How to Find Jobs for Kids Under 16

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Although children as young as 14 can work specific jobs during after-school hours under the Fair Labor Standards Act, finding employment for younger teens can be difficult since they often lack experience, proper paperwork or work history. Learn how to increase your teen's chances of getting a part-time, after-school job and consider other money-earning alternatives when appropriate positions for young adolescents are scarce.

  • Determine whether or not your state requires teens to have working papers to begin employment. Your child's school counselor can help you find out and also provide you with the necessary paperwork, if need be.

  • Learn the types of jobs that 14 and 15 year olds can legally perform, and seek out those part-time positions first. According to U.S. Department of Labor regulations, children ages 14 and 15 can work in retail occupations, intellectual or creative work such as tutoring or playing an instrument, non-vehicular delivery work, yard work, food service work and light manual labor, to name a few options.

  • Check the daily newspaper and online job listing sites to search for appropriate part-time work.

  • Take your child around your town to seek out appropriate positions that might not be advertised. Visit mall vendors to see if anyone is hiring, stop in at local gas stations to inquire about part-time work or check with restaurants to find out if help is wanted.

  • Have your teen check with friends, teachers, family members, neighbors or other trusted individuals to see if anyone knows of a job opportunity or can provide a potential job lead.

  • Consider encouraging your child to self-advertise any special skills or abilities that might help him earn money through work. If your teen is good at doing the yard work, for example, it might pay off for him to advertise his services in a local newspaper or go around the neighborhood with homemade flyers advertising his services, weekend hours and pay rate. If your daughter excels at a certain subject or is good with younger children, she might be able to arrange a paid tutoring or babysitting schedule with parents from your community. Pet walking, car washing and errand services can also become appropriate, paid job opportunities for young teens.

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