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How to make money as a teenager: 25 best ways to earn cash in 2022

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Wondering how to make money as a teenager?

Whether you have to get a traditional part-time job to help your family pay bills or you’re looking for a flexible side hustle so you can save money for college, there are plenty of good jobs for teens. 

We put together a list of the best jobs for teens so you can start earning money now:

Quick take on how to make money as a teenager

Here’s a list of jobs you can get as a teenager. Click each job to learn more about it:

Traditional jobs for teens

Summer jobs for teens

Online jobs for teens

Turn your hobbies into cash

Side hustles for teens

Why it’s good to make money as a teenager

Making money as a teenager can be a great way to learn important skills, like budgeting and time management. Having a job also allows you to contribute to your family’s bills if needed and save money for your future. 

Learn life lessons

“Doing odd jobs and part-time work can help teenagers build a portfolio of skills that pushes their careers forward,” says Pareen Sehat, a registered clinical counselor at Well Beings Counselling, a private practice based in Canada with multiple locations and telemedicine services. 

“These jobs help them learn time management, communication and often teamwork. All of these are crucial professional skills,” Sehat says.

A study by the Employment Policies Institute found that teens who worked a part-time job experienced long-term benefits like: 

  • Higher future hourly wages (20% higher 6-9 years after graduation)
  • Increased annual earnings
  • Less time spent out of work

Joanne Frederick, a licensed mental health counselor in Washington, D.C., who works with adults, families, and children, says having a job may help a teen determine what they want to do in the future, another valuable life lesson. 

“They have insight and experience, which allows them to scope out what they potentially want to pursue,” she says. 

Frederick adds that teens can gain confidence and independence from earning money.  

“Getting a job as a teen is a self-esteem booster,” she says. “Teens feel more empowered and have a feeling of accomplishment. It paves the way to becoming more independent.” 

Plus, teenagers who work and earn their own money tend to be more financially literate than teens who don’t, Sehat says. 

“They’re able to make better decisions and have more control over their expenditures,” she says. “This gives them an edge when they move into their professional lives.”

Learn value of money

A part-time job can also teach you about the value of money. If you work, you can learn about concepts like saving and budgeting

“Money doesn’t grow on trees, and having a job as a teen allows one to understand that,” Frederick says. “You have to make your own decision on whether you want to purchase an item or save for something else. You are taught to budget and prioritize finances.”

Build character

“When taking on a job, you are understanding responsibility and accountability,” Frederick says. She says a job can help you learn important life skills like: 

  • Overcoming obstacles and managing problems
  • Become more responsible with time management
  • Improve social skills

Families and kids are poor and need money

According to U.S. Census data, 16.1% of U.S. children ages 18 and younger were living in poverty in 2020, nearly 2% more than in 2019.

“A teen may come from a family where a parent is deceased and there is only one income, or there may have been a divorce where alimony is not being paid or is very limited,” Frederick explains. 

She says even in a dual-income home, both incomes may not be enough to cover all family expenses, especially if there are numerous children.

Frederick adds that if a parent has a serious illness or a child with special needs, then money and resources might be required for their care. And if a parent is dealing with substance abuse disorder or has lost a job, then that might also necessitate additional income from a teen, Frederick says. 

If your family is struggling financially, we put together a list of resources to help:

Help for single moms: 16+ resources$500 monthly single mom grant
Free laptopsScholarships for single moms
Free carFree Christmas gifts
Free smartphoneBest jobs moms can do from home
Free wifiFree and low-cost prescriptions
Free formulaFree clothes
Free toysGovernment assistance for single moms
Free gasFree daycare
Free preschoolFree prescription glasses
10+ charities that help single mothersTutoring and homework help
Health insuranceFree food
Low-income home loans

Traditional jobs and side hustles for teens

Traditional jobs for teens, like fast food and retail jobs, usually come with set hours — so they’re good options if you have time to dedicate to a job after school or on the weekends. Side hustles, like babysitting and lawn care, are typically more flexible. 

All of the salary estimates in this section are from Payscale.com.

Fast food

About 30% of fast food job workers are teens ages 16 to 19, according to Hireteen, a resource for teen jobs. Popular fast food jobs for teens include cashier, cook, and crew member. 

National average hourly pay: $9.40

Restaurant server/host/hostess

Another traditional job for teens is working at a restaurant. At a restaurant, you might be asked to serve food, greet customers as a host, bus tables, wash dishes, or check customers out at the cash register. 

National average hourly pay: $9.71

Retail sales

Working at a retail store is a good way to earn money as a teen. At a retail job, you may be asked to operate the cash register, fold clothes, stock shelves, or assist customers. 

