You’re graduating from high school. Congratulations! You’ve just completed a huge feat. As you probably heard during the commencement speeches, there’s a vast road of opportunities ahead of you. But it’s summer. Do you really need to dig in and start a full-time job just yet? Or would part-time be better, so you can enjoy the last lazy days you’ll have for a while? Whether you’re just one summer away from college or trade school, planning a gap year (or two) or jumping into a career path right away, KSL Jobs looks at how to decide which type of employment is right for you.

Should I work full-time or part-time?

As you begin looking for jobs, decide what your end goal is. Do you need to bulk up your savings account? Do you want a mostly carefree summer? Deciding whether to seek full-time vs. part-time employment will also depend on your summer schedule. Do you have vacations and family reunions planned? Will you be going to weeklong camps or conferences? 

When to work part-time

If you won’t be available — or don’t want to be — for much of the summer, you might prefer the flexibility of a part-time job. It’s easier for an employer to schedule around someone missing 15 hours a week than someone who is out for 40, so you’re more likely to be granted time off.

If you’re heading to college or trade school soon, you may be able to continue working at that same part-time job during the next school year. Most managers prefer keeping a current employee — who already knows the job — rather than hiring someone new. As a result, they may be willing to plan around your school schedule or give you fewer hours. 

Heading to a different town for school? Consider working for a company with multiple locations. A grocery store, for example, may allow you to transfer. If that’s not an option, know that having some experience — whatever the position — can help you find another part-time job in college.

Many part-time openings are available on KSL Jobs in retail, food service and housekeeping. There are plenty of non-hospitality options, too, such as an office assistant, salesperson or delivery driver.

When to choose full-time

On the other hand, if you will be available for most of the summer, this is a good time to earn a chunk of money at a full-time job. At 40 hours a week, you could potentially earn enough to cover expenses during the school year. And you’ll probably need that cash. Even if you earned a scholarship, you’ll still need to pay for housing, food and books — and an occasional night out.

If you’re done with formal schooling, are taking a gap year or are simply unsure of what you want to do, full-time employment will help you fund whatever comes next. You’ll also gain useful experiences.

  • You’ll interact with people of different ages and backgrounds, not just classmates
  • You’ll understand what working full-time feels like. Hint: It can be exhausting at first 
  • You’ll gain independence by managing your own money 
  • You’ll be earning money instead of spending it
  • You might discover a career path you’d like to pursue

As a full-time employee, you may also receive benefits, such as paid time off, a 401(k) or even a gym membership. Many companies now offer tuition reimbursement, in case you decide to return to school.

What kinds of jobs are available?

If you just need work for the summer months (or other temporary period), search for seasonal openings on KSL Jobs. Many such openings are outdoors, so you can earn money and work on your tan at the same time. 


Yard work kicks into high gear in the summer months, which means landscaping companies need people to help with the influx. If you’ve helped around your own yard, you probably already have the skills to plant trees and flowers, install pavers or lay topsoil and sod.

Many cities in Utah hire a grounds crew for full-time summer work. The day usually starts in the early morning, so you’ll still have afternoons and evenings to hang out with friends. The position typically entails duties such as planting, pulling weeds, checking sprinkling systems and mowing lawns.

Kid care

Working parents always need help with child care. Daycare centers may have extra openings during the summer months, when their enrollment surges with elementary schools out. Or you may be able to work as a private nanny. 

Cities or youth organizations need help with seasonal classes — art, lego building, sports clinics. Local groups also hire counselors for all-day youth summer camps.


Farmer’s markets and roadside stands need seasonal workers as well. These jobs are more likely to show up in the latter half of the summer, when harvests are ready to be distributed. Local farms need sprinkler pipe handlers, box loaders and drivers. And when they turn their cornfields into mazes? Someone needs to set up those giant slides, rides and hay bales.


Areas popular with tourists in Utah means more job opportunities at the shops, lodging and restaurants near them. National park lodges sometimes offer employee housing and flexible hours, so you can get in both work and a vacation. Housekeeping, cooks, dishwashers, front desk clerks, attendants and other hospitality jobs are often available.

How do I find a job?

Search KSL Jobs to find your first post-graduation job. Check out the Resource Page for practical advice on nailing the interview and what to expect on the first day. Whether you’re college bound, trade school bound or life bound, get a bit of experience under your belt before heading into your wide open future.