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16 Top High Paying Jobs for High School Students

How can teens get paid above minimum wage? Find 16 best high paying jobs for high school students, both year-round and during the summer.

Did you know there is a trend in teens not working?

teen woman celebrating job acceptance letter, text overlay "16 high paying teen jobs (year-round and during the summers) that will beat minimum wage"

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the teen workforce has declined over the years because of pressures for teens to attend college and increased summer school attendance with coursework.

However, parents should consider encouraging their children to get their first job. The best way to learn how to save, spend, and budget well is to discover these critical financial skills early. 

And it's hard to discover these skills without some consistent money, right?

While an allowance or chore commissions are excellent ways to start your children understanding money management, the best way to ensure they understand money’s value is to begin working (understanding money's value is just part of the equation – here's my full article on teenage money management). There are many high paying jobs for high school students to do to start their fiscal journey.

Hint: your teen will need to prioritize their time better in order to hold down a job on top of school. Check out my free after school routine for high school teens printable to help them stay on top of homework, projects, and manager their afterschool time (even with extracurriculars).

pink, orange, bright box, text overlay "get the teen job lab - list of online/offline teen job search hotspots, teach your teen how to job search, etc."

Why Do High School Students Want Jobs?

Getting a job teaches essential life skills from time management, balancing schoolwork, homework, and work, to interpersonal skills, working with people that are not family members. 

Aside from learning and honing life skills, the primary reason behind getting a job is to earn and learn to manage an income as a teen.

What Is The Average Pay For Working Teenagers?

In order to find the best paying jobs for teens, you need to know the going rate at good paying jobs for teens.

The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. At this pay rate, the weekly take home would be $290 and the monthly is $1,160. This is the low-end of the pay scale (unless you work on for tips, in which case you'll need to follow the minimum wage for tipped employees).

The average pay just for working teenagers? Is $10.03/hour.

High school students cannot work full time, but they can work full time over the summer and take on second shift work after school as their schedule permits them. 

There are many jobs high schoolers can do that pay well above the minimum wage (here are the pros and cons of getting a job in high school).

What Types Of High Paying Jobs Can Teenagers Do?

Even without any experience, teenagers can get high paying jobs.

But it might not be easy.

It’s important to consider what type of career they may want to have in the long-term to align their part-time jobs and summer work with the industry that interests them and gives them applicable, professional experience for their career aspirations. 

However, if they are not sure, taking on different seasonal jobs is a great way to find out what they like and don’t like, helping them find out what they want to do for a career. 

There are three types of high paying jobs students can do:

  • Summer jobs that allow them to spend time outdoors
  • Jobs that will teach them interpersonal skills for future office jobs
  • Technical jobs allowing them to use what they’ve recently learned in school

Psst: the next section outlines job types to look for with higher pay. If you want specific jobs to apply to, definitely sign up for the Snagajob app. They only list jobs that are paid by the hour, they list age requirements, and they help teens find local jobs by location.

Best High Paying Jobs For High School Students With No Experience

It’s common for high school students to enter the workforce with little to no experience. Everyone needs to start somewhere! Here are a few high paying jobs for high schoolers that are ideal for students with no prior experience.

Psst: teen doesn't have a driver's license and you'd rather not be their transportation? Here's 9 strategies for your teen to get a job without a driver's license. Plus, you'll want to read how to get a job as a teenager for a 3-week job search strategy.

1. Delivery Person

Many restaurants and fast-food chains need help delivering food to customers. This often requires no skills outside of an ability to drive. According to Indeed data, couriers can make on average of almost $14 hourly.

2. Valet Parking Attendant

Hotels, resorts, and event venues often need help parking customers’ cars. This job does require the ability to drive. While this position may only make $8 or $10 an hour, the cash tips means a bigger take home.

3. Cleaning Staff

Cleaning jobs, from working in residential settings to office buildings or hotels, is a profitable position for teens with limited experience. According to ZipRecruiter, the average hourly rate for cleaners is about $13.

4. Stocking Inventory

All stores need people behind the scenes to help stock shelves from grocery stores to shoe stores. Stocking shelves at Walmart can earn about $12 an hour.

