High-Paying Jobs for High Schoolers


Mattie McConnell

Having a job in high school is a great way to earn money and gain work experience. (Photo courtesy of Mattie McConnell, Photo Credits to Mattie McConnell)

For many teenagers, high school means getting a job and paying for your own things. The job search can be difficult, but there are many companies that offer fair pay and the opportunity to learn valuable work skills for high school and college-age students.

“I have expanded my patience, ability to cope with stress, and [I am] learning very quickly. It’s been a big learning experience for me,” said Elisa Payan, a senior at BMC.

A company that pays their employees very well is Chick-fil-A. Starting at $10/hour ($13/hour if you are over 18), Chick-fil-A is a great place to work. They pride themselves on customer service and creating a positive work environment. Here, you can work in the drive through, the kitchen, or even be a delivery driver. Chick-fil is a fast-pace work environment where efficiency is key. Employees here work hard to create a time-efficient and caring experience for each guest. 

“What I love about [working at] Chick-fil-A is the flexibility. They are very flexible around limited hours, or giving you more hours!” said Payan, who is also a Chick-fil-a employee.. “Sometimes I feel like we are underpaid. It is usually a really hard and tiring position. But in general, it’s a much better pay for teenagers than anywhere else,”Payan added. 

Working at Target is another great way to earn money and work experience at the same time. The retail giant recently upped its team member pay to $15/ hour. At Target, you will work with a variety of different products and learn a variety of different processes associated with the retail business. 

Another company that pays its employees well and also offers tuition reimbursement is Chipotle. The average team member pay is $12/hour. This is a great option for college students as well, because Chipotle offers as much as $5,250 per year in tuition assistance, as well as other tuition help through their Debt-Free Degree program. If you work at Chipotle, you will be trained on food safety, portions, and many other things depending on your level of training. You may work on the front line, in the kitchen, or behind the scenes doing prep and other jobs. Although Chipotle is a fast-paced environment, it is fairly laid-back compared to other food-service jobs. 

Another good option is self-employment.. For example, babysitting is a great way to earn money because you have control over your schedule and your pay. Many babysitters charge between $10-15 an hour. Babysitting can be a strenuous job depending on how many children you are caring for at one time. However, it’s a great way to hone your multitasking skills, which are applicable in many other work environments. Similar jobs include lawn care, pet-sitting, house-sitting, odd jobs, and more. 

“I really love being able to control my schedule and how much I work,” said Brashier senior Abbi Manos, who babysits as a job. “It’s like I am my own boss, and I can plan my week and make time for family, friends, or even events when needed.” 

When searching for a job, you want to make sure you have a fair hourly pay. However, you will want to take into account things like tips, which may give you the opportunity to earn extra money. For example, those working as delivery drivers make very good tips, sometimes so much that it almost doubles what they make hourly. Things like this are important to keep in mind when searching for a job if earning money is your primary motivation. 

If your primary motivation for getting a job is to gain work experience, look for a job that has a variety of positions and challenges for their employees. You may also want to look for a job that has many opportunities for their employees to be promoted to positions with increased responsibility, such as managers or team leaders. 

“[The most important thing in a job is] fulfillment, because I would like to have fun making money instead of being miserable,” said Cody Vogel, a senior at BMC.

Although it can be very difficult to balance school and work, finding the right company that meets your needs can really help you along the way. If you are searching for a job, take time to look at each company individually and what they can offer you.