15 Best Jobs For 15 Year Olds & How To Get Hired For Them

A teenage girl working in the produce department.

A 15-year-old might want an easy job that pays well for many reasons. Maybe they’re looking to get some extra cash for a fun purchase like a new gaming system or pair of shoes, or they might be saving up for college. Other kids may be on the hunt to give their families a helping hand during trying times.

Whatever the reason may be, one thing holds true: finding a job at 15 years old can be a challenge. Many laws revolve around hiring a 15-year-old, and not only that, but most employers simply won’t want to hire someone at such a young age.

Well, if you’re 15 years old and need to know your options, keep reading. This article shares all of the critical information you need to know, from child labor law basics to some of the jobs that might actually give you the green light for employment.


Child Labor Law Basics

Knowing the basic child labor laws can ensure that you (and the employer) are doing things legally. Keep in mind that these are the “basics.” Each state may have its own rules and regulations regarding child labor, so it is imperative to check your state’s website for specifics.


Types Of Work Allowed For 15-Year Olds

Before you send out your resume, it is crucial to know which jobs you are allowed to do. (Note: the following positions are also applicable for a 14-year-old).

  • Retail: Retail is likely one of the most straightforward jobs to get into. 15-year-olds can operate a cash register, sell items, mark the price on objects, and shelve products.
  • Food Service: Another popular choice is the food service industry. Here, 15-year-olds can wash dishes, clean, and perform specific cooking skills.
  • Creative Jobs: If you’re someone who wants to sing, teach or program for money, you can legally do so as a 15-year-old.
  • Delivery: Delivery jobs done on foot, bicycle, or some kind of public transport are allowed.
  • Yard Work: Yard work must be done by hand. Unfortunately, using any type of power-driven tool such as a lawn mower is prohibited by law.
  • Certain Car Work: 15-year-old workers are allowed to dispense gasoline and can also wash/polish cars.
  • Lifeguard: With the correct requirements, 15-year-olds can successfully and legally work as a lifeguard at swimming pools.


Hour Limits On 15-Year Olds

Children aged 14 and 15 years old have specific limits when it comes to when the number of hours they can work. Here are a few of the basics:


  • Must work outside of regular school hours.
  • Cannot work longer than three hours on a school day.
  • Cannot work longer than 18 hours per week during the school year.
  • Cannot work more than 8 hours per day or 40 hours per week during summer break, winter break, and other times school is not in session.
  • Must work between the hours of 7 AM and 7 PM. (9 PM during summer months)


Note: these rules apply to those who attend any kind of school, including public, private, or homeschool. The only exemption is if the 14 or 15-year-old has graduated, is attending a Work Experience program, or is otherwise excused from attending school.


Minimum Age Requirements

The minimum age for working a non-agricultural job is 14-years-old. Keep in mind that some jobs can be given to younger children, such as babysitting, delivering newspapers, etc.


Work Permit Requirements

In some states, a work permit is required before a minor is allowed to work. Job seekers will need to do the following to get their work permit:


  • Certificate application from their school
  • Physical performed by their doctor
  • Proof of age (birth certificate, driver’s license, etc.)


When the application is completed, the minor will need to turn in the application with a parent or guardian present. They may be asked simple questions, such as their name and date of birth. The child and parent or guardian will sign the papers, and the minor will then be allowed to start looking for job opportunities.


15 Best Jobs For 15-Year Olds

A young person working on a farm.

Whether you’re looking for a full-time, part-time, or summertime job, here are some of the best job opportunities for 15-year-olds.


#1. Fast Food Joint Crew Member

One of the most accessible places to get hired as a high school 15-year-old student is at a fast-food restaurant. You will become one of the “team members” and will be responsible for working the cash register, running food, cleaning up, and more. While salary will vary by establishment and location of work, it’s said that Chick-Fil-A is one of the best options with a higher paycheck and enjoyable work environment. McDonald’s is another good choice.


#2. Grocery Store Bagger

Bagging groceries at a grocery store (Such as Publix) is another excellent idea for 15-year-olds. Plus, your parent or guardian may get a good discount on items — and that’s something all parents can cheer for.


#3. Movie Theater Concessionist

Do you love movies? If you already spend half your time at the movie theater, you might consider making it a part-time or full-time career move. Movie theaters tend to pay minimum wage and may or may not offer discounts on movie tickets.


#4. Restaurant Busser

Food service jobs are always a good choice for youngsters, as they are almost always open to hiring someone younger for the “less desirable” positions such as bussing. The good thing about this job title is that you can eventually move up and become a server, which will result in a higher paycheck (thanks to the tips!).


