15 of the Best Jobs for 16-Year-Olds (With Salaries and Duties)

Updated 7 March 2023

At 16 years old, you can apply for part-time, full-time or freelance jobs to earn money and gain experience. There are a variety of exciting jobs in different industries that can provide learning and networking opportunities. Knowing about the best jobs for 16-year-olds can help you find your next role. In this article, we list jobs 16-year-olds may pursue and provide the duties and average salaries for each role to help you find the right one for your goals and interests.

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15 of the best jobs for 16-year-olds

Here are some of the best jobs for 16-year-olds looking for paid work:

1. Weekend cleaner

Average salary: $27.15 per hour

Primary duties: A weekend cleaner helps clean offices, homes and commercial premises on weekends. They often work when a business or office is closed. Their duties include vacuuming, mopping the floors and wiping surfaces. They may also dust furniture, clean windows and take out the trash.


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2. Dishwasher

Average salary: $19.67 per hour

Primary duties: Dishwashers play a crucial role in restaurant operations. They help ensure guests have clean utensils and cutlery. They often collaborate with other kitchen staff members to ensure the area is safe and healthy.

3. Cafe barista

Average salary: $25.64 per hour

Primary duties: These professionals welcome customers in a friendly manner, take their food or drink orders and help prepare and serve beverages. They may also answer questions and receive customer payments. They may also help prepare food items, depending on the location.

4. Ice cream scooper

Average salary: $23.45 per hour

Primary duties: Professionals in this role scoop and serve ice cream to customers. They may handle orders, take payments and talk with customers. They may answer customer questions, provide suggestions and assist with inventory tasks.

5. Grocery merchandiser

Average salary: $26.86 per hour

Primary duties: A person in this role helps store owners to package and display groceries in a way that appeals to customers. Many merchandisers work in large chain stores, but some may work in small groceries store. They often help unpack deliveries and may help maintain an inventory.

6. Sandwich maker

Average salary: $24.09 per hour

Primary duties: These professionals make sandwiches for customers. They often assist customers and answer questions. They may take an order, assemble the sandwich and handle the payment transaction.

7. Sales assistant

Average salary: $24.98 per hour

Primary duties: Working from a retail store, sales assistants help customers find specific products and make card purchases. They may operate a cash register and assist the store manager in keeping the store tidy. They may also help unpack new items and display them in the store.

8. Ticket sales representative

Average salary: $29.29 per hour

Primary duties: Ticket sales representatives help customers buy tickets for events such as musicals, theatre, concerts and movies. They may answer customer questions, discuss different showtimes and manage a cash register. They may also discuss different seating options and encourage sales.

9. Concert usher

Average salary: $31.01 per hour

Primary duties: These professionals help direct concert-goers to their seats in entertainment complexes, sports arenas, concert halls and other venues. Their duties include assisting customers, reviewing tickets and providing directions. They may also answer customer questions.

10. Parking attendant

Average salary: $33.42 per hour

Primary duties: A parking attendant monitors car parking activity to ensure patrons park their cars properly and follow safety rules. These professionals may check and scan parking tags, collect payments and assist motorists with valet parking services. They may also work to keep the toll booth and surrounding areas clean.

11. Receptionist

Average salary: $20.95 per hour

Primary duties: A receptionist is a professional who assists with customer or client interactions in an organisation. They may answer the phone, respond to customer questions or greet customers when they enter a building. They may also provide directions. Teens may find receptionist opportunities at local non-profit organisations, stores or small local businesses.

12. Lawn care worker

Average salary: $26.40 per hour

Primary duties: Lawn care professionals work to maintain lawns by mowing the grass, trimming trees, planting flowers and installing edging around flower beds. They may also help maintain an area by cleaning and weeding the grounds.

13. Gardener

Average salary: $28.11 per hour

Primary duties: Gardeners work with a variety of plants in the garden. Their job is to ensure plants and trees thrive and stay healthy. Their duties may include planting new crops, weeding an area, fertilising the plants and watering the garden.

14. Dog walker

Average salary: $25.06 per hour

Primary duties: Dog walkers take dogs out for exercise. These professionals may take dogs out at regular intervals, such as daily, when the pet owner is at work or unavailable. They may also provide companionship for the pets during this time, and they can assist with other tasks, such as feeding the pet or providing basic care.

15. Pool attendant

Average salary: $30.20 per hour

Primary duties: Pool attendants help maintain swimming pools for local families or public areas. Their duties include skimming the debris out of the water, testing the chemical levels and adding chemicals when necessary to stop bacterial growth. They may also help vacuum the pool or assist in other general maintenance, depending on their training.

Freelance jobs for 16-year-olds

Teens also have the opportunity to make money from freelance jobs or gigs. In a freelance role, teens work directly for clients, rather than companies. As a teen, you may find your first freelance opportunities through your family, friends or network connections. For example, if you're interested in becoming a graphic designer, you might begin by designing a new logo for a family friend's business. Alternatively, you can gain experience by volunteering. For example, you might volunteer to design a new logo for a local animal shelter. This can help you gain experience and attract more clients in the future.

Here are some freelance opportunities you may consider:

  • Freelance writer: In this role, you create web content, blog posts and informative articles for clients. Freelance writing can teach you how to adapt your tone and writing style for a particular audience.

  • Freelance designer: Teens with artistic skills can look for freelance design gigs, where they create visuals for branding or promotional materials. It helps to create a portfolio of work online and share it with potential clients.

  • Social media assistant: Avid social media users can also make money creating posts for teen-related social media pages. Teens who handle social media gigs learn how to connect with the company's followers online.

  • Part-time typist: Teens who can type over 60 words a minute can also look for typing gigs. Typists usually transcribe interviews, speeches and notes from meetings into professional business documents for their employers, but you can also start by offering to help a network connection with their notes.

  • Data entry clerk: Data entry gigs involve keying data from scanned documents. A person may also evaluate marks and key hand-written and machine-generated entries. Accuracy and meeting deadlines are important aspects of data entry tasks.

Related: 10 Types of Freelance Jobs Online (Plus Tips for Starting)

Benefits of working as a 16-year-old

Working as a 16-year-old is a great way to learn some basic job skills while earning money on the side. Most of the skills are specific to a particular role. Some benefits of working as a teen may include the following:

  • Provides an opportunity to help your family, friends and neighbours with tasks

  • Provides extra cash or spending money

  • Teaches good work habits

  • Helps you build connections with people that can serve as future reference

  • Enhances communication and interpersonal skills which you can use in future roles

  • Creates a sense of accomplishment and personal achievement

  • Develops your confidence and responsibility

Related: How To Write a Resume for a Teenager: Top Tips

Tips for finding jobs for 16-year-olds

Here are practical tips that might help you land your next job:

  • Start your job search online: Consider searching online using a site like Indeed Jobs. This can help you find opportunities in your local area.

  • Understand the job description for the role: Conduct research and determine the qualifications, skills and duties necessary for the specific role.

  • Create a resume for your first job: A clear and properly formatted resume may increase your chance of finding a new role if you're applying for a position at a store or in a company.

  • Use networking to your advantage: Enlist the help of adult friends or family members to find opportunities.

  • Find a good reference: Add a reliable person who can recommend you as a hardworking, reliable and trustworthy person to potential employers.

Salary figures reflect data listed on the quoted websites at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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