Article

Top 10 Places That Hire Young Teens

GRZEXP Staff – Ashlyn Johnson

Whether you’re approaching eighth grade or high school, next year is just around the corner. Even though it’s only junior high, starting to make a little cash on the side can’t hurt. There are plenty of local restaurants and other job opportunities for teenagers looking for work. Whether you want work to help support your family, or simply to look experienced on your college resume, it’s never too early to start looking for a job. Who knows, you may even be able to afford a nice car by your sophomore year of high school! These may only be temporary afternoon shifts until you can find a career you are hoping to pursue, but until then, finding a safe, enjoyable, and well paying job will play a huge role in your future. After a week of research and phone calls to different businesses, it has been narrowed down to these top ten jobs for people as young as fourteen, fifteen, and sixteen hoping to enter the working world. 

10. Dairy Queen 

You haven’t lived if you haven’t had Dairy Queen Ice cream. The fast food chain is famous for their blizzards and ice cream cones, hiring as young as 15 ½ , though the age limit may vary since each location is a franchise. Dairy Queen is an awesome first job to get a bit of experience in the business world, along with quite a bit of fun.

9. Safeway 

This well known grocery store chain has two locations here in Gilbert. They hire employees as young as 15 ½ to 16, depending on the location. One of the best teen job options at Safeway is a Courtesy Clerk. A Courtesy Clerk is responsible for bagging groceries, greeting customers as well as helping them to their cars, collecting empty carts, and several other duties. Your wage will most likely range from $9 – $14 an hour. Many new job options arise as you get older, including Delivery Driver and Produce Clerk. While your options are currently limited and may not be the most exciting, Safeway is still a safe and well paying work environment that you will not regret applying for in the long run. Other grocery stores that hire teens as they get older include Sprouts, Trader Joe’s, and Whole Foods. 

8. Bahama Bucks

Bahama Buck’s serves the shaved ice and snow cones we all know and love. A person can start working there at the young age of 15 ½, and the job is a perfect fit for someone searching for a relaxed working environment.  The professional and fun work experience offers several job options, though a Part-Time Crew Member (wage $8 – $10 an hour) is most likely the smartest choice for a high-school student without a diploma or driver’s license. Between school and outside hobbies, your working schedule will need to be flexible, and the job doesn’t require too much for someone just starting to work. 

7. Culvers 

Culvers is one of the few places that hires fourteen year olds. The family-favorite restaurant can be found all over Arizona, with some of the jobs including a Crew Member ($10 per hour), Cashier ($9 per hour), Assistant Manager ($13 per hour), and several more. Employees get perks and flexibility with this job, along with a well rounded wage you can start bringing in by eighth grade.

6. AMC Theater

Can you fathom working at a movie theater when you’re still in junior high? The truth is, it’s far more possible than you might think. You can work as an usher when you are only 14 for an hourly salary anywhere between $7 and $15. You can also be a Busser if you work at AMC locations that feature a dine-in theatre. A Busser assists the food and beverage team to assure that all the guests have an enjoyable experience. Once you reach the age of 16, you can work at Harkins Theater or Fat Cats. 

5. The YMCA

The YMCA is an organization that promotes community fitness, health, and well being.  There are several job options that they offer for teens, including lifeguarding and being a camp counselor. If you enjoy babysitting and are looking to take it to the next level, the YMCA Child Watch Attendant is the job for you. Your duties would involve taking care of the member’s children while they attend the YMCA, keeping them supervised and occupied with fun activities. You would create an inviting and safe environment where they could play and interact. This job requires you to be 15 years or older, with the hourly salary ranging anywhere from $8 to $14, though it’s typically around $9. 

 4. Golfland-Sunsplash

Golfland-Sunsplash is not only a great job opportunity for young teens, but a great way to spend your summer. Sunsplash is a family-friendly water park that has everything from a wave pool to a seven story water slide. Golfland is famous for their mini-golf and exciting attractions. Anyone 16 and older can apply for jobs at these parks, including Lifeguarding (applications and training can begin at 15), Sunsplash food service, Sunsplash Admission team, Clean Up Crew, or even ride operating as a member of the Castle staff. Additionally, the City Of Mesa AZ is currently recruiting lifeguards fifteen and older for their city pools, preparing for the summer season and paying $9 – $14 an hour. 

3. Chick-fil-a 

Chick-fil-a may be one of the best job options for young people looking for work. Many of their locations hire as young as 15 ½, but have strict rules regarding the hours they work and the jobs that they perform. There are some jobs for teenagers at Chick-fil-a, but many jobs at the restaurant require you to be a certain age. Student salaries at Chick-fil-A usually range from $8 – $15. Perks of working at Chick-fil a include Sundays off, possible scholarships, scheduling flexibility, and just the overall welcoming and friendly environment. It is supposedly not as difficult to get hired there as other places that require all sorts of qualifications. Many past employees claim how great their experience was, and how much they hope others in the future will get to experience it as well. 

2. In-N-Out Burger

The popular restaurant chain hires 16 and older, occasionally 15 ½ year olds if they have access to their school transcript to see if their grades are meeting standards. The hourly pay for the General Worker position averages $14 per hour, while a Crew member receives $16 per hour. The employees make more than average fast food restaurant employees usually make, and it is said to be one of the best places to work in the United States. 

1. Starbucks

Does this one even need an introduction? Starbucks, the world’s largest coffeehouse chain, has locations spread worldwide in more than 70 countries. Unfortunately, you must be at least 16 years old to be an employee at Starbucks (Montana locations are the exception, hiring at age 14). However, it’s never too early to plan ahead. A Barista is one of the most well-known Starbucks jobs. It requires you to take orders, prepare the coffee, tea, and other drinks, as well as operate cash registers and credit card machines. Barista’s are paid approximately $12.27 per hour in Arizona. Not bad for a first job! Barista’s may be the face of Starbucks, but if you aren’t excited about that job, there are several other positions for the company you could consider applying for. Benefits of working here can include Health Coverage, possible Tuition coverage, a free pound of coffee or box of tea weekly, and a 30% discount on beverages, merchandise and food. These are only a few of the many perks to working at this coffeehouse chain. You won’t regret it, especially when you’ll get to tell your friends you’ve got a job at Starbucks. 


It’s never too early to start looking for a job. Although not many businesses hire employees as young as fourteen, your options continue to grow as you increase in age. It was quite disappointing how rare it was to find somewhere that provided work for these young people, and there should be more choices for teenagers ready to start looking into their future. If you are lucky enough to be hired at these rare locations, expect to have some ground rules. Due to the Fair Labor Standards Act, 14 and 15 year old employees are typically limited to 3 hours on a school day and a maximum of 18 hours total in any given school week. During a non-school week, you are limited to 40 hours total with 8 hours on a non-school day. Additionally, these young people are only allowed to work between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., so you won’t be expected to work late. Despite these boundaries, getting a job young is a proactive and responsible decision that will really make life easier for you in the long run. It is important that you start with a safe, reliable, and enjoyable job that pays you reasonably for your time, like any of the ten listed above. As they say, it’s much easier to find a job, when you already have a job! Starting early is the way to go!

Featured Image Credits: https://www.thebluediamondgallery.com/handwriting/j/job.html

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