Legally, 17-year-olds are still under the Fair Labor Standards Act and not permitted to work on any job related to alcohol or in any hazardous occupations for their protection. But with the growing cost of college, it seems like having a healthy savings account before college, and a steady income stream matters just as much!
Fortunately, there are many easy, entry-level job options for teenagers to get their lifestyle and needs to be funded, without having to depend on parent’s generosity (as if there’s any.)
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Table of Contents
1. Yard Work
Teens in this age can make extra money by helping yard chores. Usually, homeowners who want assistance in their gardens pay teens to help finish tasks that they cannot do themselves. The pay for working in the yard depends on the state laws, with the federal minimum wage being $7.05 per hour and the average wage being $10 per hour. To find a job, teens can start by asking their neighbors if they need help in their yard.
Babysitting is one of the legal jobs that teens under 14 years old can do. This gig involves taking care of younger children for neighbors or nearby relatives. According to Healthy Children, it’s important that you personally know the child or children you’re going to take care of as it can land another babysitting job in the future. The average pay per hour in babysitting is around $10, with other factors affecting the rate.
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Tutoring is a great side gig for students who excel in particular subjects. The child needs to be patient enough to teach younger children or even children in their age group. They can also try tutoring online through sites like Tutor.com with an hourly rate of $11 per hour or more depending on the subject.
Pet sitting is often considered as the best starter job for teens because it’s relatively easy and safe. Your main tasks are feeding the pet and changing the water when the pet owner is away. When the pet is a dog, the task might also involve walking it outside for exercise. The pay is affected by a lot of factors such as the number and the kind of pet, and extra care.
House sitting includes responsibilities such as watering the plants, taking care of pets, cleaning, general maintenance and more. The house sitter usually takes residence in the house, but some jobs only require visitation for a few hours every day while the house owner is away. This takes a lot of responsibility, but the pay is higher than dog sitting, with $20-30 per day or $50 per day if staying overnight. However, house sitters might not be permitted to leave the house and go elsewhere.
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6. Paper Route
If you know your way around the town and you wake up early each morning, consider taking up newspaper delivery or paper route jobs. You can either take a delivery job for the daily paper or the weekly paper and get paid per delivery or per hour. A bicycle is a must if you live in places that have great distances between each house. Kids usually receive weekly payments between $150 to $500 plus tips from homeowners if the delivery also includes the collection of payment.
7. Lemonade Stand
Setting up a lemonade stand is a way to teach entrepreneurial skills for kids. This venture will teach the importance of pricing, product quality, leadership, and using up limited resources. Take note that there are legal repercussions in placing lemonade stand at forbidden areas. Lemonade price varies in the materials used, you can charge up to $1.25 per cup if using real lemon while $0.50 per cup is often justifiable when using a powdered mix.
8. Retail Worker (For Parents’ Business Only)
Teens as young as 12 years old can work in retail shops either by assisting customers, sorting out inventory, and cleaning the area. However, because of the law’s limitation, a child under 14 years old can only work on his or her parent’s business.
9. Landscaping / Lawn Care
As a landscaper, your tasks include mowing the lawn, pulling weeds, and making sure that the homeowner’s yard looks amazing. There’s a lot of opportunities for landscaping and lawn care jobs during the summer months. While this job involves a lot of manual labor, the pay can be from $9 to almost $20 depending on the size of the lawn. It’s also a good way to exercise and learn about time management and hard work.
Homeowners usually plan house renovations during summer. This creates job opportunities for teens. You and your friends can find painting jobs for both interior and exterior walls. Painting fences is also an option if you run out of houses to paint. It’s worthy to note that before you start, you should know the best kind of paint to use on different kinds of surfaces.
11. Swimming Pool Maintenance
Another great side gig for teens is cleaning and maintaining pools. Your responsibilities for this job are to brush down the pool’s surface, skim out debris in the water, and vacuum the debris in the pool’s bottom area. This job might also include cleaning of pool filters, and later on, maintaining chemical levels once you’re older. When starting out, the salary is around $10 per visit but can go as high as $25 if you’re maintaining chemical levels.
