What Jobs Are Options for 16 Year Olds?

Teenagers can find jobs at local businesses; however, many teens opt for self-employment when they are ready to start earning money. You can earn spending money, save for college, or contribute to your family’s expenses by being creative, which may lead to a more satisfying or lucrative job opportunity.

Part Time Jobs That Hire at 16

Teens who are ready to enter the workforce should consider traditional teen jobs. Below are some of the most popular positions.

Grocery Store Bagger/Cashier/Stocker

Many grocery stores hire 16-year-olds to bag groceries and provide customer service. If you enjoy interacting with people, this job may be of interest to you. These stores may also hire 16-year-olds for cashier and stocker positions. If you are interested in working for a specific company, you should contact them directly.

Several grocery stores offer positions to 16-year-olds, including Publix and H-E-B.

Retail Store Cashier

16-year-olds are sometimes trusted with cashier duties by some companies. You can find these types of jobs at department stores, large retailers such as Wal-Mart, or at malls. Before applying for these jobs, you should be comfortable with basic math.

It depends on the specific store branch, state labor laws, and the maturity level of the teenager whether Macy’s, Target, and JCPenney can hire 16-year-olds as cashiers or stockers.

Restaurant Cashier/Cook/Waiter

16- and 17-year-olds are often hired by restaurants. A large number of teens begin their working lives in restaurants, often at fast food chains. You can work as a cashier or food preparer at restaurants such as McDonald’s or Subway. You may work as a bus person who cleans tables or as a dishwasher at fancier restaurants. There are times when a 16-year-old can become a waiter or waitress, but these jobs are often reserved for those who are older.

Restaurants that hire 16-year-olds, depending on their location and state laws, include:

  • Tuesdays with Ruby
  • Restaurant and Brewhouse BJ’s
  • Barrel Cracker
  • IHOP

Small Business Worker

Consider helping a small-business owner if you want to learn how businesses really work. Small businesses offer employees a greater variety of job duties and opportunities to learn while earning a living. Over time, earning the trust and respect of the owner can lead to more responsibilities and opportunities.

Find potential opportunities by searching for local companies. Using word-of-mouth may also alert you to job openings in your area.

Library Assistant

The library is a great place for teens to work. The environment is clean, indoors, and relatively low-stress. Although sometimes patrons will ask for your assistance, you won’t have much social interaction. The job is great if you enjoy books and are organized. Next time you visit your neighborhood library, ask how to apply.

Job postings for library jobs can also be found online.

Food Delivery Person

If your city allows you to get your driver’s license at 16, you can apply for a food delivery job. Working this job would allow you to work evenings and weekends. As a service provider, you should also be able to receive tips.

Driving jobs at most national chains require you to be 18 years old. It is possible, however, for local eateries to allow 16-year-olds to deliver. Find out if any local restaurants are hiring by visiting them.

Data Entry Clerk

It is often possible to find a part-time job as a data clerk if you have basic computer skills and like working in an office. Banks, medical offices, accounting firms, and other small businesses may need clerks.

Entrepreneurial Opportunities for 16-Year-Olds

In order to get started on each of these jobs, you need some visibility. Your first step should be to spread the word among your classmates, fellow church members, or neighbors. You can also post an ad online or distribute flyers at the grocery store or church. It is a good idea to allow your parents to help you screen potential clients for your safety.

Lawn and Gardening Services

Teenagers often earn some summer spending money by mowing lawns and gardening. You may be able to get more work if you provide your own equipment. To gain a competitive edge over your competitors, try to secure clients before summer begins.

Tutoring Services

You might be able to earn some money as a tutor if you are a good student who enjoys helping others. Math, science, English, and foreign languages are the most common subjects teens need help with. Make sure you screen your clients – your parents may need to help you verify their identities.

Dog Walker

Dog walking may be just the right job for you if you enjoy dogs. Inform your neighbors that you are seeking opportunities to earn extra income by providing pet care. You may be able to obtain some clients who will let you walk their dog every day, and others who will use your services when they are on vacation if you are reliable and trustworthy. You will likely attract more customers through referrals if you do a good job.

Car Washer

The traditional summer job for 16-year-olds is washing cars, although teens can easily turn it into an ongoing business. You are willing and able to wash cars year-round to earn some extra income in your neighborhood.


The job of babysitting is one of the easiest for teenagers to obtain. All you need is a good reputation, reliability, availability, and perhaps a parent who will verify your maturity. Making extra money without being tied to a weekly schedule is a good way to make extra money.

Music Teacher/Tutor

You can offer lessons to both children and adults if you play an instrument. You can reach out to interested people through your school or church. Consider using the school or church’s facilities if you need a place to teach, depending on what type of instrument you play.

Personal Assistant

We live in a hectic world, and it is likely that many people would benefit from some effective assistance. It is possible to find work as a personal assistant if you are responsible and enjoy running errands, doing housework, or doing odd jobs. To get your name out there, post flyers in the wealthier areas of town or use word-of-mouth. Before accepting the job, carefully screen the family.

Web or Graphic Designer

Why not turn your skills into money if you spend all your free time on the computer? There is a need for many businesses and individuals to create or enhance their websites. You can advertise your skills by creating your own website. Make contact with any website that could benefit from your services and sell yourself and your ideas.


