Those who think that all teenagers do after school is hang out at the mall or play sports - or even study - should meet Provo High School student Rob Bradley.

For Bradley, 17, the day's just begun when school ends. He works about 40 hours a week at Games People Play in University Mall.Bradley, along with thousands of other junior high and high school teens in Utah County, find it necessary to work full- or part-time to have money to support a teen's life in the '90s.

That includes cars, clothes, food, movies, credit cards and other "teenage necessities."

"It takes away from a lot of extra activities - like after-school clubs and team sports. But I like having the money. I guess I am a big spender. I spend a lot on clothes and CD's," said Bradley, who makes $4.35/hour, a dime more than minimum wage.

According to an informal survey done by the Deseret News, 38 percent of the Utah County junior high and high school students responding have a part- or full-time job.

Working teens all juggle school, work, family and fun differently.

"Some kids can adjust to working. Other kids - that's all they think about. But students want to work to have money to do the things they want to," said Robert Secretan, a counselor at American Fork High School.

Jill Best, a sophomore at Springville High School, works 30 hours a week at Reams grocery store. She's trying to save money for college and to restore her '68 Mustang.

"Mostly, I've used the money for the car. I don't have time for anything else. It interferes with studies and sleep. But I have to work to get the things I want and need," Best said.

Some teens work to help support their families.

"It's kind of a pain. You have to get up early and go to bed late. I don't see my friends as much anymore. But I need the money because I help my mom out and everything I need I buy for myself," said Independence High School student Jennifer Newton.

Delynn Decker, a teacher at Provo High School, believes more teens feel they have to work because they want more things.

"The value of education is down and the value of acquisition of things is up. Kids are used to having more things. As soon as you have a car - you've always got to have one. I know very few kids who save for college. Also, saving is kind of foreign concept," Decker said.

A study in Newsweek last year said teenagers are twice as likely as their 1950s counterparts to have after-school jobs. That's attributed to growth in the private sector, the rise of the fast-food industry and an increase in the number of girls entering the work force in the past 40 years.

Census data for 1991 show Utah ranks third in the percentage of 16- to 19-year-olds in the work force. About 68 percent of those Utah teens were in the work force in 1991, said Lecia Langston, chief economist for the Utah Department of Employment Services. That's about 17 percent higher than the national average.

Decker believes that work negatively affects many students.

"Some students don't get home from work until 1 a.m. Work makes them tired and consequently affects their ability to concentrate. Energy levels are down and they're really crunched on time," Decker said.

Cheyann Oostveen works up to 20 hours a week at a local drive-in.

"I have to have money for car insurance. I'm trying to save for a car and have money to do fun things with my friends," Oostveen said. "A lot of things I can't do with my friends. I get home around 11 p.m. and stay up late to do my homework. I'm tired all the time."

Tristy Harris, a senior at Provo High School, said her 20-hour-a-week job keeps her from extra activities.

"I have worked since my sophomore year. It interferes with extra-curricular activities, like after-school games, performing in plays and being with friends. A lot of times it is kind of a bummer," Harris said.

Kathy Bredesen, a school counselor at Spanish Fork High School, said for many teens, work is positive.

"A lot of the kids who work tend to do better in school unless they are working an excessive amount of hours. They adjust and are able to manage their time," she said. "Kids who have the harder classes and are involved in extra-curricular things do it all and do it well."

Many working teens learn responsibility and are more conscientious because they don't have as much time to waste. Also, some of them gain a greater appreciation for the value of money, Bredesen said.

Maren Byrnes, 17, works 40 hours a week at Western Watts, a political survey business. She takes seven classes at Provo High School, including advanced-placement history.

"It doesn't interfere too much. I do homework right after school and I take off work for debate tournaments and other activities," Byrnes said. She is saving money to buy a car and attend a seminar this summer in Washington, D.C.

Parents had mixed feelings about their teenagers working.

"Working is good and bad. It cuts them short in some ways because they aren't able to do some family activities and school activities. But they learn responsibility and have the money they need for extra things," said Raymond Byrnes, Maren Byrnes' father.

"I don't like my kids to work outside the home. It keeps them away from the family," said Orem mother LaDawn Jacob, who has four teenagers.

Some teens benefit from a work co-op program, which gives them release time and school elective credit for working.

Where do teens work?

Since they're competing with thousands of college students for work in Utah County, it's tough to get good-paying jobs. Most teens work for fast-food restaurants and most earn minimum wage, said Doug Chamberlain, an interviewer for Job Service in Provo.

"Sears Telecatalog provided a lot of high school students with jobs. Telemarketing, grocery stores, custodial, baby sitting and yard care are the most popular teenage occupations," Chamberlain said.

Many teens say that because of competition for jobs, they don't get paid what they deserve.

"I get $4.35 an hour and I've been working at the same place for nine months. When I started I was 15 and they only gave me $3.63 an hour. For as long as I've worked there, I deserve more. There are older people that haven't worked as long and are already in higher positions," Oostveen said.