40+ Ways to Make Money as a Teenager

The job market can be a tough place even for an adult with experience, let alone a teenager.

Yet, many teenagers are not shying away from taking a summer job or working during the weekends.

I used to work during the summer to have enough money to travel. I did all sorts of odd jobs from working as a cashier to washing cars and walking dogs.

It was a great way to get out into the world, interact with people and grow as an individual, and it helped me to develop life skills that were handy later on in life.

Teenagers usually seek out job opportunities either to help out their parents make ends meet, to gain some modicum of financial independence or just to spend their free time as constructively as possible.

Working as a teenager can have many benefits both from a financial and personal perspective:

  • Having to undertake responsibilities early on in life builds character;
  • Teenagers that work better understand the work their parents do to provide a living for their family;
  • They can put money away for college or pay for clothes, travelling or entertainment.

Whatever your motivation, doing odd jobs as a teenager can be a great way to gain experience that will help you later on in life.

Thankfully, there are companies and individuals who will employ motivated teenagers for various gigs or even long-term.

Here are at least 40 ways you can start making money as a teenager:

1. Babysitting

This may not be a job all teenagers can do, but it’s quite a common way to earn some cash while spending time with kids.

Responsible teenagers who are good with kids often babysit during weeknights or in the summer when the kids are on holiday and parents are working.

Offer to babysit for anyone in your family or your neighborhood who may need it.

2. Doing Yard Work

If you’re an active person and you don’t mind doing manual labor, you could do yard work like mowing the lawn, planting flowers, cleaning the pool, painting fences, etc.

You could offer to do yard work for the elderly or people who are too busy to do these works themselves. You could charge for these works by the hour or per task.

Make sure you wear safety gear for any jobs that require it and you’re careful when handling sharp tools or objects.

3. Pet Sitting

If you don’t really get along with kids, pet sitting can be a fun and enjoyable way to spend time caring for a dog or a cat and earn some cash in the process.

Pet sitting involves not only keeping an eye on people’s furry friends, but also making sure they are well-fed and hydrated.

If you’re allergic to cats and dogs, there are other pets you can take care of like birds or fish.

4. Dog Walking

Another great way to stay active and earn a few bucks is to walk people’s dogs. If you’re an experienced dog owner, you could walk more dogs at once.

You could ask your parents to ask around their friends if anyone needs dog walking services or make some leaflets and distribute it in your neighborhood or neighborhoods close by.

5. House Sitting

It’s not uncommon for friends and neighbors to ask each other to house sit while they’re away on vacation.

You may need to stay a few hours at a house or to live there the entire time, so make sure you’re clear on what the expectations are from you.

Some house-sitting gigs involve watering the plants, sorting the mail, and taking care of any pets that are there.

6. Offer House-Cleaning Services

Cleaning houses is another way you can make money as a teenager. Traditional cleaning services can be costly, so people usually don’t give it a second thought to hire responsible teenagers to clean their houses.

If you’re a tidy and organized person, cleaning houses may be a good gig for you.

Think about the services you want to offer (do you clean windows as well or wash the dishes?) and how much you want to charge per hour.

Make sure to ask for letters of recommendation from people that are happy with your services.

7. Washing Cars

Washing cars was my favorite way to make some extra cash during the summer. Because I went to people’s houses, they didn’t have to make a stop at a car wash and waste their time waiting around for their car to get ready.

I never used my own equipment to wash cars to avoid any damage caused by scratchy rags or bad-quality car wash detergents.

I cleaned cars inside-out and used people’s hoses to clean exteriors and people’s vacuums to clean the interiors.

To avoid any quarrels or conflict, make sure you ask what the expectations are, whether people have their own equipment, or they provide you with all necessary tools, etc.

Clearing up these aspects will also help you in deciding on your rate.

8. Organize Garages or Houses

If you have a knack for organizing things, you’ll be getting offers from left and right.

People rarely have time to properly organize things in their garages or homes, and even when they do, they would rather pay someone else to do it for them.

Make sure you evaluate correctly the time you need to organize spaces, so you can charge an amount that makes it worthwhile for you to spend your time cleaning and organizing spaces.

9. Set up a Lemonade Stand

This one is a true classic in its category. If your city allows it, set up a lemonade stand in a busy park or at a fair.

If lemonade is not your thing, you could sell cold bottled water, baked goods or snacks.

The profit you make from selling these goods should cover your expenses and leave you with money for the hours you’ve worked.

10. Set up a Farmer’s Market Stand

Farmer’s Market stands are a good opportunity to sell fresh fruit and vegetables or specialty foods.

