Jobs for 15-year-olds

Not sure you’re old enough to work? Think again…

Even though it can sometimes seem like jobs are limited to those 16-years-old and up, there might actually be a number of suitable roles out there that you’re overlooking. You just need to know where to find them.

To make sure you pick the job that’s right for you, here are a few things to remember if you’re looking for work as a 15-year-old:

 

What hours can I work?

Before you get started, it’s important to know your rights.

Not only will this make sure you’re getting paid properly for the work you’re doing, it’ll also give you a clear guideline to ensure your job doesn’t interfere with your school timetable.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the rules and regulations you’ll need to follow, whether you’re working in term time or the school holidays:

 

Term time

You can work a maximum of 12 hours a week.

This is broken down as:

  • Up to two hours on a school day
  • Up to eight hours on a Saturday
  • No more than two hours on a Sunday

You won’t be able to:

  • Work during school hours
  • Work for more than one hour before school
  • Work before 7am or after 7pm

School holidays

You can work a maximum of 35 hours a week.

This is broken down as:

  • No more than 8 hours during the week and on Saturdays
  • Up to 2 hours on a Sunday

You won’t be able to:

  • Work without a break of at least 2 weeks a year
  • Work before 7am or after 7pm

Whether it’s term time or in the holidays, you must also have a one hour break (minimum) any time you work four hours or more.

 

How much will I get paid?

15-year-olds aren’t entitled to national minimum wage, meaning what you’ll get paid will vary dependent on your employer and the work you do.

However, you’ll usually be required to state your salary expectations when applying for a job, and asking for minimum wage (currently £4.20 for under 18s) or above is the best way to ensure you’re being paid fairly.

Bottom line: if you don’t feel like you’re being offered enough for the job you’ll be doing – say so.

 

What job can I do?

Working as a 15-year-old might mean the amount of jobs available are limited, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything you can do.

Here are a few areas of work you could consider:

  • Modelling – there’s no set age limit for aspiring models, but you will need a photo portfolio, a good agency, and an interest in the modelling industry.
  • Retail or waitressing – although you might not be able to do certain tasks (due to health and safety reasons), many local businesses, mainly independent shops and cafes are happy to take on 15-year-olds to help out with general duties.
  • Paper round – a paper round is a great way to earn money in a role that works around your school timetable – either in the mornings or after school. Asking at your local newsagents is an easy way to get started.
  • Babysitting – starting out babysitting relatives or family friends is the best way to get your foot in the door if you’re interested in babysitting.
  • Dog walking – look locally for dog walking opportunities, and ask around to see if anyone you know needs a dog walker – whether it’s routine work or a one-off (e.g. the owner is on holiday). You could also contact a dog walking business to see if they’d be willing to hire you.
  • Kitchen porter – since many front-of-house roles require workers to be 16 and up, kitchen porter jobs are often offered to 15-year-olds. You’d assist with the overall cleaning of the kitchen, including washing and drying dishes.
  • Blogging – creating your own blog is a great way to make a tangible example of your skills, especially if you’re interested in pursuing a career in writing. If your blog becomes popular, you’ll be able to gain revenue from reviewing products and showing adverts on your site.

What job would suit me?

 

Top tips

Landing the job you want often involves making your skills known to recruiters – making it absolutely vital to put the effort in when it comes to your application.

Here are a few tips to remember when looking for your first job:

  • Look for a job that suits your skills and experience
  • Tailor your CV and cover letter to every role
  • Make sure your cover letter emphasises how you could help the organisation
  • Use any experience to your advantage (e.g. voluntary work), as well as relevant hobbies
  • Learn how to prepare for an interview

How to prepare for an interview

Free CV template

Free cover letter template

 

Final thoughts

Job hunting isn’t always easy – especially if you don’t have much practical work experience.

But that doesn’t mean you should be discouraged if you don’t get the role you want straight away. Instead of letting rejection stall your job search, use what you’ve learnt to improve your CV, cover letter, and interview technique.

Remember to place an emphasis on your skills, enthusiasm, and eagerness to learn – and thoroughly research the role, duties, and company, and you’ll make a positive impression.

Finally, if you think a lack of experience might be holding you back, consider doing an unpaid work placement or a volunteering position to boost your CV and help you stand out to recruiters.

How to deal with interview rejection

What to do after a job interview

 

*All information was correct at time of writing. Please visit https://www.gov.uk/child-employment for more details.

 

Turning 16 soon? Here’s everything you need to know about jobs for 16-year-olds

 

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