit around your school schedule and after school activities.
However, this is not an impossible prospect, so here we’ll explore 17 of the best jobs that hire 14 and 15-year-old teens.
What Labor Laws Impact Teenagers?
Depending on the area where you live, there could be limitations or laws for the number of hours you can work each week and the type of work you can perform. Here in the U.S., the Fair Labor Standard Act sets the work restrictions for 14 and 15-year-olds.
The FLSA states that you cannot work in hazardous conditions such as logging, mining, or any role that requires power saws, ladder work, or explosives.
As a 14 or 15-year-old, you are also restricted to working a maximum of 3 hours on school days and 8 hours on non-school days. You are also limited to working up to a maximum of 18 hours in school weeks between the hours of 7 am and 7 pm. The only exception to this is between June 1 and Labor Day, which allows you to work between 7 am and 9 pm.
There are some exceptions to the FLSA regulations, particularly with independently owned businesses, and some locations will have a higher minimum age requirement. However, generally, any roles available for teens will need to adhere to these laws, and you won’t need a work permit.
How Much Can You Get Paid?
Your pay as a 14 or 15-year-old-worker will depend on various factors, but you must at least be paid a minimum wage. The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, but there are different minimum wage rules for teens. The FLSA states that workers under the age of 20 can be paid a minimum of $4.25 during the first 90 calendar days of work. After this time, the federal minimum wage applies.
The federal minimum wage applies in all states, but some states have a higher minimum wage than stated in the FLSA. In that case, the minimum you earn should be dictated by the state’s minimum wage.
What Companies Hire 14 and 15-Year-Olds?
Fortunately, there are lots of companies that have roles suitable for 14 and 15-year-olds. Many of them are in restaurants or grocery stores. Keep in mind that requirements can vary by location, especially for the businesses that use a franchise model. The franchise owner may have age requirements that are different from the overall company policy.
Chances are there is a McDonald’s location near you. There are more than 14,000 store locations just in the United States. It is possible to start working at McDonald’s from the age of 14 in many locations.
The minimum age for being a crew member at McDonald’s is 14, and this role is divided into Kitchen crew, Maintenance crew, and Counter crew. This will involve taking customer orders, preparing food, and maintaining the cleanliness of the premises. This will help you to develop team work skills with flexible hours to suit your schedule. However, you will not be able to proceed to become a cashier until you are 16.
McDonald’s has an excellent career path, which provides a good long-term strategy to work around school or even college. At 16, you can become a cashier, and at 18, you may qualify to become a shift manager.
If you like chicken, then Chick-Fil-A could be a great option for your part-time job. This is a typical fast food restaurant with more than 2,000 locations in almost all states. Most of the locations will hire teens from the age of 14, and since the restaurants are closed on Sundays, you’ll never need to work on a Sunday.
The jobs for teens at Chick-Fil-A include kitchen staff, where you will be preparing and cooking food. This is a great way to learn how to operate and maintain kitchen equipment, follow quality standards, and learn procedures. However, you may start as a dishwasher. This may not seem like a glamorous job, but you will learn the sanitary and safety standards of the company, which will help you move up to becoming kitchen staff.
Chick-Fil-A has some great perks, even for teen workers. In addition to receiving excellent job training, you’ll enjoy a flexible schedule and get free food and drink if you’re working more than a five hour shift. Chick-Fil-A also offers a 50% employee discount for you and your family members, and there are also scholarship programs.
Culvers has almost 700 locations in approximately half of the USA, and while some locations have a minimum age of 16, most have roles for those aged 14 plus.
The roles for teens include becoming a crew member to serve customers, cashiers, or line cooks. You may also be offered a role as a porter, which involves keeping the restaurant interior and exterior clean and tidy.
In addition to flexible work hours that are well suited for students, you’ll receive your pay every two weeks and enjoy a 50% discount when you’re working and a 25% discount off the clock.
4. Taco Bell
Taco Bell has more than 5,800 restaurants here in the USA, and the company claims to serve over 2 billion customers each year. Over 80 percent of Taco Bell restaurants are owned by independent franchisees, so while generally the minimum age to work there is 16, there are some locations and franchisees that have jobs for 14 and 15 year olds.
Taco Bell offers good pay, a free meal during your shift, and free training. The company also operates the Graduate for Mas program that offers over 300 scholarships and grants to teens.
The restaurant chain Zaxby’s has 500 locations across the country, and while the minimum age for working there is generally 16, some locations may hire 15 year olds for part-time positions. This may involve working as kitchen or counter staff. You’ll be working with kitchen and front of house equipment, but it will teach you team work skills within a fast-paced working environment.
6. Rita’s Italian Ice
If you love ice cream and sweet treats, then you may enjoy working at Rita’s Italian Ice. Generally, the minimum age requirement to work there is 14 years old and positions include cashier, server and ice maker.
Just be prepared to stand for a long period of time, but you’ll enjoy flexible working hours, an employee discount, and being able to work in an air conditioned location in the summer months.
