At what age should teens start working?

Real Mom Problem

“I was just wondering with school and other activities like sports, at what age do you think your teen should hold down a job?”

by nymommyof5 nymommyof5

Quick Tips

  • 1. Consider your teen's maturity level
  • 2. Think about jobs that would fit his or her personality, skills, and interests (e.g. lifeguarding for a kid who swims; pet store for an animal lover)
  • 3. Discuss responsibility and talk about saving and the cost of living

Real Mom Solutions

Work experience is great for teens to learn responsibility and gain new skills and interests. Read on for the best mom-to-mom advice on teens getting jobs.

Some Moms Say Wait Until 16

  • lynn63042

    I think as long as your teen's grades are good and they do not have too many other activities, they should work as soon as they can drive. My son is 17 and works during the summer only, but may think about getting a job through the school year next year. My almost 16-year-old daughter needs to get a job -- she thinks money grows on a tree I have in the backyard.

  • Dawn0522

    I believe 16 is an ideal age to start working. My belief is, once you start working, you usually don't stop. From then on, every summer you're working, so why rush it? 16 is early enough.

  • momoftwins240

    I'd say 16 is a good age to start working a few evenings a week and weekends. They can drive themselves to work at that age (if the family has a car available for them to use), and they are just beginning to want more spending money to do things with their friends. You have to check first, though, because some states have laws that say anyone under a certain age cannot work unless a work permit is issued by the state.

Other Moms Believe in Starting Early

  • SamanthaAgain

    Working during the school year? They should be 16 and only as long as they have a 2.0 GPA. During the summer? 14. School MUST come first in our family.

  • Fibro-Mom

    I think the age they start working all depends on the teen. If they have good grades and are not involved in too many sports or groups, then they can work. Everyone is different, so is the age at which to let them start working.

  • nojomommy07

    My son and his good friend were both ready to start working this year as golf caddies and they are both 13. I was proud of them for wanting to work. I think that it gives them a greater sense of responsibility. Of course grades need to be kept up as well, and ultimately, the extra-curricular activities and then the work would have to go if that is what's causing grades to drop. School comes first.

  • butterflylvr41

    My son started working when he was 14 years old, and now he is 17 years old. He has a better sense of responsibility now. He has always paid for his own cell phone with his money.