Should high school students have jobs?

Simon Hodge, Reporter

When many high school students turn 16, finding a job is the first thing on their mind. This could be because of eager parents, the social aspect or for the money that jobs provide. There are numerous reasons why students choose certain jobs, but the most common reason is because it is in the same field as the career they would like to pursue, the job’s starting wage or how flexible a job is.

Before a student gets hired completely, many jobs hold training seminars and workshops in order to prepare students for the job at hand. For high school jobs this training typically only lasts a day or two, though for some jobs it can be over a week.

“You do have to have training but they were nice enough to do the training with me. We do on hand training in order to be an assistant [and] I had the assistants who were already there train me. They would have me assist so I would know how to do [it] myself instead of going somewhere else to learn,” senior Jordyn Regier said.

Some students try to find a job that fits their interests, this route could offer them not just money but also experience. Gaining experience from a high school job could possibly jumpstart a career in a given field.

“I work at Great Plains Pet Hospital. I chose to work at a veterinary clinic because it is my field of interest. I am planning on becoming a Veterinary Technician so this job was a good way for me to get my foot in the door and get a good head start in my practice,” Regier said.

Sometimes students may start a job search by asking around to find the job with the highest wage, then sending their application to the few that pay the highest. Making sure your priorities are in mind while searching for jobs is a good skill to learn for the workforce later in life.

“I work at Walmart and I chose to work there because I just turned 16, that’s the minimum age requirement and it pays well. When I started it was $11 [an hour], now it’s $13 [an hour],” senior Jamie Gonzalez said.

High school can be a busy time with sports, extracurricular activities and homework. Some students can even find themself in the position where they have to choose between work and school. Typically, students who participate in multiple activities prioritize finding a job with flexible hours.

“The managers in my department are chill about if you need flexible hours, you can just talk to them and they’ll work something out, and if you can’t work the day you can swap shifts with someone or just call in and it’s usually fine,” Gonzalez said.

While earning an income is a very eye appealing aspect of obtaining a job, there are some drawbacks. A main drawback may be the possibility for interference with schoolwork and free time. When choosing a job, it is important to know your limits and openly present your possible conflicts with your employer in order to ensure your performance is optimal in both your school and work lives. 

“Sometimes my job [interferes with school], if we have a really busy week where we have a lot of clients who call in or come in randomly then there are times when it can interfere with my school work,” Regier said.