make money as a teen
Updated April 28, 2023

How to Make Money as a Teen

Side Hustles

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As a teen, life is so much more fun when you have spare money to go out with friends. With a part-time job, you can have financial freedom, and even better, save money to buy a car! Financially wise teens can also save for college.

What Age Can I Start Working?

The U.S. Department of Labor says you can start working at the minimum age of 14 for a limited number of hours if you’re under the age of 16.

In some states, your school has to issue you a work permit until you turn 18 years old.

However, exceptions to these laws exist.

Children Under the Age of 14 May Be Employed in the Following Fields:

  • Family businesses
  • Agriculture
  • Newspaper delivery
  • Acting
  • Minor chores around private homes
  • Casual baby-sitting

The U.S. Department of Labor says:

under 14 years of age department of labor

If you are a parent reading this article, you will be surprised at how many jobs your teen can work to gain excellent work ethics. It only benefits them to understand the value of money and labor at an earlier age.

Read below to find out all the different jobs you can do to start earning money today!

1. Act

  • act
      • Pros: It’s fun to act and be on the screen.
      • Cons: When you are younger, your ability to act is dependent upon a parent driving you and helping you navigate Hollywood.
      • How Old You Have to Be:

        No age limit

      • How Much Can You Make:

        $29/hour (U.S. average)

      • What Do you Need:

        The ability to act on screen or on stage

    You can begin acting as young as an infant, as long as your doctor gives a thumbs up to you being healthy enough to work. In California, if you’re a minor working in the entertainment industry, you’ll need to register for a permit.

    Your parent(s) need a lot of time, energy, patience, and excellent people skills to work with a WIDE variety of people in the industry.

    You might find a lot of fun being filmed, recorded, or on stage. However, the one huge need younger teens have is a parent who is willing to drive them around. Hollywood is filled with a lot of strange people, so an adult should help you navigate this.

    If you don’t have parents to drive you around, you can consider getting your own recording studio and voice acting.

    What is the hard part?

    You can get called last second to audition or play a part, so you might have to give up your friend’s birthday party or that fun event you’ve been planning to attend with friends.

    Though the national average wage for actors is $29/hour, keep in mind that there are actors that get paid in the millions who are pulling the average up. Begin by finding an agent or consider Kids Casting.

    2. Babysit

    • babysit
        • Pros: You can play with kids.
        • Cons: There’s always the possibility you may be placed in an emergency situation and will need to navigate yourself and the young children through it.
        • How Old You Have to Be:

          Varies per state

        • How Much Can You Make:

          $17.50/hour (U.S. average)

        • What Do you Need:

          Common sense

      If you have a reputation among your parents’ friends for being responsible and mature, then parents will naturally ask to hire you as a babysitter.

      You can expand this business by putting yourself out there on babysitting apps or getting hired by babysitter businesses.

      Parents appreciate it if you know first aid and how to administer CPR. Your personality needs to be able to exert authority over children.

      How Do You Prepare?

      You need to have a lot of common sense – know what to do if the child has a seizure, breaks a bone, or begins to choke on something. Know what to do if an earthquake hits or a fire breaks out. Know where the first-aid kit is and how to call 911.

      Other than that, have a good time playing games with some kids and making money while you do it!

      3. Be a Golf Caddy

      • golf caddy
        Be a Golf Caddy
          • Pros: You can learn a lot about golf naturally and get exercise as you earn money.
          • Cons: You have to be out in the sun and it can be physically taxing.
          • How Old You Have to Be:

            14 years old, though some golf clubs allow 13 year olds

          • How Much Can You Make:

            $20 - $25/hour plus tip

          • What Do you Need:

            A positive attitude, the ability to carry a golf bag, standard golf attire, scorecard, pencil, towel, extra tees, and knowledge of the course

        One of the ways you can make money as a young teen is as a golf caddy. Golfers pay $20 – $25 per hour for beginner kids, but if you have your future in mind, you have potential to make as much as a few thousand dollars per week as a professional caddy.

        Generally, a professional caddy makes 5% – 10% of what your golfer makes. If a professional wins $10 million, the caddy will make around $700,000.

        You should know the basics of golf. Some golfers might ask you for counsel. You should also know the clubs by name when the golfers ask you for them.

        Be prepared with:

        • A positive attitude
        • The ability to carry a golf bag
        • Standard golf attire when at a golf club
        • A scorecard
        • A pencil
        • A towel
        • Extra tees
        • Water bottles

        Know the course well and where bodies of water on the course are. Rake a sand trap when your golfer is done and fix divots.

        It’s best to be silent while they play. You’ll want to keep a careful watch on where the ball goes as the golfer will sometimes ask you where it fell.

        4. Car Washing

        • car washing
          Car Washing
            • Pros: You can exercise and meet people as you work. If you do this with a friend, it’s even more enjoyable.
            • Cons: If you do this regularly, it can be physically exhausting. If you wash cars in the heat without shade, you can get sunburned.
            • How Old You Have to Be:

              Depends on if you’re getting hired by a company or washing cars for neighbors

            • How Much Can You Make:

              $13.80/hour plus tip (U.S. average)

            • What Do you Need:

              Soap, a hose, and towels

          Car washing is a job you and a friend can have even as young teens. Walk around your neighborhood and ask people if you can wash their cars for a certain fee. Many neighbors would be happy to pay you.

