When high schoolers think of getting jobs, they generally consider entry level positions in restaurants, grocery stores, movie theaters, or other related businesses. However, juniors Chad Chapman and Max Morgen have both found jobs which are uncommon for their age.
Chad Chapman is a blackjack dealer for the company Gerald’s Casino.
“It’s usually at company events once or twice a month,” Chapman said. “So they’ll rent out a place for a party and I’ll go wherever they want. It’s usually at places like at the Marriott.”
While the legal age to be a blackjack dealer is 21, Chapman does it at 17.
“With the company I work for, I don’t distribute any of the money or take in any of it, so because of that I’m allowed to deal,” Chapman said.
According to Chapman, he volunteered for the company before they hired him.
“They needed volunteers for a charity drive and I wanted to help out, so I went in and helped them,” Chapman said. “I really liked it so it just kind of led to them asking me if I wanted a job. They taught me [how to deal] when I volunteered the first time. I did blackjack because it’s the easiest to deal, and it’s the most high in demand. It’s the most popular gambling game.”
As well as making money, Chapman is exposed to a variety of businessman and other professionals at the events he works.
“It’s really cool because you get to meet a lot of different people because they come and go so often,” Chapman said.
As well as dealing blackjack, Chapman is a lifeguard over the summer.
“They’re different jobs but they are a lot alike because they take a lot of responsibility,” Chapman said. “With blackjack you have to make sure you don’t mess up and you count the cards right and when you’re a lifeguard you’re responsible for someone’s life.”
While Chapman enjoys his job now, he says that it is one he only plans to keep while in high school. For Morgen however, his job as a mechanic at a Mercedes dealership is one that he believes is preparing him for his career.
“I just work on the engines and change out parts and like renew struts, coilovers, anything that they tell me to do,” Morgen said.
According to Morgen, his fascination with cars began when he was young.
“I’ve basically have been driving since I was like four because my dad put me behind little kid cars and stuff like that,” Morgen said. “My dad and I built a car together and sold it, and that’s how I got into cars, through my dad. My dad isn’t a mechanic, he just did it as a hobby, and that was what I wanted to do when I was older.”
Through connections his mother had, Morgen was able to meet with a local mechanic.
“My mom, she knew this mechanic who worked at Mercedes and she got me in basically,” Morgen said. “She told him how much I knew about cars and he gave me a test. That’s how I got in.”
Getting this job at his age is gaining Morgen valuable experience for the future.
“I want to be a mechanic when I’m older and work on high end cars and imports,” Morgen said. “I’m getting better knowledge of European cars and high end cars, so this will help me when I’m going into the field that I want to go into.”
As well as preparing him for his career, the job is teaching Morgen responsibility.
“This has given me more responsibility because you have a certain amount of time with a car to work on it, then you have to move on to the next one,” Morgen said. “If you don’t get it finished then you have to wait another day, then you’re going to be behind and it keeps on piling up.”
According to the work study teacher Robert Megerle, maintaining a job in high school can be highly beneficial to students.
“You’re learning something that we can’t teach you on campus,” Megerle said. “You can get a job somewhere and gain experience and teamwork in a real environment as opposed to a learning environment. The school district gets more money based on how many students take my class. Some jobs allow for the cost of teaching to be transferred to the employer and they are paying you to learn as opposed to vice versa.”