Being a teenager is an exciting time filled with new experiences and growing responsibilities. While education and personal growth are essential, many teenagers also want to start earning their own money to pay for activities, buy themselves the latest iPhone, or even save up long-term.
Fortunately, there are several ways to make money as a teenager and gain valuable skills along the way. In this brief guide, we will explore some practical strategies for teenagers to earn their first income and take the necessary steps toward financial empowerment.
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How to Make Money as a Teenager
While there are some jobs available for teenagers, the majority of career paths are restricted to experienced adults and people who have completed their high school diplomas. That being said, it is important to check the laws in your country or state before applying for jobs; some areas only allow employment after the age of 14, while others restrict it before 16.
Babysitting & Pet Sitting
One of the most popular ways for teenagers to earn money is by babysitting or pet sitting for local families. Many parents and pet owners are often in need of reliable and responsible individuals to care for their children or pets when they are away. By offering these services, teenagers can earn a reasonable income while building essential skills and trust within their community.
Teenagers who excel academically can take advantage of their knowledge and skills to provide tutoring or academic support to other students. Whether it’s helping with homework, offering subject-specific tutoring, or assisting with exam preparation, teenagers can offer their expertise to those in need.
Yard Work & Home Maintenance
Many people, especially the elderly or busy professionals, require assistance with basic yard upkeep and home maintenance tasks. Teenagers can take advantage of this by offering services such as lawn mowing, gardening, painting, or even cleaning. Creating flyers or spreading the word in the local community through local Facebook groups can help teenagers find clients who need assistance with these chores.
Selling Handmade or Pre-Loved Items
For the more creative individuals, selling handmade crafts or pre-loved items can be a great way to make money as a teenager. Online platforms such as Etsy and Facebook Marketplace, as well as local markets and thrift shops, provide ways for teenagers to showcase and sell their products. Whether it’s handmade jewelry, artwork, clothing, or unique vintage finds, teenagers can tap into their passions and turn them into viable sources of income.
Certain platforms such as Swagbucks allow users aged 13 and up to take online surveys in exchange for money, gift cards, or coupons. You can earn different amounts for different surveys depending on the company, how long the survey takes, and your level of activity on the platform.
Work in Food Service
According to this report from 2020, 268,000 teens between the ages of 16 and 19 were employed as cooks, 262,000 as fast food and counter workers, and 180,000 as food preparation workers. As you can see, the food service industry is a popular way to get a job and make money as a teenager. You can apply for a position over vacation months, or even work on weekends during your semesters.
Become a Lifeguard
If you’re lucky enough to live close to a beach, and you’re willing to challenge yourself, many areas allow teenagers to train and work as lifeguards. This involves intense physical training, patrolling beaches, and potentially swimming out to save people that are struggling to swim to shore. This can be a taxing job, but also highly rewarding.
Teenagers with large social media followings on platforms such as Instagram or TikTok can obtain brand deals from businesses for promoting their products or services. Companies may send influencers packages containing their most popular products to review on social media. The influencers will typically receive a commission or once-off payment for doing this.
Work as a Camp Counselor
Teenagers are frequently recruited to fill counselor positions at summer camps, either at day camps or sleepaway camps. Camp counselor jobs for teenagers are a great choice for those who enjoyed camp as children. This involves supervising the campers, planning and overseeing activities, and ensuring the overall safety and well-being of the campers under their care.
Start a YouTube Channel
Teenagers aged 13 and up can start a YouTube account and begin posting videos. Popular examples include screen recordings of game playthroughs, makeup tutorials, or product reviews. Once you have gained a large enough audience, YouTube will start monetizing your videos and sending you the ad revenue.
As seen in the examples in this article, there are a plethora of ways to make money as a teenager. Whether you’re trying to save up long-term, have extra money for outings, or buy yourself something you’ve always wanted, there is an option for everyone.
It is important to remember that your teenage years are a time of growth and exploration, and working your first job can be a huge part of that. Starting work early on in life can help you to build essential skills, learn how to deal with people, and even give you extra credit for your college applications.