The summer's best jobs

Looking for a summer position?

Ann Hermes | The Christian Science Monitor | Getty Images

For many, summer is less about lounging by the pool and more about picking up a part-time gig. This year, there are plenty of employment opportunities for those on the hunt.

Certain fields are summer staples. For example, as travel picks up in the summer months, so do the opportunities in the hospitality industry, according to a CareerCast report on summer hiring based on data from the BLS Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary, or JOLTS.

Others are emerging thanks to a rebound in the housing industry that has boosted the number of opportunities in maintenance and upkeep, both on the interior and exterior of homes.

As first jobs or side jobs, all of these positions are currently available and most do not require formal education, but in return, the median wages per hour are comparatively low.

"There are very few summer jobs that pay very much," said Anthony Carnevale, the director of Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce, "but they do provide employability skills: Show up on time, dress right, act right, be a team player."

"If you need to work, and most people do, the minimal value of these jobs is that they get you some money. The real benefit is that those kinds of experiences encourage conscientiousness," he added.

Click ahead for CareerCast's top eight summer jobs.

— By CNBC's Jessica Dickler
Posted 23 June 2016


Taketan | Getty Images

Median Wage Per Hour: $9.39

Bartending is an ideal summer job for someone seeking extra income, thanks to the job's typical off-hours scheduling, noted Kyle Kensing, online content editor at CareerCast. Although the median wage is low, this is a gratuity-based gig and there is the opportunity to make a great deal more at a popular summer spot.

Another big perk: "It's where you will find the highest concentrations of young people in the summer — that's why young people are attracted to it. Working with the adults is never as much fun," Carnevale said.

Child care worker

Jupiterimages | Getty Images

Median Wage Per Hour: $9.77

Many working parents need child care during the day while kids are on summer vacation. As a result, organizations like the Boys and Girls Club, YMCA and summer camps staff up significantly this time of year.

From the last day of school until the week after Labor Day, there is demand for temporary workers to fill these jobs all summer long, Kensing said.


Getty Images

Median Wage Per Hour: $10.60

As the retail economy continues to improve, consumers are shopping more. That means more jobs are available, particularly in the summer months, which is one of the industry's strongest seasons. Not all of these gigs are in brick-and-mortar stores, however. Many new positions have popped up to assist growing e-commerce businesses.

"Many opportunities are now available in support positions meeting the demand for online sales," Kensing said.

Hotel clerk

Nicolas McComber | Getty Images

Median Wage Per Hour: $10.87

Every year there are summertime opportunities in industries largely focused on hospitality, including hotels, parks and recreation programs.

For those with an interest in a career in hotel management, snagging an entry-level position at the front desk or assisting with bags can be a good first step into a higher level position in the industry, Kensing said.

Hand laborer

Mark Elias | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Median Wage Per Hour: $11.58

Also tied to improved retail sales are opportunities handling the inventory in a warehouse. Although this job requires a lot of physical labor lifting heavy boxes, it pays well for a summer gig.

Some employers might require a certification, particularly if you are operating machinery. But in that case, those certified to operate a forklift, for example, can command an even higher wage, Kensing said.


Victor J. Blue | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Median Wage Per Hour: $12.03

, prospective sellers need to invest in upkeep, both on the interior and exterior of their homes. That means jobs for landscapers while the weather is nice enough to work outdoors.

Opportunities abound for those in this field as fewer homeowners take the do-it-yourself approach, Carnevale said.

Delivery driver

Sean Murphy | Getty Images

Median Wage Per Hour: $13.34

Thanks in part to retailers like Amazon boosting its delivery service to seven days a week, being a delivery driver is a part-time position that is booming year-round.

Painting and maintenance

Stefan Berg | Getty Images

Median Wage Per Hour: $17.59

Homeowners are expected to spend nearly $325 billion on remodeling and repairs this year, according to Harvard's Joint Center for Housing Studies.

"In the housing industry, that market has been recovering first," Carnevale said. As a result, "there is job growth in the whole home improvement industry," he said, particularly in the summer when the workload goes up enormously and contractors have to add labor to meet the demand for home renovations and upgrades.