Having a job in high school is the perfect way to earn some cash, build your experience up and get your ‘rents off your back about never contributing to the household. It can put you ahead for when you want to buy a car or go on a gap year, plus your first job in high school is where you learn some pretty massive life lessons and make some solid friendships. Keeping it flexible is key, because while you want to be earning money you also want to be able to nail that work/study/life balance that everyone’s talking about. We’ve listed some for you here–a couple are obvious (ya typical hospo and retail gigs) but some you might not have thought of before.

1. Swim teacher

Becoming a swimming instructor is a pretty damn good casual job. Yeah, you have to spend a bit of time getting your qualification first, but once that’s out of the way you’ll be able to earn a better rate per hour than most hospo or retail jobs. You’ll be able to find places that’ll have you running classes outside of school hours plus, you know you won’t be knocking off too late so you’ll have plenty of time to study later.

2. Refereeing/umpiring

If you’re not into spending your weekends manning a fryer or behind a register,   refereeing/officiating/umpiring could be for you. You get to run around, it’ll usually only take up a day of your weekend and you’ll probably be paid in cash. If you reckon you can put up with a bit of crap from soccer mums and dads who think their kid is going to the Olympics, then this is the perfect way to do it. Plus, if you get sick of it/school gets too busy/you find another job, it’s super easy to stop.

3. Clerical jobs

I’m talking about jobs where you spend your shift filing, sorting, scanning documents and all the other boring bits of being in an office. While it might not be the most exciting thing in the world it can be pretty flexible. Archiving and document storage companies usually hire a heap of casual staff that ebb and flow with the amount of work that’s coming in and you don’t need to have a lot of experience. Plus, because it’s a pretty straightforward job, if you have to take time off it’s no biggie, another staff member can do the work.

4. Waiter/bartender

This is your classic high school job and my first gig. Going into the hospo industry is always a safe bet in high school. Your shifts will be outside school hours and on weekends. While you might have same late nights, the skills you gain from working with customers are pretty important for any job you decide to do and you’ll be able to take time off around exam time or hectic assignment periods.

5. Tutoring

An oldie but it’s mentioned because it’s a damn good way to earn money in high school. You can set your own hours, charge your own rate and stop and start whenever you want. It’s entirely up to you and you don’t need to report to a manager or supervisor. While acing a class means you’ll have a solid knowledge to pass on to other students, if you have other abilities, like playing an instrument or coding,  you can charge to teach people these skills as well.

6. Freelancing

There’s plenty of sites out there (like Airtasker and Freelancer.com) that’ll give you some freelance work opportunities. If you’re a bit of a creative and got a way with words, you can even submit to websites and magazines to see if you can pick up work that way. Usually these jobs are on a one off basis and you can kep it as flexible as you like; it’s up to you when you want to find the work.

7. Social research

Whether in a call centre or door-to-door, there are plenty of jobs that simply require you to ask people questions. 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.

8. Fast food

Similar to bartending and working as a waiter, working in a fast food place like Maccas is a good option in high school. Because these places regularly hire young staff, they’re pretty flexible when it comes to working around your school schedule. Late night and weekend shifts means you’ll still be able to find time for study and assignments, plus in worst case scenarios it’s never too hard to find someone else to cover your shift.

9. Baby/house/dog sitting

Another obvious one but again–it’s popular for a reason. It’s flexible, easy and can earn you good money.  One the best part about these jobs is that you can often do other things while you’re at it, like studying for exams or finishing off assessments. You could effectively get paid to do your study which is none to shabby if you ask me. Start making a good impression on the neighbourhood mums and dog-owners and you’re halfway there.