Make sure to check your local food laws and whether you can set up a stand for free as a teenager. In some areas, Food Market’s will not charge for stands set up by teenagers.

11. Work at a Fast-Food Restaurant

Fast-food restaurant chains are always hiring cashiers. Check if any fast-food restaurants in your area are hiring.

The advantages of working at a fast-food restaurant is that you’re guaranteed an hourly wage and you have a work schedule.

Alternatively, you could work as a waitress at a sit-down restaurant, where you can earn tips on top of your hourly wage.

12. Run Errands

People confined to their homes like the elderly or busy families often hire teenagers to run errands for them.

Whether picking up the dry cleaning, going to the post office, or drug store, you could be making money and helping out families who simply don’t have enough time to take care of everything.

13. Become a Parent’s Helper

It may sound like I’m repeating myself with this suggestion, but a parent’s helper is not the same as being a babysitter.

As a mother or father’s helper you may be asked to run errands, fold laundry, do the dishes, prepare lunch, or even help kids with their homework.

It’s difficult for first-time parents to run the household while taking care of children, so offering your services in these families can help you earn money during your summer holidays or on weekends.

14. Consider a Job in Retail

Just like working at a restaurant, this job too has the benefit of a guaranteed hourly wage.

You can work the cash registers or keep shelves stocked at clothing or retail stores. You can work only during the summer or a few hours a week all year round.

15. Work at a Grocery Store

If you love working with customers, you can work as a grocery bagger or cashier. If you prefer not to interact with customers, you can work as stock person or cart handler.

Either way, a grocery store position can be a reliable way to make money as a teenager.

16. Become a Tutor for Kids

If you excel at certain school subjects like foreign languages or math, you can offer tutoring to kids of local parents.

Some kids may have trouble understanding certain school subjects, so if you’re able to help them through their struggles with certain subjects, parents will notice and recommend you to other parents as well.

17. Rent Out Your Stuff

If you have video games or books that you could rent out to friends for a small fee, you could earn some money passively.

Rent out your stuff for a given period to friends and schoolmates and charge a late fee if they fail to return items on time.

You could also consider selling some items you no longer need if you’re offered a fair price for them.

18. Sell Your Old Stuff

Instead of renting out your things, you could sell your old stuff that you no longer need. Sell books, toys, clothes you’ve outgrown or no longer like and invest in new hobbies with the money you get for your old stuff.

You can sell your stuff on Facebook, Craigslist, or use apps like Letgo or Decluttr.

19. Work at a Movie Theater

If you’re a big fan of movies how better to combine work with a hobby than working at a movie theater?

Ask around movie theaters in your area whether they’re looking for ticket sellers, ticket inspectors, or even janitors.

Some movie theatres will give you free tickets to see new releases.

20. Take a Lifeguard Certification

If you like the beach and the sun, and you’re also an experienced swimmer, a lifeguard position may be right up your alley.

If you don’t have a lifeguard certification, you can get one at an organization like the Red Cross, or other qualified organizations that have this certification program.

21. Sell Your Products

If you’re an artsy or crafty person, you could sell your own products at fairs and festivals.

Paintings, handmade necklaces, bracelets, earrings are just some of the things you could make.

Besides fairs and festivals, you could also sell these items on Etsy, eBay or Craigslist.

22. Sell Your Designs

Another way to make money from your hobbies is to sell your designs on print to order websites like Cafepress.

Your designs can appear on t-shirts, phone covers, tote bags, etc.

With print to order services, you don’t have to worry about shipping, customer support, or inventory. Simply create an account, upload your designs and wait to get paid after the sales your designs make.

23. Weed Gardens

If you don’t mind getting your hands a little dirty, weeding gardens is another job that you can do.

Old people may find it difficult to weed their gardens regularly, so they would appreciate the help and you could spend some time working with flowers and plants.

Ask your parents or extended family if they know someone who would need help with weeding gardens.

24. Water Grass and Plants

Besides weeding gardens, watering grass and plants once or twice weekly is another job that you can do as a teenager.

Not everyone has an automatic sprinkler installed in their garden, so they may need to water their garden with a hose or a watering can. You can offer to do these tasks for them for a small fee.

25. Clean Boats and Campers

Offering to clean recreational vehicles is another cleaning service that you can undertake as a teenager.

Clean boats or campers inside-out either by using the owners’ supplies or your own cleaning supplies. Always ask beforehand whether they’ll supply you with cleaning tools and products, or do you need to bring your own.

26. Cleaning Dog Enclosures or Yards

Most people like dogs, but people do get a little squeamish about scraping dog feces. If you’re not one of those people, you could be making some handsome money by taking this task off people’s hands.

You could offer this service as a corollary to dog sitting where applicable.

