It’s always a great time to explore a few ways for teens to make money. In the past, we have talked about business ideas for teens. Those are mostly ideas that involve doing the work outside the home. Today let’s focus on work-from-home jobs for teens 18 years of age and younger. Most if not all of these could be done without setting foot outside of the house.
Sell Products Online
Etsy welcomes teens as long as their store is registered and managed by a parent or legal guardian. This is a great site for crafters and creatives to sell their handmade products. If you enjoy crafting in your spare time, you can start doing it for a profit.
Etsy has really taken off for digital products, too. Whether you’re designing custom invitations, printable chalkboard signs, knitting patterns, or even logos, Etsy is a great place to sell your digital ideas. If you can create something that sells well and is easy to replicate, you could have a great money-maker on your hands.
Zazzle is a popular site for those selling artwork, t-shirts, and gifts. Their minimum age for registration is 13. If you’re not sure how to get started, think about designing a new shirt for your school, and then send the designs to your friends, the student government, or various student organizations to see if anyone likes it enough to buy.
CafePress is a lot like Zazzle, and you can register as young as 13 to use their services.
If you’re artistically inclined, take a look at Society6. There, you’ll be able to upload your graphic designs and artwork to be turned into all kinds of products. There’s a thriving independent artist community, too.
Lulu is an independent self-publisher of sorts, where you can create your book and then sell it through all the usual channels. If words are your thing, this is a great avenue to sell your books. Lulu’s membership agreement says it’s for people of all ages to buy and sell, so if you’ve got something to share, take it to Lulu!
If you like the idea of selling digital products and you think you’ve got a lot to share, consider selling your own digital products. This could be anything from eBooks to downloadable packets to full-blown courses, on any topic imaginable.
Offer Your Services
U-Haul is one of the few online jobs for teens under 18. Get a job as a customer service rep as young as 16 as long as you are currently enrolled in school or have your GED/diploma. Training is paid and this is an hourly position.
Enroll helps people get signed up for health insurance coverage. They also offer teen jobs online. You can submit your application anyway and set up alerts to be notified when new jobs are posted.
Become an online tutor as young as 15. Minor tutors can only conduct classes with those 18 or under. You could also offer tutoring services locally.
Depop allows those as young as 14 as long as you are legally able to enter a binding agreement in your country of residence.
Fiverr is an online marketplace where you can do basic graphic design, animation, and other creative things. You have to be at least 13 years old to sign up for Fiverr. Check out our Fiverr tips here.
ContentGather contracts writers as young as 16. Payment is made by PayPal. You can submit articles for sale or answer custom jobs.
Music Xray will pay you to listen to and rate music. You get paid $.10 per song reviewed. There is a $20 minimum for payout.
Slice the Pie – If you like Music Xray, you are going to love Slice the Pie. This is another site paying you to rate music clips. You can also refer your friends to make additional money. Payment is by PayPal with a $10 minimum.
Shopkick allows users as young as 13 with parental consent. Earn points checking in at local stores and scanning specific products. Points can redeemed for Rewards like gift cards.
Swagbucks is always a fan favorite. The site has a number of ways to earn Swagbucks. Get paid for watching videos, taking surveys, shopping and more. You can redeem your Bucks for gift cards or cash by PayPal. Don’t miss this opportunity. You can take it with you right through adulthood.
Taking surveys online or through your smartphone can be an easy way to put together some spending money. Here are some opportunities open to teens.
Jingit allows users as young as 13. Get paid for surveys, shopping, checking in at local stores and more. Jingit offers direct deposit into an existing bank account.
TeensEyes is an online survey panel specifically for those 13 to 18. Make money sharing your opinions on popular products and services targeting teens. The site states most surveys pay the equivalent of $2 to $20 in points. Redeem those points for payment by check.
Many of the above opportunities pay through PayPal which also offers Student Accounts to those 13 or older. A parent account holder will need to create the account.
Whether you enjoy hitting the local hot-spots or you’ve got a great eye for reseller sites online, reselling is a fun way to make some cash. The idea is to “buy low and sell high” when you find something that can be resold.
Clothes and shoes can be sold at consignment stores like Plato’s Closet, or online via several websites and apps.
Amazon and eBay are the go-to places for selling used books, but they aren’t the only options you have.
Collectibles can be sold on eBay, Craigslist, or on specialty sites.