National average hourly pay: $11.83

Grocery store

Grocery stores are another good place to look for a job if you’re a teen. As a grocery store clerk, you may be asked to stock merchandise, take inventory counts, or bag groceries for customers. 

National average hourly pay: $11.88

Movie theater

If you love movies, then consider getting a job at your local movie theater. As a movie theater associate, you might be asked to man the cash register, collect tickets, sell concessions, set up displays, or clean up the theater. 

National average hourly pay: $11.82

Babysitter

Babysitting can be a good side hustle for teens if you like to work with children. You can find clients through friends and relatives, by putting up flyers around your neighborhood, or by creating a profile on Care.com

If you’re reliable, your clients may recommend you to other families — resulting in more business for you. 

National average hourly pay: $8 to $18, depending on age and experience

Check out our Care.com review and sign up for Care.com to start finding babysitting jobs >>

Mow lawns

You can earn cash by offering landscaping services, like lawn-mowing, around your neighborhood. Mowing lawns is an activity that many homeowners don’t like doing because it’s time-consuming and labor-intensive. Most lawns need to be mowed every one to two weeks, so this can be steady work. 

National average hourly pay: $10 to $15

Rake leaves

Another landscaping service that can make for a good side hustle is raking leaves in the fall. Similar to mowing lawns, it’s something many homeowners don’t like doing — so they’re usually happy to hire a teen to do the work. 

National average hourly pay: $10 to $15

Shovel snow

If you live in a colder area, consider shoveling snow in the winter. People usually dislike having to clean the snow out of their driveways and front sidewalks since it’s labor-intensive — and potentially dangerous for older homeowners — so this can be a steady side hustle for teens in the colder months. 

National average hourly pay: $10 to $15

Walk dogs

Walking dogs can be a good side hustle for teens, especially if you like animals. Dogs need to be walked every day, sometimes multiple times a day — and pet-owners often need help with this while they’re at work. 

As with babysitting, you can find dog-walking clients by putting up flyers or asking friends and family to recommend you. You can also download an app like Wag! or Rover to find dog-walking and dog-sitting gigs in your area. If you’re reliable, you may be able to grow your business by word of mouth. 

National average hourly pay: $10 to $25

Summer jobs for teens

If you don’t have time to work during the school year but would like to make some extra money during the summer, there are plenty of seasonal gigs you can get. 

Concession stand worker

One of the most popular summer jobs for teens is working at a concession stand. Places like amusement parks, sports arenas, swimming pools, and concert venues have concession stands that sell foods like hot dogs, popcorn, and cotton candy. As a concession stand worker, you may be asked to take orders, handle payments, or greet and serve guests. 

National average hourly pay: $11.28

Lifeguard

Working as a lifeguard at your local pool can be a great summer job for teens. Just keep in mind that becoming a lifeguard requires special training. You’ll need to get certified, which you can do through an organization like the YMCA or Red Cross. Training involves passing a pre-swimming skills test and getting certified to do CPR. Certification costs are usually in the $100 to $200 range. 

Because working as a lifeguard requires certification and comes with a lot of responsibility, you can usually earn more than minimum wage at this seasonal job. 

National average hourly pay: $14.28

Camp counselor

Working as a camp counselor during the summer can be a fun way to earn money as a teen. As a camp counselor, you may be asked to supervise a group of kids and participate in activities, like swimming, sports, and arts and crafts, with them.

National average hourly pay: $10.23

Golf caddy

Golf courses often hire teens as golf caddies during the summer months. As a golf caddy, you may be asked to carry a golfer’s bag and clubs around the golf course, keep their clubs clean, and locate their golf balls. This is one of the better-paying summer jobs for teens. 

National average hourly pay: $19 (Ziprecruiter)

Amusement park employee

An amusement park could be another fun place to get a summer job, especially if you love rollercoasters. As an amusement park employee, you may be asked to operate rides, issue and collect tickets at the front gate, work a concession stand, or man the cash register in the gift shop.

National average hourly pay: $14.73

Ice cream shop

You can make money over the summer by scooping ice cream at your local ice cream shop. As an ice cream shop employee, you may be asked to greet and serve customers, suggest flavors to customers, and collect payments at the cash register. 

National average hourly pay: $11.91

Farm help

If you enjoy doing physical labor and don’t mind working in the heat, then you might like working on a farm in the summer. As a teenage farm worker, you may be asked to feed and/or milk animals, plow fields, clean animal stalls, sow seeds, and harvest crops. 

