Is making money as a teenager easy as it used to be?
After all, that old standby – the newspaper route – has mostly gone into the dustbin of history. I mean…who reads newspapers anymore? smh….
Meanwhile, child labor laws have cut down on the number of jobs that young people can hold. How to make money as a teenager has become something of a matrix. You have to look for moneymaking opportunities from non-traditional sources.
But that’s not a problem, because there are more of them than ever before. We’ve come up with 49! And the only reason we stopped is because the possibilities are almost unlimited! So here are the ways to make money as a teenager that we thought were the best.
We left off the usual teen job situations, like fast food restaurants, grocery stores and big-box retailers. You don’t need us to tell you about ordinary jobs.
Oh, and even though the opportunities are numbered, they’re not in any special order. It’s mostly a matter of picking which one (or ones) will work best for you. We only numbered them so you could pick them out more easily.
Let’s get started…
1. Banging on Doors
This is a true story – if you can indulge a proud papa for a moment…
My seven-year-old son, Bentley, needed to make extra money. Now when you’re seven, the options are pretty limited. But Bentley never got that memo.
Thoroughly unaware of the limits a kid his age should have, he saw one of our neighbors doing yard work, and approached her with a question he had rehearsed many times over:
”Hi. My name is Bentley. I’m trying to earn some extra money to buy some books because I really like to read. Is there anything I can help you with?”
He got the job, worked for an hour and a half, and earned $20. All because he asked a question! It’s my son, and I’m incredibly proud of him, but it’s also an excellent example of how to make money.
You can read the full story here: Bentley’s First Job.
Let’s move on.
Babysitters are getting $10 an hour and up, often working in conditions that are much better than a typical part-time job. You have to love kids, and it will really help if you complete a CPR course. It’s often as easy as just letting people in your neighborhood know that you’re available to sit. Once the word gets around, you may have more babysitting gigs than you can handle.
InboxDollars allows you to earn cash by watching TV, taking surveys, and even searching the web. Got that – cash, not rewards. You won’t make a fortune on this site, but it’s a way to earn some extra money by doing the things you normally do. As you do, the dollars and cents will add up.
If you’re good in any subjects, you can offer your services out as a tutor. Almost any academic subject can qualify, but math, science and English are usually the most in-demand. You can charge $20 an hour and up. Market your services by providing flyers to local schools.
You can even do it online, through platforms such as Enroll.com. You can earn between 60% and 80% of the tutoring fees charged by the website.
5. Become a Language Tutor
This is a very specific kind of tutoring. With the huge influx of immigrants into the US, there’s a big market for people learning to speak English. This is especially true of the children of immigrants.
6. Sell Your Computer and Internet Skills
Teenagers are often more fluent with computers and the Internet than adults. If you have specific skills, you may be able to sell them to paying clients. It could be as simple as helping people to manage their computers or download apps. Many adults are willing to pay other people to do these services for them.
7. Buying & Selling…Stuff
This is the age-old practice of buy low, sell high. If you’ve got an eye for a bargain, it can be a way to make money on a regular basis. There are different ways you can do this. For example, buy gently used clothing at garage sales and thrift stores, and sell them at consignment stores. You can buy just about anything you can think of at the same sources, and then sell them on Craigslist and eBay.
8. Pet Sitting
People routinely pay adults to take care of their pets while they are away on vacation. But you may be able to create your own book of business by charging a little bit less than the going rate for adults. You can find customers by advertising in your own neighborhood, and surrounding neighborhoods. You have to love pets, and the work is usually very casual.
9. Dog Walking
This is a variation on pet sitting, but it tends to be more consistent. That’s because a dog needs to be walked every day, often several times. While people are at work all day, they may need someone who will walk their dogs. You can make a steady income walking the dogs of several customers. Since you can do this in your own neighborhood, you won’t even need a car.
10. Garage Sale Prepper
Practically every homeowner has a garage sale sooner or later. It’s not the garage sale itself that involves all the work. It’s the preparation. Items have to be taken out of storage, cleaned, priced, and placed for sale. It’s a very time-consuming process, that any would-be garage saler would love to have help with. Volunteer your services in your neighborhood, particularly in the spring and fall when garage sales are most frequent.
11. Taking Online Surveys
This isn’t an opportunity that I’m terribly enthusiastic about, because most sites pay rewards, rather than cash. But if being paid in rewards is okay for you, then you can try sites like MySurvey.com, PaidViewpoint and SurveyConsensus. They have surveys on topics related to teens, and you usually have to be at least 13 or 14 to participate.
12. Session Musician
Are you particularly good with a musical instrument, especially one that would lend itself well to performing artists? If you can, you might be able to work as a session musician. These are people who play in a music group, but aren’t necessarily part of the group. You get paid on a per gig basis.
