Wondering how to make money as a teenager? You are not alone! These days, teenagers are taking charge of their lives. A survey given to teens found that 67% had some form of a job and only a third received any kind of weekly allowance (Statistic Research Department 2011). Making money as a teen gives you an advantage in this fast-changing world. It teaches you money management skills and gives you a sense of independence. Even when teenagers couldn’t get hired on as an employee, many start their own small business or work odd jobs to save for their first car and college. Here are some great ideas for how teens make money.
Whether you want a part-time job or a side business, there are many ways how teens make money. Here are a few ways to make extra bucks:
#1 BEST TIP: Help People Around Your Neighborhood!
Working for people in your neighborhood is a great way to make money, as you don’t need a car to get to work. Simply reaching out to your neighbors and letting them know you’re interested in working odd jobs does a lot to open doors and opportunities. Rather than focusing on just one of these services, you could distribute a flyer with a list of ALL the services you could provide – like the items listed in this article (yard work, organizing a garage, washing cars, tutoring, babysitting) to help people think of reasons to hire you. Consider listing your rates. Some people are generous and choose to pay even more than you’re asking, as they want to support young entrepreneurs. I know I do!
IMPORTANT: As you’re reading this article:
- Make a list of ALL the services you’re interested in providing.
- Use that list to create a flyer
- Deliver your flyer to trusted neighbors and family friends.
🎉 CONGRATULATIONS! Your first business has officially begun! 💸
Eventually, you may decide to specialize in just ONE service or business that is the most profitable or enjoyable to you. The only way to figure this out is to try!
If you are good at subjects like math, science or foreign languages, you can teach others. Many parents need help with younger children, especially with their homework and learning. Tutors often make more than babysitters or food service workers. It also serves as a great experience for you, if you want to be a teacher in the future.
Teach Art Lessons
If you have any artistic skill, odds are you have something you could teach younger kids. Parents with budding artists are willing to pay to help their kids foster their love of art. The nice thing is, you could set up art lessons in a group format to make even more.
Coaching / Sports Training
Do you play sports? Similar to tutoring, many parents are happy to pay teens to help train their kids who are learning new sports. Whether it’s soccer, basketball, or even something like skateboarding, lots of kids need help learning the basics.
Related to sports, many youth leagues hire teens to referee games. My nephews have made good money as soccer referees. As long as you have experience with the sport and can reliably show up on time for games, you’d be a great fit for a referee position.
Do you have swimming experience? Do you love being around pools? Lifeguarding is one of those positions that often hire teens. An investment in a lifeguarding course where you learn rescue techniques and CPR can have big dividends. Another benefit of this job is the work is mostly during the summer when teens are off for school.
People die from swimming-related accidents every day and the majority are children. By teaching swimming, you are giving people life skills and good safety measures. Plus, you’ll be making money to save towards a car or college.
Are you a dog lover? Then, you can make money from walking dogs. Lucky for you, dogs have to exercise their bodies and walk every day, so the demand is high. Meet people in your area, especially those who don’t have time to walk their dogs themselves. You can walk their dogs while they’re at work and make good money.
People love their pets, but often pets have to be left at home during vacations. Some people want their pets cared for in another home or their own, but either way, it’s a great opportunity to make some money for not much effort. Pet owners often pay a generous daily rate and are happy to not have to send their pet to a kennel.
Call your local kennels to see if you’re looking for someone to help keep the place clean, the dogs happy, and the front desk managed.
When I was younger, babysitting was one of the ways I made money. So, if you are good with babies or children, you are a perfect fit. Start with watching the kids of people you know. They, in turn, will help to broadcast your services.
Even if you live in a small town, odds are there is some kind of attraction that hires teens to manage the ticket booth or other simple jobs. I know our town has a small train attraction that hires teenagers.
People with businesses often need an extra set of hands to help with little things. If you have a knack for things like organizing or making calls, you could make good money as a personal assistant. If you have your own car and can run errands, that increases your marketability even more. Consider having your parents reach out to their network of friends to let them know you’re interested in finding work.
Clean Houses or Be a Cleaning Assistant
I know it’s not glamorous work, but if you can work hard, you could make big bucks as a cleaner! Our cleaner works less than 2 hours when she comes and we pay her $130 per cleaning. Obviously, you need to know how to efficiently scrub every surface. But the little touches like making beds and folding the end of toilet paper rolls into triangles can also delight all of your cleaning clients.
Companion for the Elderly
Many older people are lonely and in need of a friend to play games, go on walks, or simply be around so they’re not lonely. Many people are willing to pay someone to visit their parent or loved one, as they cannot be around all the time.
Chick-Fil-A or In-N-Out
Both of these restaurants are known for both hiring teens and paying well. If you have a friend who works there who can vouch for you, all the better. The working world is all about networking! If you don’t know anyone, start reaching out. Practice introducing yourself and making a confident first impression.
