20 good first jobs (plus types, salary and primary duties)

Updated 28 August 2023

Teenagers, students and young adults often look for a job to earn extra income. There are many ideas for good first jobs when you think creatively. If you're considering getting your first job, knowing your options may help you decide which job to pursue. In this article, we consider why getting a good first job is important and we look at examples of those jobs in different industries.


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Why it's important to get a good first job

It's important to get a good first job to help improve your personal and professional skills and determine what other goals you may have. Getting your first job can teach you basic skills that may be valuable in your future career. You can pursue roles that align with your interest, skills, experience and that provide additional work experience. Consider researching roles that offer opportunities for growth or that may provide supplemental training for the role. Also, finding a good first job may require extensive research and determination, so consider reviewing job boards and company sites that interest you the most.

Related: High Paying Entry Level Jobs

20 first good jobs

To find a job you may enjoy as a starting role, here is a range of options with their average salary level and primary duties for you to consider:

1. Car wash attendant

National average salary: £9.20 per hour

Primary duties: Car wash attendants clean customers' vehicles. They interact directly with customers, which can teach them valuable interpersonal and customer service skills. Tips given by customers can boost their earnings.

Related: How to get your first job

2. Catering assistant

National average salary: £9.29 per hour

Primary duties: A catering assistant helps provide catering services at events. They may assist with menu planning, preparing meals and building relationships with food suppliers. Those in this role typically possess efficient communication and organisation skills.

Related: Catering assistant CV skills to highlight (with examples)

3. Usher

National average salary: £9.66 per hour

Primary duties: Ushers work at theatres, sporting and entertainment events. They check tickets, show people to their seats and answer venue or event-related questions. This role may help an individual develop their interpersonal and customer service skills.

4. Foodservice assistant

National average salary: £9.32 per hour

Primary duties: Foodservice assistants meet, greet and seat customers before taking their orders. They handle glassware, take beverage orders and serve alcoholic beverages. They may also accept payment from customers and issue receipts. Working as a foodservice assistant provides customer service experience and teaches time management skills.

5. Lifeguard

National average salary: £9.35 per hour

Primary duties: Lifeguards supervise swimmers in swimming pools, the sea, rivers, lakes, water parks or other bodies of water, maintaining safety standards at all times. They keep the area surrounding the body of water clean and free from dangerous items and debris. Lifeguards also monitor the weather for adverse weather conditions. Those pursuing this role can learn skills that may include swimming and CPR training.

6. Cashier

National average salary: £9.45 per hour

Primary duties: Cashiers typically work in the foodservice or retail industries. They work at a cash register where customers can pay for goods or services they want to purchase. The cashier scans the goods, collects payment and issues a receipt to the customer. This job can teach customer service skills and how to handle money.

Related: What Is a Retail Job and How to Get One

7. Delivery driver

National average salary: £9.56 per hour

Primary duties: Delivery drivers deliver a wide variety of items including food or parcels. They load the delivery vehicle before delivering the packages to customers on designated routes. While they are doing deliveries, they maintain communication with the dispatchers. In this job, they may gain driving and sales experience.

Related: How to become a taxi driver

8. Barista

National average salary: £9.55 per hour

Primary duties: Baristas typically work in coffee shops. They prepare and serve drinks, such as coffee or tea. A barista may learn how to work with money and interact with customers, both skills that can help create a successful career in the long term.

9. Busser

National average salary: £9.52 per hour

Primary duties: A busser or food and drinks runner works in a restaurant. They complete various tasks, including cleaning tables between customers, taking dishes to the dishwasher and assisting the waiting staff. A job as a busser can teach customer service skills and interpersonal skills. The tips customers give can increase a busser's income.

Related: What Does a Busser Do? (With Skills and CV)

10. Host or hostess

National average salary: £9.67 per hour

Primary duties: Hosts and hostesses work at restaurants or events. They greet guests upon arrival at the restaurant or event, and direct them to their table or seats. Sometimes they perform other tasks, such as making reservations, answering phone calls and assisting their colleagues with different tasks. Hosts and hostesses learn how to be organised and handle difficult times in a busy work environment.

11. Server

National average salary: £9.67 per hour

Primary duties: Servers, waiters and waitresses work in restaurants and other food services businesses where they serve guests with food at their tables. A job as a server can help develop interpersonal skills and communication skills. It may also provide an income increase with tips from guests.

12. Dog walker

National average salary: £9.90 per hour

Primary duties: Dog walkers take clients' dogs out for walks and keep them safe while doing so. During the walk, a dog walker provides the dogs with exercise, cleans up after them and gives them water to drink afterwards. They notify the dog's owners if the dog has an injury or potential sickness. They typically possess skills such as patience and communication to provide efficient service - and genuinely love being with dogs.

13. Babysitter or nanny

National average salary: £12.17 per hour

Primary duties: Parents hire babysitters or nannies to take temporary care of a child, for example during the evening or daytime while the parents are at work. While taking care of the child, the babysitter plays games with them, prepares their food and washes and dresses them. Babysitting is an excellent first job for teenagers since the duties are easy. They gain work experience in a friendly work environment.

14. Customer service representative

National average salary: £6.75 per hour

Primary duties: A customer service representative communicates with customers over the phone or online on behalf of a company. Customer service representatives typically have good problem-solving and interpersonal skills, which helps them work efficiently.

15. Lawn care specialist

National average salary: £11.39 per hour

Primary duties: Lawn care specialists work independently or for lawn care companies. Lawn care includes mowing the grass, trimming hedges and seeding new areas. They do routine check-ups on clients' gardens and maintain the aesthetic appeal of their clients' outdoor spaces. Working as a lawn care specialist can give practical work experience to people interested in a career in botany or landscaping.

16. Personal assistant

National average salary: £9.95 per hour

Primary duties: Personal assistants support managers in performing their daily tasks. Their responsibilities include answering phones, running errands and sending emails. A personal assistant's specific duties depend on their employer, but this role requires no prior experience. This role also teaches organisational and interpersonal skills.

Related: Seven essential personal assistant skills

17. Data entry clerk

National average salary: £14.14 per hour

Primary duties: Data entry clerks collect data from physical documents, audio recordings or online feedback forms. They manually transfer the data to a company's database using a computer. Clerks may gain experience in this role, such as improving their typing speed, general computer skills and teaching good organisation skills.

18. Web designer

National average salary: £16.76 per hour

Primary duties: Web designers design the visual aspects of a website. They meet with clients to discuss the client's requirements and to provide them with progress updates. Web designers keep themselves updated on software and technological developments. Working with clients teaches customer service skills, and they may also gain graphic design as a web designer.

19. Social media manager

National average salary: £14.78 per hour

Primary duties: Social media managers create social media strategies for their clients. They develop an editorial calendar for the client's social media content. They regularly publish content and share it through a variety of social media channels. As a first job, experience as a social media manager may help improve customer service skills and teach better planning and time management skills.

Related: How to become a social media manager: a step-by-step guide

20. Grocery associate

National average salary: £17.10 per hour

Primary duties: Grocery associates typically work in grocery stores or grocery departments of large retail stores and typically greet customers, stock shelves and check products for freshness. They may also assist customers and help with other maintenance tasks in the grocery store, which can help with learning how the retail business operates. Working as a grocery associate may help further an associate's career within the company since they often hire internal staff for more senior positions.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at the time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.


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