27. Work as a Call Center Representative

Not all companies may hire teens as call center reps, but some will hire you if you’re at least 16 years-old.

Working in customer support can be a stressful job, but companies do offer free training for employees.

If you’re patient, kind and a good communicator, starting a job in customer support can be a good way to earn a steady income early on in your career.

28. Become a Golf Caddy

If there are golf clubs in your area, you could ask if they’re hiring golf caddies. You’ll have to polish up on your knowledge of golf and help players by carrying their bags and clubs.

Golf caddies know the obstacles of the golf course being played, so players may ask for help on the best strategy in playing the course. If you’re a good advisor, you can land some nice tips on top of your hourly wage.

29. Resell Golf Balls

Since you’re around at the golf club anyway, look or stray balls around the golf club that you can collect and resell them. Local club managers may even allow you to search for golf balls on the actual course after hours.

30. Become a Senior’s Helper

Just like a mother’s helper, a senor’s helper takes care of tasks around the house (doing laundry, running errands, taking care of the garden, etc.) and spends time with seniors by playing cards with them, reading to them, or simply keeping them company.

If you’re interested in this kind of job, you could look at job postings in local retirement communities to see if you can find a job like this.

31. Take an Umpire or Referee Job

If you’re good at team sports like football, baseball, basketball or softball, you can apply for an umpire or referee job at your local sports club for kids’ teams.

This is a job that will both earn you money and keep you active.

32. Monetize Your Hobbies

Are you a talented writer? Maybe you’re good at drawing or making sketches of people or animals. If you have a talent that can earn you money, don’t be afraid to monetize it!

You can sell your art and crafts at festivals and fairs, or you can sign up on platforms like Fiverr, where you can do various jobs like writing articles, creating logos, etc.

Word-of-mouth and good reviews can bring you in a lot of customers, allowing you to make enough money to support your hobby even further and make some profit as well.

33. Do Jobs Around the House

If there are jobs around the house that you could do, and your parents would be willing to pay you for them, you’ve got yourself a deal!

My mother hated ironing, so she would always pay me for any piece of clothing I would iron for her. If ironing is not your thing, there are many other jobs around the house that your parents will gladly pay you money for.

Whether it’s cleaning out the garage, cleaning the windows in the house, or doing laundry, doing odd jobs around the house is an easy way to make a little extra cash.

34. Offer Classes at Your Home

Do you play any instruments or have any other talents that you can teach others? If so, you can offer classes at your home for neighborhood kids willing to learn something new.

You can offer these classes during the weekend as a one-time deal or as an on-going class. Plan your classes in advance to keep kids entertained and engaged for the entire duration of the class.

Parents will appreciate having someone to look after their kids and teach them interesting skills while they can go grocery shopping or run other errands.

35. Take a Job in Property Management

Look for jobs that require you to clean and paint house interiors after tenants vacate properties.

This work is usually done in teams, so if you know any team that does this in your area, ask to see if they need an extra set of hands.

36. Get Paid for Playing Games

There are apps like Inbox Dollars that will pay people to play video games on their phones, take surveys, or watch videos on their phone.

If you’re already on your phone, while not make some money while you’re at it?

Always discuss these things with your parents to avoid any scams or accidentally getting access to age-inappropriate content.

37. Get a Paper Route

Check ads at local paper to see if they’re looking for paper delivery workers. See if they have any paper routes available in your area.

If you have a bicycle, doing a paper route can be a fun and quick way to earn some cash when school is out.

38. Get Paid Making YouTube Videos

Like most of the jobs listed here, you’ll need the consent and help of a parent to take on a job like this.

Whether you start a YouTube channel about makeup, fashion, or video games, with enough subscribers you could earn money from ads run by Google on your videos.

A 7-year-old kid’s channel, Ryan ToysReview was reported making $11 millions reviewing toys. Who knows? Maybe your channel can become as successful too.

39. Collect Cans

Ask people in your neighborhood not to throw out their aluminum cans and allow you to collect it instead.

Take your cans to a recycling collection center and get paid in cash for them.

40. Read Stories for Kids in a Bookstore

Bookstores for kids or bookstores that have kids’ corners often have reading programs, where kids can listen to stories and spend time with their peers.

If you like reading and don’t mind the company of kids, you can apply for a reading job at a bookstore.

These are just some of the jobs you could do as a teenager. Some require that you have special skill, other jobs can be done by anyone. If you want to test yourself in any of the jobs we recommended, discuss your options with your parents.

41. Start Blogging

If you have good writing skills, you could easily start blogging. This requires some money to get started, but it can earn you some really good money.