In addition, high paying jobs for high school students could range from dog walking to mowing lawns. Both of these types of jobs require no previous experience and no driver’s license

The Highest Paying Summer Jobs For High School Students

For high school students who are unable to work during the school year, there are plenty of employment opportunities during summer break. Here are the best paying summer jobs for high school students:

pink, orange, bright box, text overlay "get the teen job lab - list of online/offline teen job search hotspots, teach your teen how to job search, etc."

Psst: they'll likely need a resume – here are 5 free teen resume templates.

1. Lifeguard

While it does require training, certification, and being a strong swimmer, being a lifeguard is an ideal opportunity for any teens who are strong swimmers and like to spend time outdoors. This job can earn between $10 to $15 an hour – a well-paying job. 

2. Retail Sales Associate

Working in the retail industry not only teaches some great skills, many employees can earn some great discounts. The hourly rate for this job depends on the store and can range from $10 to $14.

Hint: if your teenager has RiseUp Credentials from the National Retail Federation (NRF)? They can start at some retail stores at a higher pay than the base pay!

3. Catering Staff 

There are always many events over the summer that need support staff, from waiting on tables to prepping food. Depending upon the type of events the hourly rate can vary. For weddings, as an example, the hourly rate could be $14 to $18.

4. Camp Counselor 

Many high schoolers opt to become a camp counselor after being an avid camp goer when they were younger. The rate will vary depending if it is a day camp or overnight. The average hourly rate is between $10 to $18.

Jobs For High School Students Online

If your teen doesn’t drive or wants some ideas of jobs teens can do remotely from home, there are plenty of opportunities. Especially with the Covid-19 pandemic, remote work may be the only option currently available. Here are some tech jobs for high school students worth checking out:

1. Online Tutoring

High school students can easily tutor elementary or middle school kids on Skype, Google Hangout, or Zoom. If they are outstanding, they could even tutor their classmates in high school. Depending upon the subject and the age of the high school student, hourly rates can vary from $10 to $30.

2. Customer Service

Many companies need people to answer customer service calls about their products or service. Some businesses will hire high school aged students and allow employees to do it at home. The hourly rate can range from $10 to $14.

3. Data Entry 

For teens with a strong attention to detail and are proficient in spreadsheets, there are freelance opportunities to help with data entry, such as moving information from excel spreadsheets into a program or vice versa. This type of contractual work is based on the project and pay can vary widely.

Online Jobs For High School Students With No Experience

Here are some excellent online opportunities for high school students without previous experience.

1. Virtual Assistant 

Teens can help executives with their schedules, organize files, and other clerical duties virtually for a small fee. This type of work is temporary and significant to pick-up for a summer. This job can make between $15 to $30 an hour.

2. Transcribe Videos 

Freelance work also exists for individual tasks such as transcribing lectures, interviews, and presentations. This type of work requires no additional skills, just time, a computer, and internet access. This job can make between $10 to $18 an hour.

3. Take Online Surveys

High school students are a prime marketing age group. There are many opportunities for students to respond to online surveys, so businesses better understand what high school students like and dislike. The hourly compensation will vary widely depending upon the company sponsoring the survey.

There are many job apps for teens available to help high school students find jobs online. 

Office Jobs For High School Students

For high school students who want experience in an office environment, there are a few opportunities that might be ideal:

Psst: try searching for “Teen Receptionist” using Jooble.

1. Administrative Assistant

Several businesses need help to answer phones and greet people when they come to an office. This job can teach high school students interpersonal skills. This job can make between $10 to $20 per hour. 

2. Scheduler

Help an executive plan their schedule by organizing their calendars so they can maximize every minute of their day. This job can earn between $12 to $22 an hour. 

These types of jobs can teach important interpersonal skills and communication techniques that will be applicable in future corporate careers.

Final Thoughts

When high school students enter the workforce they often feel limited due to their experience. While the majority of high paying jobs available to high school students are geared towards teens 16 or older, there may be some opportunities for younger teens. 

Whether looking for weekend work, an after school job, or strictly summer work, there are plenty of job opportunities to help teens earn more than minimum wage. A good place to start is to search for high paying jobs for high school students near me and explore the opportunities.

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Amanda L. Grossman is a writer and Certified Financial Education Instructor, a 2017 Plutus Foundation Grant Recipient, and founder of Money Prodigy. Her money work has been featured on Experian, GoBankingRates, PT Money, CA.gov, Rockstar Finance, the Houston Chronicle, and Colonial Life. Amanda is the founder and CEO of Frugal Confessions, LLC. Read more here.