11 of the Best First Jobs for 16-Year-Olds (With Salaries)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published November 23, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Many career paths require some background and experience to obtain a job, so it's typically a good idea for young people to gain some skills early in their journeys. Some teenagers begin working as young as 16 years old so that they can start their careers or earn income for themselves or their families. If you're a teenager looking to earn some money, it can be helpful to learn about the best first jobs available for a 16-year-old. In this article, we list 11 of the best first jobs for 16-year-olds, along with their primary duties and hourly salaries.

11 of the best first jobs for 16-year-olds

Here are 11 of the best first-time jobs for 16-year-olds. For the most up-to-date Indeed salaries, please click on the links below:

1. Cashier

National average salary: $11.36 per hour

Primary duties: Cashiers help customers finalize their purchases by accepting payments and processing transactions. They typically work at restaurants or retail establishments, processing returns and exchanges, verifying coupons or discounts and advising customers on current and upcoming specials. They also ask customers about their shopping experiences and provide important feedback to management. Cashiers are often good first jobs for 16-year-olds because they can learn about money management and effective communication while assisting the public.

Related: Learn About Being a Cashier

2. Bagger

National average salary: $11.82 per hour

Primary duties: Baggers help cashiers place customers' purchased items into grocery bags for a speedier checkout process, typically at a grocery store. They often have to arrange grocery items based on their size and weight to ensure that groceries remain in good condition. They also help customers load their bags onto their shopping carts or into their cars if a customer requests this service. A job as a bagger might be ideal for a 16-year-old because it can provide them with experience in a customer service role.

3. Host

National average salary: $12.33 per hour

Primary duties: A host is responsible for greeting customers at a restaurant and escorting them to their dining tables. They assist customers by estimating wait times, providing menus and advising them on special menu items. Hosts also say goodbye to customers before they leave, and some hosts perform cashier duties to help guests with the checkout process. A hosting job is typically a good first job for a 16-year-old because greeting guests and managing guest lists can teach them effective communication and multitasking skills.

Related: Learn About Being a Host/Hostess

4. Lifeguard

National average salary: $12.51 per hour

Primary duties: Lifeguards are responsible for ensuring the safety of children and adults who swim in public pools or at beaches. They monitor pool and beach activities, enforce public safety rules and regulations and advise against certain behaviors or hazards. They can also perform CPR on people when needed. A lifeguard can be a rewarding job for a 16-year-old because they often become certified for their job and learn to keep the public safe.

Related: Learn About Being a Lifeguard

5. Barista

National average salary: $12.62 per hour

Primary duties: Baristas make hot and cold tea, coffee and other specialty beverages for customers at cafes and coffee shops. They take orders, prepare and serve beverages and process transactions. They're also responsible for cleaning and maintaining their work areas and customer dining areas. A job as a barista may be ideal for a 16-year-old because it can help them learn transferable skills such as teamwork, communication and attention to detail.

Related: Learn About Being a Barista

6. Camp counselor

National average salary: $13.20 per hour

Primary duties: Camp counselors are responsible for overseeing children at a camp, often both during the day and night. Camp counselors help plan educational and recreational programs in which children can participate. They also greet children upon arrival, escort them to dining halls and other campsite areas, supervise pool and other recreational activities and uphold safety standards and procedures. Working as a camp counselor can teach 16-year-olds how to manage others, multitask and solve potential problems.

7. Retail sales associate

National average salary: $13.50 per hour

Primary duties: Retail sales associates provide customer service to retail store customers by offering shopping bags, advising them on current and upcoming promotions and helping them find the products they're seeking. These professionals typically promote a product by explaining its important features and benefits and answering questions a customer might have. They're also responsible for cleaning and maintaining their workspace, restocking shelves and changing seasonal items. Many 16-year-olds work as retail sales associates because helping customers can teach them how to solve problems and communicate effectively.

Related: Learn About Being a Retail Sales Associate

8. Blogger

National average salary: $14.49 per hour

Primary duties: Bloggers create a variety of written content to teach online audiences about specific topics. For instance, a blogger may share food recipes, travel tips, career advice or celebrity gossip. Many bloggers collaborate with sponsoring businesses to recommend or sell products on their blogs, which can help them earn money. Blogging can be a good job for a 16-year-old because it teaches them how to write for an audience. Bloggers usually also have a flexible schedule, which can allow students to still focus on school.

9. Dog walker

National average salary: $16.25 per hour

Primary duties: Dog walkers are responsible for taking an owner's dog or dogs for walks. Dog walkers typically walk different breeds and sizes of dogs every day, ensuring their safety during their walks. They also monitor a dog's comfort level, bring water or snacks for longer walks and allow dogs to have restroom breaks. Dog walking can help a 16-year-old learn responsibility and care for animals properly.

10. Babysitter

National average salary: $19.28 per hour

Primary duties: Babysitters care for and monitor children while their parents or legal guardians are away. They typically work with children in their homes, but they can also drop children off or pick them up from school and take them to recreational areas, such as parks or public pools. Babysitters also play with children, prepare and serve them meals and snacks, change their diapers or bathe them. 16-year-olds can learn responsibility and gain stamina in a babysitting role because they typically spend time on their feet running, playing and overseeing activities.

Related: Learn About Being a Babysitter

11. Tutor

National average salary: $25.02 per hour

Primary duties: Tutors provide educational support to individuals who need help learning about a certain subject. They assist students with homework and prepare them for quizzes and tests, usually after school hours or between classes. They may also offer alternative methods of learning by providing study guides and other training materials to students. A tutor might be a good first job because it can teach 16-year-olds how to be patient with others and foster creativity by developing alternative teaching techniques.

Related: Learn About Being a Tutor

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