Teenagers, you want to start earning money today! I get it. These money-making tips go beyond the traditional, slow “how to find a job” ideas you find when searching the internet. These profitable ways for teens to make money will take you a step further, and make your job more interesting and creative.
I started making money when I was 12, as a babysitter traveling with the carnival. The “carnies” needed me to take care of their kids while they worked the rides and games. It was a fun job for me as a teenager – especially when I worked my way up to the rides :-) I’m no longer a carnie traveling with the fair; now I earn over $100,000 a year as a full-time writer and blogger.
As a teen making money today, you’ll probably be less profitable than you’d like — but only at first. There are no “get rich quick” schemes in this article, because I’m not selling you anything. I’m just sharing the best and most creative ways for teenagers to make money and enjoy their work. Hang in there, and before you know it you’ll be making more money than you know how to spend! And then you’ll have a whole new set of problems :-)
My teenage niece works after school as an ice skating coach and earns $25 per hour. Not all jobs for teenagers make that much money (I think it’s a lot of money, but maybe teens today expect to earn more? let me know in the comments section below!). With a little creativity and entrepreneurial spark, you can find those hidden, profitable places to work.
These money-making ideas for teens include both creative and practical suggestions — and some jobs aren’t ones you’d normally think of. If you need ways to earn extra money and you’re a teen, you’ll find something in this list of job ideas and tips.
36 Profitable Ways for Teens to Make Money Today
Finding ways to work for yourself is the best way to make money today, whether you’re a teenager or adult. Entrepreneurs who work for themselves get to keep all the money (except for taxes you have to pay the government, of course).
Entrepreneurs who find ways to make money without getting a “real” job are adventurous and creative. They enjoy the challenge of finding different ways to make money, such as learning how to turn a hobby into a money-making business.
Most of the money making tips for teenagers on this list today are entrepreneurial, but many involve earning money the old fashioned way.
1. Offer to scan and organize people’s paper photographs. My 60 and 70 year old friends don’t have time to scan and save their photos, but they have the money to pay you to do it! I think this is one of the best way for teenagers to make money, because scanning and organizing photos is a HUGE job. People over 60 (even over 40, like me) have boxes and albums of photographs that need to be digitized. The best way to start this money making business for teenagers is to create your own online photo album. Show potential clients what you can do and how it’ll benefit them. The more organized and professional you are, the more money you’ll make.
2. Find ways to turn your hobby into a money making business. This is one of the most fulfilling tips on how to make money as a teen. For example, have you always loved baking cupcakes, making rubber stamps, creating tiles, taming lizards, or cooking natural organic soap bars? Learn how to create more and better products at home, and find ways to sell them to your friends’ parents, your parents’ coworkers, your grandma’s friends. Useful products made by enterprising teens are a great way to make money, because people will buy your stuff to support and encourage you.
3. Experiment with lemonade or homemade cookie stands. When I was a teenager who needed a job, I made $52 in three hours selling raspberry iced tea on a busy neighborhood street. Homemade tea – brewed fresh, served with lots of ice and sugar on the side. If you love food, this is a great tip on how to make money as a teen.
4. Sell jewelry you made yourself. One of my teen Twitter followers called Princess Jones says, “My mom would actually bring a shoebox full of my jewelry to her office and sell it to her coworkers for me.” This is a sweet job for a teenager: you get to do the creative part, and your mother does the hard work of selling and making money!
5. Work at a carnival or traveling fair. I did this when I was 12 years old; I traveled with the Bill Dillard Exhibition for a whole summer! I don’t remember how much money I made as a teen, and it’s definitely not a job for everyone, but it was the best summer of my life.
If you already know you want to work alone, read Best Jobs for Introverts and People Who Like to Be Alone.
6. Mow lawns and do yardwork for your neighbors. Not the most exciting or creative job for teenagers, but it can pay well. And if you do good work, you’ll never run out of money because grass constantly grows and snow always falls.
7. Do extra chores around your house. Do your parents need help with the housework, childcare, or external yard chores? Maybe you already do this for free (I had to)…but what about your neighbors? Ask if they could use an extra hand with the laundry, cleaning, or even the cooking. This is one of those jobs for teenagers that – if you play your cards right – will never end.
8. Walk dogs. I’d pay my teenage neighbor $15 per hour to walk my dogs. This is a fun way to make money as a teen, except for the poop-picking up part. And the lost-the-dog-in-the-park part. woof
9. Get a paper route. This isn’t the best tip on how to make money as a teen because it doesn’t pay well and hardly anybody gets print newspapers delivered to their homes these days. Who’s in charge of this list, anyway?
Remember that there are no easy answers or quick tips for finding a job (even with these are profitable ways for teens to make money today). You have to do the work – pound the pavement – to find a job before you actually get hired, which can be hard. It’s challenging to find a job when you’re a teenager because you don’t have a lot of experience or even references. Your resume may look empty because you haven’t even had a job yet. I know what it’s like — which is why the less profitable jobs like dog-walking and paper routes are on this list. Start making money today with less-desirable jobs, and before you’re halfway through your teen years you’ll be earning a lot more money.
10. Get paid to do surveys at home. Honestly, I wonder if this is a scam. Some of these “get paid to work at home” require you to give them money before they hire you. Teenager or not, NEVER pay someone money before (or after) they hire you.
11. Clean and organize people’s garages, attics, or basements. This is similar to my seventh way for teens to earn extra money…but can be sold as a “decluttering” or “household organization” business. And it’d be alot more interesting than cleaning the bathroom!
12. Ask your parents for a raise in allowance in exchange for extra chores. Hmmm…how is this different than teen money-making tip #7? Oh yeah, the allowance bit! Do you get an allowance? Talk to your mom and dad about creative ways to increase it.
13. Work at a fast food restaurant. “I worked at Hardees,” says my teen Tweeter Princess Jones. “That job made me enough money to go to college; I worked with a son and mother who both worked the same grill. If you want to get a job at a fast food restaurant, take your resume there in person. Talk to the hiring manager, and put your best, most responsible foot forward. The best tip how to make money as a teen is to be likeable and hire-able.
14. Offer to tutor your neighbor’s kid. This is a great job for teenagers who get good grades, who are patient, and who like helping other students learn. You might help them read or write better, or master their math or vocabulary skills so they feel more confident in school.
15. Research people’s family history. This is an interesting tip on how to make money as a teenager, especially if you can use the internet to research genealogy while resisting the urge to check Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, whatever! I’d love a history of my family, but I don’t have time to look it all up.
16. Teach skating, gymnastics, or other team sports. Are you an athlete? Teach what you know! Even if you aren’t a track or football star, you can teach younger kids basic skills. Coaches – even teen ones – can make money with this job. Refereeing is another possible way to make money for teenagers who are good at sports.
17. Collect bottles or cans door to door. I earned money as a teen this way, and also found lots of bottles and cans all over the neighborhood. Some call it “collecting ditch bottles.” I call it free money and lots of exercise on the side!
18. Look for lost golf balls on the golf course, and sell them to golfers. This is a Twitter tip on how to make money as a teen. I’m not sure how profitable as a money-making job for teenagers today; it depends on where you live, how many golf balls you collect, and how much they’re worth.
Making money when you’re a teenager and feel like you can’t get a “real” job may require a bit of creative thinking, which will benefit you in the long run. If you’re a creative teenager who can find ways to make money by offering your own services or products, you’ll make more money.
19. Ask your parents if they can hire you to help them with their jobs. This is a great job for teenagers if their mom or dad owns a business…and it’s a cool way to see your parents at work.
20. Learn how to make money blogging. This is my favorite tip how to make money today as a teen, because it’s easy if you have a built-in audience and a niche topic. But it doesn’t give you real-world experience, which is a negative. I have a whole “She Blossoms” blog filled with tips on making money writing and blogging – here’s an article to get you started: How to Blog About Something You Love.
21. Start websites or blogs for your grandparents. Even a Facebook page can be frustrating and challenging for someone to start. Offer to sit with clients and guide them as they create their first online media presence!
22. Take care of your neighbor’s pets or homes while they’re away. I hire my teenage neighbor to take care of our dogs and cat when we’re on vacation. It’s one of today’s most profitable money-making job for responsible teens.
23. Deliver community flyers. Ever wonder how flyers land in your mailbox? I didn’t, either…until I realized someone must put them there. This could be a good way to make money for teens who are strong and like to walk.
24. Get a job with Dickee Dee – it’s a mobile ice cream business, usually on a bike. It can be a tough way to make money…unless you can stake out a public park or swimming pool area.
25. Host a garage sale, but don’t sell your family’s stuff without permission! That’s not the best way to make money when you’re a teenager. Unless you want to get kicked out of the house.
26. Bus tables or wash dishes at a restaurant. Washing dishes was how fiction writer Shawn Proctor started out; now he’s working on a bestselling novel. As a teenager, you may have to start with the lowest and hardest job, and work your way up. It’s not the most fun way to make money today, but it’s profitable.
27. Ask your parents’ friends if they’ll hire you. Talk to your mom or dad about their friends’ businesses. Maybe they run a restaurant or small company, and you could help them with office jobs or on the factory floor. Today, teens who want to make money need a combination of creativity and boldness.
28. Ask your older brothers or sisters if they’ll pay you to do work for them. Does your big sister hate cleaning her room or doing her chores? Charge her $10 per hour, and get to work! Does your brother despise washing his clothes? Charge him $10 per hour for a speedy wash, dry, and fold cleaning service.
29. Work at a summer camp or a day camp in the city. Often, the best way to get this job as a teenager is to start volunteering today. Then, you get references and work experience. And – best of all – you find out if you really want to work with children. Maybe this’ll turn into a long-term, steady job after you graduate from high school.
30. Work at the concession stand at a ball park. This was my second job as a teenager; my first was babysitting. The concession stand was a more fun way to earn money, but I made more money babysitting. Today, I’d stick to the decision I made as a teenager: take the concession stand job, and let other teens babysit.
31. Sell creative products at craft fairs and flea markets. You don’t have to make your own jewelry or sew your own clothes to sell stuff at summer fairs and markets! If there’s a market near your home, go and ask the vendor if they need help for a few hours. This might be a profitable job for teens because it could lead to other types of work.
32. Be a mother’s helper. This is an old-fashioned job title, I think. It’s like working as a babysitter, but different because you’re doing more than “just” watching the kids. Today, a mother’s helper is more like being a nanny, but the parents are around most of the time. It’s a great way to make money for teens who like kids and home-type stuff.
33. Teach seniors and elderly people how to use computers. This job for teenagers is related to my other money making tips – but the difference is that you’re actually teaching people how to use the computer. This is even more valuable than just doing the work for your clients because it teaches you how to teach (if you want to be a teacher when you grow up, start learning today how to survive on a teacher’s salary).
34. Run errands for people who are housebound, ill, or not able-bodied. My neighbor had a stroke, and needed groceries. She also needed someone to just go to the library and get her an assortment of books, magazines, and DVDs to keep her occupied. This is a wonderful tip on how to make money for teens who want to make money, and who have a heart for helping people.
35. Post flyers around your neighborhood, advertising your services as a teen willing to do odd jobs around the home and garden. You never know what money-making jobs may come your way today! But be smart about where you go and what you choose to do.
36. Tutor your peers or kids your own age. You can teach your fellow students how you earned an A in geometry while earning lots of money in this tutoring job. And, you can teach subjects that aren’t related to school! For example, if you’re a teen with money management skills, teach other teens how to reach their financial goals.
If you’re trying to earn money for college or university, read 10 High Paying Jobs for College Students.
What did I miss – what’s the best tip on how to make money as a teen today? Your comments welcome below!