Just because you are 18 years old does not mean you can’t get a high-paying job. With the right skill set and proper work ethic, finding a high-paying job may be easier than you think.
The great thing about being 18 years old is that you can set yourself up for a very lucrative life by making the right choices at a young age. Sometimes you may have to broaden your mindset a bit when choosing a job, but there are high-paying careers for 18 years old across most major industries.
We have gathered 22 of the highest paying jobs for an 18 years old to get you started in your journey.
What Kind Of Jobs Can 18-Years-Olds Get?
Eighteen-year-olds are eligible for a wide range of jobs. There are options out there from clerical work to labor to part-time work for college students.
For 18-year-olds that are having trouble finding positions in their general area or town. It may make sense to look for jobs online. There are many reliable online job websites and boards that will help an 18-year-old find a great job.
Where Do I Look For The Best Jobs For 18-Year-Olds?
Typically speaking, an 18-year-old does not have an extensive resume. This can make the search for a great job a bit more difficult. If you are still in high school, career counselors will help guide you and introduce you to the right people.
As always you should use your personal network as well. If your best friend’s parent owns a company, see if they have any openings. It is always easier to get jobs from people you know as opposed to people that have no idea who you are.
High Paying Jobs for 18-Year-Olds
Just because you're 18 doesn't mean you have to settle for minimum wage. There are plenty of high-paying jobs out there for people your age. If you're looking to start your career on the right foot, here are a few places to look:
The first place to look is the internet. There are a ton of job boards and websites that focus specifically on high-paying jobs for 18-year-olds. Just do a quick search and you'll find tons of results like the ones listed below.
Depending on what state you live in, a casino gaming manager is an interesting and viable career choice for an 18-year-old. The great thing about this job is that there will likely be room to move up and career advancement over time. With the number of casinos worldwide, this is an industry that will allow you to find a job at a relatively fast pace.
- Average Salary: $83,000/year
- Age requirements vary by state
2. Trade School
With more and more people moving towards careers in IT and technology, there are fewer young people available for the trades. This has created a shortage in quality workers and an increase in what trade workers can make.
Starting out as an electrician or a plumber at a young age can lead to potential business ownership or managing a larger company. Many financial experts are recommending that young people take up a trade as it will be a very safe long-term career choice.
- Average Pay: $12-15/h (6 months), $20/h+ (12 months)
3. Web Designer
If you have always felt qualified when it comes to computers, a web designer is an excellent choice for a high-paying career. You will likely have to spend some of your first projects taking a slightly lower salary. Some businesses hire freelancers as young as 15 for web design.
When you gain a reputation, you can start charging a higher hourly rate and building a name for yourself as a professional and high-quality web designer. With today’s modern software and technology, web design is becoming a bit easier to learn.
- Average Pay: $15/h-30/h
4. Administrative Assistant
The unique thing about becoming an administrative assistant is that it can lead to a variety of careers. Be very careful of the type of administrative assistant position you choose. You may be able to find something that leads to a full career with training and schooling included.
Administrative assistants sometimes have virtual jobs; others have jobs with a physical location. An administrative assistant’s tasks will vary from day to day, making it a unique and fun opportunity.
- Average Pay: $14-20/h
5. Delivery Driver
Delivery driver jobs are becoming more popular. If you have a clean driver’s license and you know your way around your town, these jobs are a great option. Most of the time, you can pick up extra shifts when wanted and do some of your own shopping along the way.
The delivery drivers typically make tip money which will help to increase the overall pay offered with this job. There are both local and national delivery-type jobs that are available for 18 year olds.
- Average Pay: $15-17/h
A receptionist is a person that will handle incoming calls from customers or customers that are coming to a physical location. The receptionist is an important person and is the face of the company.
If a receptionist handles the customer in the right way, they are likely to become repeat customers. Receptionist jobs are an excellent option for an 18-year-old because this position can potentially grow to take on a larger role at the company.
If it never grows and expands it can still lead to a long-term career that likely includes benefits as well.
- Average Pay: $13-15/h
7. Retail Sales Associate
One of the highest paying jobs for 18-year-olds is working at a retail store. First, jobs in management and assistant management positions typically pay more than entry-level jobs.
Secondly, jobs at specialty stores or high-end retail stores tend to pay more than jobs at general merchandise stores.
Finally, jobs that require specialized skills or knowledge, such as working in a jewelry store or a store that sells electronic equipment, often pay more than general retail jobs. With these factors in mind, here are a few specific retail job titles that offer high pay for 18-year-olds:
- Manager or Assistant Manager: These positions typically start at around $30,000 per year, with the potential to earn significantly more depending on the store's size and sales volume.
