Teens in the Work Force

Jackie+Taylor+and+Nicki+Sottile+at+Ralph%27s+Italian+Ices

Courtesy of E. Magnuson

Jackie Taylor and Nicki Sottile at Ralph's Italian Ices

Emma Magnuson, Polls Editor

Are you a student who feels pressured to get a job? I’m here to tell you that maybe… you should wait. Nowadays, teenagers are eager to join the workforce, seeking an alternate source for money other than their parents. However, students are faced with a full schedule all throughout the year.

Students are in school all day, then are released to go home. For most students, they don’t go straight home. Instead, they may participate in a school sport or a club. Oh… and how could you forget the responsibility of homework? All of this could interfere with a regimented work schedule.

Since minors are known to have responsibilities other than working, restrictions are set for young workers. As described by labor.ny.gov, “Minors under 18 may not work more than 8 hours a day, 6 days a week. Minors 14 and 15 may not work more than 40 hours a week. 16 and 17 year-olds may not work more than 48 hours a week.”

With restrictions in place, students are able to partake working a certain amount of hours per day and per week. This allows them to maintain their status as a child while earning some spending money, without asking their parents for money all the time.

However, some might believe that fourteen years old is too young to have a job. At the age of fourteen, some students may still be in middle school. It’s extremely common for a high school student to have a job though. 

Teenagers wish to acquire a job for a myriad of reasons, some of which may include saving up for important things in the future like a car, college tuition or even a house. When asked why she got a job, junior Gizem Gurray describes how it, “wouldn’t be so bad if I pulled my own weight and got myself my own things so I started working so I could have my own money to spend.” Gizem is seventeen years old and has been working at Dunkin Donuts since she was fifteen.

A lot of teens feel this way, they believe that their parents do enough for them and that they should help out by paying for the small things. Most teens are going to go through college which obviously costs a lot of money. Having a job now can help parents pay for things in the long run.

Jobs can help teenagers get a taste of the real world and it teaches them responsibility and independence. Some parents encourage their children to find a job, believing that it will turn them into well-rounded individuals who will be hardworking in the future.

When asked what benefits would come out of working as a teenager, Mr. Ditomasso, a teacher at the highschool, describes how students should have, “their own view of what the working world is like, what it’s like to try and balance things in your life and being able to make their own money and understanding that it doesn’t all come for free.”

However, parents may disapprove of the idea of their child working. This could be for a numerous reasons. For example, some parents may fear that their child is “growing up too fast” and that not allowing them to work keeps them close and safe. Another reason may include transportation.  Some parents may not be able to provide their child with a ride. Lastly, another reason could include that parents want their child to focus on their schoolwork as opposed to making money.