Best-Paying Summer Jobs

best paying summer jobs

Getting a summer job is a rite of passage for many young people. In addition to earning wages to help pay for tuition or make car payments, it's where many first-time employees learn the fundamentals of work -- showing up on time, teamwork, communicating effectively, managing workloads and more. But summer jobs can also be fun, giving teenagers an opportunity to bond and hang out with a group of people beyond their schools and neighborhoods.

In recent years, because of the recession and subsequent slow recovery in the labor market, summer jobs have been hard to come by for many teenagers. This year, many economic indicators point to an improved job market, suggesting that high school and college students looking for work this summer may have an easier time of it.

To help with the search, AOL Jobs has compiled a list of eight best-paying summer jobs -- nearly all of which require little if any previous job experience. All of the jobs pay more than the current federal minimum wage -- $7.25 an hour (though, depending on where you live, the minimum wage may be higher).

What's more, forecasts from the Bureau of Labor Statistics suggest that many of these jobs are fast growing, meaning employers likely need to fill lots of positions. Take a look at the list, and then tell us what you think in the comments section below -- and offer suggestions of your own.




Food Server (take orders and serve food and beverages to customers in dining establishments):

  • 2010 Median Pay: $18,330, or $8.81 an hour.*
  • Work Experience: None.
  • Education and Training: Less than high school; short-term on-the-job training.
  • Number of Jobs: 2.26 million.
  • Employment Change (through 2020): +195,900 jobs, or 9 percent growth (slower than average).

Find a job as a food server.




Lifeguard (ensures the safety of swimmers at pools, beaches and parks):

  • 2011 Median Pay: $18,900, or $9.09 an hour.**
  • Work Experience: None.
  • Education and Training: Less than high school; American Red Cross Lifeguard certification is required and can be taken at age 15.
  • Number of Jobs: 122,000.
  • Employment Change (through 2020): +23,180 jobs, or 19 percent growth (average).

Find a job as a lifeguard.




Babysitter (cares for basic needs of children, such as bathing and feeding; may help older children with homework):

  • 2010 Median Pay: $19,300, or $9.28 an hour.*
  • Work Experience: None.
  • Education and Training: Ranges from less than a high school diploma to early childhood education certification, depending on employer and locality.
  • Number of Jobs: 1.28 million.
  • Employment Change (through 2020): +262,000 jobs, or 20 percent growth (faster than average).

Find a job as a babysitter.




Housekeeper (perform general cleaning tasks, including making beds and vacuuming floors in private homes, hotels and other commercial establishments):

  • 2010 Median Pay: $19,300, or $9.28 an hour.*
  • Work Experience: None.
  • Education and Training: Less than high school; short-term on-the-job training.
  • Number of Jobs: 1.43 million.
  • Employment Change (through 2020): +111,600 jobs, or 8 percent growth (slower than average).

Find a job as a housekeeper.




Home Health or Personal Care Aide (helps older adults or people who are disabled, chronically ill or mentally impaired with activities such as bathing and dressing; performs light housekeeping):

  • 2010 Median Pay: $20,170, or $9.70 an hour.*
  • Work Experience: None.
  • Education and Training: Less than high school; short-term on-the-job training.
  • Number of Jobs: 1.88 million.
  • Employment Change (through 2020): +1.3 million jobs, or 70 percent growth (much faster than average).

Find a job as a home health or personal care aide.




Retail Sales Clerk (assists with store operations, helps consumers find products and processes customers' payments):

  • 2010 Median Pay: $20,990, or $10.09 an hour.*
  • Work Experience: None.
  • Education and Training: Less than high school; short- to moderate-term on-the-job training.
  • Number of Jobs: 4.47 million.
  • Employment Change (through 2020): +739,400 jobs, or 17 percent growth (average).

Find a job as a Retail Sales Clerk.




Product Merchandiser (stocks store shelves, takes inventory and hands out product samples to customers):

  • 2011 Median Pay: $23,110, or $11.11 an hour.**
  • Work Experience: None.
  • Education and Training: High school diploma; short-term on-the-job training.
  • Number of Jobs: 90,100.
  • Employment Change (through 2020): +15,800 jobs, or 18 percent growth (average).

Find a job as an product merchandiser.




Pharmacy Technician (assists licensed pharmacists in dispensing prescription medications):

  • 2010 Median Pay: $28,400, or $13.65 an hour.*
  • Work Experience: None.
  • Education and Training: High school diploma or equivalent; moderate-term on-the-job training.
  • Number of Jobs: 334,000.
  • Employment Change (through 2020): +108,300 jobs, or 32 percent growth (much faster than average).

