8 Popular Summer Jobs in Pennsylvania to Keep Your Teen Busy

(Photo: Getty Images)

By Ashley Adams

May 30, 2023

A summer job is a great way for a teenager to make money, gain valuable skills, and stay busy while on break from school. From amusement parks to golf courses to public pools, Pennsylvania has plenty of summer job opportunities for teens.

As the weather turns warmer and students are out of school for the summer, many teenagers turn their eyes toward getting a part-time job. Getting a job is the perfect use of all that extra time in the summer. Whether you have a high school student or one in college, a summer job will give them some extra money while still leaving time for family, friends, vacation, and fun.

“Summer employment is an opportunity for teenagers to gain experience in the workplace, earn a paycheck, and acquire lifelong skills,” said Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry acting secretary Nancy Walker.

According to Pennsylvania’s Child Labor Act, all minors under 16 must have a written statement from their parents or guardians granting permission to work. Minors are also required to obtain a work permit from their school district’s issuing officer.

Except for minors who work in newspaper delivery, all minors may work no more than six consecutive days. In addition, all minors must be allowed a 30-minute meal period on or before five consecutive hours of work. Full- or part-time minors must be paid at least minimum wage, which is currently $7.25 per hour.

In the world of summer youth employment, there are a lot of options. If your teen is looking for a summer job, here’s some of the more popular ones in Pennsylvania:


Any teen who is a strong swimmer and can pass the needed safety, first aid, and CPR courses may want to consider being a summer lifeguard. In the Pittsburgh area, the CitiParks Aquatics Team recruits, trains, and certifies lifeguards for the city. 

“CitiParks has been working directly with the Pittsburgh Public Schools CTE program to launch a lifeguard academy in order to provide new pathways for kids to have good summer jobs at our pools this summer,” said Mayor Ed Gainey.

CitiParks offers an hourly pay rate for lifeguards from $16.48 to $19.05 an hour, based on experience. 

Generally, the job is low-key, focusing mostly on keeping an eye on the swim area and ensuring everyone follows safety rules. However, if something goes amiss, lifeguards have to spring into action, potentially playing a key role in saving someone’s life.

Golf Caddy

Working as a golf caddy is an excellent option for outdoorsy teens. Golf caddies help players by carrying their clubs between holes. The position is a bit physical and you will have to be outside in the elements.

In addition to the hourly pay rate, there’s a chance for tips, pushing the earning potential up a tad more.

Yard Work

The need for yard work and landscaping increases when the weather is warmer. Whether it’s mowing the grass or helping plant shrubs and plants, teens can earn some cash while enjoying the outside.

The work can be a bit physical, which makes it an excellent option for teenagers who want to stay in shape. 

8 Popular Summer Jobs in Pennsylvania to Keep Your Teen Busy
(Photo: Getty Images)

Amusement Park Employee

From Kennywood near Pittsburgh, to Hersheypark, to Dorney Park in Allentown, Pennsylvania has no shortage of amusement parks. These parks see an increase in visitors during the summer and thus are happy to hire teens looking for summer jobs.

This year, Dorney Park plans to hire up to 2,000 seasonal workers to operate rides, handle ticket sales, man the snack stands, and much more. 

“Our associates play an instrumental role in delivering our commitment to creating memorable experiences for all of our guests. We are proud to offer competitive wages, amazing perks, and unique benefits as one of many ways to do that,” said Jessica Naderman, vice president and general manager. “A seasonal job at our park means you can gain valuable experience, develop marketable skills for the future, and make lasting friends from near and far in a fun and inclusive environment.”

Food Service

Food establishments seem to always be hiring, which makes it a perfect summer job for a teen. The duties of the job vary depending on the restaurant, the position, the employee’s age, and local law. Cooking, cashiering, bussing tables, seating diners, and taking reservations or orders can all be part of the equation.

Babysittng/Pet Sitting

If your teen loves kids or animals, they might want to start babysitting or looking after neighborhood dogs and cats over the summer. They can take on clients they already know and grow from there. You can help by recommending them to your friends, family, and coworkers. And of course, they can always advertise on social media and throughout the neighborhood too.

Grocery Stocker

Another great teen summer job is working as a grocery stocker. Duties include stocking food items carried by the store, setting up displays, removing expired food, and helping customers.

Camp Counselor

Working as a camp counselor at a day or overnight camp can be a very rewarding summer job where your teen can gain valuable skills. They get to work outside all summer, acquire leadership skills, be a role model to children at the camp, learn to problem solve, and make friends. 

For the kids attending the camp, it’s their best week of the summer and your teen gets to be part of it.


  • Ashley Adams

    In her 16 years in the communications industry, Ashley Adams has worn many hats, including news reporter, public relations writer, marketing specialist, copy editor and technical writer. Ashley grew up in Berks County and has since returned to her roots to raise her three children.

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