25 Companies That Hire High School Students

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Once you’re 16–and sometimes even younger–you can get a job at one of many places. There are dozens of companies that hire high school students.

We’ll tell you which companies will hire high schoolers, how old you have to be to work at the company and more. 

If you’re interested in earning some cash, there are several ways to make money as a teen

A number of companies employ high school students. However, note that there can be some exceptions to the lists below. 

For instance, some states have different laws than others that change the age or hours in which students under 18 can work.

Also, each franchise store may have the right to choose an age at which they hire as well, as long as they follow their state guidelines.

We’ve included average hourly pay rates, where available, as well. All pay rate information is courtesy of PayScale. Note that hourly pay rates can vary vastly based on the area of the country in which you live. 

Restaurants That Hire High School Students

Here are some national restaurants that may hire high school students. Check with your local store for details.  And if you’re looking for jobs you can work at from home, check out this post about online jobs for teens.

1. Applebee’s

Applebee’s is a national restaurant chain with over 1,300 locations. Since they do serve alcohol, many job positions there are reserved for high school students who are at least 18 years of age. 

However, some Applebee’s locations hire 16 and 17-year-olds for non-server positions such as curbside delivery and host/hostess. 

Average wage: $10.67 per hour

2. Burger King

Burger King has over 17,000 locations and hires teens aged 16 and up for team member positions. Team member tasks can encompass cashier duties, food prep, cleaning and more. 

They are also responsible for stocking and assessing inventory, quality assurance regarding orders and other responsibilities. 

Average wage: $9.10 per hour

3. Chick-fil-A

Chick-fil-A has over 2,300 restaurant locations. They hire teens aged 16 and up for “operator” positions. Operators at Chick-fil-A might take orders, prepare food, clean or perform other duties as asked. 

One great thing about Chick-fil-A is that they’re closed on Sundays. That means you’re guaranteed at least one weekend day off. 

Average wage: $10.55 per hour

4. Chipotle Mexican Grill

Chipotle Mexican Grill has over 2,500 locations and hires teens 16 and up as restaurant team members. A Chipotle restaurant team member might be asked to prepare food, to assemble meals or to work as a cashier. 

Other potential duties can include stocking responsibilities and cleaning. 

Average wage: $11.05 per hour

5. Dairy Queen

Dairy Queen has over 6,000 locations and hires starting at 16 years old. As a DQ kitchen crew member, you’ll perform a variety of tasks such as food prep, greeting customers, taking orders, stocking products, cleaning the store and more. 

Specifically, DQ is looking for team members who have a positive attitude and work together to create a fun environment. 

Average wage: $9.90 per hour

6. Domino’s Pizza

Domino’s Pizza has over 16,000 locations. Most high school students will work at Domino’s making pizzas, running the cash register, stocking items and cleaning up. 

They hire starting at 16 but if you’re 18, you can work at Domino’s Pizza as a Delivery Driver or Delivery Expert (a delivery driver with additional responsibilities).

Average wage: $9.90 per hour

7. Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC)

KFC has over 22,000 store locations. KFC will hire 16-year-olds to work as customer service team members and cooks. Note that customer service team members do handle some food prep duties. 

If you’re 18, you can apply to be a shift supervisor at KFC. See the KFC website for more information on this job position. 

Average wage: $9.37 per hour

8. McDonald’s

McDonald’s has well over 30,000 locations you could work at as young as 16. As a McDonald’s restaurant employee, you will be responsible for food cooking and preparation. You could also be asked to run the cash register, stock items, maintain equipment and clean the store. 

You’ll likely be trained in on all positions and rotated as needed on your shifts. 

Average wage: $9.78 per hour

9. Panera Bread

Panera Bread has approximately 2,000 store locations. As a 16-year-old, you can work at Panera as a Customer Service Associates. In this job, you’ll take orders from customers and (or) prepare food.

You may also be asked to clean and do other restaurant duties. If you’re 18, you can work at Panera as a baker or delivery driver. 

Average wage: $10.21 per hour 

10. Papa John’s Pizza

Papa John’s Pizza has over 5,000 store locations. If you work at Papa John’s, the company could hire you as a restaurant team member that helps with all duties at 16.

These duties can include making pizzas, taking orders, cleaning and more. Even if you apply for a cashier position, you’ll likely help make pizzas and do other duties. 

Average wage: $9.28 per hour

11. Starbucks

Starbucks has over 28,000 store locations worldwide. As a 16-year-old Starbucks employee, you’ll probably work as a Barista. 

This job includes duties such as making coffee and other drinks, working the cash register, cleaning and more. If you are 18, you could apply to be a shift supervisor. 

Average wage: $11.11 per hour

12. Subway (16)

Subway has over 40,000 restaurant locations. As a Subway employee, you’ll work as a Sandwich Artist starting at 16 years old. 