13. Camp Counselor
These are usually temporary arrangements, most often in the summer months. You’re generally working with younger kids. It floats somewhere between freelance work and a traditional job. You might have set hours, but there’s a lot of flexibility as to how you do the job.
14. Mother’s Helper
This can be a welcome service for either a new mother or for one who has several young children. It’s less about babysitting (though that can be one possible outcome), and more about providing assistance. A mom might ask you to perform certain services, such as preparing meals, organizing laundry, or feeding very young children. The arrangement can be either temporary or permanent.
15. Make and Sell Crafts on Etsy
If you have a talent for making crafts, you can start making some extra money selling them on Etsy. It’s a site dedicated to those who create and sell handmade crafts.
16. Pool Lifeguard
This is usually a seasonal opportunity. But if you like being at the pool, and you have lifeguard training, this is definitely a way to pick up money during the summer months.
17. Skate Guard
Even though most skating rinks are indoor, this tends to be more of a winter opportunity. If you’re an above-average skater, you may qualify.
18. Work in an Amusement Park
Amusement parks often prefer hiring teenagers. That’s because you’re a natural fit with the common clientele, which is largely teenagers. There can be some good fringe benefits as well, with some parks providing season passes.
19. Personal Assistant
Do you know an adult whose unusually busy? That person may need help with a wide variety of small jobs. That can be anything from running errands to doing work in his or her business or profession. If you have good organizational and administrative skills, this can be a serious moneymaking opportunity. It can also be excellent training for a future full-time job.
20. Making YouTube Videos
If you’ve ever made a video on YouTube, you may be able to turn this into a steady revenue stream. There are even videos that teach you how to make videos. You create videos, set them up with Google AdSense, then earn income as people view your video, and click on the ads displayed. You can even create videos that can provide you with affiliate income from various service providers.
21. Teach Computer Basics to Older Folks
Despite the rapid spread of computer, there are a lot of people who still don’t know much about them. This is particularly true of people over 60, who came up in the world before computers were a thing. Many are only discovering the joys of computers now. But they don’t know how to use them well. You can offer your services teaching them. Speak with local senior citizens groups or even senior living centers, and see what you can work out.
Just like my son Bentley, sometimes all you need to do is ask!
22. Create and Sell Art
I once ran into a teenager who was creating and selling his own artwork at a fair. That is, he was creating the artwork at the fair, and selling it. He was creating dazzling artwork with spray paint. It was exciting stuff, and he was actually selling it – at about $20 each. If you have an artistic streak, selling directly at fairs and craft shows can be a serious moneymaking opportunity.
23. Become an Event Photographer
I’m not talking about becoming a wedding photographer. People like to have photos taken at lesser events, like family gatherings and birthday parties. If you know of such events taking place, volunteer your services as a photographer. You might charge a flat fee to attend the event, like $30 or $40. But it’s light work, and you’ll probably get free food as a fringe benefit.
24. Work in a Movie Theater
Yes, this is a job, but one with a lot of perks. Not only does the pay tend to be above minimum wage, but you get to watch plenty of free movies. You’ll also get to enjoy the benefits of air-conditioning on those hot summer days. And since movie theaters tend to draw teenagers, you’ll be in familiar company.
25. Housecleaning Assistant
Adults don’t typically hire teenagers to clean their homes. But they might hire them as housecleaning help. If someone has a specific housecleaning day, they may appreciate your services in getting the job done. This is another service that you can offer to people in your neighborhood.
26. Give Music Lessons
If you play a musical instrument, and you’re pretty good at it, offer your services as a private music teacher. Kids often respond better to other kids, especially teenagers, when it comes to learning anything. If you have the patience to teach, and a musical skills too, this can be a real opportunity. You might approach this by speaking with school music teachers in your area, and offering your services to work with students.
27. Washing Cars
While it’s true that you can usually go to a car wash and get the job done for a few dollars, a lot of people still like the personal touch. This is particularly true if you make house calls, and will wash cars in the customer’s own driveway.
28. Fiverr and Upwork
if you have certain skills, usually computer-related, you can make money doing micro tasks. These are small jobs, like graphic design, voiceovers and social media work, that pay a few dollars per gig. The idea is to do multiple jobs, from the comfort of your home, and earn some extra money. You can do this through platforms like Fiverr and Upwork.
29. Create Tumblr Themes
Tumblr has become one of the most popular social media sites for teenagers. If you spend a lot of time there, and you know how to design themes, you can earn some money creating them for other people. Everybody wants a winning theme, so it’s a niche you might be able to fill.
30. Putting Up/Taking Down Christmas Decorations
Almost everyone loves Christmas decorations. But putting them up can be a challenge, and taking them down can be a hassle. Offer your services around your neighborhood, especially if you have a flair for putting up decorations. The work will only be seasonal of course, but it will give you a chance to make some extra money around the holidays.
