Jobs You Can Get Right Now as a Teen

BY Jackson Lee

Summer’s over, and so is that seemingly endless supply of money that you’ve been saving up. With most of that money spent on Josh’s Sno Cones, collectables from the gas station you visited out of state, and of course that really cool concert you saw that you definitely will remember forever (since you posted 30 pictures of it on your instagram). Now Fall is just right around the corner, and this is when the problem starts. All of the sudden, all of your favorite clothing brands start dropping their fall collections, and the one thought on your mind is “How am I gonna afford this new Supreme Cat in The Hat Hoodie with only $13 in my bank account?” Well don’t you worry anymore, I’m here to help. With the college kids returning to their jail-cell-sized dorms, that leaves a bunch of jobs open for the taking. I’ve come up with an amazing list of jobs that can help you make that cash cash money so you can go ahead and afford that style of clothing that yells “I HAVE MONEY,” when in fact you don’t have any.


The food industry is a great way to get into the workforce. Many teens turn to these jobs for the easy objectives and reasonable pay to help them start making money. I was able to talk to junior Rachel Ratliff about her job at Camille’s Sidewalk Cafe.


“There’s nothing special about it, just basic restaurant work,” Ratliff said while she ate a cookie, (she got free as one of her benefits).


Ratliff works the register, makes smoothies, salads, and sandwiches. She didn’t used to do all these things though. Starting out, she was only working the register. That role only lasted a few weeks, after which she started getting more responsibility.


“Working here is pretty cool. The people who work here are cool, and the customers are pretty chill.” Ratliff explained. “It’s a good job if you wanna be lazy, not much goes on, but I guarantee there’s better paying jobs.”


She told me the application was pretty basic, but there’s only one requirement: you need a food handler’s license. Ratliff told me that it’s about a one to two hour course, with a test finishing off the course. Pass the test and you get the license, pretty easy stuff.  


Looking for something a little more on the wild side? The Tulsa Zoo is always accepting applications. I spoke to former Jenks student, Rosie Remington who is currently employed at the zoo.


She works the attractions, such as camel rides, the giraffe feeding, and the carousel rides. She told me about the type of environment she works in.


“Everyone that works there is really friendly,” Remington said. “And the customers are all in a great mood. It’s really great”.


While the environment is her favorite aspect of the job, Remington told me that the current summer heat is probably the worst part, but besides that, she loves it. I finally asked if she had any tips for people looking for a job there.


“Don’t do it for the job, do it because you love animals” Remington told me, and with that, the interview was concluded.


Remington applied via the internet, and she told me it was a very basic application with no special training needed. So if you have little work experience, it’s no problem getting a job there. I got the link here


Retail is also a big market for teens looking for jobs. Being a cashier, cleaning the store, and helping customers can turn out to be very well-paying jobs with little to experience required. Junior Michael Lanigan, a current employee to Home Depot, told me about his job and the types of things he does on a weekly basis.


“I load heavy things onto carts, help lift the larger objects, and make sure that there are enough carts in the store for customers to use,” Lanigan explained.


Though his job might seem physically demanding, there’s tons of other jobs offered at Home Depot. Some could go work out in the plant section, the tile section, or as a customer service rep. Lanigan went on with the list, but I picked out the more simple jobs. After the quick convo about the jobs and their descriptions, I wanted more insight into the type of environment that Home Depot has.


“The other employees are nice, and help each other if they require the extra hand. Customers are nice a lot of the time. You have some customers frequent the store, as some of them have jobs requiring them to come here often. Others come in to get some things to repair certain things” Lanigan explained.


After all this, I asked him if he had any advice on the application for the job.


“Just let them know you’re hard-working; they’re looking for people who’ll go out of their way to make the customer happy,” Lanigan told me. “Besides that, the application was pretty standard, no extra skills needed.”

These places are always willing to hire young workers who are looking to start making some money to go do whatever teens do. There’s obviously more jobs than just working in retail or food, like the zoo or aquarium. These aren’t your only options. As of July of 2018, 20.9 million people aged 16-24 were employed in some variation of work in the U.S. So the next time you wanna buy that venti Starbuck latte, just be thankful you have some cash in your pocket from all the hard work you’ve done.


If you’re interested in any of the jobs listed above, the links are down below.


Tulsa Zoo


Camille’s Sidewalk Cafe

Home Depot

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