School's Out and Summer Jobs are Calling


Schools are out for the summer and the seniors have graduated. Suddenly, the days are long and empty of academic obligations. For some teens, this is a much-anticipated time to relax, hang out with friends, and pursue personal interests. For others, the summer season offers the perfect opportunity to engage in meaningful experiences that foster personal growth, build valuable skills, and earn some extra money. In busy Clifton, teens have access to a wide range of summer job options that cater to their interests and abilities. From traditional roles to unique opportunities, this is a great place for young individuals to explore the world of work and develop a strong work ethic.

Last summer, more than 6 million U.S. teens, or 36.6%, had a paying job for at least part of the season, the highest teen summer employment rate since 2008, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In New Jersey, Child Labor Law 34:2-21.2 indicates that “minors between 14 and 16 years of age may be employed, permitted or suffered to work outside school hours and during school vacations but not in or for a factory or in any occupation otherwise prohibited by law or by order or regulation made in pursuance of law.” Recent updates to these regulations allow a minor between 16 and 18 years of age to work up to 50 hours in one week and up to 10 hours in one day during the period beginning on the last day of the school year and ending on Labor Day.

So what kinds of jobs are out there for teens?

Retail and Hospitality: The retail and hospitality industry is a popular choice for teens seeking summer employment. Local malls, big chain stores, and smaller “mom-and-pop” establishments often hire young people for positions such as sales associates, cashiers, and customer service representatives. Additionally, restaurants, cafes, and ice cream parlors frequently look for young workers to assist with food preparation, serving, and front-of-house duties. These roles provide teens with opportunities to improve their communication skills, develop customer service expertise, and gain an understanding of the retail and hospitality sectors.

Summer Camp Counselors: Clifton boasts numerous summer camps catering to various interests, including sports, arts, and outdoor activities. Many of these camps hire teenagers as counselors to assist in organizing and supervising activities for younger children. Serving as a camp counselor allows teens to develop leadership skills, nurture their creativity, and engage in teamwork. It is an excellent option for individuals who enjoy working with children and desire a rewarding summer experience. The Clifton Recreation Department runs camp programs all summer long and may still be looking to hire counselors. You can apply via THIS LINK.

    Lifeguards and Swim Instructors: With its proximity to lakes, pools, and recreational facilities, there may still be opportunities for teens to work as lifeguards or swim instructors during the summer months. These roles require individuals to undergo specialized training and certification, ensuring they possess the necessary skills to ensure the safety of swimmers. Working as a lifeguard or swim instructor not only offers teenagers a chance to improve their swimming abilities but also instills responsibility, vigilance, and teamwork.

    Gardening and Landscaping: Summertime means that grass is growing, and so are the weeds. While some homeowners prefer to take care of this themselves, many are happy to pay someone else to tend to their lawns and garden beds. Industrious teens with a green thumb can find work mowing lawns, weeding, and trimming back overgrown shrubs. These jobs are perfect for teens who want to be outdoors and who want to get some exercise in with their paycheck.

    Pet Care and Dog Walking: Many Clifton residents seek reliable individuals to care for their pets or take their dogs for walks while they are at work or on vacation. Teenagers with a passion for animals can find summer employment as pet sitters, dog walkers, or even at local pet shops. These roles allow teens to develop responsibility, empathy, and animal-handling skills while providing companionship to beloved pets. The Clifton Animal Shelter, located at City Hall, and rescues like Rosemarie’s Rescue Ranch, may have volunteer opportunities for teens.

    Tutoring and Academic Assistance: Many Clifton families seek extra academic support during the summer months in order to ensure that their children are well-prepared for a new school year. Teens with strong academic abilities can offer tutoring services in subjects they excel in, such as math, science, or language arts. The two city libraries are popular locations for tutoring as they are public, air-conditioned, and provide quiet spaces for working. Engaging in tutoring or academic assistance roles allows teenagers to reinforce their own knowledge while positively impacting the educational journeys of others.

      Whether in retail, hospitality, summer camps, lifeguarding, lawn or pet care, or tutoring, these roles provide valuable experiences that promote personal growth, skill development, and financial independence. By committing to a summer job, Clifton's teens have the chance to cultivate a strong work ethic, develop interpersonal skills, and explore potential career paths. Embracing these opportunities not only helps teenagers pave their way toward a successful future but also contributes to the thriving local community.

      If you own or manage a local business that is still seeking responsible teens for summer employment, please leave a comment with your business name, position/s available, and contact information.

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