31. Light Hauling
Naturally, this opportunity only applies if you have a driver’s license, and a vehicle that can be used for hauling. But if you do, you might be able to help people with moving a few pieces of furniture, or in cleaning out junk from a basement or garage. You can charge a flat fee for the haul, and an hourly fee for loading and unloading.
32. Start Your Own Blog
This one is hit or miss, since there are literally millions of blogs out there. But many do become moneymakers. And if you’re only looking to make some extra money on the side, blogging can get the job done.
Set up a blog that centers on just about any topic that you like. You have to add content regularly, including articles, podcasts and videos. Make money by adding Google Adsense to your blog, and by participating in affiliate programs that offer services related to your blog.
33. Amateur Referee
If you’ve ever played recreational sports then you know that every event has one or more referees. As a teenager, you may qualify as one of those referees. I know of at least one teen was earning between $25 and $60 to referee one hour games for kids between the ages of four and 12. Check with the recreational leagues in your community. If you can referee multiple sports, you can work year-round.
If you like listening to music – all kinds of music – this can be a way to make some extra money in your spare time. MusicXRay will pay you 10 cents per song, to listen to and rate whether or not you like the music of aspiring new artists. You only have to listen to a song for a minimum of 30 seconds to get paid.
35. Running Errands
If you have a car or a bicycle, this is a possibility. It can be a valuable service to someone who either doesn’t have a car, doesn’t like to drive, or simply can’t get out and about. You can earn money for each errand you run. Once again, advertise your services in your local neighborhood, and see who needs help.
36. Write Web Content
WriterAccess.com provides an opportunity to write content for websites. You’re eligible if you’re a teenager. The pay ranges between 1.4 cents and 7 cents per word, which means you can earn anywhere from $14 – $70 for 1,000 words. Pay is twice a month. Get good at this and you can try your hand at freelance writing.
37. Assisting the Elderly
Many elderly people prefer to live in their own homes, rather than going to a senior facility. But there are many aspects of home maintenance and basic living that they have difficulty managing.
38. Selling Designs on CafePress
This is another of the more entrepreneurial money-making methods. CaféPress is a way that you can sell your designs and earn some money. You can create designs for T-shirts, sweatshirts, coffee mugs, tote bags and even pillows. Just create an account on the site, and then upload your designs. The site will display your designs, which will be purchased by customers on the site.
CafePress advertises, but you can also promote your work on the site through the social media.
ThredUp is a web platform where you can sell gently used upscale clothing. You can be paid anywhere from two dollars up to $25 per item. The items have to be name brand, like J.Crew, L.L. Bean and Banana Republic. But if you have a closet full of name brand garments, or you know where to get them, this can be a steady stream of extra income.
40. Yard Maintenance
This can be anything from cutting lawns on a regular basis, to shoveling snow, to one-off property management projects, like raking leaves or trimming hedges. If you don’t mind getting your hands dirty, you can provide these services for people in your neighborhood. Your competitive advantage is that you can work for less money than professional landscapers charge.
41. Golf Caddy
A lot of young people get their first job on a golf course. If you’re already a golfer, this can be a natural outlet. Not only is the work fairly easy, but you have an opportunity to connect with people who may be able to help you later in life, with everything from getting into a certain college, to landing a job on graduation.
42. Find Odd-jobs on Craigslist
Craigslist has rapidly grown to become what local newspaper classified ads used to be. You can find just about anything on the site, including odd jobs. Some of them involve ongoing work, while others are single jobs. You can scan the offers, and take only those assignments that are good fit for you.
43. Collect and Recycle Metals
I know a young guy with a pickup truck who did this for several years, and made good money. Metals – steel, aluminum, and especially copper – can easily be recycled. Contact companies in your area who buy scrap metal, then go around your community and collect any metal left out for garbage pickup.
Snagajob is actually a job board, but one where you can find the kinds of jobs that are not available in the local newspaper or the mall. All kinds of employers in every industry advertise for jobs on the site. It may be a chance for you to find that unusual job you’ve been hoping to find.
45. Video Editing
If you know how to create videos, you can probably edit them as well. If you’ve created some professional quality videos, or have performed editing work on other people’s videos, you already have a portfolio of work. Offer your services out on Craigslist and other sites. You can charge either an hourly fee, or a flat fee depending on the job.
46. Digitalizing Photos
This is basically a process of scanning and saving photos to your computer. If you have a good quality scanner, you can offer your services to people who are looking to convert their photos from paper to digital.
47. Window Cleaning
Window cleaning is one of those jobs. It’s not that it’s particularly hard, it’s just that most people forget to do it. All you need is a squeegee and a large bottle of Windex, and you’ll be in business.
48. Cleaning Out Basements or Garages
Most people hate these jobs, because they can be huge projects. That’s especially true if it’s been years s