Plan For College

Friday, May 13, 2011

Top 10 Summer Jobs for High School Students

Working during the summer is a great opportunity for high school students to earn money for college, get some practical experience, and have something to talk about in college essays and college interviews. Here are some of the most common occupations high school students take up during the summer. These jobs are in no particular order, just ten jobs for students to explore.

1. Restaurant Work
Working in a restaurant is a fast-paced environment, and a good way for a high school student to earn a few thousand dollars during the summer. You may need to have experience to be a server, but there are other jobs available too. Bussers and runners are jobs in which you don't need as much training, but can still earn good tips.
2. Retail
Retailers often hire and train high school students for summer work. However, they don't typically advertise available positions, so it's a good idea to make a list of the stores you'd like to apply, dress professionally, and stop by the store during off hours.

3. Babysitting
Check with your high school guidance counselor to see if there are babysitting opportunities in your area. Your high school may have a list of parents seeking responsible students to watch their children during the summer. If you have younger siblings that you've watched in the past, it is more likely that a parent will trust you to take care of their children.

4. Lifeguard
This job requires certification, but it can be one of the highest paying positions for high school students. Certification can usually be found at a local Red Cross or a school nearby school or organization with a pool.

5. Camp Counselor 
Being a camp counselor can be a good leadership opportunity for high school students. If you are interested in working with younger children, often doing outdoor activities, being a camp counselor is a good opportunity for you. Being a camp counselor is a way to build leadership skills, which can make for a great college essay topic.

6. Tutoring 
Tutoring is another great leadership opportunity for high school or college students. If you excel at English or Math, there is a good chance that parents will hire you to help their children during the summer. And if you're looking for a way to get started, you could consider a company like TakeLessons that helps academic tutors get new students.

7. Office Assistant
Some offices hire high school students during the summer for record keeping and other organizational tasks. Finding a position like this can be a good opportunity to experience what it is like to work in an office and give you can give you a better sense of different fields that you may want to pursue as a career.

8. Pizza Parlor Employee
Pizza parlors are generally busier during the summer months and are looking to hire high school students. These are normally fast paced environments that can be fun opportunities for high school students to earn some money.

9. Odd Jobs
Lawn mowing, painting, construction work, pet caring, and other odd jobs can be excellent entrepreneurial experiences for children in high school. Marketing and selling these services is a great initiative in which students can learn by teaching themselves, not necessarily under the direction of a supervisor. This is another great experience to use in college essays/interviews.

10. Movie Theater Attendant
Consider yourself a young movie buff? The movie theaters see greater demand in the summer and can be a great place for a high school student to work. You also get the opportunity to watch the movies at work. Consider starting a blog to review the movies you get to see and share your posts on Facebook to see what your friends and family think about your reviews.

Think about these jobs and applying to places you'd like to work. Also check out our college planning timeline below for other college planning tips throughout the summer and the school year.


  1. Great jobs. I did restaurant work in Boston summer of Freshman year of College and learned a lot from that fast paced environment.

    Thanks for the tips.

    Alexis Avila, Licensed Guidance Counselor, Private Tutor, and Founder of Prepped & Polished, LLC


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  2. I currently work at a movie theater, although unfortunately it isn't anything like this. It may be different theater to theater, but where I am, we're not aloud to sit down on the clock, nor ever ever ever watch movies on the clock. Sure, we get to come in and watch free movies on our days off... But, after working horrible hours... The theater is the LAST place I want to go on my day off. During movies, we have a solid hour and a half or so of time with very little costumers, during this time we're expected to clean solid. Another thing, our theater doesn't pay overtime =/ Not very fun stuff if you ask me...

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