If your child has grown into a teenager, one of the best ways to teach them responsibility is for them to get a job. Having a job is beneficial to teenagers for many reasons: it keeps them out of trouble, gives them a wage and on top of that, teaches them valuable life lessons. It might seem like finding a job for someone under 18 is difficult, but there are plenty of jobs that hire children as young as 15 years old.
Fast food establishments are perfect for teenagers. Not only are they fast-paced and make the day move quickly, but these restaurants are frequently hiring and are great places to build experience. Kids learn teamwork, customer service and how to make change and count money. Best of all, in the United States kids as young as 14 years old can work at places like McDonald’s and Chick-fil-A. Have your child check to see which restaurants hire under age 16.
- Note that a food handlers certification is required to work at places like this. Normally these certifications only cost between 12 and 15 dollars, and the employer should front these costs.
- Understand the restrictions of underage workers. On the regular, 14- and 15-year old kids can work three hours a day, but during school breaks and holidays, their hours can fluctuate. Educate yourself and your teenager on child labor laws.
Retail and Grocery Stores
These kinds of jobs are exciting because it’s easy to quickly move up the ranks. Students can expect to see an increase in pay and job title as long as they are good, honest workers. Grocery stores are oftentimes unionized, so employees are protected. Working in a retail environment allows kids to get more exposure to diverse groups of people and learn early on what constitutes good customer service.
- Entry-level jobs of this type include cashiering, stocking and bagging. Your child might not consider this glamorous work, but remind them that the potential for moving up is higher if they do a good job.
- Be aware of corporate policies. Some places like Safeway and Publix have very specific age restrictions for applicants.
Teenagers with jobs learn a lot in a short amount of time. They don’t only learn practical skills like serving clients and counting money, but other skills like patience, responsibility and understanding how to navigate through difficult situations. They might be cranky about needing to work, but it will help them in the long run and they will be thankful for it.