There are a variety of full-time jobs available for teens, although certain age restrictions have been set in place by the U.S. Department of Labor. By law, students between the ages of 14 and 15 can not work more than 18 hours a week while school is in session. Older teens, and younger teens during summer break, may choose to seek out full-time employment. Teenagers younger than 18 are limited to jobs that don't involve heavy machinery and potentially dangerous conditions, but after a teenager turns 18, he or she is allowed to work any position. Some states have laws that are more limiting, so please check with your school guidance counselor or state government website for the rules in your area.
Summer camps provide a great opportunity for older teens to work full-time in a fun environment. Depending on the location of the camp, they may even be able to spend the summer away from home. Camps hire teens as counselors, housekeepers, cooks and for other support staff positions.
By the time teenagers reach the eleventh grade, most are old enough to begin working on a farm. Although the hours are long and the work is physically demanding, farm work can be a good option for teenage workers. Farms can be very enjoyable places to work, and teenagers get to enjoy working outdoors and getting exercise. Salary and benefits vary by location.
Another full-time work option for teenagers is working in retail. Positions exist in grocery stores, department stores, and other retail settings. Most of these positions start at minimum wage, and the work can be tedious. However, retail work provides teenagers with the opportunity to handle money, build customer service skills and become more responsible. It's also a good way for teenagers to get valuable work experience for future jobs.
There are many seasonal opportunities available for teenagers seeking full-time employment when school is not in session. Amusements parks are one popular option; teens can work in gift shops, food stands and as ride operators. Public beaches will often hire teens with strong swimming skills as lifeguards. State parks are another good venue for summer work.
Restaurants, diners, and other food shops will often hire teenagers as cooks, cleaners and cashiers. Younger workers may not be allowed to operate cooking equipment until they are 17 or 18, depending on your state's rules, but there are other employment opportunities including servers, hostesses, prep cooks and dishwashers.
Many teenagers are able to successfully start their own small businesses, which could lead to substantial full-time employment. A teen can start a babysitting, tutoring or pet sitting business. You may also be able to find work housekeeping, creating websites or doing odd jobs for neighbors. Teenagers can make money doing almost anything they have the skills for, as long as there is a need for it in their communities.