Jobs can help teenagers learn important financial skills and develop a strong work ethic. Some teens may choose to work part time after school or on the weekends while others explore full-time summer employment or odd jobs, such as babysitting or mowing lawns. As a parent or guidance counselor, the goal is to ensure that teen employment doesn't interfere with academic requirements or health needs, such as getting enough sleep. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, in most cases, a teen must be at least 14 years old to work.
Teen jobs provide opportunities for students to learn financial responsibility and understand the value of money. For example, many learn how to budget their money, plan for future purchases, spend wisely and save. They also learn how income is taxed by the U.S. government. Some students practice stewardship and save part of their paychecks for college or budget for expenses associated with owning a car. Parents might help students learn about banking practices by helping them open savings or checking accounts.
Important Life Skills
Part-time jobs and summer employment help teenagers learn valuable life skills such as time management, responsibility, dependability and confidence. Jobs help prepare students for college and equip them to take on entry-level career positions in adulthood, according to The Boston Globe. For example, teenagers learn the importance of getting to work on time, being a team player and fulfilling their job duties. Teen employment also encourages students to become more independent so they gradually learn to be self-sufficient and self-supporting.
Teen employment provides extra spending money for students who wouldn't otherwise be able to purchase the items they want. Plus, pocket money gives teens a sense of pride knowing that they earned the money that they're spending -- it didn't just come from mom and dad. In some cases, the extra money might also allow students to pursue hobbies or other interests, such as sports, music or art, that contribute to their overall happiness or well-being.
Adult Supervision and Productivity
Many parents have to work all day year-round, so formal summer jobs and after-school employment, such as camp counselor positions and fast-food jobs, provide adult supervision and give teens a way to stay active and productive. According to Family Education, adult supervision is especially important during afternoon hours, immediately following the school day. Jobs can help teenagers avoid boredom and stay out of trouble.