You can also do a good bit of reselling on Craigslist. If you know a lot about certain items (like sporting goods or shoes), you can pick up a real steal on Craigslist and turn around and resell it for what it’s truly worth. The other great opportunity on Craigslist is the “free stuff” section. Often these free items have some value; if you can pick them up and resell them on Craigslist or elsewhere, that’s almost pure profit.
With the exception of U-Haul, most of the above opportunities will not earn you considerable income on their own. Once combined, however, you may find yourself with a nice little nest egg for completing simple tasks in your spare time. And with the flexibility most offer, you can keep them going year-round.
Start Freelancing Online
Freelancing requires you to have a specialized skill set, but if you’re interested or you’ve already some experience in any of these areas, it might be a great way for you to start working from home. There’s the opportunity to make a good amount of money through freelancing, if you take it seriously and find the types of services you enjoy offering.
If you like writing or you know a particular subject and can write about it well, you might be interested in freelance writing. There are tons of readily available freelance writing jobs, if you know where to look. The challenge with freelance writing (after you land the work) is to meet your deadlines. If you aren’t ready for that kind of responsibility, you might want to try a different idea.
There are all kinds of ways to work online as a virtual assistant. If you have any kind of computer or technical skills at all, business owners need your help! Some of the things I get asked about frequently by my fellow entrepreneurs are for help editing videos and podcasts, and putting together images for social media (like Pinterest and Instagram). Those are fairly specialized skills, though — lots of VA work is simpler tasks like managing email, scheduling posts in WordPress, and basic research and data entry. These don’t pay as much, but the work can be as steady as you like it.
Graphic design is another opportunity, especially if you’re artistically inclined. It typically involves small-scale projects — things like logos, blog headers, formatting ebooks and printables, and other things like that. Fiverr and Esty are both great places to get started with selling your graphic design, and you can also use them to get a feel for what sells.
If coding is more your style and you’re willing to put some time and effort into your at-home work, you might be interested in being a designer or developer for websites or apps. These types of jobs can make some serious money if you’re able to deliver what the customer wants, and they’re they kind of thing that many teens already know how to do.
Finally, there’s my personal favorite: starting a blog. Blogging is a great way to make money from home, and it’s the kind of thing you can work around your school schedule. It requires very little to get started, and there’s no limit to how much you can make if you’re serious about it.
Additional Ways for Teens to Make Money
Full disclosure: the below options will have you leaving the house as opposed to working from home as a teen. These are more business ideas than traditional store clerk employment. But the good news is you may find you have far less competition offering to mow yards than getting that job at the mall. And you will have a lot more flexibility and freedom too!
The below options could also have you as a teen making money fast, maybe even today, provided you are willing to pick up the phone and market your services.
1. Mowing Yards – This is always a profitable and highly sought after service.
2. Babysitting – Rather than worrying about your plans for Friday and Saturday night, pick up a few babysitting gigs once or twice per month. After school sitting is also an option depending on your schedule.
4. Shovel snow – Certainly seasonal, but you can easily combine it with mowing and landscaping to keep you busy year-round.
5. Landscaping, such as weeding, raking and trimming
6. Clear gutters – There are some jobs no homeowner likes to do. This is one of them. But, it's necessary and easily outsourced.
7. Auto detailing – This is another service than can be expensive to get done personally. You can offer your clients a much more affordable option.
8. Clean windows – Most people do a deep clean twice a year, usually in the Spring and Fall. Window cleaning is always at the top of that list.
9. Housecleaning – Offer to come in once per week to do the dusting, vacuuming and sweeping.
10. Holiday decorating – As the holiday season approaches think about those services as well. Help people in your neighborhood get ready for visitors by bringing out and putting up the seasonal decorations.
11. Petsitting – this one doesn't require much explanation. You have a few options. You can offer occasional sitting services to those going on vacation or establish a steady clientele by offering dog walking services. If you are really wanting to ramp up your service package, you can even throw in a little lawn cleanup. A lot of pet owners are more than willing to pay for dooty duty these days.
14. Errand Service – If you have busy families or elderly in your neighbor offer errand services. You can pick up their mail, run to the store, grab their dry cleaning on your way home from school.
15. Recycle Service – If you are already cleaning out garages and taking the garage out for your elderly neighbors, ask if you can keep those empty cans and bottles for recycling.
As you can see, there is an endless supply of jobs for teens – both online and off. If you need something a little more challenging or interesting than folding t-shirts after school, give one of the above opportunities a try. You may find you are an entrepreneur in training!