With the high cost of keeping up with all the latest gadgets and trends we love, it’s nice to have a little income to supplement the cash flow that allows us to have the must-have extras we want.
If you are a teenager (or are a parent or guardian of a teenager), this probably means you are looking for ways for teens to make money. But don’t worry, looking for a job as a teenager is not too hard, if you know where to look and what to expect.
Matching up your own interests and skills to potential job opportunities is the best way to find a place to make money but also enjoy what you do – which will also make you a better employee and might result in a better work experience or even a raise in pay in the long run.
Let’s take a look at how your interests or abilities might help you find a great position to make the money you need and want.
We have also included national pay averages (but it might be higher or lower in your area) as well as what skills or interests you need to be successful in these jobs.
Are You Great With Kids?
Maybe you went to an overnight or day camp yourself, and you remember how much fun you had with your counselors. If you want to help to direct activities and schedules for campers, becoming a camp counselor is a great way to make money.
Search the local youth clubs like the YMCA or your community centers for their summer or weekend schedules to see when they offer camps and will need counselors. Sleepaway camps usually require the counselors to occasionally work the night shift, so applying for these camps means you might stay there for the summer (or at least part of it).
These counselor jobs are usually filled in the winter or spring beforehand, so contact the camps well in advance to see when they accept applications.
Average salary: $12.65/hour
Skills/Interests: You work well with others and can take direction from adults. You have an easy-going personality that can roll with the punches and keep your campers smiling and on schedule.
School-Based Summer Camps
Many public and private schools offer enrichment camps in the summer months and over holidays. As a job, you might be watching the youngest attendees, like a babysitter, or may even assist adults in instruction or activities.
Contact your local school district or school to see if these opportunities are near you.
Average salary: $12/hour
Skills/Interests: The perfect personality for this type of job is someone who can be flexible in their job and loves to stay busy either with tasks or being around others.
If you want to watch kids and have fun while you earn money, babysitting is a great option. Either accepting jobs one at a time or booking a longer-term gig over the summer, for example, you can create the job hours that work best for you.
You might have to entertain your charges, so be ready with the energy and creativity to help keep them happy. Sometimes preparing meals, putting them down for naps or bedtime, or even driving them to activities are all required.
Average salary: $16.36/hour (depending on the number of children and their ages)
Skill/Interests: Ability to keep up with the activity level of the children you are supervising, as well as do some small chores or tasks around the house.
Do You Love Animals?
Let your neighbors know you are ready to help with Fido by posting on your neighborhood online community or simply talking to them in person. Get the word out by connecting with a local vet or pet store, and you are ready to have fun with nearby pets.
Other services, like Rover.com, allow you to set up an account for pet-walking services but make sure you follow all safety procedures when you choose your client.
Since you can set your own hours and days you work, this is a great job to layer with other jobs, and the bonus is all the doggie pets you get every day!
Average salary: $15.23/hour
Skills/Interests: You must like dogs, be reliable and responsible with animals, and have good communication skills with their owners.
Like a dog walker, you must love animals for this job, but you might not be around just dogs. Pet sitters deal with all kinds of pets, including cats, birds, reptiles, or even fish.
You may watch the pet at your own home while the owner is away, or in some cases, you might stay at the owner’s home to care for the pet while the owner is away.
Many times this job is connected to dog walking – so if your customers already trust you with their pet, they may ask you to care for them over a weekend or even longer.
Average salary: $25/day or more
Skills/Interests: Comfort level with the pet and all of its needs, as well as a place to keep the pet (your home or theirs).
Working with all kinds of animals, this job is best found by contacting local vets or animal shelters. You might find yourself cleaning up cages, feeding or washing animals, or even interacting with customers.
This job can work for afternoon and weekend availability, as well as over school breaks too. Perfect for someone who is thinking about a career related to animals!
Average Salary: $10.54/hour
Skills/Interests: Must love animals, and don’t mind getting a little dirty.
Do You Want to Work Outdoors?
If you are willing to go through the certification, being a lifeguard is a great, year-round job. Get set up to become certified through RedCross.org by taking a short in-person course.
Area pools always need lifeguards in the summers, but many indoor gyms with pools and places that offer swimming lessons also employ lifeguards all year. This job has long, sometimes hot hours, but the pay is good and it can be a job you can return to year after year.
Average salary: $11.18/hour
Skills/Interests: Comfortable being outside all day and able to pass the physically challenging lifeguard certification test.
Working with a landscaping or yard work company can be lucrative. Landscape designers are one of the best trade jobs available that also pay well. The physical work can vary from trimming, planting, mowing, or even light construction related to the outside landscape.
Contact area companies for openings or grab a business card from a supervisor you observe on a worksite to contact a company about possible jobs.
Average Salary: $13.64/hour
Skills/Interests: All work will be outside and physical in nature.
Are You Interested in Being a Server?
If you know exactly how you love your double cream cold brew, you might be a great barista. Most baristas train on the job, and some national chains even offer benefits for employees.
You might have to work early hours to keep up with the coffee culture crowd, but you can have a bit of fun creating coffee and tea concoctions.
Average Salary: $11.59
Skills/Interests: Be able to train and learn recipes, as well as work non-traditional hours.
Another on-the-job trained position, most servers work hard for tips as the pay rate that comes directly from the restaurant is low.
Expect to keep track of lots of moving parts on this job: orders, delivering food, taking care of tables during meals, and completing payments. But you will love when a generous tip arrives to thank you for a job well done!
Average Salary: $11.42/hour (after tips added in)
Skills/Interests: Must be a people person who can be on the go for your shift, but still have a smile on your face.
Do You Want to Make Money Online?
This is a non-traditional “job” because you are not working for a company directly. Instead, you can work with multiple survey companies (like Survey Junkie who works with teens as young as 16) to give them feedback online. In return, you get paid with gift cards or through online payments like PayPal.
This can be done when convenient, and pay is commensurate to how many surveys you do and how often you complete them.
Skills/Interests: Willing to divulge information about your interests, habits, likes/dislikes, etc., for company data collection.
Creative types may enjoy selling designs on Etsy, CafePress, or Redbubble online. Create your own design, then upload it to your account and watch the commissions roll in from your sales.
You will need a creative concept that you can execute, as well as consistent online access to be successful. Being your own boss can be lucrative and exciting if you have passion and artistic vision. This can be a job you do in your spare time.
Skills/Interests: Creative skills and inspiration to create sellable designs, as well as reliable internet access.
No matter what your interest, there are so many ways for teens to make money both during their school year, as well as on the weekends and during school breaks. Looking at your interests and abilities can help you find a job you’ll enjoy so you can start making money and learn new skills along the way.
This post originally appeared on Partners in FIRE and has been republished with permission.
Amanda Kay, an Employment Specialist and founder of My Life, I Guess, strives to keep the "person" in personal finance by writing about money, mistakes, and making a living. She focuses on what it’s like being in debt, living paycheck to paycheck, and surviving unemployment while also offering advice and support for others in similar situations - including a FREE library of career & job search resources.