12. Become a Movie Actor
Did you know that “Home Alone” actor Macaulay Culkin was just ten years old when he first played Kevin McCallister? Kids under 14 are legally allowed to work as actors in either movies, tv shows, and radio programs. If you’re an excellent actor, you can audition for roles in different stations or show providers. If you’re seriously considering acting as a career, getting an agent is a good way to start.
For those who are not into acting roles, consider getting a modeling job. As a teen model, you’ll likely have gigs for printed media such as magazines. Depending on your interest, you can find gigs as a model for stock photos, fashion, or for makeup products. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, modeling has an average per hour wage of $11.43.
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14. Run Your Own YouTube Channel
If your thing is creating videos, running your own YouTube channel is a good way to make money. You’ll need to choose a niche to focus on your content creation. This gig might need additional hardware for audio and video capturing and editing. Before you can apply for YouTube monetization, you need to have at least 4,000 public watch hours in the last 12 months, more than 1,000 subscribers, and a valid AdSense account.
15. Sell Water On Events (With Supervision)
Selling bottled water can provide a great income stream during local events when people cannot be bothered to buy water or food. Getting your supplies from a trusted water supplier is a must to avoid health hazards for your customers. Supervision from adults might be needed in some states.
16. Music Reviewer
As a music reviewer, you will receive a music clip which you need to listen to and provide honest feedback. The pay starts at around 10 cents per review. You can double your earnings by writing high-quality reviews and increasing your score. Sites that offer this gig includes Music X-ray.
17. Snow / Leaves Removal
Teens can also get seasonal jobs that pay like shoveling snow in the winter and raking leaves around fall. For snow shoveling, make sure to use a non-stick shovel, as well as snowblower, to easily remove ice. For leaves removal, you can earn extra money by selling the leaves to people who need mulch, usually farmers and gardeners. The pay for snow shoveling can range from $20 to $35 depending on the area while raking leaves are usually priced for $5 per bag.
Scrap Paper is one of the most recycled materials in the world, according to the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries. Papers are usually priced per ton and paper type. Corrugated containers are priced around $69 per ton, while copy papers, letterheads, and envelopes can be priced up to $210 per ton. If you’re near an office or an establishment that uses a lot of paper, make an arrangement to take their paper thrash. 5
19. House Cleaning
With the fast-paced activities of people today, there are a lot of people who are too busy to clean their homes. If you’re a teen looking for ways to get money, you can offer house cleaning services to your neighbors. The hardest part is to find people who are interested in your services. Professional cleaning services charge $25 to $30 per hour, so the sweet spot would be to charge $20. The price will also depend on the number of bedrooms and the size of the house.
20. Rent Out Video Games
If you’re a gamer and you have a great game collection in your library, renting these games to other gamers can bring extra income. This is perfect for people who want to try the game first before buying the real deal. If you’re a good player, start collecting rare items and sell those to players that might be interested.
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Unlike pet sitting, in this side gig, you will only handle dogs for owners who are very busy. If you’re a dog lover, this side gig is a very enjoyable one. Dog walking is also a great way to exercise and stay physically fit. Expect up to $10 a day for walking one dog.
22. Garage Cleaner
Cleaning the garage is a pain in the neck for most adults, but its a great income opportunity for teens. Tasks could be as simple as cleaning the area or as hard as reorganizing stuff. You can add more services such as car washing if you want to earn more.
Etsy is the best place to sell art crafts or art materials on the internet. If you have a talent for art, or if you’re in the area where art materials such as seashells are abundant, there’s an opportunity for extra income on Etsy. Minors who are at least 13 years old need direct supervision from a parent or legal guardian.
Sites like Swagbucks will let you earn money by taking surveys or doing small tasks. After every successful survey answered, Swagbucks will award you with SB points. These points can be exchanged for gift cards from online stores like Amazon, Best Buy, and eBay. You can also cash your SB points via PayPal, with a minimum of $5 per 700SB.
