Popular jobs for teenagers in the UK

Popular jobs for teenagers in the UK

Sign up for blog updates and get an instant 10% off code for NCC Home Learning courses.

Everyone reaches an age where they want a bit more cash than their weekly £5 pocket money. When you hit this point, it’s probably worth looking for a part-time job.

Getting a job whilst you’re young will benefit you in more ways than one. Not only will you have a steady flow of money going into your bank account, but you’ll be able to gain valuable skills that will make it easier to get a full-time job when you’ve finished school. If you’re willing to sacrifice your evenings or weekends, the pay-off will be worth it.

In this blog, we’ll take a look at:

Benefits of getting a job as a teenager

There are loads of reasons why getting a job is beneficial to you when you’re younger (aside from the money). When you get a part-time job whilst you’re younger, you’re more likely to get a graduate job later on and are up to 6% less likely to be out of education or employment five years down the line[i].  Other benefits include:

  • Confidence growth
  • Better people skills
  • Ability to problem solve
  • Time-keeping
  • A better attitude to teamwork
  • Increased independence
  • Responsibility
  • Preparation for working full-time

Although you can get a job from 13 onwards, there are some extra laws in place that make sure:

  • You aren’t put in any danger.
  • You are paid a fair wage.
  • Employers don’t make you work long hours that will affect your education and home life.

Working hours 

The number of hours you can legally work depends on whether you are working during school term-time or working during the holidays.

If you’re under 16, you aren’t allowed to work during school hours, more than one hour before school, or between 7 pm & 7 am in any circumstances (unless you are working in areas like modelling, theatre, and TV and you have a license).

13 & 14 year-olds

During school term-times, 13 & 14 year olds are allowed to work the following hours[ii].

  • Total of 12 hours a week
  • 5 hours on Saturdays
  • 2 hours on school days and Sundays

During the school holidays, these hours are longer.

  • Total of 25 hours a week
  • 5 hours on weekdays and Saturdays
  • 2 hours on Sundays


15 & 16 year-olds

During school term-times, 15 & 16 year olds can work the following hours.

  • Total of 12 hours a week
  • 8 hours on Saturdays
  • 2 hours on school days and Sundays 

During the school holidays, these hours are longer.

  • Total of 35 hours a week
  • 8 hours on weekdays and Saturdays
  • 2 hours on Sundays

Working Hours for Over 16s

Once you’re over 16, you’re usually past your’ school leaving age’, so there are fewer restrictions on working hours. You can get a job, but you should be in some form of education until you’re 18. This includes staying in full-time education, starting an apprenticeship, or working/volunteering (if you do this, you’ll still need to be receiving an education, which could include completing online courses or going to college for a few days a week)[iii].

Legally, your working hours should[iv]:

  • Not be longer than 8 hours a day
  • Not be longer than 40 hours a week

And you are entitled to:

  • 12 hours rest between shifts
  • 2 consecutive days of rest a week

When you reach 18, you’ll be classed as an adult and your working hours will be less restricted. Find out more about weekly working hours for adults here.



The amount you can get paid as a teenager depends on how much you work and your age.

Under 16

When you’re under 16, you aren’t entitled to the national minimum wage[v]. The amount you are paid is entirely up to your employer, so you should make sure you’re happy with it before you accept the job.

16 & 17 year-olds

The minimum wage for 16 and 17 year olds is £4.55 an hour.

If you’re an apprentice, your minimum wage will be £4.15 an hour[vi]. As of April 2021, these rates will go up to £4.62 for 16 & 17 year olds, and £4.30 for apprentices.

Top jobs for teenagers

Now you know the law, let’s look at some of the most popular jobs for teenagers.


Babysitting jobs are relatively easy to come across and aren’t too difficult (if the children you’re looking after are well behaved!). Ask family friends who have young children if they’d like you to babysit. If you’re good enough, they might even tell their friends about you.

There is legally no minimum age for a babysitting job, but if you are under 16, the parent or carer you’re babysitting for is responsible for you and their child’s wellbeing.

Gardening jobs

Gardening is a fun job, and there are plenty of people with gardens who don’t have time to do basic tasks like weeding, mowing the lawn, and power washing decks/patios. If you think you’ve got the skills, start asking neighbours if there are any jobs they’d like you to do. You could even show some entrepreneurial spirit and create a page on Facebook to advertise your services.


