Congrats! You are now eligible to officially join the workforce! You’ve probably been anxiously waiting for this day to come where you can start your job hunt and start earning money.
Really quickly, we will start by looking at the legality of 14 year olds having a job, and then share some advice from career experts on how to be prepared. We also have a great list of some ideas on the specific employment opportunities for your first job.
JOB LAWS FOR 14 YEAR OLDS
According to the U.S. Department of Labor:
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the minimum age for employment in non-agricultural employment is 14. Hours worked by 14- and 15-year-olds are limited to:
- Non-school hours;
- 3 hours in a school day;
- 18 hours in a school week;
- 8 hours on a non-school day;
- 40 hours on a non-school week; and
- hours between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. (except from June 1 through Labor Day, when evening hours are extended to 9 p.m.)
You shouldn’t get too overwhelmed by trying to understand all of the laws as it pertains to teenage employment. Your prospective employer already knows and understands these laws.
It is good to be informed though, so you will definitely want to keep this list of rules in mind as you are job hunting and then making your work schedule.
JOB IDEAS FOR 14 YEAR OLDS
Here is a list of 11 job categories to look into. There are endless possibilities here and you will definitely be able to find one that fits with your interest and skills.
If transportation to a job is a challenge for you, then you can always go back and check out our list of jobs for 13 year olds. There were lots of suggestions in that article for jobs that could be in your neighborhood.
1. CAMP COUNSELOR
If working with kids and roasting marshmallows over a campfire sound fun to you, then you should check out camp counselor jobs near you. Your local YMCA would be a good place to start.
There are many organizations in most cities that offer summer camps, so doing a quick google search should bring up lots of options for you to choose from.
A camp counselor is in charge of planning and leading activities with their group of kids. Since this would be your first year being a camp counselor, then you would be paired with a more experienced counselor so that you can learn from them.
Having lots of energy and a love for teaching kids is a must for this job. If you think that maybe teaching is something you would be interested in as a profession when you get older, then this could be a great opportunity for you to see how much you enjoy being in a teaching role.
2. AMUSEMENT PARK
Summer will be your biggest opportunity for working lots of hours and amusement parks are a great place to start building your resume. You would be doing any number of things, such as ticket sales, assisting with rides, cleaning the grounds, and serving food.
Sometimes parks use other companies as vendors in their parks, so if the amusement park near you doesn’t have any openings right now, then you should check out other opportunities available for jobs with the park’s vendors.
3. FAST FOOD
Fast food jobs, such as McDonalds, are usually very flexible with schedules. They typically have lots of work shifts to choose from since teenagers make up a large portion of their workforce.
The tasks that you would come across are taking customer’s orders, cleaning, and stocking the self-serve station.
This type of job is where you can learn good customer service skills. Not everyone is happy when they have to wait for their fries or they get upset when they didn’t get exactly what they ordered.
Learning how to best handle disgruntled customers is a skill that will serve you well in any job you would pursue next.
4. GROCERY STORE
A local grocery store in your neighborhood would be a great place to start your search for your first job.
Depending on your state and the grocery store policies, they may not hire teens until they are 15 or 16. Many of them do hire 14 year olds, so it is definitely worth stopping in or checking online to see if they have job openings available.
Many times you can get jobs stocking shelves or bagging groceries. Some grocery stores even allow you to be a cashier at 14 years old.
5. NEWSPAPER DELIVERY
If you love early mornings and spending time outdoors, then a paper route would be a great job for you. With this job, you can also do it as quickly or slowly as you want.
Since you aren’t showing up for a set amount of time like you would be if you worked at a grocery store, you can walk or bike faster to get the job done quickly. Or, if you like working at a slower pace, then you wouldn’t feel rushed and can take your time.
You can also share a paper route, so if you know you can’t do the route every day, then you could work with a friend and split the days.
6. NURSERY OR LOCAL FARMHAND
Do you have a green thumb? There are two jobs that you should look into.
The first one is working at a nursery. Your parents may even know about one near you if they have flower beds or gardens. You would be working in either a greenhouse or outside and would be taking care of a variety of plants.
Nurseries usually have a variety of flowers, shrubs, trees, and greenery. The types of tasks you would be doing at this job are planting, watering, pruning and moving plants in and out of the greenhouse.
Depending on where you are located, there may be a farm nearby that could use some help. Tasks on a farm could be picking vegetables, planting, or caring for animals.