7. Baskin Robbins
Generally, Baskin Robbins is a great place to get a part-time, entry-level job. Crew member positions are available for teens aged 14 and above.
The locations are franchises, so the wages, benefits, and age requirements do vary by location. The average rate for crew members at Baskin Robbins is $9 per hour, but if you have no prior experience, you are more than likely going to be paid minimum wage.
The Bruster’s chain of ice cream parlors primarily operates in Western Pennsylvania, but there are locations in states east of the Mississippi. Generally, you need to be 16 to work at Bruster’s, but there may be roles for 14 and 15-year-old teenagers at some locations.
9. Local Restaurants
While it may take a little more legwork to find a job, it is also worthwhile checking with local restaurants in your area. You may be able to find a job bussing tables, washing dishes, or acting as a host or hostess.
You can expect to earn an average of $9 to $10 per hour, but this will vary according to the specific restaurant. While local restaurants may not have the training programs of the chains, you may enjoy the smaller team dynamic, and you could have access to more hours in the summer break if you want to boost your income further.
10. Giant Eagle
Giant Eagle has more than 400 locations servicing five million customers in Ohio, Indiana, West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. The company has part-time positions available for teens aged 14 and above.
You may be offered a role helping customers with their carts and keeping the parking lot clean and tidy or as a cashier, ringing up purchases, and interacting with customers.
Safeway is the second-largest supermarket chain in North America with over 1,700 locations. At the age of 14 or 15, you’re likely to be employed as a courtesy clerk. This role involves bagging groceries, collecting empty carts, price checks, clean up of spills, and greeting customers. This will help you to develop excellent customer service skills that will help you to build up your resume for jobs later in life.
Publix has more than 1,100 grocery stores in Alabama, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee. The minimum employment age at Publix is 14, but not all stores accept applications from 14 and 15-year-old teens. At age 14 or 15, you may be offered a role as a bagger, floral clerk or cashier.
Winn-Dixie is a subsidiary of one of the largest supermarket chains. Although many of the roles in the store have a minimum age requirement of 18, some stores will employ 14 and 15-year-olds.
You’re likely to start out as a courtesy clerk, which involves bagging groceries, helping customers to their vehicles, and collecting empty carts. However, you’ll enjoy flexible hours, free lunches from the Winn Dixie deli, and a 5% employee discount.
Kroger is the third-largest grocery chain, and although the minimum age to work there is generally 16 years old, there are some exceptions. You may find a role as an order selector, cashier, or clerk.
You’ll not only receive 10% off Kroger foods and 15% off apparel, but also vacation time after you’ve worked for Kroger for a year or more. You can also qualify for medical benefits if you work more than 16 hours per week. Kroger also offers a scholarship program for both high school and college students.
15. Local Supermarkets
Even if you don’t have a large chain store in your local area, you may still be able to find a job at your local supermarket. Local supermarkets are often looking for cashiers, grocery baggers, and even shelf stackers.
16. Six Flags
There are 25 Six Flags parks in North America, and they have jobs for teens as young as 14. The positions vary according to season and location, but you may find this a fun place to work.
Even if you don’t live near a Six Flags, most large metropolitan areas have an amusement or water park, and most will hire teens aged 14 and 15. There are lots of roles in amusement parks, there may be lots of manual work involved, but it can be great fun.
Finally, the last type of job that teens can go for is working a delivery job for newspapers. This may not be the most glamorous job, but there are usually lots of jobs available. You can usually obtain a route in your local area, but you will need to be prepared to get up early or work after school.
Start Your Own Business
If none of the above jobs appeal to you, why not consider starting your own business?
There is no need to wait until you’re old enough to vote to develop a business and become a successful entrepreneur. There are lots of benefits of earning an income through your own business, including being able to control your income, gaining fantastic experience, and gaining confidence in all aspects of running a business.
Creating your own business can be very hard work, but it can offer invaluable life experience. Some of the areas where you can operate your own business include:
Starting a YouTube Channel
Lots of YouTube content creators have managed to create an impressive income stream before they were adults. Ryan of Ryan’s World earned $11 million in 2017, and Ryan has become a global internet sensation.
However, the best thing about starting a YouTube channel is that you can base it around your interests and hobbies. Whether you have a talent for making people laugh, like gaming, or could offer reviews and unboxings, you could earn YouTube ad revenue and even attract sponsorship deals.
Another way that you can turn your interests into your own business is to become a blogger. Blogging can earn you anything from a few dollars to thousands each month.
Although you’re not likely to see an immediate return, you can work around your school commitments. You can put ads on your blog, sell products or even be paid commission for any products that you recommend or review.
Once you’ve established your blog, you could enjoy a long-term income that could support you through college and beyond.
In the age of social media, many companies and brands have moved their advertising budget to influencers rather than conventional advertising methods. As an Instagram influencer, you could provide access for companies to a specific community that matches their target audience. The amount you can earn will depend on the size of your following and your follower engagement rate, but if you develop a popular profile, you could charge thousands of dollars for uploading a sponsored post. Of course, you could also make money on a smaller scale without achieving extreme popularity.
