I remember my first job like it was yesterday. I delivered a weekly community newspaper every Tuesday after school, to about 100 homes in my neighborhood. It was a job I dreaded, but it was the only way I knew how to make extra money at the ripe age of ten.
I earned a whopping $4.05 a week, and I delivered those papers, whether it was raining, shining, or snowing (I grew up in Minnesota). I did this job for about two years; then, I passed it on to my sister, who later passed it on to a neighbor kid. From there, I worked a variety of side jobs like babysitting, cleaning houses, ironing clothes, and selling stuff at garage sales until I was able to apply for a “real job” at Dairy Queen when I was 16 years old.
Job Options for Teens
Nowadays, the options have changed quite a bit. Going out into the community or city isn’t always an option for younger teens. In the US, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) has requirements in place regarding wages, hours worked, and the type of work that can be done for individuals under 18. And with changes in parenting trends and attitudes and more intense homework regimens at school, it doesn't leave young teens with a lot of options for earning extra money.
However, it's not all bad news.
With advances in technology, there are a lot of unique ways for young teens to earn extra money (as long as it's okay with your parents).
Work-at-Home Jobs and Business Ideas for Teens
If you're a young teen looking for a job you can do from home, here are some of the best work-at-home jobs for young teens.
If you're comfortable talking on the phone, mature, and good with customer service, you can get a job through U-Haul’s contact center. This job is open to teens 16 and up, and they can earn around $9.50 per hour to start. The work requires that you have your own computer with high-speed internet, as well as a headset and phone access. You'll also need to have a quiet space to do the work, and some experience is preferred.
Earn money online through Swagbucks. Once your account is set up, you'll earn points called SB for doing activities like taking surveys, watching videos, playing video games, and testing out websites. The SB per activity varies, but a ten-minute survey might earn between 75-300 SBs. Your SBs can be traded in for gift cards to stores like Walmart, Starbucks, Amazon, or cash via PayPal. You must be at least 13 years old to participate.
3. Pet Sitting
While young teens can't use smartphone apps like Wag! or Rover (you have to be 18 to use those), they can offer their pet sitting and dog walking services to friends, family, and neighbors. In fact, my daughter has been pet sitting for our neighbors for years. Teens can quickly spread the word by creating simple business cards or flyers and distributing them to neighbors or online in various neighborhood groups.
Through FusionCash, participants can earn money by clicking on sites, making calls, and taking surveys. There’s a $5 bonus for new signups. (Note that you can only have one account per household.) You can sign up for various offers and try products, as well as give reviews. Earn-outs are an average of about $60 per month. Participants must be at least 13, and teens under 18 need parent permission.
What’s your talent? Are you good at making online videos? Graphic design work? Writing? Young teenagers can use Fiverr to make $5 or more showcasing their abilities. You can design graphics for websites, do voiceover work, or even create jingles or sound effects. The sky’s the limit! You must be 13 years and older to sign up as a seller.
Rev hires translators, transcribers, and closed captioners to work on freelance projects. They have freelancers who work with them from all over the world; as long as they are of legal age to work in their country and state, they are welcome to apply. All you need is a computer, headset, internet connection, and strong typing and English skills. Payments are made weekly via PayPal. Best of all, the work is completely flexible: work as much or as little as you want, whenever you want.
For teens who enjoy taking surveys on a variety of topics, SurveySavvy offers the opportunity to give feedback and share opinions on all sorts of products and experiences. You can earn $5 just by signing up, and there are additional ways to make bonuses by referring new members and registering other devices. Participants must be 13 years of age or older.
8. Start a Blog
Teens who are tech-savvy and creative, and who enjoy writing and photography might try blogging as a way to earn money. The great thing about blogging is teens have the freedom to create whatever content they desire, and they can use it as both an outlet for creative expression and a chance to boost their tech skills. Setting up a blog isn't complicated or expensive, and once monetized, teens may find blogging to be lucrative and an excellent way to build their skills for future endeavors.
In fact, Eva Baker started her blog, TeensGotCents, when she was 16 years old. Fast forward five years, and she has a team of teen and college writers who write content for her money-making website.
YouTube creators can earn serious money. While it takes a lot of work to build up an audience and become a full-time YouTuber, teens who have a YouTube account can sign up for Google AdSense with their parents’ permission and start earning money with their videos. YouTube participants must be 13 years or older (and 18 and older for a Google AdSense account).
One teen that's found success as a YouTuber is Makenna Kelly (age 13). With 1.61 million followers on her channel, Life with MaK, it's reported that she earns a whopping $1,000 a day from her advertising revenue.
10. Willing Beauty
The skincare company, Willing Beauty, was founded on the premise of empowering mother-daughter teams to sell through the direct-sales model. After Christy (the Founder) was diagnosed with skin cancer at 29, she started the company and now works alongside her daughter Willa to promote healthy skin habits. Enrollment Sets start at $49 and according to their terms,
“A minor age 11 or older may be added as a secondary account holder only, and this may be done through the Owlette program outlined in the Policies and Procedures. A minor may participate in your business only for purposes of mentoring and training. No income will be earned by minors and no personally identifiable information will be collected from minors.”
