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Top Jobs for high school students in the UK

If you want to earn extra money, look into jobs for high schoolers. There are some legal requirements and limitations when it comes to child labour in the UK. However, there are also enough job opportunities for teenagers to grab.

Child Employment Rules and Regulations

Before you land your first job, knowing the legislative norms regarding children working is essential.

In the UK, children can start working once they are 13 years old. Some might start a job search earlier if they are in one of three areas:

  • Television;
  • Theatre;
  • Modelling.

Only three industries are allowed to hire kids under 13 years old. But you’ll need a performance license to have the ability to work.

You can only work part-time jobs from 13 years old up to the minimum school leaving age (usually when you turn 16 by the end of the summer holidays). High-school students of the minimum school leaving age can work up to 40 hours a week full-time.

Once you are 18 years old, the adult employment regulations apply.

Salary Regulations for Teenagers and High-School Students

The law also regulates the payment norms for teenagers. School-age children are not entitled to the National Minimum Wage. And if you are under 16, you do not need to pay the National Insurance tax.

High school students of 16 and 17 years old are entitled to a minimal wage of £5.28 per hour. Once you get your high school diploma and turn 18, you are entitled to the National Minimum Wage and all standard taxes.

Part-Time Opportunities for Students

Many high-school students decide to work part-time. Such jobs give more flexibility and allow one to continue one’s education while earning extra cash.

Retail Positions and Customer Service

Food Service (Catering and Fast-food)

Food service is among the top popular jobs for high schoolers. You will not be preparing food right away. Teenagers can usually get a position as a fast food worker, cashier, or barista.

You might serve coffee and other drinks, take orders, clean tables, or serve desserts. Such jobs require good customer service skills, communication, and attention to detail. The good thing is that you do not need any specific certification to apply.

Getting a job in a large fast-food chain like Burger King or McDonalds is often easier. Such companies are ready to hire teenagers and provide on-the-job training and flexible schedules. If you are interested in such a job, you can look online or go directly to the local restaurants and ask whether they are hiring right now.

If food service is not your cup of tea, you can look for retail positions in shops, boutiques, or grocery stores. In such a part-time job, you’ll manage the stock, help customers, and provide cashier services. Do not worry if it is your first position; you’ll get on-the-job training to know what to do.


Babysitting is one of the top jobs for high school students because it is relatively easy, accessible, and does not require a lot of specific skills. Teenagers must spend time with younger kids and ensure they are safe and sound until their parents come home.

Most of the time, you’ll watch TV with kids or play games. Finding customers is easy, too. You can ask around your relatives, neighbours, or acquaintances. Alternatively, you can print advertisements or business cards and place them around your neighbourhood.

Paper Rounds: Newspaper Delivery

Newspaper delivery used to be one of the most common jobs for high schoolers. However, now, it is less widespread as people tend to get their news online. Still, there might be magazines and newspapers in your area looking for someone to do paper rounds.

You’ll need to perform tasks of delivering papers to the doorsteps at a specific time and route. You do not have to possess excellent people skills. But it would be best to be realistic about how much walking or cycling you can do in the morning.

Dog Walker

If you love dogs, you can become a dog walker. It is a relatively easy job for teenagers. Many people only have time to walk their pets once a day. So they are ready to pay someone to do it. If you enjoy walking and being outside, this can be a fantastic job opportunity.

You can make friends with other people walking dogs and even form a little company for daily activities. You can walk one dog, get several clients, and walk a couple at a time.

Pet Sitting

You can also get paid to care for pets while adults are on vacation or a business trip. Professional pet sitting costs a lot, so hiring neighbourhood kids is a popular option.

Usually, one would need to come to the house twice a day to feed pets and clean up after them. If customers want you to spend a couple of extra hours with pets for the company, you might get extra money.

Overall, it is not a difficult job, but you need to be responsible and know how to care for cats or dogs.

