Part-time and summer jobs are a great way for tweens and teens to earn money and learn responsibility. Yet many 12-year-olds are restricted by federal labor laws in the type of work they can do, and the hours that they are allowed to work. The best job option for a 12-year-old who would like to earn extra cash is one that carries a child labor exemption.
As long as there are people who have children, there is a need for babysitters. Typically, babysitters are paid on an hourly basis. Most of the terms of a babysitting job, as well as rates of pay, are negotiated between the babysitter and the employer, although increasingly a third-party network or agency can handle the terms of these assignments.
According to the website Make Money Kids.com, most typical residential areas have at least one newspaper. In many areas, it is not uncommon to have a municipal, state and county newspaper. These newspapers rely on paid, part-time employees to deliver their product to their subscribers. Shorter newspaper routes that can be handled on foot or with a bicycle are ideal for a younger child. Twelve-year-olds who wish to handle longer routes may need the assistance of a parent with a car.
The idea of an acting job may bring to mind thoughts of glamour and big-budget Hollywood movies, but acting is a profession that is practiced even in small Midwestern towns. Actors are required for locally produced television commercials. Like babysitting and newspaper deliver, acting is a career that is largely exempt from labor laws. One good way to get started in acting is to check with local talent agencies. These agencies can help place actors with local jobs.
Although children are not allowed to operate heavy machinery, they are allowed to work in family-run businesses. Children younger than 13 can help their parents on a family farm or by stuffing envelopes, wrapping packages, filing or other administrative work. Another way that children can get involved in a family business is to start one with the help of a willing parent. Dog-walking or pet-, plant- or house- sitting services are great start-ups that a parent can start and co-own with their child.
Some 12-year-olds are good at handcrafts, and have examples of knitting, needlepoint or arts and crafts all over their house. These crafts can be turned into cash by putting them in a crafts fair or selling them online through outlets such as e-Bay.