Employment Trends

The top 5 summer jobs of 2019

Written by Kate Lopaze

When you think “summer,” you probably think of the long days and warm nights willed with outdoor fun—vacations, beach, campfires with s’ mores. Sure, you should revel in all the good stuff the season has to offer. But summer is also a time to think about picking up a new job, especially for students, teachers, recent grads, or anyone else who’s looking to keep busy and make some money during those dog days. Let’s look at a few options to consider as we enter the post-holiday stretch of the season.

Festival Worker

If you’re anywhere near Instagram during the summer months, you know that all the influencers seem to be congregating at various music, food, and cultural festivals. And if there’s one happening in your neck of the woods, it can be a great job opportunity. Food service, cleanup, and operations crews, marketing, and social media—these are all very necessary jobs to keep the festival vibe flowing smoothly. Plus, you get to soak up free concerts and other events, even if you won’t be in the mosh pit.

What it pays: It can vary according to the job responsibilities and location, but according to Indeed.com, the average festival worker’s salary is $12.52 per hour.

Park Employee

During the summer months, just about every park sees an influx of picnic-goers, families, birthday parties, exercisers, dog walkers, and others. Everyone wants to be outside enjoying the good weather, but like with festivals, that just means there’s a higher demand for people who keep things running without incident. If you’re outdoors-oriented and not afraid of a little sunscreen and bug spray, it can be a good summer job that keeps you out in the fresh air.

For local opportunities, check out your city or town’s Parks Department. (Leslie Knope would approve.)

What it pays: According to Glassdoor, the average seasonal park worker’s salary is $13 per hour.

Small Business Owner

If you have some time coming up over the summer, this might be your best chance to put your ideas into action and embrace your inner entrepreneur. Set up that online storefront, research becoming an LLC, start advertising for clients—whether you’re selling graphic design services or your insanely good brownies from an ancient family recipe, this summer could be the time to start your side hustle.

What it pays: This can vary widely according to expenses, field, and your product.


Studies have shown that students lose skills over the summer. To combat this, many kids get extra tutoring over the summer months or sign up for test prep tutoring to prepare them for the next school year.

English tutors are also in hot demand in other countries. If you’re able to travel abroad, English teaching and tutoring is a great way to help pay for it—but you can also tutor online or by phone, from the comfort of your own home.

If you have an area of expertise, chances are you can find tutoring opportunities. Sites like Tutor.com can help match you with students. But don’t forget good old-fashioned options like your local school district, community centers, or test prep centers as well.

What it pays: According to PayScale, the median salary for a tutor is $17.51 per hour.

Rideshare/Food Delivery Driver

With the explosion of ridesharing (Uber, Lyft, Via) and delivery (Uber Eats, Amazon Prime Now) apps, this can be a great, flexible option for a summer job. If you have a car in good working order (you’ll likely have to pass inspection) and a valid driver’s license with a solid driving record, you can hit the road as a driver. Although your gigs are at the mercy of the app, you can largely set your own schedule, so this can be a great option if you need to work around classes, family obligations, or a day job.

What it pays: According to TheStreet, rideshare drivers make an average of $15.97 per trip.

If you’re looking for seasonal work this summer, there are plenty of options outside the retail box. You can find jobs that work with your just-for-now schedule and get you out in the world making money and building skills. It’s a great chance to try new things and pay the bills at the same time.

About the author

Kate Lopaze

Kate Lopaze is a writer, editor, and digital publishing professional based in New York City. A graduate of the University of Connecticut and Emerson College with degrees in English and publishing, she is passionate about books, baseball, and pop culture (though not necessarily in that order), and lives in Brooklyn with her dog.