Balancing High School and Part-Time Work

Find the right college for you.

Like many high school students, you may want to work part time. A great thing about this experience is that it will earn you money and challenge you. It can highlight and enhance strengths you didn’t know you had. On the other hand, it can call attention to things about yourself you have the opportunity to work on and improve. Whether you work because you need to or want to, follow the advice below to ensure you succeed at working while in high school.

Planning Ahead

Before working in high school, think about how you’ll juggle your work and schoolwork. Talking to a counselor, teacher, or parent about working can help you figure out how to balance these two activities. Explain what you need to get from working and what kind of job you want. Ask questions like these:

  • How can I manage my time to make school and a job work for me?
  • What type of job will work best with my schedule, skills, and personality?

Tips for Success

Once you have a part-time job, consider these strategies for making it work:

  • Talk about your schedule with your family. Balancing school and work is easier with their support.
  • Start slowly if possible; don't commit to working a lot of hours immediately.
  • Avoid time conflicts by planning your school and work schedules as far ahead as possible.
  • Use your time efficiently. For example, if your job has downtime and your boss has no objection, use slow periods to do schoolwork.
worker with customers

How Your Job Can Work for You

Angel Nicole, a high school senior, says that working at McDonald's has helped her grow as a person. "Honestly, before I got this job, my attitude was bad. I thought I knew everything," she says. "Learning that there’s always room to learn more has helped me mature."

A job can also benefit you by teaching you about the following:

  • Commitment
  • Time management
  • Responsibility
  • Handling money

Working in high school can help you explore career directions and reach your goals. Rhea, a college sophomore, is an aspiring pharmacist. She found her career path when she started her job at a pharmacy while in high school. She says that she loves learning new things on the job every day. "I feel that it's something I can do for the rest of my life, and that's a big deal."


How do I balance high school and part-time work?

If you want to balance school and work in high school, you need to create a schedule, prioritize tasks, work out a flexible work schedule with your employer, manage your time effectively, and seek support when needed. Additionally, prioritizing self-care is important to manage stress and avoid burnout.

Read more

What’s a good part-time job for high school students?

High school students can choose from various part-time job options, such as retail, food service, tutoring, or coaching. Look around your hometown to see what opportunities are available in your area. Many employers will be willing to work around your school schedule.

Read more

How many hours should I work part time in high school?

The number of hours you should work in high school to strike a good balance depends on your situation and needs. It’s recommended that high school students work at most 15─20 hours per week during the school year to prioritize their academic success and overall well-being.

Read more

Is it challenging to work while in high school?

Working while in high school can be a challenging but rewarding experience. You want to focus on finding a job that fits your schedule. You need to manage your time wisely. Working in high school can teach you essential skills, such as time management, responsibility, and a good work ethic. With the right mindset, you can successfully balance school and work while gaining valuable experience.

Read more