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What's the Ideal Age to Get a Job? Why?


Mad haters lmao
May 26, 2010
Hylian Champion
This is an opinionated thread but what the hey, let's do it.

About two years ago when I was 15, I made a thread on ZD asking something like the best places to work at 15. I'm 17 years old (birthday two months ago) and I've had a job at the airport over the summer (16 years old).

I was wondering though, in you guys' opinion, what is the ideal age to get ajob? When should someone boy or girl start working? Why?


Dec 3, 2008
I'd say that 15 - 16 is probably the ideal age to get a job. In my case, I have a rather unhealthy obsession with money, so I take literally whatever work I can get. My money obsession can be saved for another thread, but I'm currently 15 now and it seems like an excellent time to get a job. Really, it depends on what the job is though. Obviously 15 isn't a good age to start working at a liquor store or anything, but it is totally fine for working at a grocery store, department store, fast food place, ect.

I think that it's better that a child gets a job earlier, because they need to learn about being self-dependent. It's probably just me, but I hate it when my parents buy things for me, cook for me, ect. I try to be as independent as I can because I know that's how I'm going to be living most of my life. Teenagers who just get spoonfed everything they want need to learn sometime.


If I was a wizard this wouldn't be happening to me
Forum Volunteer
May 20, 2012
Sub-Orbital Trajectory
Whenever you have a chance. Im 17 but I hav 7 periods, 3 AP classes, and a semi-mandatory Robotics Club. Maybe this summer...

Varies person to person.


birb overlord
Sep 16, 2011
In my opinion, 16 is the best age to get a job. That's about the age when most teens start driving, so you'd need to pay for gas and insurance. Plus, it'd also be a good way to get a grip of reality. My dad wants me to get a job next year, and I'm all for it. I'll have to work a lot harder to get both work and school stuff done, but I think it'll teach me responsibility. Also, getting a job somewhat early would give you more time to save up for important things like college. That way you wouldn't have to work two jobs during college like my brother who is constantly having to cram study; he never has enough time.


Jul 1, 2012
Hmmm am in college atm.....btw for you Americans college is not the same over here :P as we go to college 2 years after we finish school at 16 and then go to university

Anyway I've been trying to get a job on the side of my studies but it's so hard to get one I've been rejected time and time again :( but personally I think it's best to get a job early and get some work experience to help you in later life but if your still in school or if your in England like me 'college' then it may effect your studies so it depends...
I've never been fond of minimum wage jobs at the entry level unless they don't require much effort like working as a cashier taking orders. A few petty jobs along those lines have come my way but I'm not dedicated or inclined to continue after awhile. Abi raises a good point about jobs around the age of 16 paying for car insurance, gasoline, etc. but regarding larger expenses like college, low paying jobs for teenagers rarely leave a dent in the tens of thousands of dollars required for those expenses.

When I'm in college I doubt I'm going to work at all since I'm considering medical school and the rigors of that study will leave me exhausted throughout the year and seeking respite during breaks. At least the reward is a profession I desire-one I know is well paid and I will enjoy.


Apr 22, 2011
I'd say mid teens, that's when you probably need a little more money than your parents are willing to give you and it's also great for getting experience of working and will most likely give you experience of being self-dependent by encouraging you to do more stuff on your own. Working is a great way of seeing what things you are capable of and testing your limits so you won't have to rely on your parents for everything, the sooner the better I guess.


Man... the ****???
Oct 25, 2012
F***ing LaLa Land!!!
I had my first job at 15 and worked every day of my life till Aug of 2011 when I had to quit my job because of my husbands work schedule and it not being worth it to have 2 kids in daycare. I pick up odd jobs here and there like changing alternators and whatnot, but I dont want to go back to waiting on tables ever again.


The Sexy One
Aug 18, 2012
In your pants.
I think getting a job as early as possible is great, because it prepares you for the future. Also, it's always nice to have a little extra cash when you're a teen.


Staff member
ZD Legend
Here the legal minimum age for most jobs is 14. I think that as long as the job seeker is mature and ready for a job at that age they should go for it. I started my first job at McDonalds when I was 14, now I am 17 and been there for over 2 1/2 years. I still enjoy my job and am pleased that I started when I did as it allowed me to get a promotion by the time I was 15, now I am ahead of people at my school that are older than myself and work there too. Now after the 2 1/2 years I'm a Crew Trainer and the Saftey Team Chairperson.


What a fearsome beast!!
Dec 19, 2011
Oklahoma city, OK
I'd say around high school time that way you have some experience with working before you get to college.. that way you might be able to find something better and you already know how to behave in the work place.


BoDoc Horseman
Nov 24, 2012
I feel that people should have a job at least by 16. 14 and 15 are good ages to start, but by 16 one should be able to drive and get to their workplace much easier.


default setting: sarcastic prick
Dec 17, 2012
My first job was at a computer store owned by a friend of my mom's. I was interested in a career in that field at that point and working there provided some valuable insight into the industry. I started working at the local grocery store at 16 and shifted to more education-related jobs at 18.

Kids should get a job by their sophomore year of high school unless there are some other circumstances in play that would cause the job to interfere with academics. I know I learned a lot about managing my money and time, as well as how taxes work. In the end, I was also a better employee when I got my first "real" job (the one I went to college to train for) because I had simple experience with working for someone else and the expectations that go with that.

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