          If you want to work at a car wash, you may need to be of driving age in your state. Most car washes need the washers to move the cars when they are finished.

          This is one job where you can enjoy flexible hours and get school work done at the same time. Be ready to exercise as this line of work is physically taxing.

          If you work at a car wash, you can gain knowledge on the workings of the business and open one up for yourself in the future.

          5. Cottage Home Business

          • cottage home business
            Cottage Home Business
              • Pros: You can enjoy working within your own home. It’s also fun to sell what will bring others happiness.
              • Cons: You gain all the stress that a normal business has.
              • How Old You Have to Be:

                No age limit; you just need identification (a passport or school ID will suffice).

              • How Much Can You Make:

                Varies, depending on what you sell

              • What Do you Need:

                A kitchen

            Perhaps you are a teen who has a gift for baking or making delicious food. One of the ways you can make money is to start your own home business.

            Here are some item you can sell:

            • Cakes or cupcakes
            • Dry cake mix
            • Cookies or bars
            • Crackers
            • Dry cookie mix
            • Donuts, tortilla, kale chips
            • Pies (except custard pies)
            • Breads, rolls, biscuits, muffins
            • Dry bread mixes
            • Jams, jellies, preserves
            • Dry nuts or trail mixes
            • Dry cereals
            • Granola
            • Popcorn or kettle corn
            • Candy, chocolate, caramels, fudge
            • Dry herbs and seasonings

            You would need to obtain a Cottage Food license. Read here to find out the information on how to get a license within your state.

            There is no official minimum age limit to obtain a Cottage Food license. You only need to have identification of some sort; a passport or school ID should suffice.

            In general, you normally have to follow these steps:

            • Fill out an application.
            • Get zoning clearance or a permit.
            • Get a kitchen inspection by the public health department.
            • Get a business license within your state.

            Some states mandate that you take a food processor course for a few hours.

            If you want to start small and market to family and friends, you can get your business started by word-of-mouth.

            The hard part about starting a business is you need to handle all this on your own:

            • Customer service
            • Logo-creating
            • Packaging
            • Labeling
            • Pricing
            • Mailing
            • Marketing

            Read 31 Things to Sell to Make Money under “Food” for more information.

            6. Code

            • code
                • Pros: You can choose your own schedule.
                • Cons: If something is wrong with the game, hundreds or millions of players will tell you what they think and quite brutally.
                • How Old You Have to Be:

                  14 years old to legally work at a company

                • How Much Can You Make:

                  $33/hour (U.S. average)

                • What Do you Need:

                  A working computer

              Perhaps you enjoy working on your computer at home and prefer solitude over office politics. Coding would be an excellent job for you.

              You simply need computer programming software to get you started. It helps to have knowledge of computer programming languages, such as Java, Python, or C++.

              Jake Silverman began coding at the age of 15. Soon afterwards, a company began to pay him to code – first $15/hour and then $25/hour. Now at the age of 19, he is a game programmer at a game studio, Simple Games Inc.

              “I enjoy coding and I get to choose my own schedule!” – Jake Silverman


              Coding can be more stressful than other jobs because if it doesn’t work perfectly, you have a bunch of harsh critics who tell you exactly what they think.

              You also have to interact with people of different skill sets who communicate quite different than coders do, like the creative or artistic department.

              However, it is a job with excellent pay and flexible hours, so if you can do it, enjoy it!

              7. Crafts

              • craft
                  • Pros: You can work from home and do what you enjoy.
                  • Cons: You might not enjoy the shipping and packaging aspect; also, customer service can be a bear.
                  • How Old You Have to Be:

                    13 years old

                  • How Much Can You Make:


                  • What Do you Need:

                    Supplies for your craft and packaging materials

                If your giftedness lies with your hands and being able to create art or sew amazing items, then you might be happy to know that you can make an income on Etsy or Amazon Homemade.

                Some items you can sell:

                • Art
                • Jewelry
                • Prints
                • Trivets
                • Decorated notebooks
                • Sewn projects (clothes, pillows, totes, etc.)
                • Leather purses
                • Anything knit
                • Soaps
                • Cards and stationary
                • Candles
                • Stickers
                • Pottery
                • T-shirts

                Where do you sell?

                EtsyAmazon Handmade
                You can sell on Etsy when you are 13 years old with an adult as a manager. An adult must be the owner of the account.
                All financial information such as a credit card or PayPal account, and Etsy Payments has to be the parent’s information and accounts.
                The minimum age to sell on Amazon is 18 years old, so you do need a parent’s account to sell if you are any younger.

                One positive is that Etsy has a low listing fee: $0.20 per item for four months.

                Etsy’s commission and processing fee:

                6.5% transaction fee, 3% + $0.25 payment processing fee

                The average person makes $44,000 on Etsy, but keep in mind, that’s with a lot of hard work given over to marketing and hours spent building clientele.

                Be forewarned that it’s hard to get noticed when surrounded by millions of active sellers. There are just as many failure stories as success stories of Etsy stores.

                Unfortunately, some people end up in the negative after buying supplies and packaging materials.

