2012 Summer job and internship ideas: Get started now

Summer jobs and internships

Lifeguard by Flickr ganessas

Summer break is just around the corner but you have time to land a summer job if you get started now. Plenty of jobs sites will help you narrow your search to the type of job that you’re looking for. While a summer job is not likely to be related to your major, an internship can be arranged that will help you fill in your resume with some real-world experience to help you jumpstart your career. Because it takes longer to get accepted for an internship, don’t wait another second to apply. Here’s what you need to know.

Summer jobs — You can get hired now

You’re probably an old hand by now at summer jobs, so you know what you can typically expect to find. Here’s the short list of summer job types:

  • Restaurant food service
  • Lifeguard
  • Yard work
  • Pet sitting or house sitting
  • Child care

Your pay should average around $10 to $11 per hour, according to a recent survey from job site Snagajob.com. Mary Ann Milbourn reported on the results of the survey in her April 5th, 2012 article for The Orange County Register titled, “Want a summer job? Start now.

Milbourn urged her readers to put their job search into high gear based on survey results indicating that 79 percent of all summer positions would be taken by the end of May. A visit to the Snagajob.com website and a quick search for summer jobs from the “Browse Jobs” feature brought several pages of results.

By far, the most jobs listed (2,202) were from Kangaroo Express located in Florida, South Carolina and Mississippi. Jobs listed included: assistant manager, restaurant sales associate and store sales manager. Duties included all aspects of sales and service for a quick service restaurant. Snagajob summer job search results also included 963 job listings from Care.com, a site that caters mainly to families seeking the following:

  • Nannies
  • Babysitters
  • Day care workers
  • Tutoring

Not all summer jobs are run-of-the-mill. A search at Summerjobs.com resulted in a listing for a computer-savvy tutor for an iD Technology Camp at California State University Sacramento in California working with kids to help them learn video game design, web design, robotics and more.

And now for something different

You can work and live in the great outdoors with a summer job from Coolworks.com, which lists jobs at parks and resorts across the country. Summer job listings include housekeeping, food service, front desk, maintenance and wrangler (yes, wrangler).

What does a wrangler do? The Elk Mountain Ranch in Buena Vista, Colorado, expects a wrangler to clean the barn, maintain horse tack, feed and care for a herd of 50 horses and participate in overnight campout transport and setup.

Coolworks.com allows you to search for jobs by location, or categories that include:

  • Jobs on water
  • Jobs on horseback
  • Ranch jobs

Stay-at-home student jobs

You may not have to leave home at all to work at your student job. Why not find a job that can be done over the Internet? A good place to start your search and get your ideas flowing is the Work-at-Home Moms site (WAHM.com).

In the article, “8 Types of Jobs Suited for Working Remotely,” you’ll learn about jobs that might be just right for you including:

  • Telephone sales or service
  • Remote personal assistant
  • Typing and dictation
  • Customer service

When was the last time you called customer service for help with a bill or to set up a service appointment for one of your home appliances? You were probably dealing with someone who was talking to you from their home.

Hang out your shingle

You’re in school studying to become an expert in your chosen field and you no doubt expect to make a living at it in time. Why not start now? Decide what service you can provide for a fee and then set yourself up on eLance.com where you can create a profile, showcase your work and bid for jobs. Another option is to advertise your services on Craigslist. This can work well if you want to work with those in your local area.


An internship is a three-way partnership between you, your school and an employer. The trade-off for that valuable experience, however, is that many internships are unpaid. Charles Westerberg and Carol Wickersham explained how internships can help you in your future career in their April 24, 2011 article, “Internships Have Value, Whether or Not Students Are Paid,” for The Chronicle of Higher Education. According to Westerberg and Wickersham, the benefits of internships include:

  • Academic credit
  • Real-world experience
  • Resume building

Finding internships

The first place to go is your school because they may already have programs in place to help you find an internship. What’s more, you’re more likely to get credit for your work even if you don’t get paid a salary.

Where else can you look for the perfect internship? Try these sites:

  • Internships.com: a portal for students, employers, and educators. You can search among thousands of internships and apply for free.
  • Internmatch.com: you can browse through thousands of internships from across the country. Site tools help you track your choices and their deadlines.

It’s important to start early in locating an internship because many of them take months to finalize. For example, a summer 2012 internship at the White House had an application deadline of January 22, 2012.

Sunbathing by the pool may get you a tan but it won’t fill your bank account or add value to your resume. Plenty of summer jobs out and internships are waiting to be filled by talented students. You just have to make the first move. Get started now.

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