25. Errand Runner
An Errand Runner will be tasked to run errands for people who are busy or is unable to do the task. These errands usually involve pet services, gardening, events, and more. Errand runners are also employed to help seniors in grocery shopping, snow removal, and other physically challenging tasks. Some sites offer between $18 and $35 per hour, depending on the location, with the national average being $25 per hour.
26. Fiverr Services
If you’re more into online jobs, one of the possible freelancing sites for 13 year-olds is Fiverr. Fiverr is a site where people offer services for a price, with a minimum of $5 per custom order. If people want your services, they will contact you for the project arrangement. As long as the service offered is not illegal, fraudulent, obscene in nature, and “nonsense”, teens can get extra bucks at Fiverr.
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Survey Junkie is very similar to Swagbucks: you need to be at least 13 years old to use the site and start earning. The primary way to earn money is by answering surveys and getting points, Every 1,000 points are equivalent to $1 which you can either cash out via PayPal or buy products via online shops. What’s great with this site is that you will still earn a few points for your effort even if you’re disqualified for a survey.
28. Car Wash
Some people would wash their cars themselves, but those who are busy can hire teens to do the cleaning. If you want additional income, you can add car detailing or cleaning the inside of the car using a vacuum cleaner. You might need to ask for permission to your parents to use their gears as well as to find a suitable place to clean cars. As an alternative, you can apply on a car cleaning service as a teen crew.
29. Selling T-Shirt
This side hustle is for people who have a flare in creating shirt-friendly artworks. One route you can take is to personally sell your designs to T-shirt manufacturers. Another route is to go online, where you can either set up your own online store or sign up to sites like Teespring or SellMyTees in order to sell your design.
30. Gate Attendants
Gate attendants are employees in a resort responsible for greeting customers. They also provide customer service, as well as monitoring and maintaining different facilities of the place. Before you can become a gate attendant, some resorts would require you to be at least 14 years old and took first aid, CPR, and AED certification.
31. McDonalds Crew
With numerous branches and people to serve worldwide, McDonald’s need people to man up its kitchen and facilities. The company doesn’t set a minimum age to work, but they usually abide in the local laws, which means that in the US, you can start working at their branches as soon as you reach 14 years of age. Crew Members usually get an average of $8.59 rate per hor.
Chick-Fil-A sometimes accepts applications from 14-year-olds. Jobs available for teenage applicants include Dishwasher, Delivery Driver, and Kitchen staff. You can check available job vacancies based on your location here on this page. Take note that if you’re aiming for a delivery job, you should have a full driver’s license, which is usually given at 16, 17, or 18 depending on your area.
33. Floral Clerks (Publix Super Markets)
As a Publix Super Markets floral clerk, you will be tasked to ensure proper care of the flowers being sold in their Floral department. You would also need to provide friendly assistance to customers who are searching for the right flower products. Publix operates in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. So if you’re near these areas, check if they need floral clerks here.
34. Amusement Park Games Attendant
A Games Attendant is the one responsible for explaining the rules, processing of payments and facilitating the games in amusement parks. Giving the change from payments is also one of the main responsibilities of an amusement park game attendant. Depending on your location and the amusement park policy, the minimum requirement for this position is 14 years old with an average of $9.98 per hour.
35. Waiting Staff
Being a waitstaff (waiters or waitresses) is one of the most common “first” jobs for teenagers in the US. You can become a waitress as young as 14 years old, but with limitations, in the number of hours you can work. As a 14-year-old waiting staff, you cannot serve alcoholic beverages without any supervision from an adult. Depending on the restaurant where you serve, you can get a free lunch as one of the benefits.
The tasks of a busser include cleaning the table and refilling the customer’s drinks. It’s the busser’s job to assist the waiting staff to make the workflow smoother, thus, a better customer service. According to BLS, the average hourly wage of a restaurant assistant is $11.29, with an addition of 10% to 30% tips from customers. The faster you can clean a table, the better salary or tip you might get.
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37. Ice Cream Scooper
Ice Cream Parlors such as Baskin-Robbins and Bruster’s allow 14-year-olds to apply as an Ice Cream Scooper. As an ice cream scooper, you’re responsible for collecting payment, giving the order, maintaining the inventory, and keeping the working area clean. The typical hourly rate for Baskin-Robbins is $8 to $13 per hour.
