17 Highest Paying Jobs for 18 Year Olds [2023]

Most 18-year-olds are just fresh from high school and finding a well-paying job might seem a daunting task to them.

Luckily, there are many high-paying jobs for 18-year-olds, some you can pursue as part-time gigs and others can easily become full-time and long-term careers.

To find jobs that pay well for 18-year-olds, you will need to be flexible and broaden your mindset. Doing so will not only open you to limitless opportunities but also increase your chances of finding a good opportunity on which you can build your career.

That said, this article will focus on some of the highest-paying jobs for 18-year-olds in the United States. But if you’re not yet eighteen then consider checking these fifteen high-paying jobs for 16-year-olds.

We have gathered 17 high-paying jobs for 18-year-olds to help you get started on your journey. Let’s have a look at them one at a time.

1. Lifeguard

This is one of the highest-paying jobs for 18-year-olds where you get to combine work and pleasure. 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.

The average salary for a lifeguard in the United States of America is $14.78 per hour, with the top-paid earning $22.64 per hour.

2. Online Tutor

Another fulfilling way to make money as a teen is to work as an online tutor. You can choose to be a language tutor (native or foreign language) or a tutor in any other field you’re good at such as playing a musical instrument.

Identify what you’re good at and consider making extra bucks on the sides with your skills and knowledge. If you wish to become a native language tutor, the following are the best websites to enroll as a tutor:

  • iTalki
  • SameSpeak
  • SkimaTalk

According to Payscale, online tutors earn an average salary of $19.65 per hour, with the top earners getting more than $20 per hour, which makes online tutoring one of the high-paying jobs for 18-year-olds.

3. Swim Instructor

This is one of the highest-paying jobs for 18-year-olds fresh from high school. You can do this job with only a lifeguard/CPR certification.

The roles of swim instructors include coaching others on proper swimming techniques, which include diving, breathing, and different types of swimming strokes.

It is one of few jobs that pay well for 18-year-olds, with the average hourly pay being $26.07, with the top earners getting $52.29.

4. Web Designer

If you’re passionate about coding and designing unique web pages, becoming a web designer can be an ideal option for you. It is one of the highest-paying jobs for 18-year-olds and you do not need a bachelor’s degree to become a professional web designer.

According to Indeed, the average hourly pay for web designers is $25.24. You will be able to charge twice or more after a while once you become an established web designer. This is one of the career paths that will always be lucrative due to the massive growth in the software and technology industry.

5. Graphic Designer

Apart from being a web designer, you can also earn a good income as a freelance graphic designer. Many websites and professional bloggers are looking for good graphic designers to design flyers, brochures, newsletters, infographics, and banners for them.

Some platforms enable you to sell custom-made designs such as t-shirts, stickers, laptop covers, pillow designs, coffee mug designs, and posters. If you can make custom designs then you can enroll as a seller on any of these websites and make money:

  • CafePress
  • RedBubble
  • Etsy

The average hourly pay for this high-paying freelance job is $20.89, according to Indeed. However, you can earn as high as $34.95 per hour from high-paying clients if your graphic design skills are top-notch.


You can also create an online store to sell your designs. You may need a supplier like GS-JJ because it can provide free online design and cost-effective products. You can use your design ability and creativity to make custom patches, stickers, pins, and such popular products in GS-JJ. Then you sell them in your store, I believe many people will like these products with novel patterns and unique designs!

6. Restaurant Worker

When most people hear about working in restaurants, they often think about being a waiter or waitress. However, there are other jobs you can do, including working as a cleaner, dishwasher, or delivery person.

Depending on the job you do, you can earn anywhere between $8.65 and $34.13 per hour. The average salary is  $16 per hour. Those working as waiters or waitresses can enjoy up to $50 per shift on tips, which makes this one of the highest paying jobs for 18-year-olds.

More: 15 Highest Paying Navy Jobs in the United States

7. Customer Service Representative

Another high-paying job teens can do is being a customer service representative. The job involves handling orders, providing customer support, and helping solve customer problems with products and/or services.

The average pay for a customer service representative range between $13 and $21 an hour. According to Glassdoor, their average salary is $38,064 with the top earners receiving $53,000 per year.

8. Administrative Assistant

As an administrative assistant, your roles revolve around managing and distributing information within an office. Your duties may include answering phone calls, maintaining company files, taking memos, sending & receiving correspondence, and greeting clients & customers.

You can work virtually or in a physical location. There’s also the possibility of landing a job that leads to a full career if you add the necessary training and schooling. According to Indeed, the average hourly wage for administrative assistants in the United States is $18.56.

Salaries for administrative assistants range between $13.10 and $26.28 per hour, which makes this one of the highest-paying jobs for 18-year-olds in the United States of America.

