Unless you’re part of the small percentage of Americans with a strange distaste for what is inarguably the best creature on the planet, this is without a doubt the best summer job one can land. True, the pay might not be out of this world. But the fact that one can receive money for spending time with a dog is a revelation in and of itself. For those of us who succumbed to the freshman 15, getting paid to add steps onto the ol’ Fitbit is an added bonus.
While babies and young children are infinitely more annoying, demanding and whinier than dogs, babysitting has a leg up over the prior job in terms of pay. Additionally, if you get hired for late night hours and the children are asleep, you are essentially getting paid to sit on a couch and binge watch “The Walking Dead” as you make your way through your employer’s pantry.
This is a quintessential summer job — lifeguarding comes with many wonderful opportunities. You are getting paid to tan, it is an optimal environment to show off that summer body and, best of all, you’re not only allowed to yell at children — you’re encouraged. The downsides? The painful monotony of each day, the risk of exposure to bodily fluids and, worst of all, the expectation that you might have to save a life. No pressure.
4. Food service
I’ve never gone down this path, but I have friends who have, and they swear by it. Hopping behind the counter of your local Starbucks or Chipotle has its clear perks — free samples — but it can’t be easy work, can it? How can anybody memorize how to make all of those seasonal Starbucks frappuccinos? Where does one even start?
5. Camp counselor
A tried and true summer job and for good reason. A camp counselor sits right at the intersection between work and play — you have to set up the arts and crafts table, but nobody will stop you from making your own friendship bracelets. However, the downsides start to pile up quickly if you work at a sleepaway camp. You’re isolated from your friends for weeks on end, and, if the camp is located in the woods, you and your fellow counselors will likely come face-to-face with a serial killer. Good luck.
School may be out for the summer, but learning is year-round. Luckily, as a tutor, you won’t be the one taking notes. While working for a tutoring company provides a stable flow of clientele, I’d recommend taking the leap and setting out on your own. Set your own hours, name your own price and watch the money flow in. Is there a downside? If you can handle elementary school math, I’d say there isn’t.
7. Lawn mower
I’ve never set foot in the lawn care industry, so I lack a deep perspective on this one. However, as an outsider, I can confidently state that this is the coolest looking summer job. Nothing is more nifty than humbly pushing a trusty lawn mower — just think of the amazing biceps you’ll have after using one for an entire summer. If you can get past the tinnitus and the smell of gasoline, you’ll be all set.
8. Athletics coach
Have you ever played a sport? Were you ever good at a sport? If the answer to either question is “kind of,” you are qualified to teach that sport to children. Coaching is a wonderful job, as you get a chance to teach a skill, serve as a role model and make a lasting impact in a child’s life. The downside? Sunburns.
9. Retail worker
Many say that everyone should work retail once in their lives, and I’ve never been one to argue with that claim. While stocking shelves or manning the register isn’t glamorous work, it has comforts that many other summer jobs lack — namely that you’ll be in an indoor, air-conditioned environment. You might get yelled at by a senior citizen for taking too long to scan their produce, but that’s part of the charm.
10. Paid internship in your major
Ah, the white whale. Everybody wants one, but very few will find it. But if you are lucky enough to access that entry-level internship that also requires five years of experience and proficiency in every aspect of the major you haven’t even completed yet, hold onto it and never let go. If you can’t find an internship, it’s really no big deal. Outside of the fact that you’ll never land a job after graduation, your hair will begin falling out immediately, your friends will abandon you one by one and you’ll die having never loved nor been loved, holding an internship won’t make or break you.