Best Jobs For 18 Year Olds With No Experience
We know as well as you do, it’s hard to land a great job without tons of experience. You need a job to gain experience, but you need experience to be offered a job.
It’s a conundrum.
Take heart, there are plenty of jobs out there if you have attributes other than years of experience. These include creativity, reliability, an excellent work ethic and the motivation to hustle.
If you have a high school diploma but have opted not to pursue college right now, there are career paths for you to embark on right away.
Here are some suggestions:
In today’s job market, you will have your pick of retail stores to choose from for an entry level job.
Find something that’s involved with your own personal interests, like a sporting store, make-up shop or gourmet foods boutique. If you’re learning more about something you already are familiar with, you are constantly growing your knowledge base and skills.
There are plenty of ways to move up in retail sales. Maybe you start part-time and work your way into full-time. Or start as an associate and get promoted to a leadership role. Most retail outlet offer discounts on their products, which is another reason this is a smart choice as a starting point for your career.
You can join the military reserves full or part-time. All you need is a high school diploma, be age 17 to 39, a US citizen, and in good health. Military reserves are for people who are not being sent directly into combat, but are instead ready, trained and available when unforeseen circumstances arise.
Most branches of the military will send you to basic training in Texas for 8 weeks.
Then, you will have the opportunity to go to technical training for your chosen career. While doing this, you can even earn college credits towards your degree. There’s a very long list of specialties once you are in the reserve.
In the Air Force, there’s aircraft maintenance, fuel specialist, radio frequency transmission, lab work and cyber security, just to name a few. In the Army, you can be trained in communications, mechanics, construction, transportation, administrative support and a long list of other specialties.
Each state sets its own requirements, but in general, you will need to volunteer for at least six months before applying for a paid position.
You will need to be 18 years old (although limited on-the-job training can start at an earlier age), have a high school diploma and a clean background check. The best way to learn more about this potential career is to go to your local firehouse and talk to the firefighters themselves to see how they got started.
4. Uber Driver
Uber, as we are sure you know, is a private driving service that’s putting cabs out of business. Gigs like Uber and Lyft can be extremely lucrative, and you set your own hours. Maybe you want to work days transporting commuters to and from work. Or weekends driving people to get groceries. Or Saturday nights shuttling couples to and from fancy restaurants.
To become an Uber driver, you need to be 18 years or older, have a valid driver’s license with no violations, and proof of auto insurance. Your vehicle must also be ten years old or less. Uber will also run a background check on you to make sure you’re reliable and safe. Getting approved as a driver can take as little as a few days.
Other than that, you will need to keep your car and hatchback clean and available for luggage if needed, be presentable, and perhaps offer little extras like water bottles during summer months or phone chargers in the back seat.
You’ll also be required to stay within posted speed limits. The app will indicate when you’re pushing the limit by flashing a red warning light. You are given a few seconds to slow down, but in general you want to keep your MPH down.
You can also choose the area where you want to drive. Consider driving your car near airports or train stations, or busy downtowns with lots of shoppers. The app will automatically offer more riders near the area you are located, so there’s not a lot of wasted time driving aimlessly around.
It helps to be friendly and personable, although there will be riders who plug in earbuds and completely ignore you. Each rider has the opportunity to tip, and even nominal amounts add up. You can cash out your earnings anytime during the day or night.
5. Automotive Tech
If you have an interest or any experience working on your own vehicle, this may be the job for you.
Auto detailing is working on vehicles doing tasks including deep cleaning, disinfecting, carpet and upholstery shampoo, polish, wax and any other specialty services. For this job, you will need to be available for different work shifts, be a hard worker, and be meticulous in your work. Along with your base rate of pay, you can earn tips for excellent work!
Auto mechanics frequently are offered on-the-job training.
You will also need to be flexible in your work schedule and be highly motivated. After your initial training time, you may choose a specialty such as transmissions, brakes, or body repair. Some people pursue an associate’s degree in industrial maintenance in the hours they are not working.
This is fantastic career to learn on-the-job AND work outside!
Landscapers work on gardens and lawns, making sure grounds are well-maintained at parks, golf courses, private homes, college campuses and office buildings. You will be busy planting, watering, mowing, fertilizing and weeding.
You can also study and earn certificates for other tasks, such as applying pesticides. Many people are creative and business-minded enough to launch their own landscaping business after a few years in the landscaping field.
Plumbing is a great industry to break into, as they are always in demand. Plumbers assemble, install and repair pipes and pipe systems in buildings ranging from factories and homes to schools and airports.
