Jan 24, 2021

5 Hands-On Jobs That Provide Beneficial Skills and Experience for Teens

Many teenagers look for part-time jobs to earn some money and gain job experience. However, what many high schoolers don't realize is that they're also gaining important and relevant work experience and exercising crucial social skills. Many part-time jobs that high school students work lend opportunities for social growth and the ability to learn about teamwork, responsibility, and respect. 

Many part-time gigs are hands-on, which allows teens to get moving and gain valuable experience in fast-paced environments. In the United States, roughly two million children between ages 12 and 19 have a pre-diabetic condition linked to obesity and inactivity. According to government data, these conditions put them at risk for cardiovascular problems and diabetes. If your teen has the time for a part-time job, do your part as a parent by encouraging them to apply for a hands-on job that requires both physical activity and critical thinking skills to be exercised.

Here are five hands-on, part-time jobs that teens can truly learn from in their high school years.


Many teens start babysitting at a young age. While obtaining a certification isn't required everywhere, it's helpful to pursue. Babysitters are essentially responsible for the safety of children, so knowing CPR and what to do in the case of a fire or another emergency is crucial to the job.

Babysitting is very hands-on. Many kids need to be entertained from start to finish, meaning that sitting and watching TV is not always an option. Playing outside, going for a walk, playing a board game or a card game, and playing with action figures and other toys are some activities that children love. Preparing meals for children may be part of the babysitter's job as well. Responsible teens who enjoy working with children and have a grasp of what to do in an emergency situation would make great babysitters.

Sales Associate

A sales associate position is a great job for teens to learn about teamwork, responsibility, customer service, money, and how a business runs. Sales associate positions exist in stores that sell clothes, shoes, sporting goods, makeup, and more. Depending on your teen's interests, they can work at a variety of stores.

Sales associates work with customers and other team members as well as help stock shelves and rearrange the store for marketing and sales purposes. This position can require some running around depending on the busyness of a store. Teens who are sociable would thrive in this type of job, but shyer teens could also benefit from the skills and experience they'd gain from working in this position.

Home Fixer-Upper Assistant

Small, local fixer-upper businesses sometimes hire high schoolers to learn the tricks of the trade and serve as an assistant during the summer months. If your teen is considering trade school or would like to learn about the operations within and outside of a house or building, finding a position in this realm would be ideal. Your teen could learn about the plumbing fixtures within a house and assist in making fixes to garage doors, as the average garage door opens and closes approximately 1,500 times per year and sometimes needs some work.

A hands-on jobs like this would allow a teen to learn directly from a professional, ask questions, and even physically help in making fixes. Learning responsibility, customer service skills, and teamwork would also be part of this type of job.


A common position high schoolers apply for is the job of a busser. Bussers work in restaurants. They clear and set up tables, fetch drinks for customers, and work under waiters and waitresses. Busy restaurants require a busser to work in a fast-paced environment while they listen to directions, help out where needed, and provide excellent customer service to those dining in.

Bussing is a classic job for a high schooler because it allows for great money to be earned. Not only this, but working in a restaurant allows a teen to learn how the industry works. Moving up the chain as they gain more experience would allow for a busser to become a waiter or waitress down the road, too. Bussing is a hands-on job that requires a lot of work, and the position teaches teens discipline, responsibility, and how to work with others.

Camp Counselor

Many summer camps for children hire counselors to monitor the campers. A position as a camp counselor is another great job for a teen who enjoys working with kids, but even more so for teens who enjoy spending their summer days outside, in the water, and moving around. Camp counselors are often on their toes, as they are responsible for the safety of children in a variety of settings. Counselors must work together to provide a great experience to children enrolled in a summer camp.

If your teen likes working with kids, is creative, and enjoys being outside, becoming a camp counselor for a summer or two would be a great fit. They could help run a craft class and teach kids how to make bracelets, and they could also assist children in brushing and flossing their teeth before bed. Since the age of seven is the best time to begin orthodontic treatment, many young kids need help with these simple tasks. Teens with patience and the ability to speak and work with children and adults alike would thrive in this hands-on position.

Hands-on positions allow for teens to be active as well as learn and exercise important social skills. With a variety of part-time gigs available to teens, do your part as a parent and encourage your high schooler to apply for a job that will only benefit them in the future.

Devin is a writer and an avid reader. When she isn't lost in a book or writing, she's busy in the kitchen trying to perfect her slow cooker recipes. You can find her poetry published in The Adirondack Review and Cartridge Lit.

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