Jobs For 17 Year Olds

The Unique World of Jobs for 17-Year-Olds

When we think about the job market, often our minds gravitate to adults navigating their careers. However, the landscape for teenager jobs, especially for 17-year-olds, is vast, varied, and holds a unique charm. Being 17 is a transformative age; not quite an adult, yet not entirely a child. At this age, teenagers often seek avenues to express their growing independence and earn their own money. With the increasing demand in the job market for younger talent, especially in fields such as art, there’s no shortage of opportunities. This guide sheds light on the multitude of job options available, whether you’re a teen yourself or a guiding parent.

Understanding the Importance of Jobs for Teens

Before diving deep into the specific job listings, it’s pivotal to understand the significance of jobs for teenagers. While many perceive it merely as a way to earn extra pocket money, the true value lies in the life skills they acquire. Time management, responsibility, communication, and financial literacy are just a few skills honed by teens with jobs. Moreover, these roles serve as a foundation, building a strong work ethic that often carries into adulthood.

Breaking the Stereotype

Commonly, teen jobs are associated with retail, fast food, or babysitting. While these jobs hold their own merit, the spectrum is wider than traditionally perceived. Art jobs for teens, for instance, allow them to explore their creative side while earning. Similarly, online gigs provide flexibility, enabling them to balance both work and studies.

Financial Independence and Responsibility

Securing a job means teenagers can fund their own desires—be it the latest gadget, a new pair of sneakers, or savings for college. This not only teaches them the value of money but also the responsibility that comes with handling it.

Exploring Diverse Job Opportunities for 17-Year-Olds

As we’ve established, there’s a rich tapestry of job options awaiting 17-year-olds. While some might be in search of traditional roles to understand the workforce, others might be seeking niche avenues to match their unique skills. Let’s delve into some notable opportunities available in the current job market.

1. Traditional Jobs for Teens

These are the jobs that have traditionally been associated with teenagers. They are more hands-on, requiring physical presence and often provide an excellent starting point for young adults.

  • Retail Jobs: From clothing stores to electronics, working in retail teaches patience, customer service, and inventory management.
  • Waitstaff or Fast Food: Restaurants, especially fast-food chains, often hire teenagers. This introduces them to teamwork, multitasking, and the dynamics of a fast-paced environment.
  • Local Libraries or Bookstores: For those who love books, these spaces can be serene and rewarding. Plus, it’s a wonderful way to be around literature and readers alike.

2. Art Jobs for Teens

For those inclined towards creativity, art jobs offer a splendid avenue to monetize talent. The digital era has also paved the way for numerous online platforms to showcase and sell art.

  • Freelance Graphic Design: With platforms like Behance and Dribbble, teenagers can showcase their designs, attracting clients and projects.
  • Photography: Whether it’s capturing events or selling stock photos online, photography is a lucrative field for young artists.
  • Online Art Shops: Websites like Etsy or Redbubble allow artists to sell custom artworks, prints, or merchandise.

3. Digital and Online Jobs

The digital domain is expansive, allowing teens to work from the comfort of their homes or anywhere with an internet connection. This flexibility is particularly beneficial for those juggling school and work.

  • Content Writing: Blogging or writing articles for websites can be an excellent way for teens to practice writing and earn.
  • Online Tutoring: If a teenager excels in a particular subject, they can teach younger students online, leveraging platforms like VIPKid or Chegg Tutors.
  • Social Media Management: Teens, often fluent in the language of social media, can manage accounts for local businesses or influencers.

Benefits of Working as a Teenager

Stepping into the workforce as a teen is not just about the money; it’s a journey filled with growth and learning. From understanding one’s own strengths and weaknesses to navigating the intricacies of professional relationships, the experience is invaluable.

Building a Robust Work Ethic

Taking on a job instills a sense of responsibility in teens. They learn punctuality, dedication, and commitment—traits that will stand them in good stead throughout their professional journey.

Networking and Making Connections

Workplaces are hubs for meeting diverse individuals. For teens, this is an opportunity to build connections, understand different perspectives, and even get references for future jobs or college applications.

Understanding Financial Responsibility

Handling one’s own earned money introduces teenagers to the world of financial responsibility. They begin to understand the value of money, budgeting, saving, and making informed spending decisions.

Exploring Career Interests

A job at 17 can serve as a litmus test, allowing teens to gauge their interest in a particular field. This experience can provide clarity about future career choices and educational pursuits.

Challenges Teens Might Face in the Workforce

While jobs bring a plethora of benefits for teens, they also come with their set of challenges. It’s crucial to recognize these challenges to prepare and address them effectively.

1. Balancing Work and School

Juggling between school assignments and job responsibilities can be taxing. Teens need to hone their time management skills to ensure neither school nor work gets compromised.

2. Handling Workplace Pressure

The professional world, even in teen-friendly jobs, can sometimes be stressful. It’s essential for teens to understand that it’s okay to seek help or guidance when things get overwhelming.

3. Navigating Interpersonal Relationships

Interacting with coworkers, especially those from different age groups, can be a learning curve. Effective communication and empathy are crucial skills to develop.

How to Find the Right Job

Finding the ideal job for a 17-year-old is a combination of self-awareness, research, and leveraging available resources.

Assessing Personal Interests and Strengths

Begin by understanding what truly excites you. Is it the creative world of art jobs for teens? Or is it the dynamic realm of the digital industry? Knowing what you’re passionate about can direct your job search effectively.