Find a job as a pharmacy technician.




*Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook
**Source: ONet OnLine





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14 Comments

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italianice

http://italianice.net/2013/05/14/summer-jobs-new-testimonial/
I just added this onto our website regarding summer jobs from one of our newer customers- Check it out-
" I just want to let you know how our first adventure in the Italian Ices business went. Well, we were asked to shown up at a Relay for Life event in Lincolnton, NC on a Friday afternoon. The event started at 6p.m. with the expectation of the vendors setting up no later than 5p.m. Since this was our first event, we took more than we thought we would need (cups, spoons, napkins, Ice etc.). The setup went very smooth even though I was very nervous. I had purchased the ice cream bag Anthony displayed in his video and let me tell you, that thing kept my extra cans of ice cold and in excellent state all evening. People loved the fact that I wore gloves and cleaned my flat surfaces constantly. They loved the free samples even more.
The night was a constant scooping extravaganza. The lines were not terribly long, but they sure were steady (I actually scoop a blister onto my index finger). We did very well (almost breaking $1000) for the five hours we scooped even though there was a “soft ice cream” vendor three sections down. Everyone raved about the smooth texture and sweet flavor of the ice. The flavor was just right…not too sweet or overpowering. We were asked to come back next year.
We have a boat show to do this Saturday (saw them setting up the signage and dropped off a card) that will include four live bands, and various recreations. We also have a huge 2-day festival to do the week after. I just want to say that I am thrilled to be a part of Little Jimmy’s Italian Ices. Thank you for a great product!"

May 16 2013 at 12:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Annika

What bunk is this? A pharmacy technician has to be licensed in my state, which means someone with a high school diploma and 2 years training, NOT a teenage yahoo who hasn't even graduated yet. In which state don't you have to be licensed? I'll move there and start working ASAP.

May 06 2013 at 8:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dan

Man what a bad article! I thought the title of the article "BEST paying summer jobs". With ZERO experience, but a lot of hard work I made $300 per days six days a week during the summer. We used to laugh and make fun of the "life guards". Me and 3,200 other college age kids sold books door-to-door and paid out entire college expenses w/o government hand-outs. Life guard, wow.

May 06 2013 at 3:20 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Dan's comment
aztrukin

I commend you on your hard work and determination but I question your humility. It is apparent you did well from your statements but also remember you are the exception, not the rule. My oldest daughter worked as a life guard for two summers during high school and she did it because a near drowning experience of a friend motivated her to do so. She is a Golden Guard recipient. Life achievements are just as valuable as the dollars you make.

May 06 2013 at 8:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
globeskater170

toll booth attendant should be in there :) that's what i did for a few years and it was eeeassyyy

May 06 2013 at 12:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
soariation

Caddy at a private golf club. Literally can make 10-15 grand in a summer at 18 years old if you're good.

May 06 2013 at 12:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Pam

Was paid $2 an hour back in the 70s as a lifeguard. Incredibly boring job. And had a horrendous case of skin poisoning. All that sun did a lot of damage to my skin and it's showing it now. If I was a kid I would be heading to a restaurant. Serving is fun and easy and very profitable.

May 06 2013 at 12:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
pkacp

what kind of joke is this...the 8 best paying jobs for the summer? and the 8 worst pay about 20 cents less???

May 06 2013 at 12:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
brus35

I was a life guard at 12 y/o . hung out at the city pool all the time . and all the cuties were there in their itsy bitsy teeny weeny bikini . life was good.

May 06 2013 at 12:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to brus35's comment
aztrukin

My daughter was a great lifeguard, my son and you would be best friends. He got caught kissing three different girls on the same day during duty and was promptly fired. He deserved it but thought it was worth it.

May 06 2013 at 9:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
alliedgroup1

Lifeguard on an oceanfront beach is probably the best job you will ever have in your life. Beach, sun, ocean all day every day. Are you kiddin'. Doesn't get any better than that.

May 06 2013 at 10:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dclancy3

I tell my kids that being a lifeguard is the worst job you could possibly get. Inevitably you have to pay for training ( usually over $150) out of pocket and on your own time without pay. Then the guy who collects money at the pool entrance or picking up trash on the beach gets the same pay you do, but never had to go to or pay for training. You pay out of pocket for the required bathing suit, sunscreen and special sun glasses or suffer skin and eye damage later in life like I am now. Finally lots of guys get into it because they think they'll be looking at good looking people all day long. Forget about this, it's usually very unattractive and out of shape people.

May 06 2013 at 9:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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