10 Best Jobs for 15-Year-Olds: Make Money Before Graduating

Is your 15-year-old desperate for a job?

Maybe they’d like extra money to go out with new friends or buy new clothes and the latest video games. Perhaps they’re a forward-thinker wanting to start saving for college or an ambitious go-getter determined to kickstart their resume.

Alternatively, the idea of finding a job could be yours! For example, you might want to teach them the virtues of hard work or the rewarding nature of spending money you earn.

Whatever the case, you’ll be pleased to know that jobs for 15-year-olds aren’t as uncommon as some people think! Search in the right places, and you’ll find plenty of opportunities to suit your teenager’s interests, schedule, and skillset.

In this article, we will share a selection of the best. Read on to discover ten first-rate jobs for 15-year-olds they can apply for today.

Critical Rules and Regulations Around Teen Jobs

Before diving into the job ideas, it’s worth addressing the legalities surrounding young teens’ employment laws. The job opportunities you can apply for are somewhat limited as a minor.

Why? Because of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

In the name of fair workplace practices, this critical set of child labor laws and statutes sets strict limits to where, when, and how long you can work. Here are a few key takeaways from the FLSA to keep in mind:

The minimum employment age for non-agricultural positions is 14*

Working hours cannot overlap with school hours

You’re not allowed to work before 7:00 AM or after 7:00 PM (unless it’s June 1st through Labor Day when you can work until 9:00 PM)

  • The number of hours at work cannot exceed 3 hours on a school day
  • You cannot work over 18 hours per week when school is in session
  • You cannot work over 40 hours per week outside of the school term

The good news is these rules around work hours no longer apply when you turn 16. If your teen gains a reputation for being a diligent worker at 15, they may receive longer shifts a year later.

However, depending on where you live in the United States, they may also require a work permit (or proof-of-age certificate) to gain lawful employment. Consult your state’s Department of Labor or the school’s guidance counselor to determine if you need this.

*There’s no minimum age for babysitting, acting work, working for your parent’s business (assuming it involves neither manufacturing work nor hazardous materials), or delivering newspapers.

Related: 7 Tips To Find Freelance Writing Jobs

How Much Do Jobs for 15-Year-Olds Pay?

It’s hard to give a definitive answer to this question. Like most things, it depends! Although you’re unlikely to get anything like $20 an hour, certain employers pay more than others, and some states have a higher minimum wage than other parts of the country.

Nevertheless, the federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 per hour as of March 2022, so that’s a reasonable base rate to expect. There’s a caveat, though. The FLSA allows employers to pay $4.25 per hour to anyone under 20 during the first 90 days of employment. Only after that point are they obliged to pay the minimum wage.

Where To Look for Jobs for 15-Year-Olds

Not all industries are equal when offering jobs for 15-year-olds. In general, those worth pursuing tend to fall into three distinct categories:

  • Grocery stores, retail stores
  • Entertainment venues (e.g., amusement parks and movie theaters)
  • Restaurants, food service industries, and eateries (e.g., ice cream parlors and fast food restaurants)

With these in mind, here’s a quick rundown of 15 companies with a reputation for hiring young teenagers. Consider taking these restaurant jobs and looking into the establishments in your area to see if they have any openings:

  1. AMC Theaters
  2. Baskin Robbins
  3. Boston Market
  4. Chick-fil-A
  5. Dairy Queen
  6. KFC
  7. Kroger
  8. McDonald’s
  9. Palace Entertainment
  10. Pizza Hut
  11. Safe Way
  12. Six Flags Theme Parks
  13. SuperValu Pharmacies
  14. Taco Bell
  15. The Hershey Company

10 Best Jobs for 15-Year-Olds

Any company in our previous section would be a great first port of call for teenagers who want a job. But they aren’t restricted to the somewhat limited array of roles on offer there! Indeed, some of the best jobs for 15-year-olds have nothing to do with established brands and companies.

To demonstrate this point, we’ll now turn to 10 high-quality alternatives to consider if the openings at regional/national chains don’t seem appropriate.

1. Babysitter or Nanny

Babysitting is a classic first job for teenagers that can be lucrative and rewarding. After all, trustworthy and dependable babysitters are always in high demand among busy parents! What’s more- it’s usually straightforward to get started.

Put the word out to your friends, colleagues, and neighbors that your 15-year-old is available, and it shouldn’t take long for them to land their first gig.

Many factors can determine how much a babysitter can charge, such as the years of experience and the number of children they will watch. They could get paid anything around $18 per hour.

2. Content Creator

The internet has given rise to many new and exciting career opportunities – many of which you need neither experience nor official qualifications to partake in.

Content creation is a prime example. From blogs and vlogs to podcasts and graphic design, anybody can learn the necessary skills and leverage the internet to earn an income from them (either by selling their services or creating their platform to make affiliate sales and earn ad revenue). It could be lucrative if your 15-year-old is interested in these endeavors.

3. Car Washer

The idea of washing cars for a living might not make your teenager’s heart sing, but it’s still a viable job to consider. Similar to babysitting, not only is it something you don’t need work experience or special qualifications to do, but there should also be plenty of demand for your services throughout the year.