If you are knowledgeable about a topic and have a way with words, you can make money blogging or writing. Join a blogging network that offers either a guaranteed per-post wage or a share of advertising revenue. You should review the guidelines carefully before joining a revenue sharing blog site, as some require contributors to be 18 or older.

Create your own blog on Blogger.com or WordPress.com if you prefer more control and to earn all the advertising revenue. Your site can be monetized by AdSense or by promoting products. Since you are under 18, your parent may need to sign up for advertising accounts on your behalf.

Senior Citizen Socializer

The weather can make it difficult for senior citizens to get around, especially in inclement weather. Provide company to lonely seniors by playing cards or board games once a week. Drive seniors to and from a gathering place to play games or to and from events for seniors held by local organizations to help them get together. To advertise your skills, talk to your grandparents and their friends or check with local senior citizen agencies.


Check out thrift stores and yard sales for items you can fix or clean up and resell. To sell your repurposed goods, join Facebook groups or make an account on a resale site like eBay. Try to find items that have mass appeal, are easy to fix up, and can be bought for a bargain. The smallest pieces of furniture and old picture frames can be cleaned, painted, and even redesigned to create functional, fun home d├ęcor. Look for pieces you can use to create unique found art, if you are more artistic.


YouTube is a source of income for some kids and teens. When you have established a following, you can sign up for an online advertising tool or look for sponsored content. With a large following and a unique platform, you might be able to get paid to make public appearances. Take a look at the most successful teen YouTubers. Come up with an original idea that will appeal to a wide audience. You can get the word out about your new venture by planning your videos in advance.

Seasonal and Summer Jobs for 16-Year-Olds

Working during the summer or Christmas breaks might give you enough spending money if you don’t want to work all year round. A 16-year-old may be able to get several seasonal jobs.

Gift Wrapper

During winter vacation, wrapping Christmas gifts can be a good way to earn extra money. The majority of these jobs are located in department stores or mall kiosks. Look for seasonal jobs early in the fall, as these jobs are often filled well in advance of the holidays.

Amusement Park Worker

Working at an amusement park like Six Flags or SeaWorld could be a fun summer job. At the park, you can work at the ticket booth, at a concession stand, or even as an entertainer.

Hotel Worker

Hotels may hire 16-year-olds for a variety of positions, especially during the busy season. The busy season may be summer in warm locations, but in ski resorts, it may be winter. In both areas, bellboys and front desk workers may be available. Several positions may also be available in the hotel’s restaurant or gift shop.

There are many hotels that say you need to be 18 years old, but if you ask the manager, you may find there are actually positions that you qualify for. Get an application from the hotel well before the busy season begins to gauge job availability.


Are you capable of swimming and rescuing others? During the summer, you might be able to use this to get certified as a lifeguard. To maintain control at the pool, you will have to deal with rambunctious kids and assert your authority. If you find a job at an indoor pool or in a temperate climate, the job may be year-round.

Farm Work

Many farms are looking for seasonal workers during harvest time. It is not uncommon for Midwest teens to spend their summers detasseling corn, for example. Check out outdoor activities if you live near agricultural areas.

Snow Removal

Assist neighbors with snow removal directly in the winter by offering your services. Alternatively, contact local snow removal services to see if they are hiring; the advantage of working with a service is that you don’t have to market.

Animal Care Assistant

If you enjoy working with animals, consider becoming a zoo assistant caretaker. There will be a lot of enclosure cleaning, but you’ll also be able to learn about and interact with some less dangerous animals. At the zoo, you may also be asked to paint faces and do animal crafts with children.

Holiday Decorator

For some families, putting up and taking down holiday decorations is a time-consuming chore. Here’s where you come in. Whether it’s Christmas, Halloween, or Easter, offer to decorate busy families’ homes for a small fee. Your first clients should be older neighbors or working parents with children. If desired, leave them some simple decorating to do after you take care of the hard parts.


You might be able to turn baking and decorating cakes or cupcakes into a lucrative side job if you have a knack for it. Make kids’ birthday cakes or desserts for casual events. Make a couple for friends for free to get started. Post pictures of your finished product on social media and ask your friends to give you reviews. Your local farmers market may even allow you to open a booth with fresh baked goods if you’re successful.

Package Porter

In December, you’ve probably seen those news stories about thieves stealing packages from porches, especially near Christmas. By moving their packages out of sight, you can help your neighbors keep their gifts safe. Since you’ll be home from school a couple hours before most working adults, you can either leave the packages in their house for them or move them to a back porch or garage.

Get a Job!

Teenagers can find information about part-time and full-time jobs on some websites.

  • You can search by ZIP code on Snagajob.com for retail and service jobs.
  • Only 14 to 19-year-olds can find jobs on Teens4Hire.org.
  • This website does not specifically cater to teens; however, it lists seasonal jobs at amusement parks, national parks, and other places.

Make Extra Money and Gain Valuable Experience

For most teens, a job is simply a way to earn money and gain experience. However, you should still consider work that matches your skills, personality type, and future goals. Inquire about job openings in your community if you are considering working or setting up a small business in your community. Preparing for the future is never too early.

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