                8. Do Tasks

                • do tasks
                  Do Tasks
                    • Pros: You can help out people that you love while making money.
                    • Cons: You will probably be doing what they don’t want to do.
                    • How Old You Have to Be:

                      Any age

                    • How Much Can You Make:


                    • What Do you Need:

                      A positive attitude

                  Your parents and your grandparents are probably willing to pay you good money to do projects that they can’t get to – clean the garage or basement or hang pictures.

                  Pros of doing tasks for your family and friends:

                  • You probably feel the most comfortable haggling your wage with your family.
                  • You’ll be helping out loved ones.
                  • You might not have to leave home to get paid.
                  • Your grandparents love to see you around their home.

                  Sometimes your grandparents need someone to fix their computer or reset up their television. They might need someone to clean their house and would prefer you over a stranger.

                  Though it can sometimes require you extra patience, spending time with your grandparents is one of the best things you can do.

                  9. Dog Walking

                  • dog walking
                    Dog Walking
                      • Pros: You can spend time with furry loves!
                      • Cons: Some dogs can be difficult, aggressive, or whine a lot.
                      • How Old You Have to Be:

                        You need to be old enough to handle the dog and not get lost walking.

                      • How Much Can You Make:

                        $33.86 (U.S. average)

                      • What Do you Need:

                        A love for animals, poop bags, an extra leash and collar; possibly waterproof clothing

                    If you begin a business as a dog walker, you can easily make enough money to buy yourself a used car.

                    At the same time, you would be helping clients who love their dogs but can’t walk them; some people are physically challenged or ill; others are much too busy.

                    First, market your business on social media, around the neighborhood, and on neighborhood apps. If you can drive, you can market yourself in a wider range – such as at the dog park or the pet store. You could even place yourself on a dog walking app, like Rover.

                    What do I charge?

                    Set your prices for 15, 30, 45, 60 minute durations and let the client request what they need.

                    You need to be at an age and maturity to handle a dog, but if your business expands beyond neighbors, you’ll need to be old enough to travel by car to get to some dogs.

                    Though it’s nice you don’t have any office drama, the con is that sometimes you need to deal with difficult clients, like ones who don’t pay you on time.

                    Also, be ready to walk dogs in all types of weather, rain or shine.

                    10. Draw Caricatures and Face Paint for Parties

                    • draw caricature
                      Draw Caricatures and Face Paint for Parties
                        • Pros: You can be creative and work with children.
                        • Cons: You might get a child who is unhappy about how you face painted them.
                        • How Old You Have to Be:

                          Any age

                        • How Much Can You Make:

                          Average $125 - $200 per party

                        • What Do you Need:

                          A face paint kit; paper and art supplies for caricatures

                      draw caricature for parties

                      Teens who are gifted at art can offer their services to do caricature drawings or face painting at parties.

                      You get very creative and have a lot of fun with this. Most of the time, your clients will be thrilled with whatever you produce.

                      You get to work with all sorts of people and kids. The only con might be when a kid doesn’t like how you face painted them and the meltdown that might ensue. But you can look around at all the happy kids and know you did well.

                      11. Get a Paper Route

                      • get a paper route
                        Get a Paper Route
                          • Pros: You get great exercise as you work.
                          • Cons: There might not be days off and you have to deliver in all weather.
                          • How Old You Have to Be:

                            No age limit; up to the discernment of the newspaper

                          • How Much Can You Make:

                            $9.84 (U.S. average)

                          • What Do you Need:

                            Rubber bands and plastic bags

                        Delivering papers is one of the handful of jobs that you can have as someone under the age of 14 to make money.

                        Though most people think that newspapers are going out of fashion, there are many people, like the elderly, who don’t have the internet or still prefer to read the newspaper with a hard copy in hand.

                        If you’re interested in a job, call the circulation department of your local newspaper. Mention if you plan to deliver on bike or with a car.

                        Your job may start as early as 3 a.m. and finish around 6 a.m. Your job may also include folding papers.

                        Here are some of the pros to delivering papers:

                        • Don’t have to think hard
                        • Great exercise
                        • Builds self-confidence
                        • Teaches you to be on time
                        • No boss bothering you
                        • Tips

                        Here are some of the cons of delivering papers:

                        • Possibly no weekend or any days off
                        • Need to deliver in all weather – including rainy days
                        • Wear and tear to your car
                        • Some newspapers dock your pay if you deliver a wet newspaper or get a customer complaint.

                        Lastly, if you ride a bike, remember your bike safety — flags, headlights, reflexive tape, and you’ll need a basket for newspapers.

                        It’s dark outside, and you’ll be delivering during hours that criminals are out, so be careful.

                        12. Help Seniors

                        • help seniors
                          Help Seniors
                            • Pros: Things usually move slowly in the home of a senior, so you won’t feel as stressed as in an office.
                            • Cons: You might need patience to work with the elderly. Some seniors can be difficult.
                            • How Old You Have to Be:

                              No age limit

                            • How Much Can You Make:


                            • What Do you Need:

                              A positive attitude

                          The elderly need a lot of assistance to live a regular life. If you enjoy the company of older people and have the patience for the slower pace that they move in, this might be an excellent job for you.

                          You can list yourself on or market yourself on social media.