Car Washing

Car washing is one of the popular summer jobs for high school students. You can do it all year round, but in summer, cars get dirtier faster.

To get a car professionally cleaned, one needs to drive it to the service and pay a decent amount of money. You can check out prices for car washing and charge less by washing vehicles on driveways.

Teenagers can find employers in their neighbourhood. As for skills, you’ll need to love cleaning and have the ability to perform physical tasks. Also, you’ll need an upfront investment to buy tools and products for washing.


One of the best jobs for high school students in summer is gardening. It might be a fantastic choice if you enjoy the fresh air and physical labour.

You can do it after school or on weekends. Beginners can start with watering lawns, gathering leaves, or moving grass. Students interested in gardening as one of their potential career paths could learn more about planting, weeding, and pruning.

With some experience, you can look into apprenticeship opportunities in this industry. Your high school job may become your business.

Tutoring and Academic Support

You can become a tutor even if you have not completed high school yet. Think of a subject you excel at and can help others with. Tutoring is an excellent job for teenagers interested in working with people.

You can help minors with homework, support their learning, and prepare them for tests. You can place your posters in your high school or other places where parents might see them. Also, consider asking for referrals from friends and acquaintances.

Tutoring is one of the best jobs for high school students because you can earn good money and deepen your knowledge of the subject. Also, you can do it online or on a flexible schedule.

Popular Jobs for Teenagers Online

If other tasks do not interest you, it is possible to find good jobs online. The cash flow might be lower, but it is a good start anyway. The most popular jobs for teenagers online are:

  • Typing and transcription services (you need a watchful eye for details and a good sense of grammar);
  • Website testing (usually, you do not need any coding skills for that);
  • Writing and copywriting;
  • Social media management;
  • Translation;
  • Proofreading;
  • Doing online surveys;
  • Data entry jobs;

To find customers, you need to prepare a resume or portfolio. You can either apply directly to businesses or register on freelancing websites. Explore standard industry rates to ensure you do not charge less.

The importance of your first job

Your job is not only about making money. Indeed, it is an essential factor. But it is also your first experience in the labour market. It allows you to advance specific skills while continuing your education. Whether you work in an office building or prepare food in a local restaurant, you can learn a lot from this period.

The best jobs for teenagers provide an opportunity to:

  • Get a first-hand experience in a specific industry;
  • Gain experience you can add to your resume or college application;
  • Learn what you enjoy doing, what careers might be suitable for you, and what industry is the right direction to work toward;
  • Building a professional network;
  • Focus on developing specific skills and competencies.

Gaining Work Experience in High School

Internships, Work Placements, and On-the-Job Training

Teenagers who are interested in a particular industry can look into internships. Work placements would be available during college, usually on a sandwich year. The main point is to learn more about the industry and gain experience that will serve you in the future.

Internships are not always paid for; that’s the main downside. However, they might serve as a window to the niche labour market. If you get training opportunities, make the best of them.<

Volunteering Opportunities

Volunteering is another way to gain experience and give back to the community. You won’t earn anything, but you’ll make connections and do something good for others.

You might meet your future employer during volunteering jobs. Or you can use this period as a winning part of your college application.

Apprenticeships in High-demand Industries

Apprenticeship is a fantastic option to combine education with professional development. They are well-structured to ensure professional training and experience. If you start early in life, you might quickly succeed in the industry. Some of the most popular sectors to look into are:

  • Law;
  • Banking;
  • Accounting;
  • Engineering;
  • IT.

Apprenticeships give training, experience, networking opportunities, and certification upon completion.

In Summary

Starting your career path in high school might be a good option. It allows one to earn money and gain experience. Whether you decide to be a camp counsellor, swim instructor, tutor, or dog walker – you will learn many new skills.

You may better understand what you want to do later in life. You might meet new friends as well. Just ensure you still have enough time to do your homework.

Top Jobs for high school students in the UK
Date: 18 December 2023
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