At-Home Day Camps
Some young teens I know have created their own morning or afternoon day camps for kids during the summer. If they were very young teens, they had a parent home to help supervise, but they did the work of creating crafts and activities to keep my young kids entertained during the long summer days so I could work or get chores done. The kids loved playing with other kids and the teens loved that having a group allowed them to make even more money. Not bad for just one week’s worth of work!
If you don’t want to create your own camp, consider working for one. Summer camps are often staffed with teenagers to do everything from teaching sports to supervising crafts.
Let your neighbors know you’d be interested in caring for their homes. You can water plants, take care of any pets, and check in regularly to make sure their home is safe and secure. I used to do this for my neighbor anytime she left town and made some extra cash.
Regardless of the season, everyone needs help in the yard. In the summer, you can help people to weed and mow their lawns. During fall, there are leaves to rake and fences to paint. In the winter, you can help with shoveling snow. This job is flexible and keeps money in your pocket all year long.
Clean out Gutters Before a Storm
Related to yard work, but this was a specific idea one teen had that made them big money. Before a big storm was due to hit our area, a neighborhood teen offered gutter cleaning services and made a huge profit in the process. Gutter cleaning is one of those annoying jobs no homeowner wants to bother with but is essential to home care. Cleaning the gutters allows the rainwater to flow freely rather than backing up and damaging the roof or backing up and dripping near the home foundation.
Resell Clothing and Furniture
Several teens I know have found a business thrifting for quality clothing or furniture items and reselling them on Instagram or eBay. This was actually my husband’s college business. My friend’s teenager also does this currently. She finds treasures at thrift stores and sells them for a higher price on Instagram.
Teaching Musical Instruments
If you are good at any musical instrument like the piano or flute, teach! Not only is it a fun job, but you also earn money from doing what you love. It also allows you to work with a schedule that’s convenient for you. The piano teacher I had for years started as a high school student. She built up many students and it allowed her to pay for college.
It hasn’t happened yet, but I swear this is going to be my son’s high school job. If you are already into music and have accumulated a lot of the equipment (like we have), make some extra money by providing the music for events at schools and parties. My son’s favorite place in the world is at Guitar Center, sniffing around the DJ music boards. He’s saving up for one — it’d be a great investment for a business.
Many people have said working at a movie theater was their favorite job as a teen. Movie theaters often hire young people to work there, plus there are perks! Like free movies and popcorn.
Are you a good writer? Graphics designer? Do you have a marketable digital skill? Then, make money working from home by being a freelancer. You don’t need to work for a salary, instead, you earn from various clients. Advertise your skills on social media platforms and digital marketplaces. This will get you noticed and increase your prospects.
Nobody likes cleaning garages. So, you can make a fortune out of this neglected duty. If you live in the suburbs, then you are sure to find garages around you. Talk to neighbors, friends, and relatives, offering your services. This will help spread the word and put you in a position to make money.
If you live near a golf course, you could make good money on tips as a golf caddy. You would be in charge of carrying the golfer’s bag, keeping the clubs clean, and walking ahead to keep track of their ball. With a little training (YouTube for the win), you can be raking in the tips.
We are in the digital age and technology has come to stay. So, why not take advantage of it and make money. Learn how to code, then you can make money from teaching it. Also, you can get freelance clients that will pay you to code for them. Parents will pay you to train their kids on coding. This is because everyone knows the immense value that comes with having these skills. Learning how to build a basic website is a great place to start.
Create Websites for Small Businesses
If you have a knack for technology, you can help small businesses creating their own website. My husband did this for one of his first jobs. With today’s drag and drop websites, it’s not complicated, but some people are intimidated by technology and would pay to outsource. Creating websites is a valuable skill to add to your resume.
Filing and Office Work
If you know anyone with a business, odds are they need some cheap labor (aka a teenager) to do light office work, like data entry or answer phones. Tell your parents to let everyone know you’re looking for work and it’s amazing what pops up with a little communication and networking.
Learn A High-Income Skill like Bookkeeping
When I was a teenager, I learned the basics of bookkeeping, which was essentially entering a ton of banking transactions. Even though I wasn’t a professionally trained accountant yet, most of the work was basic data entry. When I wasn’t sure about an entry, I put it in a “clearing” account that I went through later with my supervising accountant. I continued to work as a bookkeeper all through college and occasionally still pick up work, like when I traded services with an HVAC specialist in exchange for an expensive housewife A/C installation. Bookkeeping is essential to every business – it’s a great skill to learn.
Here are some free classes about how to build a bookkeeping business.
This is a high-demand service because most people don’t have the time to do it. So, you can offer to wash their cars for a fee. The cleaning materials are things you have lying around your house. It will not cost you much capital to start up. Plus, you might find people who want to have their car washed regularly, creating a subscription service.
This could even be a more lucrative area than car washes because you don’t even need access to water. I would definitely pay someone to clean out my car regularly. As a mom of kids, I have a layer of cheerios at all times. Get some Armorall wipes, borrow a vacuum, and you’re in business.