These types of jobs aren’t always advertised, so you will want to ask family and friends if they know of anyone looking for help on their farm. Or, stop in and ask the farm owner if they are hiring. You will definitely want to start asking around before springtime since spring through fall is the busiest time and is when they would likely be hiring.
Internship opportunities are available at most companies. Sometimes this isn’t a paid job, but many times they will pay you at the end of a project.
The main value here is getting to know people in the profession and picking up vital experience which should help you determine if this is the right career direction for you.
If you love making crafts and selling them, then you should check out Etsy. Since you are under 18 years old, you will need a parent or guardian to manage your account, but you can make the crafts and reap the profits!
It only costs 20 cents to list your item on Etsy, so the cost to get started is extremely low.
To get started, follow these 7 steps to build a thriving Etsy business!
9. SMALL BUSINESS ASSISTANT
Small businesses tend to have lots of flexibility to make decisions quickly. In other words, if it is a shoe repair shop with 2 employees, they likely won’t have a big formal process to go through to get hired.
Simply walk in, introduce yourself and tell them you want to learn more about their business and would like to help out. See what they say.
You’ll likely pick up a ton of different skills and experiences as a small business owner has to do a little bit of everything.
There are so many different jobs to pick from when it comes to sports.
Most sporting events have a concession stand and when you aren’t busy serving customers you get to watch some of the game!
You will be spending most of your time serving customers or making food. Some concession stands only serve prepackaged foods, so there would be no food preparation if you worked at one of those.
Since sports are all year around, you can find this type of job anytime.
Soccer, football, and basketball are all sports that need referees. The age requirements on this vary, so you will have to check with your local league. Once you verify that you are eligible for the job, then brush up on your knowledge of all the rules of the sport you are interested in refereeing.
You will have to have thick skin for this job. Many times overly excited parents will disagree with a call that you make, so you will need to make sure you know your rules and stick to them.
Check with your local baseball league to see if you would be eligible to be an umpire. The age requirements vary, but many hire 14 year olds.
You can also register Little League as an umpire and instantly get connected with your local Little League through the national organization. This would be a great place to start as you explore the job opportunities as an umpire.
An assistant coach position isn’t always a paid position, but it could be a great way to get experience in coaching. This job would give you an inside view of what goes into a coaching job and you would be able to learn from the head coach.
If you already play a sport, then you may want to look for an Assistant Coach job in that same sport, but for a younger group. Since you would already be familiar with the rules and how to play, then you would be more likely to be considered for the job.
The job of a golf caddie is to carry the golf bag and hand the clubs to the golfer as needed. You will need to learn the name of each club and have a general idea of what part of the course it is used on. This will help you anticipate which club will be needed next.
As you get more experience, you will also be able to start making recommendations to the golfer on which club you recommend.
11. START YOUR OWN BUSINESS
You may read this suggestion and think, “Wait a minute! I am 14 years old and I can finally be hired by a company, so why would I start my own business?” Well, there are some great reasons to look into this option!
Running your own business is a great way to make more money per hour than you would be working minimum wage at the jobs listed above.
Remember that your time has value. In fact, your time has a ton of value. Here is an example of the value of your time using a lawn care job.
If it takes you 30 minutes to mow your neighbor’s yard and he pays you $25, some quick math suggests that you were just paid $50 per hour. You’d probably have to work a full 8 hour shift at a fast food restaurant to come out with $50 because you would be paid minimum wage and be paying taxes as well.
Your neighbor isn’t necessarily paying you for your time, but rather for your value. Perhaps it hurts his back to do the lawn, or his work schedule doesn’t afford him many opportunities to take care of his own yard. To him, it is well worth $25 every week to not have to worry about the hassle of maintaining his landscaping.
In other words, your service has great value to him. He doesn’t care if it takes you 5 minutes or 5 hours, as long as it is done right he has decided that is worth $25 to him.
So whenever possible, seek out opportunities where you can be paid based on the value you provide. You can find a list of potential businesses you can start by reading the article about jobs for 13 year olds.
BEFORE YOU START JOB HUNTING
With being brand new to the workforce and the first time you have looked for a job, the most important trait that you need to show an employer is that you have a fantastic work ethic.
I’ll give you a hard truth about how many adults feel about your ability to work as a 14 year old. Are you ready?
Many adults you’ll run into in the workplace think you are lazy. Many teenagers come in with the attitude that they are owed something, and aren’t willing to put in their time to earn it.
This may or may not be true of you. If it is true of you, you probably wouldn’t admit it or maybe even realize it. However, this stereotype doesn’t have to be true. You simply have to be ready to work hard.