National average hourly pay: $15

Online jobs for teens

Unlike traditional jobs for teens — which have set hours you have to commit to — online jobs for teens can be a lot more flexible since you can do them from home on your own time. 

Web designer

If you know how to do graphic design, then you may be able to get work as a web designer. You can also teach yourself about web design by taking a free course online, like this free web design course from Udemy.  

You can advertise your services and find clients on a platform like Fiverr. You can also reach out to local businesses to see if they need help with their websites. 

National average hourly pay: $15 to $20 for entry-level jobs, $30+ with more experience

Social media assistant

If you’re a whiz at social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok, you can get paid for it. Many small businesses need help managing their social media accounts. As a social media assistant, you may be asked to create and schedule posts for a company’s social media accounts. 

Similar to web design, you can find clients by advertising your services on Fiverr or reaching out to local businesses.

National average hourly pay: $8 to $12, $20+ with more experience

Virtual assistant

Another online job for teens is working as a virtual assistant. In this role, you’ll help someone with various administrative tasks. These tasks might include scheduling meetings, organizing and replying to emails, arranging travel, and keeping track of finances. 

You can find clients by advertising your services on a platform like Fiverr.

National average hourly pay: $10 to $27 per hour, depending on experience

Freelance writer

Freelance writing can be a good way to earn money as a teen if you’re a talented writer. Many businesses publish articles on their websites and need help creating content. You may also be able to find freelance opportunities for copywriting and creative writing. 

You can advertise your services on Fiverr to find clients. Once you have a portfolio, you may be able to grow your business and get higher-paying gigs. 

National average hourly pay: $24.74

Turn your hobbies into cash

You can turn certain hobbies, like photography and playing music, into money-making activities. Here’s how to get paid for the things you like to do:

Photograph events

Love snapping pictures? You could make money as a teenager by photographing events like birthday parties and family gatherings. 

You can get started by asking family, friends, neighbors, or local businesses if they have any upcoming events they’d like photographed. Once you build up a portfolio, you may be able to grow your business through word of mouth and earn higher-paying gigs like weddings.

National average hourly pay: $11 to $58, depending on experience

Get gigs for your band

If you know how to play an instrument, sing, or you’re in a band, you can earn money by booking live gigs. To get started, reach out to local venues and organizations to see if they have any upcoming events where you could perform. For example, some towns have summer fairs and may pay your band to play (an audition process may be involved). 

You can promote your band on social media to help get more gigs and grow your business. Most bands get paid on a per-gig basis, and how much you’ll be able to make will vary based on your experience and what kind of event you’re playing. Musicians can make anywhere from $50 to $1,000 a night, depending on the gig. 

Sell clothes on Poshmark

Poshmark is an online marketplace where people buy and sell new or gently-used clothing. 

If you have a closet full of clothes you rarely or never wear, you can sell them on Poshmark to earn money. How much money you’ll be able to make on Poshmark depends on what you’re selling. 

You may be able to make anywhere from $100 to $2,000 a month on Poshmark, depending on the clothing brands and types of items you’re selling. Make sure to tag your items with relevant keywords and take high-quality photos so people can find them. 

While Poshmark is free to join, keep in mind that the company takes a $2.95 commission for items that sell for under $15 and a 20% commission for items that sell for over $15. 

Sell services on Fiverr

Fiverr is an online marketplaces for freelancers where you can advertise your services and find clients. Some of the popular categories on Fiverr are graphic design, virtual assistant, and writing. After signing up (it’s free), you can create a profile and list your services and how much you charge. Clients can then find your profile and hire you for work.

How much money you make on Fiverr depends on your experience and the services you offer. According to a 2021 report from Earnest, the average Fiverr user earns $103 per month. 

Jobs for teens FAQs

How to make money as a teenager without a job?

There are a lot of different ways to make money as a teenager without a job. You can look for a flexible side hustle like babysitting or dog walking, do freelance work like writing or graphic design online, sell your clothing on Poshmark, or even turn hobbies such as photography into cash. 

How to make money as a 14 year old?

If you’re looking into how to make money as a 14 year old, ask if family, neighbors, or local businesses need help with things like babysitting, dog walking, or creating social media posts. These are flexible side hustles that can be great for younger teens. 

You can also look for online jobs such as a virtual assistant or freelance writer. Teens 13 years and older can use Fiverr, an online marketplace for freelancers. Just note that if you’re under 18, you can only use an account set up by a parent or legal guardian with their permission. 

You can also get a traditional part-time job working at a restaurant or fast food establishment as a 14 year old. However, keep in mind that you’ll be limited to 18 hours of work total during the school week, per the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). You can work up to 40 hours a week when school isn’t in session. 

