The 5 Worst Jobs For Teenagers

With summer here, schools are now on hiatus for vacation in most places around the country and teenagers are scurrying to find temporary jobs to earn some extra money. With that in mind, some parents may be interested to know that the National Consumers League (NCL) has once again selected their Five Worst Teen Jobs that teenagers are advised to avoid at all possible costs.

With the help of the Child Labor Coalition, the League bases its rankings on government statistics, reports from state labor officials and news accounts of injuries and deaths.

Parents living in the heartland of America may be particularly interested to know that an agriculture job tops the list for the third consecutive year.

According to the League, here are the Five Worst Teen Jobs:

5. Landscaping, grounds keeping and lawn service

4. Door-to-door sales

3. Driving forklifts, tractors and ATVs

2. Construction, especially at heights

1. Crop harvesting

Just how dangerous are these jobs? Well, according to the NCL:

… (in the US) a worker under 18 dies every ten days. In 2006, there were an estimated 52,600 work-related injuries and illnesses among youth 15 to 17 years of age requiring treatment in hospital emergency departments — that’s a hospital visit every 10 minutes for a teen worker.

By the way, the League also took the liberty of including a “Bonus Worst Teen Job” this year. Their dubious selection for this category was “working in illegal meatpacking plants.” Call me crazy, but doesn’t this selection fall squarely into the duh! category?

Of course, this got me to thinking. I would be doing my readers a disservice if I failed to include several other “Bonus Worst Teen Jobs” of my own (obvious as they may be) that I believe the NCL has egregiously managed to overlook.

And so, parents, it is probably best if your teens also stay away from these extremely dangerous summer jobs as well:

– Tornado Storm Chaser Intern

– Police Explorer Cadet: Bomb Squad Division

– Apprentice line-cook for Chef Gordon Ramsey

I’m sure I’m overlooking a few others. Let me know if you think of anything else.

In the meantime continue to encourage your kids to look for a summer job. Just make sure they stay away from the local meatpacking plant.

If you liked this article, please be sure to subscribe to my RSS feed!


  1. 1

    Wheezer says

    Forklifts okay. Working at a construction site on a tall building seems a bit dangerous too. But mowing lawns and picking strawberries? Crop dusting maybe. But not crop harvesting.

    To me, working with Ramsey seems like the most dangerous job of them of all! :-)

  2. 2



    Ramsey definitely is the worst job of the bunch! Woe to the sous chef that has trouble properly cooking a trout. lol

    That guy just cracks me up: “Shut it down, you donkeys!” :-)


  3. 4


    Lol @ Gordon Ramsey apprentice line chef.

    What’s so bad about a landscaping job? I did that as my first summer job and was a lot of fun. McDonalds was much more dangerous.

  4. 5

    Olivia says

    Ah Man. You’re destroying my ammunition. I told my 15 year old if he doesn’t get a “real job” this summer, (he complained all last summer of “being bored”), we know of a couple of people who need their grounds done.

  5. 6

    TOM says

    Funny, I did almost all of those things when I was in High School and I survived.

    I had my own house painting business during the summer and one winter I worked at the local lumber yard doing clean up around the yard driving a fork lift.

    one winter I worked at a glass warehouse making deliveries and moving 4000 lbs crates of glass around. Now days you couldn’t get away with letting a 16 year old do those kinds of jobs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *