How to Make Money as a Teenager While Learning Profitable Job Skills

Today, most teenagers occupy their spare time with smartphones, video games, Youtube, and social media platforms. However, just like teens throughout history, they also like money. Unfortunately, needing money isn’t the same as having money, and finding a job as a teenager can be challenging. 

As a teenager, the key to making money, especially if you’re not old enough to drive yet, is finding things you can do close by for neighbors, family members, and friends. Dog walking, babysitting, and lawn mowing are still in high demand, but today’s teens also have a lucrative digital/electronic skillset.

Here I have pulled together a list of some of the most accessible job opportunities for teens aged 13-16, while many of these jobs are open to people of other ages. I’ve tried to provide an equal mix of both “traditional” teenage jobs and some profitable options for today’s tech-savvy teens.

How to Make Money at 13

Making money at 13 can be challenging. Especially since you’re not old enough to drive, and Labor Laws say you can’t legally work in many situations, so you’re somewhat limited to jobs you can find in your neighborhood or with relatives. Many people think you’re still too young to babysit, and paper routes aren’t as popular as they once were, although you can still find jobs as a paperboy (or girl) for local papers in some places. 

Luckily, there are still some things you can do. 

Odds and Ends Tasks Completer

One of the first jobs teenagers often get, sometimes even before they hit their teenage years, is doing Odd Jobs for your neighborhood. These odd jobs are especially popular in rural areas where a lot of farming happens. Some of the tasks you might be asked to do are:

  • Feeding or walking animals while your neighbors are on vacation
  • Watering houseplants
  • Yard work
  • House cleaning
  • Helping in someone’s garden (weeding, watering, picking veggies, etc.)
  • Helping out on a farm (feeding animals, picking up hay bales, mucking stalls, etc.)
  • Helping during canning season
  • Painting
  • Power washing houses
  • Building fences

Most of the time, these kinds of jobs pay a flat fee, not an hourly rate. However, with good word of mouth, you could make decent money by helping out others whenever you have a little free time.

Skills Learned:

Car Washer

Washing cars can also be a relatively profitable business for younger teens. Cleaning a car doesn’t take a ton of skill, and all you need is a bucket, water hose, and some cleaning supplies.

You can usually make even more money by vacuuming and cleaning interiors, as well. 

Skills Learned:

  • How to clean
  • Attention to detail
  • Determining net profits (profits minus costs for supplies)
  • A strong work ethic
  • Customer service skills

Pet Sitter/Dog Walker

Dog walking is regularly in high demand, especially in populations with several elderly or 9-to-5 working-class residents. People love their animals, but they don’t always have time to give them the exercise they need, so they hire someone to do it for them. 

There are plenty of benefits for a dog walker aside from the money, as well. Dog walking gives you plenty of exercise and sunshine, and even though it can sometimes be hard work, it’s also pretty fun. Pet sitting doesn’t give you as much physical activity or time in the sun, but it can also be an excellent way to make extra money. 

Skills Learned:

  • Dependability
  • Kindness to animals/compassion
  • How to care for animals (feeding, cleaning up after them, walking them, etc.)
  • How to follow a schedule

Tech Tutor

Technology may be everywhere these days, but that doesn’t mean that everyone understands it or feels comfortable with it. There’s always someone out there who needs to know how to operate their phone, new laptop, a new computer program, etc. 

Hang flyers up in public places, letting people know you’re willing to show them how to work their devices. Hooking up routers, new televisions, computers, and game systems is another way to make money off your natural teenage tech skills.

Skills Learned:

  • How to teach others
  • Communication skills
  • Improved technology skills
  • Patience 

Family Business Employee 

Working for a family-owned business is one of the best ways to get “real” work experience without too much pressure or inconvenience to the family members who have to carry you back and forth to work. Not everyone is lucky enough to come from a family with their own business, so if you are that lucky, take advantage of it.

Skills Learned:

  • “Real” work experience
  • Counting/handling money
  • Customer service
  • How to follow a process

Child Model, Actor

This one will require some research and parental consent from your parents to find local modeling and acting opportunities. The competition for this type of work can be high, but the pay is much higher than the other opportunities most teens have available. Income can depend a lot on the area you are in, but $25 to $250 per hour is not unheard of.

How to Make Money at 14

When you turn 14, your options open up a little. You still can’t drive, but for some reason, adults seem to think you’re more responsible at 14 than you were at 13. That means some people may trust you with their kids. If you’re a good student, you’ll have even more opportunities as a tutor. Plus, all those 13-year-old jobs are still available to you. 


Babysitting has been a great way for teens to make money for decades, and that’s not likely to change anytime soon. Parents will always have kids, and they’ll always need someone to watch those kids on Date Night and in the summers. As long as you are dependable, kind, and good with children, you should quickly be able to line up quite a few babysitting jobs. 

Skills Learned:

  • First aid skills
  • Working with children
  • Cooking
  • Conflict resolution
  • Organization skills
  • Patience


If you’re academically inclined, you can make quite a bit of money tutoring younger students. Traditionally, people think of tutors as adults, but sometimes, kids connect better with people closer to their age. That’s why some of the best tutors for young children are teenagers. If you’re fluent in a foreign language, that’s also a very marketable skill. 

Skills Learned:

  • How to teach others
  • Patience
  • Time management
  • Organization skills

Ballpark/Concession Stand Worker

Although many states don’t allow 14-year-olds to get “real” jobs, there are usually exceptions to the rule. In many places, one of those exceptions is at a local ballpark. They often allow younger teens to work there in the summers, clean up, sell food at the concession stand, or take care of the lawn. It’s a fun, easy way to earn a little extra cash and see your friends in the process.

Skills Learned:

  • People skills
  • Time management
  • Communication skills
  • Customer service

Online Seller

As a teen, you’ve probably been outgrowing shoes, clothes, and everything else for a while. Chances are you also have some video games, electronic devices, leftover toys from your childhood, and more stuff that you really don’t use or need anymore. 

Don’t just let it sit around cluttering up your room! Sell it online for some extra cash! Of course, you could always have a yard sale, but selling things online is a lot less work and much cooler.

Skills Learned:

  • The value of money
  • Depreciation of items
  • Advertising
  • Selling skills
  • Customer service

How to Make Money at 15

In many states, you can legally work at “regular” jobs – fast food, retail, etc. – as long as you don’t have to do or work with anything hazardousserve alcohol, and don’t work over a certain number of hours each day and week. Your job options still aren’t wide open, but you have lots of opportunities.


Once you hit that age where you can get a “real” part-time job, why not consider being a cashier? Although some of the larger retail chains still won’t hire you at 15 years of age, there are usually at least a few local businesses that are always willing to give teenagers a chance to get some work experience.

Skills Learned:


Twenty years ago, no one would’ve had a clue what you were talking about if you suggested becoming “an influencer.” Now, though, there aren’t too many teens who don’t know what that is. Although becoming an Instagram Tik Toc or Youtube influencer isn’t something that happens overnight, if you work hard to develop your online presence and following, you can rack up on complimentary products, gift cards, and even cash.

Skills Learned:

  • Advertising/marketing
  • Self-confidence/self-promotion
  • Brand recognition
  • Tech skills
  • Networking  


If you have the physical stamina and first aid skills necessary, being a lifeguard is a great summer job. It isn’t hard work 99% of the time, and it gives you time to swim and work on your tan. What could be better than that? 

Just be sure you’re capable of jumping in and saving a life if necessary. Lifeguarding may be a fun and primarily laid-back type of job, but it’s also a serious one that saves lives. 

Skills Learned:

Tech-Based Freelance Jobs

There are plenty of online jobs out there for teenagers with tech skills. Sites like  and constantly post new ads for freelance graphic designers, photo editors, writers, animators, virtual assistant, and more. Some of these jobs will be strictly 18 and up, of course, but not all of them are. If you have a marketable freelance skill, consider using it to make money in your free time.

(These kinds of jobs are also a great side hustle for skilled adults with full-time jobs.)

Skills Learned:

  • Resume writing
  • Self-promotion
  • Interview skills
  • Advanced tech skills
  • Communication skills

How to Make Money at 16

In many places in the United States, you can legally drive by yourself at 16. There are a few exceptions to this, but most states allow it. Once you can drive, that opens up a whole world of possibilities for you. 

While there are still some jobs you can’t do, most mainstream companies hire 16-year-olds. So if you’ve been waiting to work at a movie theater, retail store, fast food place, pet store, grocery store, restaurant, or mall, now’s your chance.

Youtube Personality

Like many of the jobs on this list, “Youtube personality” was not a thing when I was a teenager. Even so, it’s a very lucrative opportunity if you have the personality and drive. Some people on Youtube have become as famous as our favorite movie stars and singers. 

Making money with your Youtube channel will not be easy, but if you’re serious about making it happen, starting young can only help.

Skills Learned:

  • Acting/playing a role/developing a “big” personality
  • Advertising/marketing
  • Self-confidence/self-promotion
  • Tech skills

Library Assistant

One job a lot of teens don’t think of anymore is library assistant. Since nearly everything has transitioned online, many people think libraries are a thing of the past. That isn’t true at all. Most towns and almost all cities have at least one local library, and those libraries usually have a lot of stuff going on after school and in the summers.

Therefore, they regularly take on at least one or two teens to help out with all the extra stuff they do for the kids during those times. That teen might as well be you!

Skills Learned:

  • Organization skills
  • How to work with kids
  • Teamwork
  • Filing/answering phones/etc. (Front desk skills)

Graphic Designer

If you have genuine graphic design skills, then you already possess a very in-demand skill that the world wants. While you may not be able to work for a Silicon Valley tech corporation at 16, there are still plenty of individuals and businesses who will hire you if you show them you really know graphic design. 

Skills Learned:

  • Improved graphic design and tech skills
  • Teamwork
  • Following directions
  • Advertising
  • Working on large-scale projects


Many restaurants and fast-food chains have rules that don’t allow people under 16 to cook. Younger teens can work in some of these places, but they’re usually hired to bus tables or as a hostess. At 16, though, most will allow you to cook, and while it may not be your dream job, it is where a lot of us get our start. Plus, it teaches you a lot of marketable skills.

Skills Learned:

  • How to multitask
  • How to work quickly
  • Flexibility
  • Teamwork
  • Cooking 
  • Cleaning 
  • How to follow OSHA and health guidelines

Final Thoughts

Although some of the jobs we older people did when we were teens are no longer available, plenty of new and exciting opportunities have arisen to take their places. As a teenager, especially a younger teenager, you may think there’s just nothing you can do to make money, but that’s not true.

A few other jobs you might consider are Golf Caddie, Movie Theater Attendant, Groundskeeper, Camp Counselor, Making and selling Crafts,

There are plenty of opportunities out there both online and in person. So get out there and find them! 


By Bryan Greene