38. Golf Caddy
If you want to learn the rules of golf while earning money and possibly, building connection with different players, being a golf caddy is the best part-time choice for you. For this job, the teen should be physically fit and can carry two bags of golf paddle for 18 holes. Although this might not be the easiest one in the list, it’s one of the highest paying. You can earn up to $120 in just four hours or $30 per hour, and that’s still excluding the tip you get from players.
You and your friends can start a junk removal service if you have free time and right resources. Clients will pay you to take their junk away from their home. This side gig needs a lot of manpower and a means of transportation like a cart to haul the junk away. Beside your pay, which can range from $150 to $350, you can take your haul to scrap yards and get more money by selling junk.
A dishwasher is responsible for washing plates and utensils after it was delivered by the busser out of the table. You also need to clean cookware and other things used in the kitchen. The average salary of a dishwasher is $11.15 per hour. This pay rate will be higher or lower depending on where you work and the state where you currently live.
41. Warehouse Repacking
As per the Department of Labor, teens who are 14 and 15-year-olds can legally be employed for pricing and tagging of goods, packing and shelving, as well as assembling of orders. Available jobs include being a picker or someone who gather ordered items from sellers to the shipping department. Another job is being a packer, who inspects, measures, and packs the package for shipping. The average hourly rate for this job is $11.74.
42. Summer Camp Counselor
Being a Summer Camp Counselor is fun for a lot of teens because you can join and enjoy the activities with younger campers. Before you can become a camp counselor, you need to complete the Counselor-in-Training program and must be good at handling campers from ages 7 to 12 years old. Most camp counselors usually earn $330 per week if he or she is solo or $90 per week if there’s another counselor.
43. Jobs on Freelancer.com (with restrictions)
Freelancers usually find their clients from sites such as Upwork or Freelancer.com. While teens who are under 18 can work with Freelancer.com, the age where someone can create an account is 18 years old and above. Teens under 18 can ask for permission for someone who has a Freelancer account to work, but the responsibility for the account is still with the original account owner.
44. Sailing Instructor
According to the Community Sailing Center, a sailing instructor must be at least certified with US Sailing Level 1 Small Boat Instructor and CPR certification. As a sailing instructor, your main task is to teach safety precautions to the passengers and facilitate drills both in dryland and on-the-water activities that teaches the basics of sailing. These activities include boat handling, sailing theory, and dinghies and keelboats for racing sailors.
Lifeguards and other recreational protective service workers have a mean hourly wage of $11.33 last 2017. Before you can become a lifeguard, you need to be 15 years old (as specifically stated in the FLSA) and can swim 100 yards using freestyle or breaststroke without resting. You would also need to pass a test where you retrieve a 10lb brick back to the surface.
46. Swimming Instructors
The major task of a swimming instructor is to teach basic swimming lessons while ensuring that each student is safe while in the water. According to Appalachian State University, you need to be at least certified as an American Red Cross Safety Instructor and can demonstrate skills in teaching swimming theories. The typical earnings for a swimming instructor is between $12.55 to $15.05.
47. Gate Attendants / Receptionist
Depending on the industry where you work, you might need to have additional certification before becoming a gate attendant or a receptionist. If you’re going to be a gate attendant in a hotel, there might be no special training needed. But if you’re applying to become a gate attendant in a resort, you need to have First Aid knowledge and to become a COR and Professional Rescuer.
48. Grocery Store Bagger
The primary role of the grocery bagger is to make sure that purchased items can be safely loaded to the customer’s vehicle or is packed properly for commuting. This includes assisting the customers in loading and returning the carts. Usually, there is a small training provided by the grocery store regarding customer protocols and packing procedures.
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49. Admission Host (Amusement Park)
Amusement Parks need someone to facilitate their revenue-earning activities from transactions with customers. This is the task of the admission host, who needs to be at least 15 years old before being qualified for the job. Additionally, the admission host would be the one to assist with guest concerns when no one is available.
