Finding well-paying jobs for 16-year-olds is quite easy these days. While you might have limited options due to age and lack of experience, some of the jobs that employ teens can pay as high as $30 an hour or more.
Most of the jobs that pay well for 16-year-olds do not require much experience. Considering the fact that you might still be in high school, you will need to be as flexible as possible if you wish to land yourself a well-paying job.
Being flexible gives you the room to find as many job opportunities as possible. That said, it’s vital to note that 16-year-olds are restricted from doing jobs that have been declared hazardous by the Secretary of Labor.
However, there are partial exemptions for 16-year olds apprentices and student-learners to perform otherwise prohibited hazardous jobs.
Highest Paying Jobs for 16-Year-Olds in 2021
We have gathered 15 high-paying jobs for 16-year-olds to help you get started on your journey. As earlier mentioned, a few of these jobs can pay as high as $30/hr.
According to the American Red Cross, you must be at least 15 years to be certified as a lifeguard. It is one of the highest-paying jobs for 15-year-olds, and as a 16-year-old you can also enjoy decent pay doing what you love.
You should be a good swimmer and will spend your entire time by the pool to make sure everyone is safe as they enjoy themselves. According to Zippia, the average hourly pay of lifeguards in the United States is $11.63. The top-paid lifeguards earn more than $18/hr.
2. Daycare assistant
This is one of the highest-paying jobs for 16-year-olds where you can earn up to $15/hr. Your duties will include supervising kids, facilitating play activities, preparing meals, and organizing mealtimes and snacks for them.
While many states haven’t set any education qualification to become a daycare assistant, having a high school diploma will increase your chances of getting a job.
You can find daycare assistant jobs in schools, child daycare facilities, religious organizations, or at homes. This job is perfect for teens who genuinely love children and love to spend fun time with them.
3. Dog walking
Dog walking is one of the high-paying jobs for 16-year-olds. You can do part-time or full-time depending on your schedule and availability. Your task will be to take a dog for a walk on behalf of the owner.
The mean hourly pay of dog walkers in the U.S. is $14.97. In case your employer will be away for some time or is not able to care for the dogs him/herself, your role may be elevated to pet sitting.
You can also become a pet sitter and help pet owners who are looking for pet sitting services. Most of them do not have the time to do it themselves while others are not in a position to, maybe due to illness or injuries.
Pet owners with exotic pets will pay more for your services because exotic pets need specialized care and more attention. To boost your pay, you can offer complementary services such as pet grooming.
According to PayScale, the average pay of dog sitters is $12.99 an hour with the highest earners getting more than $29/hr.
If you love spending fun times with kids then this is the perfect job for you. You can do babysitting duties part-time or full-time. Your role will be to care for someone’s baby/babies when the parent is not around.
Some of your roles include ensuring the child is safe, preparing meals and snacks, playing games with the child, changing diapers, helping with homework, getting children to bed on time, and bathing & dressing young babies.
This is one of the easiest jobs for teens (unless you don’t like being around children) and you can work on your own schedule. According to salary data from care.com, babysitters earn an average of $13.44 an hour. This means an 8-hour shift will earn you more than $100/day.
To increase your wages as a babysitter, consider getting Red Cross certification and more experience. If you love children these are the high-paying careers working with children.
6. Lawn mower
Another job for teens is mowing lawns, trimming hedges, raking leaves, watering trees, and keeping yards clean. You do not need a degree to perform any of these tasks but the skills to operate lawn mowing machines, weed whackers, and other landscaping tools will be necessary.
The average pay per lawn depends on lawn size, location, and other additional tasks. You can earn anywhere between $40 and $70 per lawn. For those who charge per hour, the mean hourly pay is $14 with the top paid lawnmowers earning more than $18.5 an hour.
7. Golf caddy
A caddy is an attendant who works with golfers and their tasks include carrying golf bags, cleaning golf balls, cleaning the pin, replacing ball marks, operating the golf cart fleet, measuring yardages, and holding the flag. Experienced caddies can also advise golfers on their club use.