Working in a local shop after school or at the weekends is a great chance to make some money, meet people and grow your confidence. Although you’ll probably start doing small jobs like re-stocking shelves and cleaning up, working in retail can help you gain skills you wouldn’t find anywhere else.

Pubs, Bars and Restaurants

Pubs and bars are usually keen to hire a younger person to help with glass collecting and cleaning during busy periods. You could also work in a restaurant taking orders and waiting tables. Once you’ve shown that you’re responsible, you may even be able to serve drinks behind the bar with an adult present.

Dog walking

Dog walking is a perfect job for pet lovers and easy if you have your own dog. Why not ask around and see if anyone in your area needs a hand with walking their dog in the mornings or afternoons. If they’re happy with your dog walking services, they might ask you to dog-sit while they are on holiday or if they go somewhere for the day and can’t take their canine friend.

Selling crafts online

There are dozens of websites like Etsy and Depop where people can sell items they’ve made. If you have a creative streak and lots of spare time, you might be able to make some extra cash by drawing, embroidering, or crafting items to sell on these platforms. If you choose to do this, you’re best getting a parent involved to help you with the payment side of things.


Although volunteering won’t earn you any money, it will help you gain essential skills, which will benefit you when you leave school. Look into helping local charity shops or organisations like the British Red Cross, The Prince’s Trust, or local scouting and girls guides groups.

Delivering Newspapers

You’ll need to be a morning person to deliver newspapers but finishing your daily round can be rewarding! Pop round to your local newsagents to see if they need any paperboys or papergirls.


Cleaning, whether for your family, an established company, or a small business, is a good choice for a first job. It’s easy to learn how to clean to a professional standard, and clients will often tip you well.

Hair salon

If you’re keen on the idea of hairdressing, this is a great job to get you started. Although you won’t be going anywhere near the scissors, you’ll gain experience with what day-to-day life is like in a salon, and it will help you get your foot in the door if you decide to do an apprenticeship or train as a hairstylist at college later on. Your duties will include cleaning, sweeping up hair, and making drinks for clients.

Which job will you choose?

Whichever job you decide to go for, you’ll be paving the way to a fulfilling working life later down the line.


ACAS, n.d. Young workers, apprentices and work experience. [Online] Available at: https://www.acas.org.uk/young-workers-apprentices-and-work-experience [Accessed February 2021].

GOV.UK, 2021. Child employment. [Online] Available at: https://www.gov.uk/child-employment/restrictions-on-child-employment [Accessed February 2021].

GOV.UK, 2021. School leaving age. [Online] Available at: https://www.gov.uk/know-when-you-can-leave-school [Accessed February 2021].

NI Business Info, 2020. National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage – rates and overview. [Online] Available at: https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/content/national-minimum-wage-and-national-living-wage-rates [Accessed February 2021].

Success at School, n.d. Part-Time Work For Teenagers – 15 Saturday Job Ideas. [Online] Available at: https://successatschool.org/blog/493/Part-time-work-for-teenagers-%E2%80%93-15-Saturday-job-ideas [Accessed February 2021].

Work Smart, n.d. Is there a minimum wage for children who work?. [Online] Available at: https://worksmart.org.uk/work-rights/young-workers/childrens-work-rights/there-minimum-wage-children-who-work [Accessed February 2021].


[i] https://successatschool.org/blog/493/Part-time-work-for-teenagers-%E2%80%93-15-Saturday-job-ideas

[ii] https://www.gov.uk/child-employment/restrictions-on-child-employment

[iii] https://www.gov.uk/know-when-you-can-leave-school

[iv] https://www.acas.org.uk/young-workers-apprentices-and-work-experience

[v] https://worksmart.org.uk/work-rights/young-workers/childrens-work-rights/there-minimum-wage-children-who-work

[vi] https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/content/national-minimum-wage-and-national-living-wage-rates

Nick Cooper
Nick is NCC's resident blog author and covers a range of subjects, including teaching and health & social care. NCC is an international learning provider with over 20 years’ experience offering learning solutions. To date, NCC has engaged with over 20,000 employers, and delivered quality training to over half a million learners.
Like this article? Spread the word

Related courses you may also like