U.S. culture: Learn about Summer jobs in the USA!
What jobs did you have when you were younger?
In the United States, many young people work during the summer.
They do this to save money for a holiday, to buy a car or to have money so they can go out with their friends.
But what sort of jobs do they do?
In this short video lesson on U.S. culture, you’ll find out about some of the jobs young Americans do in the summer.
You’ll also learn some useful words for talking about this topic. After watching the video, try our little quiz below to see how much you can remember. Happy learning!
Level: Pre-Intermediate to Upper Intermediate (A2-B2)
Here are some useful words that appear in the video.
If someone is “busy”, they have a lot of work to do: “I can’t talk now, I’m really busy!”
If you “tutor” someone, you help them with their schoolwork: “She was tutoring some high school students.”
“Pet sitting” involves looking after someone’s pet cat, dog, rabbit… while that person is away.
If you “feed” someone, you give them some food.
“Craft activities” involve making things with your hands and bits of paper, wood, glue…
A “nanny” is a person whose job is to look after children while the parents are at work.
“Extracurricular activities” are fun classes that students have after school: basketball, football, art, karate…
A “lifeguard” is someone who works at a swimming pool, lake, etc., and who protects swimmers, and helps anyone who is having difficulties in the water.
A camp counselor
A “camp counselor” is someone who works in a summer camp, organizing activities, etc.
If you give a sick or injured person “first aid”, you help them until a doctor or paramedic arrives.
A “cabin” is a small wooden house (often with just one room) in a forest, the country…
To run an activity
If you “run an activity”, you organize or manage it.
A “resume” is a document with information about your work experience, education, etc. that you use when applying for a job. A “CV” (curriculum vitae) in British English.
Room and board
If you receive “room and board” as part of your job, you have a free room and free food.
The minimum wage
The “minimum wage” is the lowest salary (money) you can legally receive for the job you do.
You’re going to watch a video with someone talking about summer jobs in the US. Watch it once and complete the sentences with the correct words. [answers below]
Nannying involves taking care of someone else’s ________.
Nannies are often required during the summer months because the kids are not at ________.
Lifeguards are responsible for enforcing rules at swimming _______.
Lifeguards are often certified in first _______.
Camp counselors help to manage and organize summer ________ activities.
Doing a summer job is a good way to meet people and make new ________.
Summer jobs also offer students the opportunity to gain work _______.
Now talk about this topic with a friend or classmate. Make notes and try to use as much of the new language as you can.
By: Savannah Kleeman
Hello, my name is Savannah and I’m a college student in the US, and today we’re going to be talking about summer jobs.
Throughout the school year, many students are busy with schoolwork and extracurricular activities. When the school year ends in May or June, many students will often start working in seasonal summer jobs, erm, until August or September, when school starts again.
Summer jobs for students are often seasonal, which means that they are only open or needed during the summer months like pools or childcare. These jobs can include nannying or babysitting, lifeguarding at pools, being a camp counselor, tutoring, working in food service, or being a pet sitter just to name a few. We will discuss what each of these jobs are and what they entail.
Nannying is when a student takes care of someone else’s children. This is usually because the parents both work and need someone to watch the kids during the day because they’re not at school anymore. Erm, so, this is usually a full-time job during the week, and it could mean that they are responsible for feeding the kids, entertaining them and playing with them, taking them to any obligations that they have, erm, and then just doing fun activities with them like crafts or playing outside.
Lifeguards are responsible for the safety of individuals in a pool or a body of water like a lake or an ocean. Erm, they are responsible for enforcing pool rules like no running by or near the pool. Erm, they’re also certified in first aid in case anyone is injured or hurt while in the pool.
Camp counselors are students, erm, who are supervisors to help facilitate summer camp activities. Erm, and so, it depends on what kind of summer camp it is. If it’s an overnight camp and a little bit longer maybe like a week, the camp counselors will often stay with the campers in cabins, erm, to ensure the safety of everyone. But in general, they help to run activities and programs, maybe they make food for the campers, prepare activities, erm, and just help in general with everyday operations of the camp.
Summer jobs are helpful for students because during the summer they have time to really dedicate to work where they don’t have schoolwork or extracurricular activities like they would during the school year. Erm, it can be helpful because they can meet new people, new friends, and it’s a fun way that they maybe make some money. It also offers students the opportunity to gain work experience and start to build up a resume for future in life. And so, sometimes summer jobs can include room and board for employees like camp counselors, which is also a big benefit to summer jobs.
There are some negatives to working a summer job. Erm, for example, some student jobs are low paying because they are entry-level or do not require many requirements for their employees. Oftentimes these summer jobs will pay minimum wage, which in the US varies state to state. And so, it depends on, on which state you are in with the pay you will receive, but most of the time they are low paying.
Overall, summer jobs are a common experience across students and adults in the US. Erm, and it’s a great way to make new friends as well as build up a resume, erm, but it also carries some negatives with it as well. Erm, thank you!
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Nannying involves taking care of someone else’s ________. Kids / children
Nannies are often required during the summer months because the kids are not at ________. School
Lifeguards are responsible for enforcing rules at swimming _______. Pools
Lifeguards are often certified in first _______. Aid
Camp counselors help to manage and organize summer ________ activities. Camp
Doing a summer job is a good way to meet people and make new ________. Friends
Summer jobs also offer students the opportunity to gain work _______. Experience