#5. Babysitter

Are you good with kids? Are you a responsible young adult? Do you know any family members or neighbors that would trust you with their children? If you love kids and wouldn’t mind entertaining them for a few hours, you can consider a babysitting career. Prices will vary, mainly depending on the kids’ age and how long the parents will be gone.


#6. Lifeguard

If you have the certification to be a lifeguard, consider making it a “career move.” Many places, such as amusement parks and swimming pool areas, will hire lifeguards starting at 15 years of age. They also tend to pay a bit higher than minimum wage because this career requires training and certification. If you’re good enough with kids, you could also extend your lifeguarding to a camp counselor!


#7. Amusement Park Concessionist

Amusement parks are kid-friendly, so it’s not surprising that they’ll provide a job to 15-year-olds after school. You will likely be working the concession at the front of the park, taking visitors’ money and giving them their tickets.


 #8. Ice Cream Scooper

An ice cream shop can be a great place to find your first job. Not only is it a fun job (Think: dancing and singing around Cold Stone Creamery), but you will be delighted with the sweet smell of ice cream treats every day. You may also get free ice cream, which is a big plus on top of the paycheck!


#9. Pet Sitting

If child care isn’t your thing, don’t think you’re all out of luck regarding jobs you can do in the neighborhood. You can also engage in “pet sitting.” This is one of the best options for summer jobs as plenty of people go away during the summer, and they will need someone to take care of their pets while they’re away. You can charge a flat daily fee for feeding, walking, and playing with the pets.


#10. Retail Store Cashier

Retail is another one of those types of jobs that are given to those 15 years of age. They will likely expect you to work the cash register, fix up the clothing, so they look presentable, and do some light cleaning. If large chains don’t hire you, consider checking out local businesses.


#11. Golf Caddy

If a life on the green sounds exciting and prestigious, consider becoming a caddy at the local golf course. Golfers are always looking for someone young and spry to take on their golf equipment, especially on the 4th of July or Labor Day holidays.


#12. Tutor

Are you really good at a particular school subject, such as math or English? People are always on the hunt for a good tutor who can help them out in areas they’re struggling with. The best part is that this part-time job can be done in-person or online, so you have options when it comes to clients.


#13. Yardwork

As mentioned previously, you will not be able to use powered tools to perform yard work. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t still find yourself helping in the yard. Pulling weeds, trimming shrubs, and simply cleaning up the area can earn you a bit of cash.


#14. Dog Walker

Dog-walking is another great option for 15-year-olds that want a flexible schedule and don’t want to fuss with a work permit. Find some people in the neighborhood that would like their dog walked for a flat fee.


#15. Restaurant Dishwasher

If you do not want to be a cashier or busser, you can always be a dishwasher in a food service establishment. Again, you can work yourself up from this position and eventually do a more lucrative job such as serving or prepping the food. It’s a great way to get your foot in the door!


How To Get Hired As A 15-Year Old

A teenage girl smiling and shaking hands after getting hired.

Just because there are many job opportunities for a 15-year-old, it doesn’t mean it will be easy to get the job. A lot of employers are wary of hiring minors at this age. But that doesn’t mean it is not possible. Here are a few tips for landing the job.


  • Dress appropriately. Even if you’re applying during the school week, you shouldn’t show up in your school clothes. A nice pair of slacks and a button-down shirt are acceptable for boys. Girls should consider wearing a knee-length skirt and a button-down top.
  • Be confident. Confidence is key! Show them you can handle the job and are mature enough for the position by remaining confident.
  • Keep eye contact. Again, it’s all about showing maturity and confidence.
  • Hand over a resume. A resume is vital for all job seekers, including the younger ones. Although you don’t have work experience to share, you can jot down info such as grades, school projects or teams you excelled in, etc.
  • Circle back. Whether they rejected you immediately or not, you can always circle back and check in with the employer. This shows that you’re serious about the job, and they might just give you a chance.


The Bottom Line

A job at 15 years of age can be a fantastic way to save up money for something meaningful while also learning valuable skills and a solid work ethic. There are many options, but the most important things to remember when applying and working are confidence, maturity, and responsibility.


Frequently Asked Questions


What are some jobs a 15-year-old can do?

The best options for 15-year-olds include food service (fast food restaurant or restaurant), grocery stores, movie theaters, or amusement parks. They may also find luck performing neighborhood jobs like babysitting, dog walking, pet sitting, house sitting, tutoring, etc.

What is the average hourly wage for 15-year-olds?

Minor workers must be paid the same amount as any other worker in the business. Although most of these jobs will pay minimum wage, some may pay more or less. It depends on the state you are in and the company you’re working for. However, the “federal” minimum wage is $7.25, so you can expect to be paid at least that much (if not more).