Plumbers typically complete an apprentice program This is a paid program which can typically last four to five years, offered by unions or businesses, which combines classroom instruction with hands-on work. You must be licensed to work independently and will often be required to continue receiving continuing education to keep that license.
While plumbing is generally a day job during the work week, emergencies can happen any time, so it's a job that can potentially involve evening and weekend work.
But remember, those Sunday emergency calls mean extra pay!
8. Home Care Aid
These are non-medical jobs that include light housekeeping, cooking the occasional meal, and engaging the client in meaningful conversation and activities.
If you enjoy talking to others, are comfortable one-on-one and like taking care of people, there are tons of job openings out there as a home care aide. People are living older than ever before, and the retired population is ballooning in size. Many of these retirees are still able to take care of themselves, but they just need a little help with the household tasks.
Many home care aids simply do things like laundry, cooking, opening cans and taking out the garbage.
If you’re a jack of all trades and have always been a Mr./Ms. Fix-it, this could be an excellent choice for you.
Everyone is looking for someone handy for chores large and small ranging from assembling furniture to painting interior walls. You will need to make yourself available to work a flexible schedule, but you can set your own rates and will often earn tips.
If you know your way around a toolbox, reach out to a few contractors in your area. They may be willing to take you on based on your handiness and work ethic!
10. Property Manager
Property managers are hired by real estate owners to do a list of tasks they don’t have time to do. As a property manager, you could screen potential tenants, run credit checks, show the site to potential renters, collect the rent and enforce late payment fees.
Be prepared, you will also be the go-to person for tenants to call with emergency problems, from a clogged sink to a garage door opener that isn’t, well, opening.
You will not be required to make these repairs yourself. But it will be up to you to contact plumbers, electricians, roofers, handymen and just about anyone else that can take care of problems even if it is 3 a.m. In other words, the landlord will be able to sleep at night, but you aren’t guaranteed the same luxury.
In this field, you can manage several properties at one time to work full-time hours.
11. Dog Walker
You would be amazed at the number of working people looking for a dog walker. No one wants to leave Fido in a crate for 8 hours a day.
Clearly, the pre-requisite for this job is a love of animals. We have personally witnessed single people walking as many as 6 dogs at one time. Some owners will ask you to spend some recreational time with their fur baby, but that just means tossing around a ball or some squeak toys.
You can set your own rate! But you will need to provide references to potential clients. These can be teachers, parents of friends, church members or neighbors.
Give some thought to a subject at which you excelled in high school. Maybe it’s essay writing, or perhaps you studied Spanish.
Parents are always looking for tutors, and much of the work can be done online, which makes this a great work-at-home job!
You will need references (teachers are great for this) and a winning personality for this job. You will also need to work flexible hours, most likely nights and weekends.
Once you’ve established yourself as a successful tutor, ask your clients to recommend you to friends and family.
13. Postal Worker
There are so many career paths with the USPS. You can be a rural or city carrier, a mail handler or a mail processor.
Many city and rural carriers started out as carrier associates, which can be a full-time or part-time position.
Mail handlers are responsible for loading and unloading postal items in the post office both before and after mail is processed and sorted.
These are jobs that require the most physical activity of any entry level position. Packages can be up to 70 pounds each, and carts used to move packages can weigh up to 1,500 pounds. Mail processors sort mail and packages, sometimes in a small branch, and sometimes in a very large central facility.
To excel in this job, you will need to work efficiently and accurately in a fast-paced environment, sometimes involving manual and automated processing equipment. There’s lots of room to move up with the USPS, available by taking and scoring well in exams.
Here's a tip... look for temporary positions with the post office around the holidays. They usually keep the best recruits on as full time employees after the holiday rush is over!
This is a very flexible job that lets you work alone without anyone looking over your shoulder. You also won’t be on team projects in which someone is a weak link!
Office cleaning generally involves vacuuming, dusting, emptying waste baskets, straightening furniture, and general tidying up.
You will need to be extremely reliable and meticulous in your work to keep and grow your client base. If you have several business clients, you can hire another worker, but remember, it must be someone ready to work hard, probably not your best friend.
You may also want to consider janitorial services at a school facility. In these jobs, you will have to work when school is not in session, primarily evenings and weekends. But you can blast music and reminisce about “the good old days” while you work!
You don’t need tons of experience to find a job or launch a career at the age of 18. What you DO need is a strong work ethic and follow-through. These attributes will help you in everything you take on in life, so get out there and gain them!