WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — School’s out for the summer for many Kansas children. Some are looking to earn a few bucks in their free time and will have a lot of options this year with help-wanted signs posted everywhere.

“It is a wide-open job market with lots of possibilities for young people,” said Keith Lawing, President and CEO of Workforce Alliance.

Whether it’s in a restaurant, at a ballpark, or by a pool, many employers are getting creative to entice summer workers.

“Jobs that used to pay $9 or $10 an hour are now paying $12 to $13 an hour. In fact, one employer, it’s the sheet metal union, is looking for summer help. They’re offering $18 an hour,” Lawing explained.

Along with higher wages, some places are lowering their age requirements.

“In a lot of places, you have to be 16, 18 years old to work, but we have some jobs that even 15-year-olds can apply for,” said Megan Lovely, Wichita Communications Manager.

As the job pool increases, some water parks are struggling to hire lifeguards.

“Within the last three or four years, our lifeguard staff has decreased by about 50%,” said Amy Conkling, Hutch Recreational Commission assistant executive director.

“Salt City Splash has 25 lifeguards hired so far,” Conkling said. “We don’t want them to be burned out, and so the numbers that we have now, we’re good with opening, but just for the duration of a long summer, we need more.”

They have raised wages and are throwing in some extra bonuses.

“At the end of June, if you are still employed with us and successful, we’ll give you a bonus. At the end of July, we’ll give you a bonus. We’re even looking at the end-of-summer bonus to get us through August because year in and year out, you lose more lifeguards as summer goes on,” she explained.

Salt City Splash has also given higher wages to returning lifeguards and is offering referral bonuses.