                          Here’s a list of some of the things they might need you for:

                          • Helping them with household chores
                          • Meal prep
                          • Keeping them company
                          • Vacuuming, sweeping, mopping
                          • Washing dishes
                          • Doing laundry
                          • Shopping
                          • Cleaning the bathrooms
                          • Picking up prescriptions at the pharmacy
                          • Grocery shop for them
                          • Taking them to their doctor appointments
                          • Yard work
                          • Bathing, dressing, feeding
                          • Mobility assistance
                          • Being a friend

                          If this is something that you might enjoy, they surely would enjoy having a teen around them to add some youthfulness to their lives!

                          13. Lifeguard

                          • lifeguard
                              • Pros: Enjoy a day at the beach instead of at the office. Your job is usually relaxing.
                              • Cons: You have to risk your life when people drown. Other times, it can be very boring.
                              • How Old You Have to Be:

                                14 years old (However, most certification courses have an age 15 minimum.)

                              • How Much Can You Make:

                                $14.17 (U.S. average)

                              • What Do you Need:

                                Lifeguard certification

                            Lifeguarding is easy money. Though there are some cons, like needing to risk your life on rare occasions, most of your time is spent lounging by the pool or beach.

                            If you want to become a lifeguard, you’ll first need to get your certification through YMCA, local Red Cross, or other organizations.

                            Usually the classes are 2-3 days long over the weekend. Students must be at least 15 years old by the last day of class.

                            You’ll learn CPR training, First Aid, and AED training. You’ll learn about strange waves and tides, like riptides. They call drowning the “silent killer,” so you’ll learn to recognize swimmers struggling and how to use floatation devices.

                            Next, pass the certification test. Here is an example of what you need to pass in order to get certified through the YMCA:

                            lifeguard prerequisite

                            After you pass the certification test, call around local pools, beaches, lakes, community centers, and water parks to see who is hiring.

                            If you want to be a beach lifeguard, you must be in great shape and also be a strong swimmer. You might want to practice running on sand.

                            Lifeguarding can sometimes get boring, especially when there are no swimmers, and you do risk getting sunburned.

                            Every two years, make sure your certification is up to date and doesn’t expire.

                            14. Make a YouTube channel

                            • make youtube channel
                              Make a YouTube channel
                                • Pros: You can help people and have fun with it.
                                • Cons: You’ll have to deal with haters along the way.
                                • How Old You Have to Be:

                                  13 years old

                                • How Much Can You Make:

                                  $5 for every 1,000 video views

                                • What Do you Need:

                                  A camera, editing software, a computer

                              Almost every teen has watched YouTube now and might have considered starting their own channel; you get to be creative and express yourself, and it doesn’t cost you any money to start a channel.

                              But beware – you will have to deal with haters. On the flip side, you also get to enjoy befriending people around the world. Video making is time consuming and there will be difficult lulls in your creativity.

                              Most YouTube channels fail, so chances are that you probably won’t be famous, but if you are, you will have to deal with privacy concerns.

                              You’ll need a good camera, editing software, and a computer. If you’re filming yourself, a mic, and ring light would help.

                              The following information is from Mint:

                              How Much Does a YouTuber with 1 Million Subscribers Make a Year?

                              The average YouTuber salary for those with at least 1 million subscribers is $60,000 per year.

                              How Much Do YouTubers Make for 1 Million Views?

                              A video with advertisements and 1 million views can pay a YouTuber between $2,000 – $3,000.

                              Who is The Richest YouTuber?

                              MrBeast is now the richest YouTuber, earning $54 million in 2021.

                              How Much Do YouTubers Make with 100k Subscribers?

                              On average, YouTubers with 100,000 subscribers can make between $600 – $1,000 per week, bringing in between $2,400 – $4,000 per month.

                              Study How to Boost Your Algorithms:

                              • Study SEOs.
                              • Be consistent so your audience will grow.
                              • Market your channel through other sources.
                              • Make your thumbnail and title click-worthy with multiple-word tags.
                              • Be engaging.

                              If being on the screen doesn’t bode well with you, you could also make money as a social media manager.

                              15. Make Dog Treats

                              • make dog treats
                                Make Dog Treats
                                  • Pros: If you love dogs, this can be a passion for you.
                                  • Cons: It might be a pain dealing with your state’s regulations.
                                  • How Old You Have to Be:

                                    Any age

                                  • How Much Can You Make:


                                  • What Do you Need:

                                    Dog recipes, ingredients, and packaging materials

                                Before you get too excited about making dog treats, know that each state and county has different regulations when it comes to selling dog treats.

                                You also need to check with your own city and county to see if they allow minors to get a business license.

                                Some states require a commercially licensed kitchen; others don’t. You will need to get a business license and have to deal with things like taxes. If all of the above makes your eyes glaze over, then read on for different ideas.

                                Other than the initial hoops you have to jump through, you can enjoy creating dog treats, helping dogs stay healthy by avoiding fillers and preservatives.

                                You can also have fun with the shapes and presentation of your treats, earning momey while keeping flexible hours.

                                Don’t forget to build a website and have cute packaging. Find a way to let customers pay online.

