March 2022


Summer Jobs for High Schoolers

By Jeanette Prather

There are the classic high school summer jobs that might include a smaller retail position, tutoring, babysitting and the food industry. However, in the questionable times we’re living in with ongoing employee shortages, less willing capable workers and more ample excuses, creative options are a must… for everyone.
Most summer jobs for teens range between $10 and $25 per hour, according to Indeed suggests grocery store cart attendant, movie clerk, cashier, lifeguard, housekeeper, automotive detailer, stocking associate, delivery person, lawn care specialist, dog walker and swim instructor as plausible high school summer jobs.

Conventional-ish Santa Cruz Jobs
Almost everyone from Santa Cruz has had an encounter with working at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, usually through the Seaside Company and/or Whiting’s Foods. One local high school student, Ayla Ferrell, is among those who say she had a “wonderful experience at the Boardwalk!”
They offer an array of experience and opportunities, all available at

La Posada Retirement Community, offers local 14-year-olds a first-time job experience in the dining hall as a busser and/or room delivery staff (depending on your rotation for the evening). Back in 1999, when the minimum wage was $5.75, this was a thrilling prospect. Now, with California at a $14 minimum (federal government still at $7.25) it’s at least up with the times for a more lucrative option to high school students. More information about La Posada hiring procedures is available at

The Santa Cruz Children’s Museum of Discovery has an array of job opportunities at

The Teen Trail Maintenance Aide Program, and the Sports Division are other great resources for students, according to Amanda Ares, the City of Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation Coordinator. For info about the trail maintenance contact Blake Woessner at [email protected] and for sports positions, contact Daniel Lawson-Thomas at [email protected]

Camp Counselor Positions
Four Points Youth Camp is hiring five counselor positions, all ranging between $16 and $17 per hour. The positions include arts and crafts, S.T.E.M., games, sports and support counselors. For details:

The City’s Junior Leader Program is open to teens 16-18 who want to volunteer at its Summer Camps programs to learn job skills and gain confidence in a workplace setting while having fun. Many of the volunteer Junior Leaders become paid staff when they reach an eligible age. For more info search Santa Cruz Junior Leader Program

The City’s summer camp programs hire paid staff starting at 15.5 years of age. Some positions stretch year round.

Three camps are hiring, not only for summer but during outdoor science camp, as well. The coordinator is MJ ([email protected]). The other two are YMCA of the Redwoods at Camp Campbell and Exploring New Horizons at the Redwood Glen Camp and Conference Center. The contacts for these positions are Sasha Gonzalez ([email protected]) and Danny Beutler ([email protected]), respectively.

Santa Cruz Teen Center
“Santa Cruz Teen Center put on job fairs for teens before the pandemic,” said local mom, Melissa Boose. “My son received his first job at 14 after applying to the Boardwalk during one of the fairs.”

The Teen Center will be putting on the fair April 20, 2-5 pm in Laurel Park. It includes resume reviews, job applications and computers to do online applications..

Summer Internships for Teens
The Summer Teen Intern Program, through the City of Santa Cruz, offers teens a paid internship through a city department. “In the past, we have had interns placed in PD, Fire, Water, Public Works, The Civic, London Nelson Community Center, The DeLaVeaga Golf Course, City Manager’s Office, Parks & Recreation, etc.” said Ares. “Teen Interns also participate in staff training and bi-weekly staff meetings which also double as education sessions on professionalism, interview skills, résumé creation or updating, etc. Some of our Summer Teen Interns have even gone on to secure year-round temporary positions within the City.”

More Resources for High School Students & Families
Santa Cruz City Schools offers a step-by-step guide for students and parents seeking more support on how to prepare and where to find jobs through a downloadable employment packet, application resources, interview tips and job offer responses. This employment-seeking resource is available at

More of the entrepreneurial mindset? One great website is

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