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 Young 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 many unique ways for young teens to make extra money, especially if they have an entrepreneurial spirit.
Business Ideas and Online Jobs for Young Teens
If your teenager is looking for a job to do from home, here are some of the best business ideas and work-at-home jobs for young teens.
Is your teenager comfortable talking on the phone, mature, and good with people? If so, they can get a job with U-Haul. This job is open to teens 16 and up, and the pay is about $9.50 per hour. This customer service role requires a 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 experience is preferred. Be sure to check out our full U-Haul work from home job review here.
Young teens, 13 years and older can make money online through Swagbucks. All your teen has to do is create an account and start performing activities like taking surveys, watching videos, playing video games, and testing out websites. For each task performed, your teen will earn SB (Swagbucks). These SB can be traded in for gift cards to major retailers (Amazon, Apple, and Walmart) or cash via PayPal.
While young teens can’t use smartphone apps like Wag! or Rover (you have to be 18 for 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.
With Branded Surveys, teens ages 16-17 can make money by answering surveys online (must have parent’s permission); otherwise, you must be 18 to use the platform. To get started, sign up for an account, answer a few simple questions to verify your demographics, and start taking surveys. For each survey completed, you’ll earn points that can be redeemed for gift cards from major retailers or cash via PayPal or Branded Pay. Branded Surveys is open to teens in the US, Canada, and the UK.
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. Teens 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 to use the site.
Teens who are tech-savvy and creative, and who enjoy writing and photography might try blogging as a way to make money online. 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 and writing 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 parent’s 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 1.63 million followers on her channel, Life with MaK, it’s reported that she earns a whopping $1,000 a day from her advertising revenue.
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.”
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 11-17, 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.
Perfectly Posh products range from body scrubs and lotions to face, lips, and hair products. The starter kit is $35, and participants can start at the age of 16, with a parent or guardian who is willing to accept 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!
The smartphone 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. If you’d like to join, you can use my referral code jen59328 here for an extra bonus.
Ibotta is a smartphone app that rewards users for shopping, both in-person and online. To get started, download the app, and before you go shopping (usually grocery shopping and big box stores), check the app for products you intend to purchase. If you see an item you’re going to buy, click on it, and add it to your list. Then verify the purchase by scanning your receipt and bar code. You can earn additional cashback by referring friends to the app. To redeem your earnings, your account must have at least a $20 balance. Teens that want to use the app must be 13 years and older to participate.
If your teen has design skills — they can make by designing and selling t-shirts with Teespring. The platform is free to use, and once teens have created their products, they can promote them via social media platforms. For each product they sell, they’ll earn a set amount. Payments are distributed via PayPal or Payoneer. Teespring is open to teens 13 years old, but they must have permission from a parent if under 18.
16. Enter Giveaways
There are many opportunities to earn from online giveaway sites like Infinite Sweeps, 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. If this sounds appealing, 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 will pay you to clean their homes.
If your teen loves kids, then babysitting may be their ticket to making money. While your teen can offer their 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.
The site, Survey Junkie, allows teens 13 years and older to make money by taking online surveys. To get started, create an account, answer a few intro questions, then start taking surveys. For each survey, you’ll be awarded a certain amount of points that can be redeemed for gift cards, cash via PayPal, or bank transfer. Survey Junkie is open to teens in the US, Canada, and Australia.
If your teen enjoys testing stuff out and surfing the web, they can make money as a website or app tester for Userlytics. Teenagers 16 and up may apply for these gigs. Just fill out their online application, interact with the requested website or app, and then get paid via PayPal. Users worldwide may apply, and test payout ranges from $5-$90 per test.
User Interviews recruits individuals 18 years and older, and teens who are at least 13 years (with parent’s consent) to participate in surveys, focus groups, and website testing gigs. Most tasks take between 30-120 minutes and pay between $40-$200 per study. User Interviews accepts participants from the US, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Germany, France, and the UK.
If your teen is talented in a particular subject, say music or math, they can make extra money by tutoring others who need help. One such 14-year-old teen that went this route is Gillian Perkins. She was approached by a fellow student, and so began her flute tutoring business. She eventually branched out and started posting ads on Craigslist to get even more students.
When my daughter was in elementary school, I hired our teen neighbor to come and listen to my daughter read to help her improve her reading skills. All she did to get my business was asked if I needed a mommy helper during the summer.
At Vocal, teens ages 13 and up can create written content for cash! To get started, create an account, and upload your written content to the website. For each piece of content that is read 1,000 times, creators will earn $3.80. There are also opportunities to make tips from readers and win money from contests. While it’s not a lot of money, it’s a good way to improve your teen’s writing and editing skills, and it creates good writing samples they can use for other freelance opportunities. Vocal accepts creators from all around the world, and payments are distributed via Stripe. However, your account must reach a $35 threshold before you can request payment.
Most of these companies make payments via PayPal. To ensure your teen gets paid for their work — you’ll need to open an account for teens ages 13-17. To obtain a PayPal account on your own, teens 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. And if your willing to drive your young teen to work and pick them up, here is a good list of companies that hire 14- and 15-year-olds.
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 May 2021.