Working during high school gives you a level of confidence and people skills that you just can’t find anywhere else, but you have to find the job that’s right for you.

With endless options to help you get a stash of moolah, it can be hard figuring out which path you want to go down.

1. Retail

If you love bullshitting, then do I have the field for you! Clothing sales is definitely an acquired taste, some may love, most will hate. Don’t let this scare you though!

If you have a knack for sales and you don’t mind occasionally getting up in someone’s space, you could score some killer commission (depending on the company).

You’ll also get very generous staff discounts, which is ace if you’re working for a brand you regularly wear.

2. Hospo

Hospitality gets a bad rap, but it really does help with social skills and understanding the mechanics of a business.

When you’re working at a restaurant, regardless if you’re a dishie or a waiter, you understand pretty quickly how important your position is in making the business function, no matter how big or small.

Restaurants will also give you heaps of perks if you’re a foodie and hospo working culture is super sociable.

3. Fast food

Let me tell you that working in a formal restaurant setting is very different to working in fast food. It’s quicker and there’s less meaningful interactions with customers but you’ll still have to slap on a fake smile and cop it when a customer complains.

It’s not all bad though, working in fast food usually means you can get shifts that fit around your school/study schedule and you’ll be working with a tonne of other young people. You’ll become super close with your work besties and, despite what everyone says, fast food isn’t as greasy and grimy as its made out to be.


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4. Tutoring

If you’re a self-proclaimed smarty-pants, you could use the skills that all your friends are envious of to earn some sweet coin.

Being a tutor is great because you can usually pick your own shifts, you have the potential to earn a lot of money in not very many hours. Being a tutor is your first taste of being your own boss.

5. Admin/Clerical

Admin work can be hard to get in to if you’re still in high school, so reach out to your parents and other friends to see if there’s anything going around.

Sitting behind a desk can get pretty boring pretty quickly (especially if you’re the sort of person that already struggles to stay cooped up in a classroom all day) however, if you’ve got good attention to detail and can navigate your way around an Excel spreadsheet, this is a pretty good gig.

6. Social research

Whether in a call centre or door-to-door, there are plenty of jobs that simply require you to ask people questions. If you’re confident, easy going and don’t mind talking to randoms then this could be the perfect gig for you.

Usually, you’ll be employed by the government or a third party who will ask you to conduct a bunch of surveys on random people. For anyone interested in getting a first hand insight into public opinion, surveying the public can actually be pretty interesting (and fairly easy) work. It’s not always a walk in the park, but the pay can be pretty decent too.

This is definitely not the job for people without resilience and keep in mind that you will be knocked back a lot.

7. Barista

Being a barista is one of the most easily transferable skills to have, especially while travelling.

If you’re able to get your accreditation early, you’ll have that skill for life. You’ll be picking up jobs from Melbourne to Paris in no time. Plus, if you can nail love heart latte art, your crush will be swept off their feet.


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8. Cinema worker

Working at the cinema is considered one of the best teenage jobs you can get- and for good reason.

It’s so diverse in terms of the types of jobs you can do on shift: everything from making popcorn, to cleaning, to checking cinemas and making choc-tops.

Whilst these all sound quite inane, it’s good to have a job where you can mix around what you’re doing on shift. Plus, cheap (if not free) movie tickets are a lifesaver.

9. Babysitting

Now, I don’t like kids, but I will if I’m getting paid for it. If you do happen to like kids, your first step of becoming a babysitter is complete.

Again with babysitting, it’s good hours, not much work, and you can force yourself to literally get paid to do school work once the kids are asleep.

The most important thing to keep in mind is it requires a fair bit of responsibility and leadership skills; you can let the kids starve or do anything that could be potentially life-threatening.

Other than that, you’re all good to do whatever you want. This is the perfect excuse to see Disney movies, head to the zoo and have naps- all in the name of entertaining the kids.

10. Paper run/letter box drop

This is a classic first job and throws you into the deep-end in the best way possible. No, getting up early to throw paper in peoples lawns isn’t exactly the best way to spend your Sunday morning but, it teaches you work-ethic, and gets you experience and cash-money!

Good for early birds and people who have a lot of determination to finish a job.

10. Umpiring/officiating

If you’ve got thick skin, love sport and have a bit of free time on the weekend, then you should definitely be considering officiating your favourite sport.

Especially if you’re already playing, officiating is the perfect way to earn a bit of extra dosh and will teach you super important transferable skills like resilience and leadership.


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11. Swim teacher

Again, if you want to stay active while working then have a look at becoming a swimming instructor. This is perfect if you like kids, are good at speaking to groups and don’t mind forking out a little for your initial qualification.

12. Volunteering

Whilst all volunteering is unpaid, it’s a really good way to get experience, both for your life and for your resume. Finding a charity that promotes and advocates for something that your passionate about is easy, but following through with a volunteer program is something you really need to commit to, in a really worthwhile way.

When you’re looking for a job, take advantage of the connections you already have. Your soccer club might need people in the canteen. Your neighbour might need a night out and someone to look after the kids.

Just remember, you’ve got to start somewhere and all experience is good experience.

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