Career Opportunities for Teens & Young Adults
My son was not so into college and likes outdoor physical work. He went to the outdoor recreation leadership program at Feather River College a community college in Quincy, CA, for a year but after various adventures and then working for a couple different contractors for a few months (these were "no experience necessary" jobs he found on Craigslist), he completed a free 15 week San Francisco city program that prepares SF residents for paid, UNION building trades apprenticeships. He got a job immediately and has great benefits, and with overtime he's relatively well paid even as a first year apprentice. Of course he's laid off at the moment, but he'll have work again when construction is back on assuming the economy doesn't completely collapse. I'm not sure if Berkeley or Alameda County have similar programs - check with local community colleges.
He may be interested in becoming a backflow assembly tester. Backflow assemblies are devices used to protect the drinking water from being contaminated when there is a connection to something like a boiler or irrigation system that uses chemicals. These devices are everywhere and they are required to be tested annually by certified testers. Here's a video of what a tester does. And here's a pretty simple explanation of what backflow is and why it's important.
To get certified he would need to take a 40 hour class and then a written and hands on test. Once certified he can work for a company or agency (and there are usually plenty of vacant positions) where they go around and test the devices to make sure they are working. Most of the companies provide some mentorship so that new people aren't suddenly out on their own. Usually the person does need a driver's license.
The most local company that offers the certification class is in Sunnyvale: https://www.backflowschool.com/. There is also one that offers classes in Santa Rosa and Morgan Hill: http://www.mitchscertifiedclasses.com/index.asp?TopicID=4; and the American Water Works Association offers the class in Sacramento.
If you think he may be interested in this feel free to message me and I would be happy to talk to him more.
Archived Q&A and Reviews
- Recent college grad wants to work for the State Department
- Daughter offered a job with Teach for America
- First Job for HS Senior
- Daughter interested in medical technology careers
- Daughter, 19, looking for first job
- Going rate for recent college grad
My daughter will be graduating in June from UC Davis with a double major and double minor. She is majoring in History and International Relations and minoring in Human Rights and Professional Writing. She had applied for a Masters in Public Policy and may not be able to go forward due to finances.
What should she do now? She is kind of at a loss because the job market out there is so bleak. Her goal was to ultimately work for the State Department. Any advice helpful, as I want to support her in any way possible. Proud Mama
Maybe you could suggest to her to work in a congressional office, either local office or work her way up into DC office, as a way to bridge her interests and be employed if she can't afford grad school yet? anon
Who says your daughter needs a Master's to take the Foreign Sevice exam anyway? She should sign up and take it ASAP. The FS takes people with all sorts of skills, and may even pay for a year of grad school if it's job related. Right now the FS baby boomers are retiring, and new hires are getting on the fast track.
It may take a year or two for her to be interviewed and hired. But if she can get any job with the federal government-- say, EPA or Soc Sec-- even a nonprofessional job-- her years waiting will count as years of service, which is good for pay, promotion, and pension.
Alternatively, she could try to work for an NGO or sign up for the Peace Corps, or get a job that uses her languages. All would be good relevant experience. Just my two cents. Good luck!