And that’s not all. It could also be a great learning opportunity to encourage them to go door to door, knocking on peoples’ houses to ask if the owner would like their car washed. As a result, your 15-year-old will begin to build their confidence, become okay with rejection (a crucial life skill), and master the art of sales to boot.

Also, note the same would apply to related jobs, such as yard work.

4. Business Owner

Some people are born entrepreneurs. Others learn the ropes over time. Whichever category your child falls into, don’t make the mistake of thinking business is only for adults. Once again, thanks to the internet, it’s never been more possible to start and run a successful operation- no matter how old you are.

If your child has a business idea and wants to pursue it, we encourage you to take it seriously. Ensure they a) understand it isn’t easy and b) are prepared to work numerous jobs on this list to fund it!

5. Dog Walker

On the topic of businesses, what’s stopping your teenager from setting up a dog-walking operation in your neighborhood? They could knock on doors and post flyers through letterboxes offering to look after peoples’ pets at a convenient time for them.

Of course, you’d have to structure the dog walking schedule around school hours. But, assuming they need help in the evenings and at weekends, you could soon have enough clients to generate a sizable monthly income.

6. Farm Helper

For high school students in rural parts of the country, farm owners often look for young people and extra help with various tasks. The specific role would vary depending on their needs, yet common examples include crop picking and supporting them at the community farmer’s market. 

You might be bringing in the latest harvest, learning about the land, or working at the cashier selling fresh produce to the locals on any given day. If it’s the latter, you’d also learn the valuable life skills of customer service and money handling.

7. Golf Caddy

At first thought, meeting, greeting, and carrying around peoples’ golf clubs all day might not sound like an attractive proposition. You’d be surprised, though!

It’s a great job. Many golf clubs hire young team members for the task, offering them a unique opportunity to spend time outdoors, befriend the new people they meet, and earn some money.

Of course, this would be a client-facing role, complete with all the challenges and lessons that arise in such positions. You’d learn the art of good customer service and the myriad benefits of a positive, can-do attitude.

8. Cleaner

We can imagine those teenage eyeballs rolling at this one, but hear us out! House cleaning is another straightforward job that’d be relatively easy to find. It can also pay more than you’d expect (e.g., $15 per hour, depending on the required cleaning amount).

Whether you worked for a friend’s family, a neighbor, or a colleague, you’d be sweeping and mopping floors, vacuuming carpets, tidying living areas, washing dishes, and helping with anything else the homeowner needed doing. You could also offer a “premium” service, whereby you bring your cleaning products and equipment, charging more.

9. Lifeguard

Lifeguarding is one of the best jobs for 15-year-olds who want to take responsibility, and it is also an excellent summer job. Of course, you’ll need a qualification, but many local groups will hire you once you’ve checked this box (and some will even arrange your training). Being a trained lifeguard opens the door to many opportunities, from working at the beach to the community pool or a water park.

It also looks great on your resume. It demonstrates commitment, good people skills, teamwork, awareness of health and safety procedures, willingness to take on responsibility, and calmness under pressure.

10. Family Business

Does your family own and run a business? If so, this could be the ideal job opportunity for your 15-year-old. As we noted earlier, the usual FLSA rules on how many hours they can work wouldn’t apply. That means they could join the workforce for longer shifts and (depending on what you pay them!) earn more money.

Not only that, but the education would be immense. The teenager in your life could gain experience at every business level and understand the nuts and bolts of running a successful company. Likewise, getting them involved at this early age would set them up perfectly if you’d like them to take over one day.

Related: The Best 25 Jobs That Pay Weekly

FAQs About Jobs for 15-Year-Olds

What Is A Good First Job At 15? 

A good first job at 15 could be working as a crew member at a local restaurant or store. It’s a great place to start as it often doesn‘t require much previous experience but lets you interact with local people in the community.

What Jobs Pay Most At 15? 

Seasonal jobs tend to pay well for 15-year-olds, especially when things are busiest. For example, working part-time as a lifeguard or in an amusement park is often considered is often considered the best place for teens to earn during this time.

How Can I Get A Job At 15 Easily? 

Start your job search early and keep an eye out for new entries in local listings. Places that frequently hire teens usually have more flexible requirements. Make sure you understand your state laws about work permits and age restrictions, too.

Is 15 Old Enough To Get A Job? 

Yes, 15 is old enough to legally work a job, but it’s important to consider the age range restrictions imposed by the federal government on hours and job types. Some old jobs may be more accessible due to less stringent requirements.

How Can A 15 year Old Make Good Money? 

A 15-year-old can earn decent money through various part-time job opportunities like babysitting, dog walking, or working at a fast food joint. It also helps to look for seasonal jobs that often pay well during their peak busy times.

Look Into These Jobs for 15-Year-Olds

It’s hard to overstate the benefits of getting a first job in your teenage years. From building a solid work ethic (and an even better resume) to earning the extra money that fuels your financial independence, the list of incentives goes on and on.

Have you been looking for career opportunities for 15-year-olds in an attempt to tap into these advantages? Well, we hope the suggestions in this guide have helped.

Keep them in mind, and follow up on the ideas; it shouldn’t be long before your teenager finds a role to suit their needs, interests, and inclinations.

This post was produced by Savoteur.