How to make money as a 15 year old?

If you want to know how to make money as a 15 year old, you can find any number of side hustles, from babysitting to mowing lawns and shoveling snow. Start by asking neighbors, friends, or family members if they, or anyone they know, need help with these tasks. 

You can also get paid to do work like graphic design or freelance writing online. You can sign up for Fiverr as young as 13 years old (as long as you have permission from a parent or legal guardian) to advertise your services and find clients.

You can also get a traditional part-time job at a restaurant or fast food chain. Per the FLSA, 14 and 15 year olds are limited in how many hours they can work one of these traditional part-time jobs. You can work 18 hours max during the school week and up to 40 hours a week when there’s no school. 

How to get rich as a teenager?

Want to know how to get rich as a teenager? There are some jobs for teens that pay more than others. For example, online jobs like web designer, freelance writer, and virtual assistant can earn you over $20 per hour, depending on your experience. 

Babysitting and dog walking, meanwhile, can be lucrative side hustles if you build up a client base. These flexible side hustles can net you $20 or more per hour based on experience. 

You can also turn certain hobbies, like photography and playing music, into money-making activities. If you photograph events or play live gigs with your band, you could potentially earn $50 or more per hour. You can even sell your clothes on Poshmark and potentially make $100 per month or more, depending on the kinds of items you have to sell. 

Finally, you can find a summer job to make a lot of money. Popular summer jobs for teens include lifeguard, golf caddy, camp counselor, and amusement park employee. You may be able to make between $13 and $20 an hour working one of these summer jobs — if you work eight hours a day, five days a week, that money will add up. 

How to make $1,000 as a teenager?

If you’re trying to find out how to make $1,000 as a teenager, focus on landing higher-paying gigs. You can typically earn a lot by working full-time hours over the summer. Lifeguarding and golf caddying are two summer jobs that pay well. 

For example, the average lifeguard makes $14.28 per hour  — if you work eight hours a day, five days a week, you’ll take home around $570 a week. If you work eight weeks during the summer, that’s over $4,500 for the season.  

You can also earn $1,000 over time by finding a flexible side hustle or online gig. For example, as a dog walker, you could make up to $25 per hour. If you walk dogs for 10 hours a week, that’s $250 per week. As a virtual assistant, meanwhile, you could make up to $27 per hour. If you work 10 hours a week, that’s $270 per week.

Monetizing your hobbies could also net you $1,000 over time. You can potentially earn $50 an hour or more photographing events or playing a live gig with your band. And If you have a lot of clothes in your closet you don’t wear, you can sell them on Poshmark and potentially earn upwards of $100 per month. 

Bottom line: There are so many ways to earn money as a teenager

When it comes to making money as a teenager, you have a lot of options. Whether you want to work a traditional job for teens like working in a restaurant, pick up a side hustle like babysitting, or find an online job like freelance writing, there are many different ways to earn money as a teenager. Think about what skills you have, what interests you, and what works best with your schedule to find the right job for you.

How to make money as a teenager without a job?

There are a lot of different ways to make money as a teenager without a job. You can look for a flexible side hustle like babysitting or dog walking, do freelance work like writing or graphic design online, sell your clothing, or even turn hobbies such as photography into cash.

How to make money as a 14 year old?

If you’re looking into how to make money as a 14 year old, ask if family, neighbors, or local businesses need help with things like babysitting, dog walking, or creating social media posts. These are flexible side hustles that can be great for younger teens.

How to make money as a 15 year old?

If you want to know how to make money as a 15 year old, you can find any number of side hustles, from babysitting to mowing lawns and shoveling snow. Start by asking neighbors, friends, or family members if they, or anyone they know, need help with these tasks.

How to get rich as a teenager?

There are some jobs for teens that pay more than others. For example, online jobs like web designer, freelance writer, and virtual assistant can earn you over $20 per hour, depending on your experience.

How to make $1,000 as a teenager?

If you’re trying to find out how to make $1,000 as a teenager, focus on landing higher-paying gigs. You can typically earn a lot by working full-time hours over the summer. Lifeguarding and golf caddying are two summer jobs that pay well.

Christina Heiser is a New York City-based content marketer and freelance writer. She covers beauty, health, nutrition, fitness, and parenting for a variety of online and print publications. Her work regularly appears on websites including NBC News and A Sweat Life. Over her decade-long career, she's also held editorial positions at Everyday Health and Women's Health. When she's not working, you can find Christina checking out the latest boutique fitness classes, attempting to master gluten-free cooking, and watching reality TV.

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