May 24, 2023

Question of the Day: What is the most commonly held job for teenagers?

In what role can you find most teens earning that oh-so valuable paycheck?

Answer: Food preparation and serving

A line cook in a restaurant looking at meal tickets telling him what to prepare.


  • What are some factors that contribute to the popularity of restaurant jobs for teens?
  • How do summer jobs for teenagers impact their overall skill development and future career prospects?
  • How does the geographical location of an individual influence the availability and types of summer jobs available to them?
  • What are some benefits and drawbacks of teenagers working summer jobs?


Here are the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the Day that you can use in your classroom.


Behind the numbers (Zippia):

"In 2020, food preparation and serving-related occupations were the most commonly held jobs by high school workers, with 1.231 million holding positions in this category.

More specifically, 268,000 teens between the ages of 16 and 19 were employed as cooks, 262,000 as fast food and counter workers, 259 as waiters and waitresses, and 180,000 as food preparation workers. (There are other jobs held by teenagers that fall under this category as well, but these are the most common ones.)"


NGPF's Career unit will get your students thinking about the roles and responsibilities that will help them in their future!


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About the Author

Ryan Wood

Ryan grew up with and maintains a love for learning. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay with a degree in Business Administration and worked in sports marketing for a number of years. After living in Texas, Colorado, Tennessee, and Minnesota, the call of education eventually brought Ryan back to his home state of Wisconsin where he was a Business and Marketing teacher for three years. In his free time he likes to spend time with his wife and daughter, play basketball, read, and go fishing. Now with NGPF, Ryan is excited to help teachers lead the most important course their students will ever take.

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