The path to becoming an influencer is not easy, however micro-influencers are also able to make money with smaller audiences. You’ll need to choose a niche and create an effective bio and aesthetic. Then, you will need to post new content regularly and interact with your followers.
It can take time to build an audience, but once you have established a following, you can start to attract attention from companies and receive sponsorship deals.
If you have a lot of patience and are responsible, you could start your own babysitting business. You’ll need to be good with children and have a mature attitude. Children enjoy babysitters who will play with them and interact, but parents want the reassurance of a babysitter who is responsible and will maintain their desired level of discipline.
You can advertise your babysitting services in your neighborhood or on social media. However, the most effective way will be through word-of-mouth, so let friends of your parents and other family members know that you’re available. Just be sure to set your hourly rate beforehand and consider whether you will charge a higher rate if there are multiple children.
You can also expand your services to be a mother’s helper. This is a type of babysitting that occurs when the parent is home. However, you may also be expected to do some dishes and a little cleaning. With many parents working from home, they often appreciate having someone look after the children, so they can get work done without distractions.
If you enjoy working outdoors and completing yard work, consider starting a business mowing lawns. Unless you want to invest in your own equipment, you will need your parent’s permission to use the family lawnmower and other tools. Many homeowners in your neighborhood are likely to be willing to pay a healthy rate for not having to complete this tedious chore. You can hand out flyers, post on neighborhood social media pages, and even go door to door to find clients.
You can also expand your services by offering snow shoveling services in the winter months, so you won’t be stuck working only in summer.
If you’re an animal lover, you can use this as inspiration for a business as a dog walker. Many people love their dogs, but lack the time to ensure that they’re properly exercised, so you can make a decent income as a dog walker.
Set an hourly rate and advertise to owners near you. If you’re comfortable with dogs, you may even be able to walk three or four dogs at the same time, significantly increasing your earning potential. You will need to demonstrate to owners that you are responsible and will take proper care of their furry pals, but once you develop a reputation, you’re likely to have more business than you can handle.
You can also expand your business services by becoming a pet sitter. If your pet-owning clients are headed out of town for a vacation, you could offer pet care. The responsibilities can vary according to the pet. Some pet owners will be happy with you checking in to feed their cat once or twice a day, while a dog may need more constant company, so you may need to bring the dog into your home to care for it. So, you will need to check with your parents to ensure that they are happy for you to offer pet sitting services. However, you can set your own rates and treat this as a form of babysitting.
Many people find keeping their car clean and tidy to be a real chore, creating an ideal opportunity for would-be entrepreneurs. You can offer your services as a mobile car washing business. You can clean cars at clients’ homes after they return from work or at the weekends, around your school schedule and activities.
You’ll need to not only wash the car properly, but also clean inside, removing any garbage, vacuuming and washing the windows. You’ll need a car cleaning kit, including towels to dry off and prevent streaks, but most of these items can be picked up for a low cost.
Just be sure to consider the cost of materials, your travel time, and work time when you set your rates. You can advertise your services in your neighborhood, on social media, or by asking family and friends to spread the word.
Other Ways to Earn Cash
If you’re still not sure about how you can earn some extra cash, there are some side gig opportunities for teens. These include:
Swagbucks is a platform that offers reward points for users completing simple tasks. You will be paid in SBs or Swagbucks points, which can be redeemed for cash or gift cards. Swagbucks has a minimum age of 13, and signing up is easy. You can earn points by watching videos, completing surveys, referring friends, entering competitions, shopping online, and even making Swagbucks your default search engine.
You will need to accumulate hundreds of points to get a $5 gift card, but you may be surprised at how quickly your SB balance grows.
If you’re never far from your phone, tablet, or computer, you could turn it into an income source with Survey Junkie. This is an online survey company that will pay you to take surveys about consumer goods, technology, travel, and other topics.
You can sign up for Survey Junkie if you’re over the age of 13, and you will need to set up your profile. Be honest with your profile details, as this information will be used to match you with appropriate surveys.
The surveys can take a couple of minutes up to 30 minutes, and you can earn up to $3.50 per survey. However, Survey Junkie will also give you bonus points for completing your profile, installing a browser, validating your email address, and other tasks. Each point is worth 1c, so you will need to earn 1,000 points to cash out the minimum $10. You can earn up to $5 an hour on Survey Junkie, but you can also apply to participate in focus groups that will boost your earnings.
As you can see, just because you’re 14 or 15, it doesn’t mean that you’ll be stuck begging your parents for a bigger allowance. There are lots of jobs that can not only allow you to earn a decent wage but also learn some skills that can be added to your resume or even beef up your college applications. Even if you choose a job that is not connected to academics or your future career plans, it will show your maturity and sense of responsibility. You may even find that your new part-time job inspires a future career or business enterprise.
Just remember that when you enter the workplace, employers will be looking for you to demonstrate your maturity and responsibility, not just clock in for some extra cash. However, once you get used to the routine of working, you may be pleasantly surprised at how quickly your savings balance starts to grow.