Summer jobs

Summer may be months away, but for teens and others hoping to find jobs, it's time to start looking now. (Photo by Chicago Tribune/John Kringas)

Summer may be months away, but for teens hoping to find jobs, the time to start looking is now.

Seasonal employers are seeing a larger influx of applicants this year, especially from laid-off workers who are overqualified but willing to take entry-level positions.

That said, there are jobs out there, say career experts. Here are some suggestions on where to look:

Amusement parks

U.S. theme parks will hire close to 500,000 employees for the summer, according to David Mandt, spokesman for the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions. That's about the same number as last year, but there has been a dramatic increase in the number of applications, particularly from older workers.

Mandt advises students to be flexible and consider opportunities in less visible departments, such as merchandise, the call center and landscaping and security. He said job seekers need to be friendly and outgoing.

Find opportunities at the parks' Web sites.

Baby sitters

The demand for part-time baby sitters will probably increase this summer because parents are cutting back on full-time caregivers and summer camps, says Genevieve Thiers, CEO of, which connects parents and caregivers.

Thiers said baby sitters should have experience working with children, good references and a clean record.

"If you drive that's good too. If you do other things like light housework, dog sitting, cooking, that will definitely get you a little more attention," she said.

She recommends that teens find ways to safely display their baby-sitting information, either via online communities, free posting sites, or baby-sitting chat boards, and include information about their skills and experience.

Golf caddies

Golf is holding strong even with the bad economy, says Dennis Cone, founder and CEO of the Professional Caddies Association.

"The baby boomers are now starting to play and they said, 'We want to walk,"' he said. "So I see a bigger future for the caddie comeback ... as long as the resorts can attract folks with great deals."

Danny Cline, general manager and chief operating officer for Gaillardia Country Club in Oklahoma City, Okla., said his club is looking for caddies and people to work in the golf shop, maintain the grounds and organize tournaments and events.

Check out to find out more.


There is more competition for camp counseling positions this summer, say camp directors.