                                16. Office Work

                                • office work
                                  Office Work
                                    • Pros: You can work sitting down in an air-conditioned or heated room.
                                    • Cons: You have to deal with office politics and personalities.
                                    • How Old You Have to Be:

                                      14 years old, unless it’s a family office

                                    • How Much Can You Make:

                                      They’ll usually offer you minimum wage for your state.

                                    • What Do you Need:

                                      Some basic computer skills and people skills

                                  If you are polite and respectful towards your parents’ friends, it could land you a job. A lot of them need someone to work in their office.

                                  You could work as a receptionist, office clerk, administrative assistant, or in the field of customer service.

                                  The great positive is that it’s not physically difficult. You routinely walk into an office for a set number of hours and get your work done.

                                  The difficult part is the possible office drama with difficult personalities. You also may not enjoy being stuck indoors with a computer and phone.

                                  As a teenager, I had a job like this during the summer, and it was pretty easy money.

                                  17. Organize a Bake Sale

                                  • organize bake sale
                                    Organize a Bake Sale
                                      • Pros: If you’re naturally gifted at baking, this will be fun for you.
                                      • Cons: If you do this regularly, you might need a permit.
                                      • How Old You Have to Be:

                                        Any age

                                      • How Much Can You Make:


                                      • What Do you Need:

                                        Recipes, the ingredients, and the ability to bake

                                    Every city is different when it comes to allowing bake sales without permits. Call your city council to see if you don’t need a permit and mention if it’s for a fundraiser, as different rules apply.

                                    Or risk it for 1-2 hours; the worst that can happen is you get told to pack it up and leave.

                                    If you’re going to do this regularly, it’s better for you to get a permit and insurance in case someone gets food poisoned.

                                    More problems arise when you try to sell near public events and leech off of other businesses or if you cause any traffic by causing cars to pull over in busy intersections.

                                    You can set these up at schools or on street corners with your lemonade stand.


                                    Be sure to list ingredients to make sure that no one has an allergic reaction to anything you bake.

                                    One of my friends had an entrepreneurial son who started selling bags of popcorn and other candy at school to friends. When he popped popcorn, other kids smelled it and wanted some; he made a lot of money off of schoolmates!

                                    Have a tip jar available to make even more money!

                                    18. Painting Interiors

                                    • painting interiors
                                      Painting Interiors
                                        • Pros: Flexible hours
                                        • Cons: It’s physically taxing and you can’t make mistakes.
                                        • How Old You Have to Be:

                                          14 years old, unless it’s for a family

                                        • How Much Can You Make:

                                          $18/hour (U.S. average)

                                        • What Do you Need:

                                          Paint, brushes, rollers, pans, painter’s tape, tarp, etc.

                                      Painting is a lot more difficult than it looks. The preparation usually takes more time than the painting. People want exact, straight lines on their ceilings and baseboards.

                                      You need to be able to tape up and cover everything that is not going to be painted. If you get paint on furniture or on baseboards, then you’re going to be ruining someone’s property.

                                      The pro of painting is that you get a lot of job flexibility; you can take jobs you want and say no to others.

                                      The difficulty is that it’s pretty physically tiring and dirty, and you are dependent on referrals if you want more work.

                                      Also, depending on your fear of heights, you might not enjoy painting an area with high ceilings when you need to balance on a ladder.

                                      You will need the following supplies. You can ask the homeowner to pay for these, and since you are a teen, they might agree to it!

                                      • Paint
                                      • Brushes
                                      • Rollers
                                      • Pans
                                      • Painter’s tape
                                      • Tarp
                                      • And possibly more

                                      If you do find the work easy, you might want to think about starting a business. You can also break into wallpaper installation.

                                      19. Teach Music

                                      • teach music
                                        Teach Music
                                          • Pros: You can make money in a short amount of time and share your passion for music.
                                          • Cons: Dealing with difficult parents or kids. Most hours are in the afternoon and evening.
                                          • How Old You Have to Be:

                                            No age limit

                                          • How Much Can You Make:


                                          • What Do you Need:

                                            Knowledge about a musical instrument and the ability to teach

                                        There is always a shortage of piano teachers, and if you are a teen, you can charge a lesser fee than professionals for teaching beginning levels.

                                        In order to teach your kids a holistic approach to music, be sure to find a systematic curriculum to take them through. For piano players, Faber’s Piano Adventures comes highly recommended by many professionals.

                                        The great benefit of teaching music is sharing your passion for music with students who are eager to learn. You gain a great relationship with kids and don’t have to deal with office drama.

                                        The hard part can be dealing with difficult parents or kids. Most hours are in the afternoon after school and in the evening.

                                        20. Tutor

                                        • tutor
                                            • Pros: You can earn good money in a short amount of time.
                                            • Cons: Dealing with difficult parents or kids
                                            • How Old You Have to Be:

                                              No age limit

                                            • How Much Can You Make:

                                              $24.84 (U.S. average)

                                            • What Do you Need:

                                              Knowledge on a certain subject and the ability to teach

                                          If academia is your forte, you can help people of all ages by tutoring them in fields that they struggle with. As a teen, you could charge less than professional tutors and gain more business.

                                          The best part about tutoring is that you can build relationships with students and be their encouragement during hard times.