- Sales Associate at a Specialty Store: Jobs at stores like Saks Fifth Avenue or Neiman Marcus can pay up to $14 per hour, making them some of the highest-paying retail jobs available.
- Jewelry Sales Associate: Many jewelry stores base their pay structure on commission, so earnings can vary significantly. However, top earners can make upwards of $30,000 per year.
Getting into a government job at a young age has some really great benefits. The government retirement and health care plans are going to be better than most of the private companies out there.
After putting in a certain number of years, you will be eligible for retirement or even a career change that still allows you to keep that pension.
8. Mail Carrier
Mail carriers have very solid careers, and they enjoy the benefits that come along with the job. As a mail carrier, you may be working in a truck or walking, depending on the neighborhood that you live in.
You get to spend most of the day on your own, not bothered by coworkers or workplace drama. This is a very good job for an 18-year-old that wants to complete a task and enjoy their days off from work.
If you happen to do any type of overtime as a mail career, you can guarantee that you will be paid for it properly.
- Average Pay: $17.43/h
If you are 18 years old and don’t have the experience, you are not alone. Most companies hiring young people assume that there will be a learning curve with some training involved. The training can be a good thing and will help you learn which career path may be best long term.
Do you have an artistic ability? When it comes to product design, the possibilities are endless. Sometimes companies will not care about your previous work history if you can show that you have some skills when it comes to visualization and design work. Designing products can become a very lucrative career.
10. Work as a Tutor
Were you particularly good at something in high school? Whether it was math, English science, or a foreign language, chances are there are people that could use your direction.
Tutoring is paid at a very high hourly rate. In fact, many people leave careers in teaching to try and make it as a tutor because of the high hourly rate.
The only issue with becoming a personal tutor is it takes time to build up a reputation. Instead, it may make sense to start with a local company and grow your resume for a bit as you are tutoring. You can also find the different subjects that you find to be interesting and easier to teach.
11. Review Calls
Call centers and large corporations have lots of incoming and outgoing calls. To ensure that the employees are doing the best possible job, the calls need to be reviewed. As an 18-year-old you can listen to these conversations and help provide feedback to those that are making the calls.
When you review calls, you will be learning a great deal about both sales and customer service. This can help to lead to management-type positions after years of doing this type of work.
Selling your belongings on eBay can bring you some great profit. Of course, you will eventually run out of things to sell and be forced to turn this into a bit more of a business. Start by letting friends and family know that anything that they want to get rid of, you will take!
Try to choose a niche as you will be more successful when you can learn the pricing that sells and the items that are going to be best sellers. Many people find that selling on several websites in addition to eBay is what helps to make this job the most profitable.
13. Virtual Assistant
Virtual assistant jobs are becoming increasingly popular, and there are many opportunities for 18-year-olds to get involved. Virtual assistants provide administrative support to clients from a remote location, and the work can be done entirely online.
This makes virtual assistant jobs perfect for young adults who want to work independently and flexibly. Furthermore, virtual assistant jobs can be very well-paid, with some of the highest paying jobs going to those who have experience and specialist skills.
If you're an 18-year-old looking for a challenging and rewarding job, then a virtual assistant role could be perfect for you.
Jobs for 18-Year-Olds with a High School Diploma
If you have a high school diploma but are not ready to take on the college task at the moment, there are still high-paying jobs out there. Here are some of the best for an 18-year-old with a high school diploma.
A pharmacy technician is going to help a pharmacist keep customers happy and keep their regulations and requirements in check. The pharmacy tech position is an interesting one, and it may spark an interest in a career as a pharmacist.
There is some training involved with being a pharmacy technician, but this will be the start of a very good career opportunity.
- Average Pay: $12-22/h
People as young as 18 can get a career as a police dispatcher. This position is going to be similar to the government-type position in the long term; it could end up being a very smart choice. You will end up gaining some ground towards your retirement, and at the same time, the job itself tends to be quite interesting.
The job of a police dispatcher may make you consider getting more involved in the police force. Depending on your location, jobs as police officers are highly profitable.
- Average Pay: $29.81/h
16. Care Giver
With the baby boomers starting to age and face some unfortunate health issues, there is a greater need for caregivers. Caregivers can range from someone who is a companion or does basic grocery shopping to overnight help for those that are terminally ill.
The great thing about being a caregiver is that you can be honest about your skill level and how you think you can help. If a company needs your services, they will certainly take you on. If you need more training, that is typically a viable option as well.
- Average Pay: $11-13/h
Landscaping business owners are always looking for qualified help. If you have some basic labor skills, chances are you can be trained to handle landscaping.