9. Delivery Driver

Working as a delivery driver is one of the fun jobs that pay well, as high as $40,000 a year. You will need a clean driver’s license and know your way around town or places where most of the business’ customers live. This job allows you to pick extra shifts, which increases the amount you can earn.

The average salary for a delivery driver is $18.41, while the top-paid drivers can earn as high as $28.45 per hour.

On top of what you get paid, some customers will also leave you money tips, and depending on how many deliveries you make, there’s a high likelihood that the amount you earn on tips will be more than your official pay.

10. Receptionist

Although working as a receptionist might not be an attractive option to most teenagers, it is still one of the high-paying jobs for 18-year-olds who lack the experience to do any other job.

It involves handling incoming calls from customers and attending to them when they visit the business’s physical location. Receptionists act as the face of the company and it is their job to handle the customers in the best possible way to retain them as repeat customers.

Starting as a receptionist can also act as a gateway to better-paying jobs within the company, such as working in the customer care department.

According to Indeed, the average hourly pay for receptionists in the United States of America is $15.80 while the top-paying companies pay $22.33 per hour.

11. Pet Sitter

If you love pets, why not let your love for pets help you pay the bills? Many pet owners are looking for people offering pet sitting and dog walking services. Maybe because they do not have the time to do it themselves or are not in a position to.

You will enjoy premium rates if you get someone with exotic pets because they pay more for expert services due to the highly demanding nature of the work. You can boost your wages by offering additional pet-related services such as pet grooming.

According to Indeed, the average hourly pay for pet sitters in the United States of America is $14.78, and $17.93  for dog walking. If you can offer both services then you can earn close to $30/hr.

12. Data Entry Clerk

Becoming a part-time data entry clerk can also be a great way to make some extra bucks after high school. You should be good with typing and accuracy, which will make it easy for you to execute your tasks. Your typing skills mean you can work as a data entry clerk in virtually any industry.

The average hourly pay for data entry clerks in the United States of America is $17.80, with the top-paid earning $26.78 per hour.

More: 13 Alternative Careers With a Medical Degree

13. Warehouse Packer

Although not a fancy job, this is one of the highest-paying jobs for 18-year-olds with little to no experience. You will work in a warehouse and your main role will be to prepare products for packaging and shipment.

It does not require intense training to familiarise yourself with the packaging procedures and can take you a matter of days or a week to learn the basics.

The average salary per hour for warehouse packers in the United States of America is $16.33, with the top businesses paying $26.33 per hour.

14. Freelance Writer

While it will take you a while to learn everything about being a good freelance writer, it’s probably one of the highest-paying jobs anyone can do, including 18-year-olds. Experienced freelance writers can earn as high as $500 per mini-project and more than $3,000 for large projects.

The average hourly pay for freelance writers ranges between $8.97 and $56.44 per hour depending on the industry and technicality of the task. Over time you’ll become an experienced writer with multiple repeat clients who pay better.

15. Lawn Care Technician

Another high-paying job 18-year-olds can do is being a lawn care technician. The job includes mowing lawns, trimming hedges, raking leaves, watering trees, and keeping the yard clean. Some employers provide equipment such as lawnmowers and trimmers while others require you to have your own.

This is a physical job and being in good shape will make things easy for you. The average pay for lawnmowers is $16 per hour with the top paid earning $20.43 per hour, according to ZipRecruiter.

16. Retail Sales Associates

Retail sales associates work at retail stores to help find items for customers and answer their questions. They also work the cash register, set up displays, and keep the retail store organized. Most retail sales associates learn everything they need to know on the job.

According to Indeed, the average hourly pay for retail sales associates is $14.84 with the top-paid earning $21.05 per hour.

17. Zookeeper

Another high-paying job for teenagers is working as a zookeeper. The roles of zookeepers include taking care of zoo animals and keeping their places clean and in good condition. You will feed them daily and keep tabs on their health to make sure they are okay.

According to Indeed, the average salary for zookeepers in the United States of America is $16.68 per hour. There are, however, other animal zoos that pay more than $20 an hour. A good example is San Diego Zoo Global which pays between $23 and $26 an hour.

Final thoughts…

Although we have highlighted 17 jobs that pay well for 18-year-olds, there are other alternatives you can consider. Most of the jobs in this list require little to no certification at all. You can do most of these jobs part-time or opt to pursue a career if you enjoy your job.

Watch this video by The Infographic Show on the high-paying jobs for teens.

John Rowells

I am a passionate writer and career enthusiast. I share valuable insights and advice on navigating the world of careers. Join me on this journey of self-discovery and professional development as we unlock your full potential and achieve fulfilling work lives. Let's connect and achieve your career goals together.

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