Think back to when you were looking for work as a teenager. Odds are, babysitting, working in a fast food restaurant and mowing lawns were among your main options. Kids in their teenage years still work in fast food and retail settings, do yard work and gardening, and watch neighbor kids for money. Other jobs fall under federal regulations that require you to be at least 14 years old.
Traditional Teen Jobs
Babysitting and yard work remain viable job choices for younger teens, while fast food and retail outlet jobs are open to those who are 16 or older. Many teens earn money by taking care of pets. They may walk dogs; feed pets when owners are at work or on vacation; and clean up pet waste in yards. Both child care and pet care are year-round job options, so teens are not limited to working only during school vacations.
Depending on where you live, nature provides numerous opportunities for teens to make money. They can mow lawns during the summer, rake and bag leaves during the fall, water plants and lawns when homeowners are on vacation, wash cars, do weeding and shovel snow. Enterprising youth can earn money by working on occasional big projects, such as indoor or outdoor painting, cleaning out garages, clearing brush or helping people move. Older teens may help hang holiday lights and decorations.
Working With Kids
For teens who enjoy working with younger children, babysitting is just one income-producing opportunity. Work for a recreation or community center as a camp counselor or game coordinator. Coach recreational sports programs for children, or serve as a sports referee, scorekeeper or umpire. Older teens may work as full-time nannies during summer months. Responsibilities include caring for children, transporting children to and from lessons and events, and occasionally pulling overnight babysitting shifts.
Do What You Love
Teen entrepreneurs can often earn money doing what they love. A math whiz or history buff can market herself as a tutor to other youth, while a talented musician can offer piano or guitar lessons. Teens who are computer-savvy can earn money setting up home computer systems for neighbors, addressing computer problems or building websites. Reliable teens with access to a car or bike can establish an errand-running service for older or home-bound neighbors. Artistic teens can paint murals or develop marketing posters for individuals or companies.