Being tall and athletic are assets in life. Studies have shown that tall people are often more successful in jobs and personal relationships. So, take advantage of your height and get a summer job that most people can’t do as well as you.
If you can get on a film crew, being a camera operator is a great job for a tall person. You’ll be able to carry a big heavy camera on your shoulder, see above heads and not knock people over with equipment the way a shorter person might. Operating a boom mic, which you have to hold above a subject’s head without getting it into a shot, is also well-suited for a tall person. These jobs are harder to get, but while you’re in college is the time to get started. Look for an internship position to get your foot in the door or find a spot on student crew.
When working as a security guard in a busy place such as a nightclub or mall, being tall will definitely give you an advantage over shorter applicants. You’ll be able to spot trouble more quickly and track people more efficiently. Remember that most security roles are there are preventative measures, not to actively fight people, so just your presence will be a deterrent. Taller people are often seen as more intimidating because people literally have to tilt their heads back to talk to you. And of course, working in a nightclub is a good choice for night owls who want to free up their days.
Being on a painting crew is a great summer job choice for a tall, athletic person. For one thing, you won’t need to get up on a ladder as often. If you are up on a ladder, your longer arms make it easier to cover more wall space before you have to move the ladder again. Plus, the job is physically active, a good choice for an athlete. If you have a personality that likes not being in one spot, like working as a cashier, then a painting crew is something you should look into. In addition, it pays substantially more than minimum wage, so should be a first choice.
If you’re a strong swimmer and don’t mind being out in the sun, being a lifeguard at a pool could be right for you. After all, Olympic champion Michael Phelps stands 6’4″ and has a wingspan of 6’7″, which helped him be a successful, fast swimmer. If you’re tall, you can also stand in six-foot-deep water and still see above it, which will help you keep track of the swimmers.
You’ll have to check your state requirements, but generally you have to be at least 15 years old, have to be able to swim 100 yards without resting, and be able to bring a 10-pound brick from the bottom of the pool to the surface. You’ll also have to undergo lifeguard training, which includes CPR.
Check with your community pools to find out what their requirements are. Once you get into this position, many people will also hire community pool lifeguards to be lifeguards at private events, too, so you’ll be able to pick up side gigs.
Beach life guarding usually has a much more involved hiring process, but they do hire for the summer season. Most beaches, like San Diego, require a try-out where you’ll have to complete a 500-meter ocean swim and some other tasks. The good thing about this is that many lifeguard programs offer their participants free SCUBA lessons and other training that you can apply to other jobs.
These days, being fit instead of merely thin is in. Agencies hire tall, fit people as models. If you think you have the right look, you can see if any modeling agencies will sign you. This is easiest to do if your city has a big modeling market, but you can always try. Each agency has its own guidelines for selection, but basically you just have to email them a headshot and a body shot, and then they’ll see if there’s a market need for someone who looks like you.
There are plenty of jobs that tall and athletic people can do better. So, ignore all the “how’s the weather up there?” jokes and laugh your way to the bank.