The great thing about landscaping jobs is that there is usually quite a bit of overtime, and there is no shortage of companies to work for. The more time you spend learning and adapting, the greater chance you have of becoming a foreman.
When you become a landscape foreman, you can expect to see those hourly rates increase considerably. In addition, landscaping companies are always looking for people that have valid driver’s licenses. Driving the crew around is an important task, and it can be hard to find great drivers.
- Average Pay: $12-18/h
18. Freelance Writer
While most high-paying jobs may require some experience, there are still many opportunities for beginners. To start, try looking for freelance writer jobs that relate to your passions or interests.
For example, if you love to travel, consider pitching a travel blog or website. Once you have a few writing samples to show potential clients, you can start applying for higher-paid gigs.
Another way to find high-paying jobs is to search for jobs that require a specific skill set. For instance, many businesses are willing to pay more for content that is optimized for search engines or written in a certain style guide.
If you have any specialized skills or knowledge, be sure to highlight these in your application. With a little effort and perseverance, you can find the highest-paying jobs at any level of experience.
- Average Salary: $25/h
Best Jobs for 18 Year Old College Students
When you are 18 years old and trying to pay for a college degree, you may need some additional income. Some college students can go full time all day long, and others will have to take more flexible night classes and work along the way.
If you can figure out a way to make some money as you are in college, you will give yourself a major head start in life.
A research assistant helps with research. This can be for a large or small company, and the research can be related to almost any topic. Finding a company that is working towards some things that interest you is the best choice when you want to become a research assistant.
You will find that these jobs are typically very steady in pay, and they will sometimes last for many years. You will need to be good at analyzing data and organizing and presenting it as well.
- Average Pay: $20.58/h
20. Bank Teller
Even with so much of our banking being done online in today’s world, there are still plenty of bank teller positions available. Working as a bank teller means that you will be working for a large financial institution. This means that the benefits and retirement can be very solid.
Another great thing about being a bank teller while you are in college is the fact that it can look excellent on your resume. Putting a company like Chase or Bank of America on your resume can help you get more jobs later on in life.
If you stay within the same bank, there are also opportunities to move up from the bank teller position and take on a bigger role at that branch or locally.
- Average Pay: $14-16/h
21. Camp Counselor
Camp counselor positions are significant for a college student because they are typically going to be necessary when there are no college classes in session. If you are off for the summer and looking for something to do, the counselor positions are a great choice. One of the things that an 18-year-old likes about being a college counselor is that the job is fun and entertaining.
Depending on where the camp is located and if it is a sleep-away camp, you may also get room and board as part of your job. Certainly, this is a unique way to spend a summer as a college student.
- Average Pay: $11-13/h
Having excellent customer service is something that sets a company apart. The problem is that it is hard to find great customer service representatives.
People can be challenging to deal with, and it takes a great deal of patience to be able to handle some of the issues that come up. Luckily this also means that customer service representative jobs can become high paying.
If you do a great job, you will get promoted, and it is a skill that you can use to work for almost any company. Certainly, this is a job that an 18-year-old can get, and one that can end up being quite profitable.
- Average Pay: $14.45/h
A job as a lifeguard is a smart choice for an 18-year-old college student. You will have to take some classes and be a good swimmer, but you can spend your summer pool or beachside. If you end up enjoying this job, you may find that a full-time lifeguard position is a good choice for you.
Although a lifeguard job seems like it is all fun and games, there are real-life and death situations each and every day. The proper training is essential for those that are looking to make it as a lifeguard.
- Average Pay: $9/h-12/h
How can I make the most money at 18?
There are a few things that you can do in order to make the most money when you are 18 years old.
The first thing that you should do is take a look at your skills and talents and see how you can use them to your advantage. If you have any unique skills or talents, there may be opportunities for you to start your own business or offer your services as a freelancer.
You could also look into ways to invest your money so that it can grow over time. Another option is to find part-time or full-time jobs that offer competitive wages in order to start building up your savings.
Whatever route you decide to take, make sure that you are always learning and networking so that you can improve your financial situation over time.
As you can see, we've covered a wide range of the highest paying jobs for an 18-year-old can to take advantage of. Almost every item on our list has nothing to do with age and more to do with the quality of work and desire to work.
If you want to find a job but don’t have a resume or previous experience, be willing to take a few jobs just for the experience. You won’t make a ton of money, but you will be setting yourself up for long-term success.
After all, it’s better to take a step towards your goals than to try and make a quick buck. Being smart about the jobs you choose at 18 will make you a very happy 50-year-old preparing to retire!
Looking for more? Here's a list of online jobs for teens ages 14 and older.