                                          Subjects Students Need Help With:

                                          • Math – early math, Algebra, Geometry, Calculus, etc.
                                          • SAT and ACT
                                          • Science – physics, chemistry, earth science, astronomy, etc.
                                          • English, Spanish, or French as a language
                                          • English – reading, writing, ESL, spelling, vocabulary, grammar
                                          • College essays and applications

                                          The difficulty might be in dealing with difficult parents, like those who pay you late or cancel last second. Sometimes a student might not want to learn but are being forced to by their parents.

                                          But if you’re willing to deal with some difficulties, the reward of helping to change students’ lives is a joy you don’t want to miss out on.

                                          21. Umpire or Referee

                                          • umpire or referee
                                            Umpire or Referee
                                              • Pros: It pays well.
                                              • Cons: When you’re dealing with angry coaches or parents, it’s hard to not let it get to you.
                                              • How Old You Have to Be:

                                                Some baseball leagues let kids as young as age 11 become umpires and referees.

                                              • How Much Can You Make:

                                                $26.07/hour (U.S. average wage)

                                              • What Do you Need:

                                                You will probably have to take an umpire or ref class.

                                            A lot of baseball leagues let kids begin umpiring as young as 11 and 12 years old. Your baseball league will usually have you sign up for a class to learn how to umpire.

                                            You usually receive a pitch counter, plate brush, and official shirt. You’ll have to be at least a couple years older than the game you are umpiring.

                                            You need a decent knowledge of the game and the ability to stand up to angry coaches and parents. You get yelled at a lot and work solo most of the time.

                                            The pay is usually good for teens, and some places will still pay you if the game is rained out. Another great plus is that you get a lot of variety while you work. No game is the same.

                                            Pam Hayashida, called the BoxingMaven, started to ref amateur boxing and slowly worked her way up to becoming a professional boxing judge. Though she wouldn’t recommend reffing boxing for teens, you too can work your way up to the pros in a different sport.

                                            22. Work in an Afternoon Program

                                            • work in an afternoon program
                                              Work in an Afternoon Program
                                                • Pros: You can make connections with kids. It’s fun playing games and doing crafts. You also get holidays off.
                                                • Cons: You have to work every school day.
                                                • How Old You Have to Be:

                                                  14 years old

                                                • How Much Can You Make:

                                                  At minimum, your state’s minimum wage

                                                • What Do you Need:

                                                  A love for children

                                              More and more parents are working full time and can’t pick their kids up from school at 3 p.m. Parents love having their kids in beneficial afterschool programs like tutoring or art; other times, they just want their kids to have fun.

                                              For the most part, your job will be enjoyable – playing with kids. Every once in a while, you’ll have to break up arguments, confront a bully, or deal with whiny, irritable kids.

                                              “It’s super fun to bond with kids and supervise kids playing games! You also get to do crafts with them. It’s such a great transition from childhood into adulthood! I’m blessed to do this as a teen!” – Elena Bennett (age 17) who works at Legacy Christian Academy in an afterschool program.

                                              afternoon program

                                              The con is that you don’t get to work two or three days a week like most teen jobs. You have to work every school day, but the plus is that you get your holidays off! Who doesn’t want a part-time job with built-in vacations?

                                              23. Work as a Camp Counselor

                                              • work as a camp counselor
                                                Work as a Camp Counselor
                                                  • Pros: You can be outdoors in nature, enjoying peers and kids.
                                                  • Cons: You will sometimes be assigned a difficult child.
                                                  • How Old You Have to Be:


                                                  • How Much Can You Make:

                                                    At minimum, your state’s minimum wage

                                                  • What Do you Need:


                                                Some camp counselors are for day-time summer programs. Others are camps that parents send their kids off to.

                                                My son will always remember his camp counselors taking him and his friends to the middle of Hume Lake at night and telling them scary stories.

                                                The age range for working camp counselors varies, depending upon the age of kids you’re working with and if it’s overnight or not.

                                                My sister-in-law was a camp counselor off of Catalina Island and she loved taking kids snorkeling at night through kelp forests.

                                                Dealing with difficult or complaining kids can be hard and take an emotional toll. You do have to have the maturity to handle those situations with grace and ease.

                                                You get to explore and make great new friends with your peer counselors. You create memories that will last you a lifetime.

                                                24. Work at an Amusement Park

                                                • work at an amusement park
                                                  Work at an Amusement Park
                                                    • Pros: Free entry into the park and discounts on food and prizes
                                                    • Cons: It’s very loud, but some people might like that.
                                                    • How Old You Have to Be:

                                                      14 years old

                                                    • How Much Can You Make:

                                                      At minimum, your state’s minimum wage

                                                    • What Do you Need:

                                                      A decent sense of good customer service

                                                  An easy job for most teens would be to work at a local amusement park like Six Flags. You could also work at a carnival or state fair.

                                                  Your jobs might entail taking out the trash, cleaning up, giving directions, instructing people with information like, “Lift up your hands so the lap bar can come down.”

                                                  It’s often very loud near a ride so you’ll have to communicate with team members via hand signals. Standing on your feet in bad weather is also difficult.

                                                  Probably one of the hardest things is dealing with customers who are angry about something you can’t do anything about – long lines, their long walk, or the bad weather.