My daughter who will graduate from UC Berkeley next month has been offered a position with Teach for America in New Mexico. Has anyone had any experience with this organization? Thank you
Congratulations on your daughter being selected for TFA. My daughter did TFA directly out of college, and the first year was the toughest experience she has ever had. It can be overwhelming and a trial by fire, BUT once she made it through the first year and made a conscious effort to get some balance back into her life, the second year was great and she opted to stay on working at the school for a third year as a curriculum consultant. This is her last year and she's now going on to graduate school. TFA opens so many doors for future jobs and educational opportunities. There is am amazing network of TFA alums, and many graduate schools seek them out. Monika
Can you recommend a good first job that my daughter could get a good experience in? Times are really tough, jobs scarce, but as she looks to college next year working this spring and especially this summer would be really helpful. She has no experiece but would especially love an entry level job in an electronics store, supermarket, self serve cafe, etc. Also want her to experience how hard this work is, for little money, to impress on her the value of her education. Thanks much. Looking for a Job
Kids get jobs just like we do, by networking. My daughter went to at least 10-15 local businesses such as yogurt shops, pet shops, clothing stores before school let out for summer last year . All of them took her application and never called back. Halfway through the summer, two friends asked if she was still looking for a job. She interviewed and was offered both. In fact, she is still working at both: tutoring one day a week and working at a golf course, cleaning golf carts and picking up balls from the range. Both job openings were because a Senior was going away to college. So my suggestion is to have your daughter ask her working friends or have you ask your friends if they know of any local businesses that need someone. Also ask local businesses if they employ any Seniors who might be leaving in the fall. Her persistence really paid off, she just bought her first car (with our help, we match whatever she could save up. She saved $2K in 5 months). It has been great, she has really matured and now we don't have to drive her everywhere! Candace
How can I help my daughter get information about careers in medical technology, good colleges and training for these jobs. She wants to attend a 4-year college but most seem just to have either nursing or general science degrees. She's interested in medical jobs related to technology, radiology, scanning, etc. Thanks... info on technology jobs
Kaiser has a wonderful school in Richmond for many different careers in this field. They are accredited and highly respected. Make sure that any program you pick is properly accredited or your daughter will never get a job. Merritt College in Oakland has a radiology tech program and DVC/Ohlone have a respiratory tech program. Beware that all of these tend to be difficult to get into due to high demand. They usually have prereqs that can be taken at a community college.
I'm a career counselor so I'm going to get on my little soap box now. Before investing time and money in any career, see if she can job shadow someone in an area that interests her. If not, at least set up a couple informational interviews with people that work in the field and ask what they do all day long, pros and cons, etc. She might also volunteer in a hospital to see if she likes the environment. Here's a link to some useful information: http://www.johnmuirhealth.com/get-involved/careers/career-education/career-education-medical-imaging.html Lis
My daughter, who is 19, has been trying to find a job. She is presently a student at Berkeley City College and living at home. She tells me she has been looking online for jobs but they always want someone with some sort of experience. Being as this will be her first job, she has none. I have suggested to her to do ''cold calls'' to local businesses, but she is on the shy side and has a difficult time doing that. Any suggestions on how to navigate this issue will be appreciated. Also, any leads on any websites for her to search will be welcomed. job searching tactics welcomed
Has she looked at Craigslist? Has she registered with any temp agencies? Most people get jobs through someone they know.
Meantime, she should start volunteering somewhere RIGHT AWAY. If she wants to do retail, try the Goodwill or Salvation Army. She will work with the public, learn inventory, learn to use a cash register, learn if she likes it, and possibly get a recommendation in hand.
If she wants to work with animals, try a vet's or the animal shelter.
If she wants to work at an office, see if she can follow someone you know around at work. Maybe she can volunteer at the local library or at a local school.
There are restaurants and stores with Help Wanted signs in the window in Berkeley and Albany.
What about the babysitting jobs etc. in this newsletter? Some work is better than nothing. Working has a way of making you organize your time better, too. Good luck!
Any suggestions of the going rate for a new college grad to tutor high school students in their home? How about babysitting? anon. mom
I think what you pay for tutoring depends a lot on the subject matter being tutored and the applicability of the degree to that subject matter. To give you an idea of the payscale, my daughter who is a math major at CAL in her last year of study charges $30 per hour to tutor math or sciences. She is definitely on the less expensive end of the math tutoring payscale but this allows her to find tutoring that she wants to do. She has tutored high school and college students in many levels of math, but mostly calculus and pre-calculus. Mary
I can't help you on the tutoring rates, but as for babysitting, I pay college students $16 per hour, plus $10 per day for gas (taking care of my son involves picking him up after school and doing some errands). So for working 4:30-6:30 the sitter earns $42. If it is an nighttime job, no driving, just $16 per hour. I would pay a recent grad the same. Hope that helps! Fran