Summer Jobs for Teens and College Students: Over 30 Ideas for Productivity and Earnings

summer job ideas

Summer Job Ideas and other Opportunities for Teens and College Students

Every parent’s favorite summer activity for their teen or college student is a J-O-B. Nothing like getting them into the real world, collecting a pay check and having taxes deducted from it to help them see the value of their education. A  summer job doing anything whether it is hauling trash, answering phones, entering data, or taking orders at the Burger Barn is a worthwhile experience. It teaches responsibility and gives them references and experience for their future endeavors. Here are some Summer Job Ideas and Other Opportunities for Teens and College Students.

After two summers of  few opportunities this summer should have ample options. And with the worker shortage businesses may be more willing than ever to hire summer help. Pools, water parks, tourism, and anything seasonal are especially good opportunities. Use these summer job ideas to help them find something to do out of your house!!

Summer Jobs for Teens and College Students: Over 30 Ideas for Productivity and Earnings 1

Summer Job Ideas and Other Opportunities for Teens and College Students

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Summer Job Ideas: Try Self Employment:

Self Employment is one of the best summer job ideas. Any skill can be marketed to neighbors, friends, and friends’ Facebook contacts.

  • Babysitting: Many moms and dads are still working from home and desperately need someone to care for their children, take them to the pool, play with them, and get them out of the house.
  • Lawn mowing
  • Other yard work
  • Tutoring: Online or in small group settings. If they have an area of expertise, advertise it. Many kids are behind because of online school. Being willing to work with kids, teens, and college students to get their knowledge of a subject ready to go back in the fall of 2022 will be invaluable.
  • Computer or other technical skills (One of my sons spent a summer transferring friends’ old VHS recordings into digital formats. He then branched into video production, including weddings and promotional videos.)
  • House sitting
  • Pet sitting
  • Providing rides for kids to lessons, camps, the pool, etc. for occupied parents


Summer Job Ideas: Look into the “Gig Economy”:

  • Grub Hub, Uber, and other delivery and service jobs are good summer job ideas for those who meet the age and other requirements.

Summer Job Ideas: Take Classes for Employable Skills:


Summer Job Ideas: Hire your student:

  • Here is an interesting summer job idea! Give your teen or college student a household responsibility, such as the yard, the laundry, cooking, grocery shopping, and pay them to do it.

Apply for scholarships:

Take Summer School:

  • Knock out a high school or college graduation requirement. My daughter knocked out 9 hours online last summer.


  • Even if they have a job, send them to a hospital, a church, or anywhere that won’t consider it trespassing if your kid hangs around trying to be helpful. Consistent volunteer work is a great college application and resume booster. Organized volunteering in a group setting may still not be available this year. Your student can create their own opportunities by making cards and dropping them off at nursing homes and doing other individual service projects.

Summer Internships:

  • For your college kids, summer internships in their chosen field are a must. If you have a connection in that field, then it is not too late to ask if your college student could intern with them for a week or more this summer. If they cannot find anything, go to summer school to free up space in their schedule later when internships are available.
  • Most internships are applied for and accepted during the spring, so if one is not available this summer, time spent researching what internships would be possible for the next summer and the application process will pay off.
  • Ask to interview someone in a field of interest about their education and experiences. If a real live human is not available, listen to podcasts or read blogs about the profession.

Read 7 Musts Before Senior Year:

Plan for College

Attend Camp:

  • Fun, sun, bonding, getting along with others, new skills and adventures. I’ve never heard of a camp that allows the kids to stay up all night, sleep all day, and make a mess of their cabin, so even though their duffle and clothes will be full of dirt, they will have an intact sleep/wake cycle when they return.

Attend Specialized Camps and Classes

  • There are camps and classes for everything: badminton, musical theater, cheerleading, sewing, cooking, tennis, creative writing. Don’t miss the opportunity to improve a skill or acquire a new one. 

Test Prep:

Special Projects:

Do you have projects you are “going to get to someday?” Hire your son or daughter to do one. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Organize photos
  • Scan photos
  • Video your house as a home inventory for insurance purposes.
  • Clean out the garage.
  • Clean out a closet.
  • Hold a garage sale with the items they have cleaned out and allow them to keep all or a percentage of the profits.

Bucket List:

List their textbooks:

Sell Digital Photos:

Start a blog:

  • Blogs give you a forum for your thoughts, teach you to create a website. (i.e. marketable skill), and sometimes make a little money. To begin you will need a host server and domain name. I use Siteground as my server and WordPress to build my site. WordPress is free. I have a custom theme called “Divi” that I purchased from Elegant Themes. I share more about blogging in this post.

Get ready for the next school year:

  • Read the assigned summer book or books.
  • Clean out backpacks.
  • Clean out dorm stuff and pack up for the next year.


While a job working for someone else is the first choice of most parents for their teen or college student, sometimes that does not work out. But, there are still plenty of ways to make productive use of time and even earn money during the summer. They can free-lance their skills and time, prepare for standardized tests (which can mean money later on), take classes, volunteer, work online, and many other possibilities.

Tell me your summer job ideas in the comments below.

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I’m Laura

Welcome to Almost Empty Nest! I began this blog in September 2014 after leaving my oldest son at college and realizing that my nest was emptying. Join me on this journey as we explore the path of guiding our children to adulthood and rediscovering ourselves beyond the mom years.

1 Comment

  1. These are all really great ideas. I got a retail job when I was 16 and kept a part time job throughout college. It was really helpful for me to teach me about time management, responsibility, and financial management!


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