So you’re ready to get a job and start making some money. Awesome! For teens, having a job is not only great for your bank account, but it can also be really rewarding and fun. Working can introduce you to new friends and show you what kinds of careers you might be interested in pursuing once you’ve graduated. And having a job shows your parents you are a responsible, reliable person, which means they may trust you to have more freedom and independence (hello, later curfew!)
But it’s hard to be independent when you can’t drive yourself to work. Getting your drivers license makes having a job much easier. In fact, the number one reason why teens are motivated to learn to drive in California is so they can get a job. In a recent survey of nearly 700 parents of teens, 49% of respondents report that getting a job was one of their teen’s big motivations for getting a driver’s license.
Teen Employment Is on the Rise
Many more teens are looking to enter the workforce these days, especially in the summer. According to a Pew Research Center analysis of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 36.6% of teens had a job in the summer of 2021, making it the highest summer teen employment rate since 2008. Teen employment has continued to rise since dropping off during the pandemic.
With more teens wanting to work, competition for jobs may be a little tougher. Having a drivers license may be the thing that sets you apart from the other applicants.
Why Is Work Beneficial for Teens?
Teens may want to work simply because they want to make money, but there are more benefits to be gained from having a job.
Having a job teaches you the importance of teamwork.
You know how in group projects in school, there’s always that person who doesn’t do anything? In the working world, you soon learn that kind of business won’t fly. You have to show up and do your job, or you could get fired. Your teammates are counting on you, and you must count on them in order to be successful. Teamwork really does make the dream work.
Having a job can help you perform better academically.
Sometimes parents would rather their teen not get a job and just focus on their school work. But research shows that teens who work actually perform better academically. The time management skills, discipline, and self-confidence that employment can develop pay off in the classroom.
Having a job looks good to your future employers and colleges.
Someday your schooling will end, and you will need to find a job. Yes, it seems hard to believe, but that day will come! It’s important that you’ve had some experience in the working world before you are looking for your first real job after graduation. And colleges also appreciate the maturity and organizational skills required to manage a job and schoolwork.
What Is the Right Job for You?
Questions to ask yourself when you are looking for a job:
How flexible is your schedule? Can you only work in the summer?
Be realistic about what responsibilities and commitments you already have with school and extracurricular activities and how much time you can dedicate to working. Don’t forget to make time for homework. Not to sound like your parent, but being a student is still your main job.
Does the job require a drivers license?
If delivering food or newspapers or running errands sounds like the kind of job you’d like, you’re clearly going to need a drivers license. Even jobs like babysitting or yard work are much easier to get if you can drive yourself to people’s homes.
How will you get to and from work?
Will you need someone to drive you, or are you planning to take drivers ed and get your license before you start working? Even if the job you have your eye on doesn’t require a drivers license, you’ll still need to figure out a reliable way to report for work.
Which Jobs Work Best for Teens?
Once you’ve thought about the logistics of how you’ll get to work and when you can work, where should you focus your search?
You can search for jobs in your city by going to a job posting site such as Indeed and typing in your city and other job criteria (part-time, type of job, entry-level, requires drivers license, etc.)
If you live near an amusement park such as Disneyland (Anaheim, CA) or Legoland (Carlsbad, CA), you are in luck! These kinds of employers are always looking for entry-level help, especially in the summer. For big employers like Disney, you can go directly to their website and look for a link to their job postings.
Cities with lots of tourist attractions, like San Francisco, San Diego, or Los Angeles, will be hiring in the summer months when tourism is at its peak. Possible jobs in the tourism industry include being a deckhand on a tour boat, working in the gift shop at the zoo, or even a photographer on a dinner cruise.
Need a few more ideas? Below, we’ve included some of the top jobs for teens:
Fast food crew member
Movie theatre team member
Cashier at a grocery store
Referee/umpire for recreational youth sports teams
Ride operators/guest services at an amusement park
As you can see, not all of these jobs require driving, but most employers want to know that you have a reliable way to get to work each day. They need to be able to count on you reporting for work on time.
Get Your License with Aceable and Land Your First Job
Aceable makes it easy and fun to knock out the coursework to get your license and get behind the wheel ASAP. Check out the course and get started as soon as today. You could have a license AND a job before you know it!