                                                  The fun part is that you get to go to the park for free and you can also bring a friend for free, with great discounts on food and prizes.

                                                  “I got to take a friend into the park for free at any time; and when I stopped working there, they gave me more free tickets to wish me farewell.” – former Six Flags teen employee Charlie Song.

                                                  If there isn’t a local amusement park, perhaps check out the bowling alleys and arcades near you.

                                                  25. Work at Your Local Market

                                                  • work at local market
                                                    Work at Your Local Market
                                                      • Pros: You get to talk to some nice people.
                                                      • Cons: You can get bored during slow hours. Some customers are rude.
                                                      • How Old You Have to Be:

                                                        14 years old

                                                      • How Much Can You Make:

                                                        At minimum, your state’s minimum wage

                                                      • What Do you Need:

                                                        The ability to be on your feet for several hours

                                                    There are plenty of grocery stores who will hire young teens to work for them.

                                                    Some Market Jobs for Teens:

                                                    • Cashier
                                                    • Cart gatherer
                                                    • Order pullers for online orders
                                                    • Bakery assistant
                                                    • Bagger
                                                    • Aisle cleaner (sweeping and restocking)
                                                    • Floral assistant

                                                    You get to meet some regulars and befriend them. You also get to be physically active as you work.

                                                    The difficult part is that late night hours can get monotonous and dull. Some customers are demanding and rude. You might have to keep an eye out for customers that are high or stealing stuff.

                                                    When the market is busy, the hours fly by quickly. It’s a great place to start your first job.

                                                    The following grocery stores hire teens as young as 14:

                                                    • Kroger (some locations)
                                                    • Publix
                                                    • Giant Eagle
                                                    • Safeway (some locations)

                                                    26. Work in the Food Industry

                                                    • work in food industry
                                                      Work in the Food Industry
                                                        • Pros: Discounts on food
                                                        • Cons: Rude customers
                                                        • How Old You Have to Be:

                                                          14 years old

                                                        • How Much Can You Make:

                                                          At minimum, your state’s minimum wage

                                                        • What Do you Need:

                                                          Decent customer service skills

                                                      A lot of teens start their first jobs in fast food, flipping burgers and making pizzas.

                                                      You get flexible hours and whoopee – free fast food! On top of that, you usually work with peers so you can make friends. Most interactions with customers turn out well.

                                                      A manager from In-N-Out once told me that he hires interviewees who come in smiling, so usually your co-workers are pleasant.

                                                      The cons might be having rude customers, having bad ownership/management, low pay, no tips; it can also be very boring at times and very busy at other times.

                                                      “I got discounts on food and was also able to take home any canceled orders.” – Elijah Hahm, former employee of Pizza Hut

                                                      Here’s a list of restaurants in the food industry that hire as young as 14 years old:

                                                      • Chick Fil A
                                                      • Dairy Queen
                                                      • Boba place
                                                      • Coffee place
                                                      • Some McDonald’s
                                                      • Ben & Jerry’s
                                                      • Baskin-Robbins
                                                      • Dunkin’ Donuts
                                                      • Bruster’s
                                                      • Culver’s
                                                      • Rita’s Italian Ice

                                                      Usually for fast food places where you have to use more dangerous equipment like a deep fryer or a meat slicer, you will have to be at least 16 years old.

                                                      27. Work in a Movie Theater

                                                      • work in a move theater
                                                        Work in a Movie Theater
                                                          • Pros: You get to see movies for free and receive a lot of other freebies.
                                                          • Cons: You have to clean up after people, and sometimes, it's vomit.
                                                          • How Old You Have to Be:

                                                            14 years old

                                                          • How Much Can You Make:

                                                            At least your state’s minimum wage

                                                          • What Do you Need:

                                                            Decent customer service skills

                                                        Do you want to enjoy free movies?

                                                        If you work at a movie theater, not only will you get to see free movies, most theaters will also give you free popcorn and soda. You might also get free movie goodies like posters, pins, cups, etc.

                                                        AMC hires teens as young as 14 years old.

                                                        What’s the negative? With all customer service jobs, there’s the headache of dealing with ridiculous, angry customers. You may rarely have to clean up vomit and tell parents they can’t take their kids to rated R movies.

                                                        If the pros outweigh the cons, then send in a job application to your local theater.

                                                        28. Work in Retail

                                                        • work in retail
                                                          Work in Retail
                                                            • Pros: Employee discount
                                                            • Cons: Due to the tiring nature of the work, the burnout rate for retail is usually quick.
                                                            • How Old You Have to Be:

                                                              Usually 16 years old

                                                            • How Much Can You Make:

                                                              At least your state’s minimum wage

                                                            • What Do you Need:

                                                              Basic customer service skills

                                                          There’s nothing that will teach you how to fold clothes in box format like working for your local Gap. Most of your time is spent folding, cleaning, reorganizing, and facing products in the correct way; you’ll never be able to look at a shelf of products the same again.

                                                          retail store

                                                          Working in retail helps you learn a lot about business and sales. During work hours, you have to be outgoing and shed social anxiety. It’s usually not hard to get hired at a store, and your hours are flexible.

                                                          On top of that, you gain an employee discount on anything in the store.