You can write about anything that you are interested in. You don’t need to be an expert, but have some knowledge about the topic you choose. It is wise to choose a topic that you like, because it will be easier for you to write.

Blogging will not bring you instant money, so this might not be a good option for you, if you need money right away.

You can earn a lot once your blog gets popular and people starts noticing you. Blogging is a good option to make money passively.

Tips to Get Jobs as a Teenager

Being young means you lack experience and many employers are looking for people with experience and skills.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t apply for jobs that do require experience, it’s just that you may not get a call-back from every job you applied for.

Before we get into how you can maximize your chances of landing a job during the summer, there’s one thing you should absolutely do: Talk to your parents about wanting to work and get them involved in the process of selecting a job.

This is important because of two reasons — some jobs can only be performed with a parent’s consent and parents can help you navigate certain traps that come with applying for jobs.

Parents can also help you find a job by getting the word out and asking their friends if they need help with babysitting, mowing the lawn or painting fences.

Essentially your parents can be great advocates for you when it comes to recommending you for jobs.

As for the tips to land jobs as a teenager, here’s what you should do:

1. Be Friendly and Positive

If you’re willing to work, it means you’re willing to interact with people, and being friendly and optimistic can go a long way in making you more likeable to potential employers.

Having a good attitude and showing respect towards people of all walks of life is a good sign that you have a great personality and will do well at jobs that need you to interact with customers.

2. Accept Criticism & Learn from Mistakes

You’re young, you’re bound to make mistakes. Don’t beat yourself up if someone criticizes your work but take it as an opportunity to learn from mistakes and do better next time.

If you’re unsure if you’re performing a job well enough, always ask for feedback on what you could improve.

3. Don’t Be Late

Being on time is important. People don’t have enough time as it is, so waiting around for someone to show up at the time you both agreed on is something they simply hate.

Always being late from work will put you in a bad light, so make sure you get there on time, and if you’re running late for whatever reason, make sure to call ahead and let them know.

To this day, I like showing up a little early everywhere I go. I find it’s much more acceptable than being late.

4. Be a Good Sport

It’s also important to be professional about certain things in your work environment. Like avoid partaking in office gossip, don’t hold grudges against people who made a mistake, and don’t criticize others.

Take your job seriously and appreciate your coworkers. Of course, there are going to be people who you won’t get along with but be friendly and avoid conflicts at the workplace.

5. Do Your Job Well

If you offer to clean the house, make sure you clean it thoroughly. Just like you probably don’t like to pay for things that are not good, other people don’t like to be disappointed either.

Once you offer to do something, do it right. Don’t rush, don’t give up halfway, and follow through your promises.

If your job comes with directions and instructions, make sure you understand them and ask questions if you’re unclear about some things.

6. Sell Quality Products

Quality is something to strive for not only in the services you offer but also in the products you sell.

If you’re doing crafts and artwork, make sure you take the time to do them well and whenever possible, use quality products.

Even if you’re selling your old stuff, check to see if they’re in order and disclose any faults that the product may have.

This is especially important if you’re selling these products on certain platforms, where people can write positive or negative reviews about you.

7. Be Flexible & Organized

Flexibility is key in many fields of work, especially if you take on many jobs at once. Make sure you organize your schedule and don’t miss any appointments you have.

Make sure to go above and beyond for clients, so that you can get positive reviews and recommendations for other jobs you may want to apply for.

If clients see that you’re organized and methodical about your job, they’ll be willing to ask you back for other jobs they may have or recommend you to their friends or neighbors.

8. Don’t Forget About Safety

There are many jobs in this list that require safety precautions.

If you’re walking someone’s dogs, make sure they are on a leash with the muzzle on. If you’re moving the lawn, make sure you don’t go over any small animals or you don’t hurt yourself. If you’re cleaning windows, make sure you don’t fall out.

Practice safety not only when it comes to your own safety, but the safety of any kids or elderly you may have under your supervision.

The Takeaway

If you’re willing to work, there are plenty of jobs you can do as a teenager. Some of the jobs are more suitable for older teenagers, some can be done by 12-year-olds too.

Some jobs require that you do manual labor, others are less active jobs. But there are jobs for every personality, whether more outgoing or introvert.

Keep in mind that as a teenager, you may not get paid as much as a professional, but you could still earn enough to go on that concert or festival you’ve been wanting to go to or have enough money to afford the clothes you’d like to buy.

You should always discuss about payment details and the jobs you want to apply with your parents. They can make sure everything is in order and can help with any issue that you may have.

I hope my list of the many ways you could earn money as a teenager has inspired you to apply for a job and it has given you all the tips and confidence you need to get started.

Updated on: March 2, 2019