Where To Work This Summer

Make bank this summer!


Even though it may seem as though ages away, it’s a lot closer than it seems. In 4 short months, you could be lounging by the side of the beach. So, it might be time to start applying for a summer job or at least think about where you might want to apply. In these covid times, the job market for teens is better than ever. There is a serious shortage of workers in nearly every field so the pay is going up and the age of the workers is going down. I would highly recommend using indeed.com to try to find a job, they have a great assortment of available positions for all sorts of people.

Hostess/Food Runner

This is a pretty common job for teenagers. From what I’ve heard, this can be a pretty fun job depending on what restaurant you choose to host for. Typically, if the restaurant isn’t too busy you can go on your phone and your job is pretty much just to greet and walk people to their table. Most hostesses also double as servers assistants which requires them to top off waters and maybe clear a few tables, nothing too terrible. The age requirement and necessary experience vary from place to place, but overall most places just require that you be 14 and have no prior experience necessary. It is a solid entry-level job that will allow you to get some restaurant experience.

“Do it but only if you really like the restaurant where you work “

— Teagan Domm


Being a waitress is an excellent choice for a summer job. Unfortunately for underclassmen, the age requirement to be a waiter is 18 so this job choice is pretty much only available to the graduating senior class. Depending on where you work, most waiters make great money, although the initial payment may seem pretty low, waiters make incredible amounts of money off tips. Most restaurants require that their waiters have previous restaurant experience so if you have been working as a hostess, food runner, or busser then this is the perfect job for you! As most of your paycheck comes from tips, you should be friendly and welcoming, and able to work under stressful conditions. If you get easily annoyed and are not great at masking your feelings of disdain, becoming a waiter may not be the right career choice for you.

Camp Counselor

Being a camp counselor is a great choice of a summer job for you if you are energetic, patient, and love kids. But I speak from personal experience, only take a job as a camp counselor if you really love kids. The kids at summer camp will definitely test you; you will have to deal with crying, kids missing their parents, anger issues, and a few bodily fluids. But if these things don’t phase you then this could be the job for you. The requirements for being a camp counselor differ from camp to camp, as does the pay. For most camps, you can be a counselor at the age of 15, but some do require that you be at least 18. If you fall on the younger side of the spectrum, you may have to be a junior camp counselor which likely pays much less than being an official camp counselor. However, being a junior camp counselor likely means you won’t have to deal with anything too terrible by yourself as the official camp counselors are the ones in charge of dealing with emergencies.


Depending on where you work, coaching during the summer is very similar to being a camp counselor. Similar to being a camp counselor, I’d advise you to only consider this job if you really love working with kids and really enjoy the sport you are coaching. In my personal experience, it can be pretty exhausting; I encountered kids missing their parents, nose bleeds, lots of tantrums, and crying. Overall it was super fun but I was seriously underpaid for the work I was doing and I found it to be really draining. The age range for coaching is very broad depending on where you want to work, I would say the youngest would likely be 15. I would strongly advise you to really look at what the pay is for coaching before accepting a job as a coach.

Beach Lifeguard

If you are athletic, a strong swimmer, and love the beach I would say this is the job for you! The training for becoming a beach lifeguard is quite rigorous and requires that you begin training a few months before summer starts. To qualify for the training to be a beach lifeguard in Charleston you need to be 16, complete a 500-meter swim test in under 9 minutes in a pool, and 500 meters in under 10 minutes in the ocean. Additionally, you must be able to run a mile in under 7:45 minutes on a track and 8 minutes or less on the beach. Once you pass these prerequisites there will be weekly training sessions throughout the summer as beach lifeguards must be in top shape all throughout the summer. Although it is very demanding, from what I have heard it is a super fun job with decent pay. This is a serious job and you will need to make some saves if you choose to work at a beach.

Pool Lifeguard

Last but certainly not least is being a pool lifeguard. This is a great choice for people who may not want the rigor of being a beach lifeguard but still want to be a lifeguard. The requirements are much easier for being a pool lifeguard, you have to swim 300 meters without stopping, tread water for 2 minutes without hands, and retrieve a 10lb object from deep water. I was a lifeguard over the summer with the city of charleston and no lifeguards ever had to make a save the entire summer. Overall I would say that pool lifeguarding t is definitely a pretty calm and easy summer job that I would definitely recommend, especially when considering I basically got paid $13 an hour to sit on a chair for 30-minute increments.