Sandwich Artist’s responsibilities include sandwich prep, ingredient prep and stock and customer service duties. There’s also a Sandwich Artist Pro job position where you’ll be responsible for helping to train new employees. 

If you’re 18, you can apply to work as a shift supervisor. 

Average wage: $9.69 per hour

13. Taco Bell

Taco Bell has over 7,000 store locations. As a Taco Bell team member, you’ll do everything from taking orders to preparing food, to resolving customer service issues.

You’ll also be responsible for stocking items such as napkins and cleaning the store.

You can start working for them as early as 16 years old.

Average wage:  $9.57 per hour

14. Wendy’s

Wendy’s has over 6,000 store locations. As a crew member at Wendy’s, you’ll prep food, take orders and help customers at 16.

You’ll also perform tasks such as stocking supplies and cleaning the restaurant. 

Average wage: $9.33 per hour

Retail Stores That Hire High School Students

There are hundreds of retail stores that are willing to hire high school students. We’re highlighting some of the top choices here.

Check out your local mall or shopping center to find more job opportunities at retail stores.

15. Walmart

Walmart has over 11,000 store locations. As a Walmart store employee, you could work “front-end” jobs like cashier, or “back-end” jobs such as helping receive inventory from delivery trucks and stocking shelves. 

You can work for Walmart if you are at least 16 years old.

Cart attendant and janitorial jobs are available as well. As an 18-year-old, you might qualify to work as a forklift operator or for other positions. 

Average wage: $13.21 per hour

16. Target Store

Target Store has over 1,800 store locations. As a 16-year-old, you can get a job in retail stores in a variety of positions. You can work as a cashier, as a stock person or you might perform other duties.

If you’re 18, you might qualify to work at a Target distribution center. The distribution centers work to get products to Target store locations. 

Average wage: $10.56 per hour for store associates

17. Best Buy

Best Buy is an electronics store that has nearly 1,000 locations. As a customer associate, you’ll be responsible for cashier duties. 

You may also be assigned to a specific area in the store to help customers throughout the store if they have questions. If you’re 18, you may qualify to work in the warehouse or operate the forklift. 

Average wage: $12.66 per hour

18. Marshalls/TJ Maxx

The same company owns the Marshalls and TJ Maxx stores, which have over 2,000 locations. When you work at these stores, you’ll probably work as a Customer Service Associate or a Merchandise Associate. 

Customer Service Associates work on the cashiers. Merchandise Associates work on the floor, ensuring shelves are neat and well-stocked. They might also assist customers.  

19. PetSmart

If you love pets, you might enjoy working at PetSmart. Petsmart has over 1,600 store locations. 

As a store associate, you will work primarily at running the cashier. You may also be asked to stock shelves or help customers throughout the store. 

Other potential duties involve caring for pets, cleaning animal cages and so on. 

Average wage: $10.80 per hour

20. Petco

Petco is a pet store with over 1,500 locations.  High schoolers as young as 16 years old can work at store locations in one of the company’s pet service roles.

As a Petco employee, you might work as a cashier, stock person or perform pet care duties. If you’re 18, you can work at the company’s distribution center. 

Average wage: $9.98 per hour

More Industries That Hire High School Students

Here are some other industries that may hire high schoolers. Check with local stores and retail establishments in these genres where you live for specific job opportunities.

21. Warehouse Club Stores

Most warehouse/wholesale club stores hire starting at age 18. This is due to the safety factors that a warehouse environment needs.

However, BJ’s Wholesale Club does hire some 16-year-olds for entry-level positions. Check with your local BJ’s for specifics regarding job positions. 

Average wage: $12.71

22. Movie Theaters

Movie theaters everywhere love hiring high school students. Your job duties working at a movie theater could involve taking or selling tickets. 

Or you might work the concession stand or clean the theaters. Bonus: you may be able to get free admission to movies, depending on the theater. 

Average wage: Varies by the movie theater company

23. Local Grocery Stores

There are thousands of grocery store chains throughout the U.S. and world. And many of them will hire high school students as young as 16 years of age. 

As a grocery store worker, you might run a cash register, stock groceries or work in the deli or bakery. You could also pull in the carts and keep them organized.

Average wage: Varies by store company

24. Amusement Parks

Many amusement parks hire high schoolers as young as 16 years old. In some cases, they’ll employ you even if you’re younger. As an amusement park worker, you might perform duties such as park clean up, rider operator, concession stand operator or other tasks.

Average wage: $9.56 per hour

25. Gyms Such as YMCA

Many gyms and clubs such as the YMCA will hire teens as young as 16 years old. Jobs you might perform when working at a gym can include operating the front desk, janitorial work or laundry duties.

Average wage: Varies by gym/fitness company


There are many different jobs you can do as a high school student. Working as a high school student can be a great way to work to graduate college without debt. And it can be a great way to save for a car or other big-ticket item teens like to have.

Plus, having extra cash from working a job will ensure you’ve always got a bit of money available for hanging out with friends.

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