Here's who's hiring teens this summer – and which jobs pay the most

For many teens and younger college students, summer means more than fun in the sun: It’s a chance to join the workforce and make money before heading back to school in the fall. 

ADP Research Institute used payroll data from more than 25 million workers to break down which jobs hire the most teens and younger college students in summer months – and which ones pay the most. 

According to the report, 16- to 22-year olds comprise about a third of all new hires each June, compared to 23- to 26- year olds, who account for roughly 15% of new hires. 


Were Hiring, Part-time heroes wanted, sign at entrance to Target Store, Queens, New York. (Photo by: Lindsey Nicholson/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Which jobs hire the most teens and young college students?

Hotels, restaurants and other leisure/hospitality services hire the most teens and college students over the summer, but there are other big employers for teens as well. 

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Retailers, warehouses and transportation also make up a large portion of summer hires.

Companies hired more young workers in May 2024 than they did in May 2023, "so we expect strong summer hiring in these industries," the ADP Research report states. 

Which jobs pay the most for teens and college students? 

It’s worth noting that pay for young workers has grown significantly since the pandemic. In May 2019, median base pay for teens and young college students was $11.25 an hour. By May 2024, median base pay for the same age group was $15 an hour, up 33% since 2019. 

According to the report, construction, manufacturing and natural resources, mining and other goods-producing industries typically pay more because their jobs demand skills or experience. 

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Restaurants, retailers and other service industries typically hire the most young workers and pay the least, but that trend is changing because of labor shortages and rising minimum wages in many states. 

Median hourly pay for young leisure and hospitality workers is $13.30 an hour, still less than other industries, but those wages don’t include tips. 

"In short, leisure and hospitality offers great opportunities for younger job-seekers because employers are willing to pay more for much-needed seasonal help," the report concludes.