Student Jobs


Pankhudi Prasad

This summer was the first opportunity high school seniors had to experience the workforce post-Covid. In previous summers, the work environment involved masks, social distancing, and lots and lots of reapplying hand sanitizer. Although there is a tremendous amount of college stress, many senior students have successfully been able to juggle their academic and athletic responsibilities, along with their life outside of school. This effort many times goes unnoticed.  


School is seven hours on average, with two hours for sports and/or clubs, and homework. Even with those commitments, About 42% of high school students work, most of them 19 hours a week. With only 24 hours in a day, the following students, along with many more, can accomplish all their academic and athletic responsibilities while also working. 


One senior, Emma Grimsey, works at a pump-out boat throughout the year. She makes about $112 a day. Her responsibilities include going out into the marinas on the Niantic River and pumping out people’s septic tanks. This is an alternative to dumping sewage in the river, which pollutes and harms the ecosystem. Furthermore, this is a non-profit organization that was started by her grandfather. She said, “he lives on the river and saw that it was being polluted and wanted to do something about it.” He started this program to ensure that the future of our ocean is well and safe. Another advantage is the tips. She gets about $60 in tips and all she has to do is hook the machine onto their septic tank and let the machine do its job! However, this job has a few requirements. People who work there need to have a boating license and need to be 16 years or older. Overall, this program is envisioned to run for years and the job demand is consistent. The labor is towards a good cause. 


Elizabeth Blain, another senior, works at the Mystic Aquarium. She works as a photographer in a section run by a company called, “Magic Memories.” This company’s goal is to capture smiles, so they take and produce photographs for the Aquarium. She makes $15 an hour and according to her, the demand for this position is always high. She says, “they are always looking for more employees.” Moreover, no prior experience is needed. All the employers ask is that the employee walks in every day with a smile and an upbeat personality, since one of their responsibilities is to ensure that the visitors have a good time at the aquarium. This is a great opportunity for those who are interested in either photography or being around sea life. It pays well and according to Liz, “the work environment is very upbeat!” 


Tina Danesh works as a lifeguard around the year at beaches and at the school pool. She makes about $15 an hour and her job asks for her to enforce rules and regulations that help keep people safe near a body of water. If needed, she is to administer first aid and CPR. According to Tina, this job is in high demand because living near the water itself creates many opportunities. However, this job also has strict requirements. People working these jobs must have a lifeguard certification, which students can obtain through an outside training class or a lifeguarding course, and must be 16 years of age or older. Overall, if asked to describe her experience in one word, Tina says, “it is truly exciting,” because she gets the opportunity to work with her friends and spend her days near the pool and beach!


Katie Hawkins works throughout the year babysitting kids anywhere from the age of 3-12 years of age. Although she has a love-hate relationship with the job and its responsibilities, she says that it is much more enjoyable than many of the other jobs she has held. She gets paid around $15-$23 an hour, depending on the family and the behavior of the child. If babysitting during the summer, she is asked to help them with their bedtime routine. While babysitting during the school days, she is asked to help them with their homework and get them to bed at a reasonable hour. These job hours are less certain but are more flexible than others. Overall, this job is in high demand because many parents may want to go out for a date night, a personal event, or have to go somewhere due to their job, but leaving kids alone is not always an option, especially when they are young. Katie thinks this job is a great opportunity for those who are fond of kids or like to spend time with them, saying, “The bond you build with some of these kids is pretty great. They trust you in ways they would not normally and that melts my heart.” 


Ethan DelGrosso works alongside his dad who is a carpenter and gets paid about $18 an hour. His favorite part of the job is the flexible hours that come with it. He said, “I am very grateful to have flexible hours and the ability to work with my dad.” Though he likes helping and spending time with his dad, he does not always like how physical the labor can get. The work usually is of high intensity, involves heavy lifting, and after a while takes a toll on the body. Still, to him, it is a great job to have. Not only does he get to spend time with his family, but he also gets to practice life skills that may help him out in the future. 


No matter the job, either helping parents by babysitting their child or helping the pollution rates in the oceans, they all play an important role in the person’s life and society. Researchers and many parents further on kids getting a job since it not only gives them training and experience but also teaches them independence and a sense of responsibility. Although some jobs may not seem interesting to everyone, they all contain different aspects of life that could help you, which is why many students work during the school year and especially over the summer.