Target starts hiring at age 16, so check out all your local retail stores to see if they’re hiring. Regular after-school and weekend hours could be the key to a steady income stream, so know you know how to save money fast.
Everyone wants to look and feel great. And most people know they’ll be more motivated with someone monitoring their progress. So, if you are a fitness enthusiast, you can make money from teaching them. From basic weight-lifting to simple workouts, the possibilities are endless. If you are good at other sports like football or basketball, people will pay to learn from you.
Put on A Garage Sale for your Parents or Neighbors
Whether it’s for your parents or a neighbor, odds are someone wants your help putting on a garage sale. The hardest things about garage sales are organizing, labeling, and supervising the sale. If you’re willing to do all that, you can make a good amount of money helping people sell their unwanted items. Consider offering your services to a neighbor or friends of your parents. You could agree on an hourly rate or a percentage of the sales so your client knows you’re committed to helping them have a successful garage sale.
Create A YouTube Channel
Making money from a channel is a big commitment for a questionable payoff, but if you love making videos, start practicing and building content now. These days, a lot of young people make money online. I’m certain you have seen successful YouTube stars your age or younger. You too can make money online. First, you must figure out your niche. This is something that interests you or you’re good at.
You can make DIY videos and how-to videos. These are the kinds of things people want to watch because they learn from them. When your audience grows, you can monetize your channel and earn money. This is a good source of passive income because the money comes in even when you’re not online. Although, it may take a while to pull the required traction.
Food / Shave Ice Stands
If you have a food or shaved ice stand in your area, odds are they are hiring teens to staff them! Employers often hire by referral (aka people they already know), so ask your friends what they’re doing for work and if they can help you get an interview).
Ice Cream Shops
Ice Cream Shops also often hire teens. I have several friends who got buff working at ColdStone while they were in high school. You don’t think of serving ice cream as an athletic endeavor until you’d worked a full shift!
Be a Barista
Starbucks starts hiring baristas as age 16. Learn how to make some coffee basics and you’ve got a great job that even includes some tips.
Okay, so this is for older teens (18+), but you can get paid to give your opinion. Who knew? Survey Junkie is a big one.
City Recreation Department
When I asked my readers how they earned money as a teenager, several said they worked for their city recreation department. They also said it was the perfect job – interesting and fun to work with other teens. The positions might be youth camps, sports, lifeguarding, city events, front desk, etc.
Set up Christmas Lights
Since most teenagers have time off of school for Thanksgiving, use it as an opportunity to make some money setting up Christmas Lights.
Taking Down Christmas Trees
Setting up Christmas Trees can feel magical. Taking them down is a chore. After Christmas, have your parents post to social media that you’re looking for work and are offering to help people carefully put away their ornaments and remove lights for a fee. I would 100% pay someone to do this for me.
Once you’re 18, you’re eligible for a lot of delivery services like DoorDash. You need your own form or transportation, but in a metropolitan area, that could even be a bike.
It sounds silly, but one of my readers said their teens make good money bringing garbage cans to and from the curb. Each homeowner only pays a little, but if you have many people in a neighborhood, this chore can add up to a big profit for a job that takes little time.
Social Media Manager
If you have a knack for graphics and writing, many small businesses are looking to outsource their social media accounts. You could take a course. The great thing about this job is you can do it from wherever. You could even grow your business and use it to support you throughout college.
I make over $1,000 a month from my blog. If you like writing or have a subject you’re passionate about, blogging is a great way to monetize it (how I make money blogging). Recipe blogs are a particularly profitable market. My friend Amy makes well over $100,000 a year from her recipe blog.
Although it’s a long-term strategy, once you have earned income, you are eligible for one of the most attractive investment accounts: A Roth IRA. Your earnings would be restricted to when you: retire or buy your first home, but you can take out the contributions at any time. I actually created a video on TikTok about how to make money as a teenager with a Roth IRA. $50 a month contributed each month could make you a millionaire by retirement age. If you want unrestricted access to your investment, you can open a taxable account instead, although I always recommend leaving money in the market before at LEAST 5+ years before touching it. If you’re trying to time the market, you might end up selling at the worst time – when the market is low. Money needs time to grow!
If you want to know how to make money as a teenager, you must figure out the value you offer. Then, determine how much you should get from it. This will prepare you for the real world and teach you money management. Hopefully, all these options have helped you brainstorm how teens make money. With a little effort and determination, you can make money in no time.
Join the FREE Money Fit Challenge!
If you’re a parent reading this for your teen, you might consider joining the Money Fit Challenge. You’re more likely to accomplish financial goals if you have a supportive community and step-by-step instructions? Get both from Money Fit Moms!
(2) Then, get FREE step-by-step instructions and tools to accomplish all the Money Fit Challenges. (e.g. budgeting, pay off debt, investing, retirement, create a will)