If you love or enjoy golfing then working part-time or full-time as a caddy gives you an opportunity to make good money doing what you love. The mean hourly pay for teenage caddies is $16 with the highest-paid earning more than $34/hr.
If you choose to become a full-time caddy after high school, you can end up earning tens and even hundreds of thousands of dollars. Here is a guide on how much professional golf caddies make.
8. Swim instructor
According to the American Red Cross, one must be at least 16 years of age to participate in Basic Swim Instructor and Water Safety Instructor certification classes. This means you can enroll for the certification course when you are still 15 years old but must have turned 16 by the end of the program to qualify for certification.
As a swim instructor, you will coach others on proper swimming techniques, which include diving, breathing, and different types of swimming strokes. It is one of few high-paying jobs for 16-year-olds, with the average hourly pay being $19.21.
You can also become a cashier at the tender age of 16. The duties of cashiers include performing price checks, validating coupons or gift cards, bagging items, processing payments, and handing out change when necessary.
The mean base hourly pay of a cashier is $10.29, but you can earn as high as $13/hr.
10. Retail sales associate
If being a cashier is not an option for you, why not become a retail sales associate? The minimum age to become a retail sales associate in the United States is 16 years, although some employers choose teens aged 17 and 18.
As a retail sales associate, you will help customers find items, answer customer inquiries, respond to customer complaints, work the cash register, set up displays, and maintain an orderly appearance in the store by arranging shelves and racks.
Most retail sales associates learn everything they need to know on the job. The mean hourly pay of retail sales associates is $11.49 with the top-paid 10% earning more than $15.54/hr.
Another job teenagers aged 16 can do is being a server. You can work in restaurants or fast food joints and your tasks will include taking orders from customers, communicating the orders to the kitchen staff, fulfilling the customers’ orders, refilling drinks, and collecting payments.
You will also clear the table after a customer is done and reset it ready for new customers. The mean hourly pay for servers is $11.42 with the top-paid earning more than $18 an hour. You also get to earn more through customer cash tips.
12. Retail merchandiser
A retail merchandiser is an employee of a manufacturing company who works in a store that sells the company’s products. They act as a link between the manufacture and the retailer.
As a retail merchandiser, your duties will include making sure the store is fully stocked, pricing company products, ensuring proper signage placement, and implementing effective sales strategies for the company.
The mean hourly pay of retail merchandisers in the United States is $12.36 while the top-earners get more than $15/hr.
13. Youth sports referee
Another fun job you can do as a 16-year-old is being a youth sports referee. Your role is to oversee games between sports teams in a youth league, usually at the high school level.
You will officiate the game from start to finish, ensure all players adhere to the rules of the game, award fouls & penalties when necessary, and make other necessary game calls.
You can earn between $20 and $50 per game when officiating youth league games and anywhere between $50 and $100 per game when officiating high school games.
14. Delivery driver
As a delivery driver, your job is to deliver orders to customers, which can be retail or fast food orders. You will review the orders before and after delivery, accept payments, provide customer service, handle customer complaints, and maintain documentation related to the deliveries such as delivery notes and receipts.
According to ZipRecruiter, delivery drivers earn a mean hourly pay of $14 while the top-paid drivers can earn as high as $21.88 an hour. Some customers will also leave you money tips, and depending on how many deliveries you make, there’s a high likelihood the amount you earn on tips will be more than your official pay.
15. Warehouse packer
While it may not be a fancy job, this is one of the highest-paying jobs for 16-year-olds with little to no experience. You will work in a warehouse to prepare products for packaging and shipment.
The national average pay of warehouse packers in the United States is $12/hr with the top paying more than $15 an hour.
Although we have highlighted fifteen of the highest paying jobs for 16-year-olds in the United States, there are other jobs you can do if you’re a teenager. Almost all the jobs in this list require little to no experience and you can learn the ropes of the job on the job.