Summer means no homework and studying for students. But kicking back and relaxing isn’t an option for many high school and college students. Young adults always want to get the perfect summer job. I don’t know if that exists, but here are some of the most popular summer jobs for youth.

Government Jobs

Summer Youth Programs through the government are popular among teens and young adults. Not only do you get an inside look at how municipalities work, but because these jobs are designated for the summer, you don’t have to worry about trying to work your position around your school schedule.

Pros: You get to work that great 9 to 5 hour shift in an air-conditioned setting, leaving your nights and weekends free to party. Plus, the position looks great on your resume.

Cons: Just about every student is fighting for the few vacancies, and you usually have to know someone to get the position.

Fast Food/Pizza Shop

Would you like fries with that? I know, not your dream job. Wearing a goofy uniform, name tag and hairnet doesn’t sound like fun. But it’s work, it’s not suppose to be fun. I worked at a pizza shop when I was 17, and the summer was brutal. No air conditioning and on a really hot day, add it got up to over 100 degrees, thanks to the ovens. I smelled liked a deep-fried sub.

Pros: Fast Food chains and pizza shops are always hiring in the summer. You can get more than a couple of days of work. Many chains and pizza shops give you a discount for food. My old boss was great; she’d let us take home a whole pizza if we wanted!

Cons: You’ll most likely get stuck with the night and weekend shifts (been there). You have to serve obnoxious drunks who come in late (been there, not as the drunk), and by the time you get out of work, the party you wanted to go to is over (been there).


 The demand for childcare goes up in the summer since kids are out of school and parents still have to work, unless you’re a teacher. Parents need a reliable young adult to watch, nurture, teach and keep their little Johnny from destroying the house.

Pros: Like the Summer Youth Programs, baby sitters typically work a 9 to 5 shift. If you get a really good kid, it can be fun and hearing how much they miss you when you’re gone is touching.

Cons: Baby sitters usually get paid under minimum wage. Playing the same games everyday over and over can get boring.  

Clothing Retail

Working in a clothing store for a young girl sounds like the perfect summer job. My first summer after my freshman year in college, I worked at two women’s clothing stores. I was stuck on the floor asking people, “Is there anything I can help you with?”  I rather have been at the register, time goes by faster. Everything was fine until one employer found out about the other. That was the first time I realized what a conflict of interest meant. I quit one store and continued working at the other, plus a video store. 

Pros:  Even if you have to work nights, clothing establishments close around 9. You get a nice sales associate discount. At one point, I managed to get 50% off. Sounds good, I know. Until I got the credit card bill.

Cons: You may not get as many hours as you would like, and not all stores offer a commission. When you don’t have an influx of customers, it can get a little boring. You constantly fold and refold clothes.


Who wouldn’t want to be a lifeguard? One summer, I had a friend that was a lifeguard at the kiddie pool at the park. How she got the job, I can’t remember. Boy did I envy her. She got there at 11 a.m., left around 6 p.m. and still had plenty of time to go out for the evening. 

Pros:  You get to work on your tan. Your uniform is your bathing suit. And around here, there aren’t any sharks. It’s the perfect summer job.

Cons: I can’t think of one.