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The Best Places to Work at 16

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A 16-year-old looking for a job has a distinctive set of situations. She is old enough to drive herself to work, so she is not necessarily limited by geography. That is an advantage over younger teens. However, her schedule may be very busy as she prepares to go to college either in her last year of high school or taking college prep courses during the summer. There are job situations that can accommodate the pros and cons of being a 16-year-old looking for a job.

Fast Food

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Most 16-year-old teenagers have limited work experience, and that also limits their choices for a place to work. Many fast-food restaurants prefer to hire younger employees to help keep payroll down. That means the restaurants are used to hiring inexperienced people who need extensive training and work experience. Working in a fast-food restaurant can help you understand what it means to have a job, and the hours are normally flexible enough to accommodate your schedule.


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Landscaping jobs for 16-year-old teenagers offer year-round possibilities. You can work at mowing and caring for lawns in the summer, and then do snow removal in the winter. If you have your own transportation you have the option of working for an existing landscaping company, or starting your own. If you require a flexible schedule, it may be best to start out on your own. You not only gain experience dealing with customers, but you also gain valuable experience in running a business.


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Being a lifeguard can be a seasonal or year-round job, depending on the facility where you work. There is a need for lifeguards in many parts of the United States, so this could be a situation where you can get a job right away. You will need to take lifeguard training before you can start work, but you may be able to find a company that will pay for your training. Being a lifeguard offers the chance to take on an important job at a young age and meet a variety of people.


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The limited work experience of a 16-year-old teenager sometimes means that he may have to take on a more labor-intensive job in order to gain experience. A cleaning job can be a good situation for a teenager because the hours tend to be flexible, and cleaning companies are not averse to hiring younger employees. As with the landscaping business, you may want to investigate the possibility of starting your own cleaning business and develop experience running your own company at a very young age.


George N. Root III began writing professionally in 1985. His publishing credits include a weekly column in the "Lockport Union Sun and Journal" along with the "Spectrum," the "Niagara Falls Gazette," "Tonawanda News," "Watertown Daily News" and the "Buffalo News." Root has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the State University of New York, Buffalo.

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