                                                          Because you’re on your feet all day, the turnover rate for retail is high.  On top of that, CNBC Lauren Thomas reports that 40,000 – 50,000 stores are predicted to close by 2026.

                                                          The following companies are said to set their hiring age at 16:

                                                          • Abercrombie & Fitch
                                                          • Aeropostale
                                                          • Albertsons
                                                          • American Eagle Outfitters
                                                          • Banana Republic
                                                          • Barnes & Noble
                                                          • BJ’s Wholesale Club
                                                          • Charlotte Russian
                                                          • CVS
                                                          • Food Lion
                                                          • Forever 21
                                                          • Gap
                                                          • GUESS
                                                          • H&M
                                                          • Harris Teeter
                                                          • Hollister
                                                          • HomeGoods
                                                          • Hot Topic
                                                          • JCPenney
                                                          • Justice
                                                          • Kmart
                                                          • Kohl’s
                                                          • Levi’s
                                                          • Marshalls
                                                          • Meijer
                                                          • Old Navy
                                                          • PacSun
                                                          • Ralph Lauren
                                                          • Target
                                                          • T.J.Maxx
                                                          • Trader Joe’s
                                                          • Walmart
                                                          • Walgreens

                                                          You definitely want to work in a retail store before they become obsolete.

                                                          29. Work in a Restaurant

                                                          • work in a restaurant
                                                            Work in a Restaurant
                                                              • Pros: Discounted food and tips (if waitressing)
                                                              • Cons: Some customers are extremely rude.
                                                              • How Old You Have to Be:

                                                                14 years old

                                                              • How Much Can You Make:

                                                                At least your state’s minimum wage plus tip

                                                              • What Do you Need:

                                                                Nothing but you may want good walking shoes

                                                            My 17-year-old son was looking for a job and asked a restaurant owner if he had any job openings. The owner hired him on the spot without an interview to wash dishes.

                                                            Restaurants are always looking for people who are willing to do dishes or bus tables. After you are hired, you can work your way up to being a greeter and a waiter.

                                                            It’s hard being on your feet for several hours and dealing with cranky customers, but the tips might be worth it. You can also get discounted or free food!

                                                            The customer service skills are transferable, as you can learn to deal with rude people with grace. You can also stay physically fit since your job is very active.

                                                            30. Work as a Freelance Writer

                                                            • work as a freelance writer
                                                              Work as a Freelance Writer
                                                                • Pros: Work from the quiet of your home
                                                                • Cons: It might be difficult to write professionally on top of all the homework you have to do.
                                                                • How Old You Have to Be:

                                                                  13 years old

                                                                • How Much Can You Make:


                                                                • What Do you Need:

                                                                  A laptop or computer and writing skills

                                                              On Fiverr, you can start writing professionally after you are 13 years old. You can start freelancing and ghostwriting for people.

                                                              The benefit of working as a writer is that you can do it within the quiet of your own home and without office drama. You also get flexible hours and can even work at night.

                                                              The negative might be that you have to write more after completing all of your writing homework for school. However, if creative writing is your niche, you might not get enough of that at school.

                                                              It also might be a headache trying to figure out your taxes as a contractor on your own. But if your parents can help you figure that out, then go for it!

                                                              31. Yard Work

                                                              • yard work
                                                                Yard Work
                                                                  • Pros: You get to enjoy the outdoors in a relaxing environment.
                                                                  • Cons: You have to work in all weather.
                                                                  • How Old You Have to Be:

                                                                    Mature enough to be responsible

                                                                  • How Much Can You Make:

                                                                    $15.82/hour (U.S. average)

                                                                  • What Do you Need:

                                                                    A lawnmower and possibly other gardening tools

                                                                If you are willing to be a neighborhood kid who will mow multiple lawns, your neighbors will surely be happy to pay you rather than an expensive gardener. You would not be allowed to work any dangerous equipment until you are older.

                                                                The pro of doing yard work for neighbors is that you get to spend your work day outdoors and that is always good for your mental health. You also can keep a flexible schedule and work around your school schedule.

                                                                If you are working for an elderly neighbor, they might be willing to fund your curious green thumb experimenting with gardening in their yard.

                                                                Depending on what you agree to do, it can get labor intensive. Though the sun is great for vitamin D and your general health, you do have to be careful about UV rays and skin cancer. Make sure to sunscreen yourself and cover up.

                                                                Closing Tips:

                                                                Working as a teen – managing your free time and school – can be difficult. Most teen friends want to play and live up their teen life, so it’s hard to be responsible.

                                                                If you are punctual, mature, and do an excellent job, then not only will you gain valuable life lessons, but you will gain adult advocates for life. People who hire you will give you raving recommendations for future jobs.

                                                                For more ideas, read How To Earn an Income in High School: 15 Best Jobs for Teens. If you can drive, you can also look into 23 Easy Ways to Make Money With Your Car. If you don’t want to drive to work, consider Bored? 25 Money Making Hobbies That Will Make You Richer.


                                                                Christine Song

                                                                As a homeschooling mother of four, Christine has always had to find creative ways to make her family survive on one income, barring eating potato soup every day. She has learned to not only pounce on killer deals and optimal sales but also works plenty of side gigs to make extra money. Learn more about Christine.

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