Summer jobs for kids and teens

Summer jobs for kids and teens

Summer holidays are imminent, and with them, six weeks of endless cries of ‘I’m bored’ and the Bank of Mum and Dad going into overdrive. One solution to the above is encouraging your child to find a job and start earning their own money. 


Our data shows that over four in ten kids (41%) say they aren’t earning enough, and seven out of ten kids (71%) say it’s important for them to earn their own money.


Louise Hill, CEO and co-founder of GoHenry says, “The summer holidays are a great time to help children and teens get entrepreneurial or start earning from chores. Kids could start selling old clothes on online marketplaces like Depop or Vinted or help neighbours with gardening. In fact, our recent pocket money research found that babysitting, mowing the lawn and washing someone's car are the most lucrative pocket money jobs - with kids earning £5.39, £3.46 and £2.97 on average for each task.”

Summer jobs are also good for kids. Working not only earns them an income but also helps build key soft skills such as communication, customer service, problem-solving, and time management. It can also boost kids' confidence and self-esteem and give them a sense of accomplishment.


This is backed up by a study from UBC Sauder School of Business,

which found teenagers who work summer or evening jobs gain a competitive advantage later in life. By developing early knowledge of the working world and how to manage it, they are more likely to find good employment and earn more money in the future.

Beware of working restrictions


Before they start looking for ways to earn money, it’s worth knowing that the youngest age a teen can work for someone is 13. 


Even then, they can only work a maximum of 2 hours on Sundays and a maximum of 5 hours on Saturdays and only be employed in what is considered ‘light work’. This means that they can’t do any job that may affect their health and safety.


During school holidays, older teens aged 15 to 16 can work a maximum of 35 hours a week, including a maximum of 8 hours on weekdays and Saturdays. 


Restrictions aside, help your kids be realistic about the wages they may earn. There is no minimum wage for those under 16. For those under 18, it is currently £5.28, though many employers pay more than this.


Extra chores that pay



Of course, it’s frustrating for younger kids and teens who want to earn but are too young for a job, and this is where extra tasks for pocket money can help.


Up to half of young people no longer receive weekly pocket money or allowance without being expected to complete tasks in return.


Paying out for tasks or extra summer chores teaches a range of skills, such as responsibility, time management, and prioritisation, and helps kids and teens see the power of earning. Ideas could include gardening, tech support for grandparents, washing the car, and emptying bins in the house.


GoHenry data shows kids and teens earned over £3.7 million from completing chores last year (an increase of 10.2% on the previous year), suggesting that paid tasks are helping them learn crucial earning and money management skills as well as financial responsibility.


The average highest-paid chores are:

  • Babysitting: £5.39 on average 

  • Mowing lawn: £3.46 on average 

  • Washing car: £2.97 on average 

  • Gardening: £1.96 on average 

  • Exercising: £1.30 on average 

Teen job search


New figures from the think tank Resolution Foundation have revealed that just one-quarter of 16 - 17-year-olds in the UK have a traditional part-time job like shelf stacking, waiting tables, delivering newspapers, or working in a shop. 


Twenty years ago, 48.1% of 16—and 17-year-olds had jobs. That figure has now fallen to 25.4%.


Some of this is down to the demise of the high street, the rise of the gig economy, and the general attitude shift from earning to learning. Yet, some places still readily employ teens. 


Retail work pays between £9 - 10 an hour and is one of the best high-paying jobs for teens. Look for vacancies in all the main supermarkets, Boots, Superdrug, clothing retailers and sportswear companies.


Working in a cafe pays £5+ an hour plus tips. Work revolves around cleaning tables, washing up, sweeping floors, and even taking orders. Babysitting is still a lucrative part-time job, paying £8+ an hour. Depending on the child's age, babysitting involves taking care of hygiene and food needs and sticking to sleep schedules. Your teen will need to be responsible and able to travel to and from the child’s house. 


Encourage teen entrepreneurship


Gen Z has a strong entrepreneurial streak, which is well worth capitalising on. Twenty-six percent plan to be their own boss in the future and one in five (21%) say that this is a priority for their future careers. 


A quarter of kids and teens (25%) are already earning money from selling things on online marketplaces such as Etsy, eBay, Depop, and Vinted, with an average monthly 'wage' of £7.34. Nearly one in five (18%) kids are earning money from gaming, with 12-year-olds making the most, taking home an average of £8.24 a month.


If you want to help inspire your child’s inner entrepreneur, ensure they research a business idea before they start. Whether they are starting a baking business, selling clothes online, or cleaning cars, they should know who their customers are and what a competitive yet profitable price for their service or products is. 


Be sure to talk to them about how to make a business successful, i.e. motivation, hard work, attention to detail and customer service, so they reap the rewards of working for themselves financially and practically.


Overall, summer jobs and paying for extra chores and tasks can be a transformative experience for kids and teens. It boosts their confidence and starts building essential interpersonal skills such as time management and problem-solving that they’ll need one day soon in the workplace.
Written by Anita Naik Published Jun 25, 2024 ● 4 mins