Be ready to listen and learn from others and work as a team. Be dependable. While you are certainly a needed part of the team, realize that you are the new guy or girl and you have to earn respect through hard work.
One great insight came from Doug of Taos Cyclery in New Mexico on this topic:
“Because teenagers don’t have a lot of work experience yet, they will be asked to do the most simple and least paid jobs. This means picking up after a supervisor and cleaning up, “boring”.
However, the ability to do these jobs well and without complaining will mean moving up into better paying jobs quicker. The first thing teenagers need to do is learn how to work. That means doing something repeatedly for six to eight hours. Easier said than done, as many adults I know can’t do this well.
Busing tables or washing dishes in a restaurant are good jobs for teenagers. If you like being outside, then try landscaping or construction. Don’t focus too much on a particular type of job, but on learning how to work.”
Sadly, a mentality that can creep in is that a particular job is beneath you or you are too good to do that. Whether it be washing dishes, working as a custodian, or just in a fast food restaurant. For whatever reason, many people unfairly label these jobs as something you would only do as a last resort.
Here is an idea, take some time to watch the biographies of great businessmen on CNBC. One thing you’ll see over and over again are people who started with very little and through hard work and passion were able to build a business empire.
Perhaps at 14 your goal is just to make a few bucks and not really to build a business empire. Nevertheless, it is a good reminder that starting with a job that may seem insignificant isn’t always a bad thing!
TIPS FOR YOUR FIRST JOB INTERVIEW
Depending on the path you take to finding that first job at age 14, you may have to get past the hurdle of the job interview.
If you are mowing grass, you probably won’t get a formal interview by the homeowner. However, if you go to work at a restaurant, you undoubtedly will have an interview.
Here are some tips to ace the interview process.
1. BE POLITE AND COURTEOUS
Use “yes sir” or “yes ma’am” until the interviewer says to call them something else. You would be surprised how many people your age miss this step and make a terrible first impression.
Using your manners will help you stand out from the crowd.
2. DRESS WELL
When in doubt, wear a shirt and tie for guys or a nice, modest dress for ladies. Again, many 14 year olds won’t do this and it will help you make a good first impression.
If the place you are going to work is casual, perhaps you could get by with khaki pants and a button-up shirt.
Even if you overdress, this will almost never be seen as a negative thing as the person knows that you care about the job opportunity and take it seriously. That sends a great message.
3. KNOW ABOUT THE JOB
Take 10 minutes and Google the company if it isn’t a place you already know well. Find out what they do, and ideally what your job will entail.
This will help you ask educated questions when the time comes and again show that you took time to prepare.
4. ASK QUESTIONS
It is expected that you ask questions, even if deep down you feel like you don’t have any. Here are some good samples of what you could be asking.
Remember that you are interviewing them as well, so try to find out if this sounds like a place where you would enjoy working and get some benefits out of it as well.
You don’t want to come right out and say “do I get paid vacation?” or “how much are you going to pay me?” in your first interview. Those things will come up later, but find out about the company and the job you are applying for.
Ask your mom or dad to do a practice interview with you. It is likely that they have been in your shoes, so they can do a test interview with you at home.
While that might sound horribly awkward, you’ll be surprised how much that helps your mind get in the right mode before the interview. If there is something you struggle to articulate, it is better to figure that out beforehand so you can work on it.
6. FOCUS ON EXPERIENCE
“But I am 14 years old! I don’t have any experience.” It doesn’t have to be job experience. The person interviewing you understands you are only 14 as well, so they aren’t expecting you to have a job history.
However, they will want to know about situations where you were a part of a team and accomplished a goal. So think ahead of time of experience you’ve had a school, church, and other groups and what lessons you’ve learned that might be beneficial for getting a job. This could be charity work you’ve done, fundraisers, sports teams, missions trips, etc.
As long as you practice and are prepared, you can just relax and be yourself in the interview process. Here is a short video that helps you with a question that you will inevitably hear at your interview: “Tell me about yourself.”
FINAL THOUGHT ON JOBS FOR 14 YEAR OLDS
Job hunting can be tough, but know that with persistence, you will find one! It may take trying a few different jobs to find one that you really enjoy, but that is part of the fun of exploring this new phase of your life.
Each job will give you new experiences and will help you with future interviews and build your skill set.
If you’re curious, you can check out the list of jobs you will be eligible for next year when you are 15 years old.
I hope this guide has been helpful in your job search. Feel free to leave a comment with any of your own ideas or tips, we’d love to hear it!
Jobs For 14 Year Olds - A Definitive Guide by Admin