11. Origami Owl
Founded by mother-daughter duo Chrissy and Bella Weems, Origami Owl offers jewelry, charms, and accessories that are teen-friendly and fun. Owlettes, individuals between the ages of 11 and 17, can work along with their parents to sell jewelry to their friends and family. This company follows the direct sales model, with a teen-friendly focus. As a sister company of Willing Beauty, their terms are the same as above, so you won't be able to run this business on your own unless you're 18 years of age.
12. Perfectly Posh
Perfectly Posh products range from body scrubs and lotions to face, lips, and hair products. Starter kits begin at $30, and participants can start at the age of 16, with a parent or guardian who is willing to assume responsibility. The program follows a direct sales model, and the products are teen-friendly, with creative scents and catchy names. If you’re into pampering and beauty, this could be a great opportunity!
13. Receipt Hog
This simple app, Receipt Hog can be downloaded by anyone over the age of 13 (under 18 must have parental permission). Once downloaded, you snap a picture of your receipt each time you go to the store. Purchasing certain products can result in earning cashback and rebates, plus the opportunity to participate in surveys and contests to earn even more.
Ibotta gives app users bonuses, coupons, special offers, and rebates on a variety of products, especially groceries. Users simply snap a picture of their receipt; then, they can earn points for purchasing products from branded and non-branded items. Purchasing specific brands and promotional items can result in even greater earnings, and participants can fill out surveys and give feedback on their purchases. Teens must be 13 and older to participate.
If you have design skills — you can make and sell t-shirts on Teespring. Designers earn money when their shirts are sold, and designs can be printed on a variety of cuts and styles of shirt. Teespring is available to teens over 13 years old, and participants must get permission from a parent if under 18.
16. Enter Giveaways
There are many opportunities to earn from online giveaway sites like Infinite Sweeps, Online-Sweepstakes, Facebook Giveaway Group, and Sweeties Sweeps. (Note that most sites require parent permission if under 18.) I tried this myself and didn’t have much luck. In fact, you can see my results in this post. However, a lot of people who commented on my post said they’ve won a decent amount of cash and prizes. So if this sounds like something you’d be interested in exploring, you can check out this post further for ideas on how you can enter giveaways and earn cash and prizes.
17. Sell Stuff on eBay
Teens must be over 18 or have a parent’s permission to participate in eBay selling. When it comes to eBay, the earning potential can be enormous, especially for thrift-savvy teens with an eye for collectibles and vintage clothing. While it does require some work to curate, package, and mail the items, the results can be quite lucrative.
One teen that's found success on eBay is Nandry Guffey. She started selling when she was just 12 years old, and she's now a top-rated seller that purchases hundreds of pounds of products to resell on the site.
If you're the creative type and enjoy making handmade goods like digital printables, slime, jewelry, bow ties, or a million other products, consider setting up shop on Etsy. Teens who wish to sell on Etsy must have a parent or guardian manage their account, and cannot participate in the community feature if they are under 18.
One young teen that found success on the platform is LeiLei Secor. She started selling handmade jewelry on Etsy at the age of 16, and in three years, she was able to earn 100K, which she is now using for college tuition.
19. Household Chores
If you don't mind getting out of the house and doing household chores like dishes, vacuuming, and laundry, check out Care.com. Teens between the ages of 14-17 can create a parent-monitored account and help others with their housekeeping tasks. Other sites like TaskRabbit and Handy require that professionals be at least 18 years of age. Creating some inexpensive business cards or posting your services online on sites like Facebook or Instagram — you may be able to find some clients who you will pay you to clean their homes.
If you love kids, then babysitting may be your ticket to making money as a teen. While you can offer your babysitting services to friends, family, and neighbors, they are a couple of apps that allow young teens to join (of course, with parental consent). Bambino allows teens between the ages of 13-17 to join when a parent becomes a Consenting Parent User. On Care.com, teens between the ages of 14-17 can create a parental monitored account. Other platforms like Nanno and Sittercity require sitters to be at least 18 years of age.
Most of these companies pay via PayPal. To ensure you get paid for your work, you'll need to have your parents open a PayPal account (teens ages 13 or over). To obtain a PayPal account on your own, you'll need to be 18 years of age.
Many companies do not have age requirements listed on their websites, so if you're interested in a particular job, reach out to the company and ask if they hire young teens. Also, if you have a skill like graphic design, social media knowledge, or you're an expert in a particular subject — try reaching out to those around you. You'd be surprised at how many people will pay you for your skills and services.
So there you have it — a bunch of jobs for young teens! Do you know of some other options for teens to make money? I'd love to know about it — drop us a comment below!
Originally published February 21, 2017. Content updated November 19, 2019.