50. Retail Worker
When a teen reaches the age of 16, he or she can legally work on any retail stores and not just for the family business. Retail stores such as Walmart have different departments. You can either work as a front-end personnel, janitorial personnel, sales associate, or as a stocker. Retail stores usually accept applicants 16 years old and above with an hourly rate of $8.50 on average.
51. Dog Grooming (State Specific)
If you want to pursue dog grooming as a side hustle, take note that you need to have proper training in pet handling. Some dog grooming programs only accept trainees who are 18 years old and older (depending on the state). Animal care workers have a median pay of $11.51 per hour according to BLS.
52. Veterinarian Aide
A veterinary aide or a veterinary assistant helps the veterinarian in other tasks on veterinary institutions such as clinics, labs, and animal clinics. Their tasks are supervised by the veterinarian. Besides their main task to assist the vet, they also do tasks such as monitoring, giving medicine, and feeding the animals that currently under the vet’s care. If you’re planning to take a career path in veterinary medicine, this is a good start.
53. KFC Crew
Unlike McDonald’s KFC requires its crew to be at least 16 years old. The tasks of a KFC crew is to take and serve orders, janitorial services, and others such as dishwashing and busser tasks. Each member will have assigned duties which are given to them by the Shift Supervisor. You can expect between $7 to $12 per hour rate.
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54. Ski Instructor
This job’s availability and the requirements depend on the area where you’re going to teach. If you’re in Canada, you need to take Canadian Ski Instructors’ Alliance certification. If you’re eyeing for a position in another place, you can become a member of the International Ski Instructors Association or ISIA. If you qualify as a ski instructor, you can earn $15 as a rookie trainer.
A lot of establishments need cashiers in the frontline to process each transaction. As a teen, you will likely get a job as a cashier on fast food chains or supermarkets. The primary task is to receive the payment, record the transaction, and issue receipt and change. You would also need to process cards occasionally if the customer decided to opt for it, as well as assist in other concerns.
56. Ride Operator (Amusement Parks)
The ride operator is the one who oversees the operations of amusement park rides. This includes checking safety measures and communicating safety instructions to the patrons. The ride operator will also be the one to check for proper stamps or collecting tickets, assist customers in and out of the rides and facilitate evacuation when something unexpected happens.
57. Fruit Picker
If you’re in an area with farms and fruit plantations, one of your options is to apply for pick fruit picking jobs during the harvest times. You can use this site to search for fruit picking jobs in your state. The national average rate for a fruit picker is $11.27 per hour. Some farms offer per piece compensations, in which you can earn faster if you’re also fast at work.
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58. Movie Theater Worker
The minimum age required to be a movie theater worker is 16 years old in theaters like AMC. As a movie theater worker, you could be assigned as a cashier, kitchen personnel (for popcorn), as an usher (for guiding theatergoers to their seat), and as a sales associate (inviting people to watch movies). Ushers and ticket takers have an average of $9 per hour.
59. Write Articles For Cracked
Writing for Cracked can be a good side gig for teens who have a good sense of humor. The website is usually looking for entertaining list articles or images. You need to pitch your article idea first and get it approved by the editor. Your article needs to be published before you can receive payment. For your first four articles, Cracked pays $150.
60. Student Library Shelver
A student shelver is the one responsible for returning the books to proper shelves, assist students in finding a book, and maintenance of order in the shelves. According to Creative Choices, a student library shelver can work on evenings and weekends, and usually work part-time. The George A. Smathers Libraries gives its student assistants a rate of $8.46 per hour.
In most of the states, Starbucks requires its baristas to be at least 16 years old (excluding Montana, in which the minimum age is 14 years old). The main task is to assist customers by taking, processing, and serving the coffee. Recipes are provided, so you just need to follow the right order of tasks. The training for using the company’s machines are usually provided for free. The pay is usually between $8 to $13, with an average of $9.94 per hour.
62. Pool Managers
A pool manager is an all-around staff in resorts because they do a bit of everything that other staff does. They monitor the safety of the customers who are using the facilities, enforce the rules and make sure that every facility is clean. Pool managers also mentor and train staff and maintain the inventory. The average salary for Pool Managers is $13.56 per hour.