Researching Potential Employers

Once you have a domain in mind, research potential employers. Look for companies or businesses known for being teen-friendly or those that actively hire younger employees.

Utilizing School Resources

Many schools have career counseling departments or resources that can guide students about job opportunities. They often have ties with local businesses and can help with job placements.

High-Paying Options for 17-Year-Olds

While many teenagers start with entry-level jobs, some positions offer above-average pay, making them especially attractive for those looking to save for college or other future endeavors. Here’s a closer look at these lucrative opportunities:

1. Tutoring

Skilled in a particular subject? Use that knowledge to tutor younger students. With education becoming more competitive, many parents are willing to pay top dollar for extra academic help for their children.

2. Lifeguarding

Certified lifeguards, especially those with additional first-aid or CPR certifications, can earn significantly more than typical teen jobs. Plus, working as a lifeguard provides valuable life skills and safety training.

3. Freelance Digital Work

The digital realm is ripe with opportunities. From graphic design to web development or even digital marketing, teens with a knack for tech can find numerous high-paying freelance opportunities.

4. Pet Sitting or Dog Walking

People are willing to pay well for trustworthy individuals to look after their beloved pets. Establishing a good reputation can lead to a steady stream of clients willing to pay a premium for your services.

5. Starting a Small Business

Entrepreneurial teens can explore starting a small business tailored to their skills and interests. Be it a handmade craft shop, a lawn care service, or a digital product store, the possibilities are endless. With determination and smart strategies, a small venture can prove to be highly lucrative.

Enhancing Your Skill Set

To land these high-paying roles, it’s essential to invest in oneself. Building skills not only makes a teenager more employable but also opens the door to better-paying opportunities.

1. Attend Workshops or Online Courses

Platforms like Coursera, Udemy, and Khan Academy offer a wide range of courses tailored to various interests and industries. These can provide the knowledge required for specialized jobs, including art jobs for teens.

2. Seek Mentorship

Finding a mentor in the desired industry can be invaluable. They can offer guidance, share their experiences, and sometimes even introduce you to job opportunities.

3. Network Actively

Engage with industry professionals, attend seminars, or join clubs related to your career interests. Networking can lead to job referrals and open doors to roles you might not have known existed.

Understanding Child Labor Laws

While teenagers are eager to enter the workforce and gain independence, it’s crucial to be aware of the legal boundaries. Child labor laws exist to ensure the safety and well-being of young workers, preventing exploitation and ensuring they receive fair treatment.

1. Age Restrictions and Work Permits

Most countries and states have minimum age requirements for employment. In many places, 17-year-olds are allowed to work with fewer restrictions than younger teenagers, but they might still need a work permit, especially if they haven’t graduated from high school. It’s essential to check local regulations and acquire necessary permits before starting a job.

2. Hours of Work

Even for 17-year-olds, there might be limits on the number of hours they can work, especially during school days. These restrictions ensure that the job does not interfere with their education and health.

3. Prohibited Jobs

Certain jobs are deemed too hazardous for teenagers under 18. This can include roles that involve operating heavy machinery, working at certain heights, or handling hazardous materials. Familiarize yourself with these restrictions to avoid applying for positions that might be off-limits.

4. Breaks and Rest Periods

Child labor laws also dictate the frequency and duration of breaks for young workers. For instance, after a certain number of continuous work hours, a teenager might be entitled to a rest break or meal break. Employers must adhere to these guidelines to ensure the well-being of their young employees.

5. Wages and Compensation

While many places have a separate minimum wage for young workers, it’s crucial to ensure that employers are adhering to these laws. Seventeen-year-olds should be aware of their rights and ensure they’re being compensated fairly for their work.

Tips for Navigating Child Labor Laws

Comprehending child labor laws can be daunting, but here are a few tips to help teenagers navigate these regulations:

1. Research Local Laws

Laws can vary widely based on location. Whether state-by-state in the U.S. or country-by-country elsewhere, always check local guidelines. Many government websites provide comprehensive resources on child labor laws.

2. Discuss with Employers

Open communication is key. Before starting a job, discuss your status as a 17-year-old with your potential employer, ensuring they’re aware of and compliant with all relevant laws.

3. Stay Updated

Laws and regulations can evolve. Regularly reviewing the child labor laws applicable to your region ensures you remain informed of your rights and any changes that might affect your employment status.


In today’s dynamic job market, 17-year-olds have a vast array of opportunities available to them. From exploring artistic passions to diving into the corporate world, teenagers are no longer limited to traditional part-time roles. As we’ve seen, there are numerous positions that not only offer a decent wage but also provide valuable experience and skills that can serve as a foundation for future careers. However, while enthusiasm and eagerness to work are commendable, it’s equally vital to be informed and aware. Understanding child labor laws and knowing one’s rights are essential steps in ensuring a positive and safe work environment. As young adults stand on the cusp of adulthood, these early job experiences can shape their work ethic, career aspirations, and perspectives on the professional world.


1. Child Labor Laws by Region

U.S. Department of Labor – Child Labor Provisions
This official site provides an overview of federal child labor regulations, including rules for 17-year-olds.

2. Career Exploration for Teens

My Next Move
A comprehensive tool that allows teenagers to explore careers based on their interests and preferences.

3. Tips for Job-seeking Teens

The Balance Careers – Job Search Tips for High School Students
This article offers practical advice on resume building, job searching, and interview preparation for teenagers.

4. Art Jobs for Teens

A platform that connects artists with opportunities, including internships and part-time roles suitable for young artists.